Friday, September 28, 2018

New Haven Switchers

Chris has already started documenting our work on the NH DEY-3 (ALCo-GE S-1) and DEY-5 (ALCo-GE S-2) switchers on his blog here and here with more to come. In addition, Joe Smith covered the low-clearance cab on these locomotives here. So it makes little sense for me to go into detail on modeling these locomotives, except for anything I do differently. Instead, here's a quick rundown of diesel switchers on the New Haven in relation to my layout.

The "transition era" remains a popular era to model because of the mix of steam and early diesels. I've seen it defined as into the '60s, but for many modelers, it's the '50s. If you're modeling the New Haven's West End, however, the transition era mostly concludes at the end of 1948 as steam was either scrapped or moved east, and system-wide would end in 1952.

On the West End (New Haven and Hartford Divisions) in spring of 1949 all of the remaining steam is listed in yard work in Maybrook or Cedar Hill: #3005 is on a Cedar Hill tool train, and #3020 is on a Cedar Hill emergency-work train, and #3207 works the Maybrook Hump, #3405 is in Maybrook work service,  and #3402, 3410, 3411, 3413, 3419 and 3434 are working Maybrook yard until 1950. All the rest is moved to the Providence or Boston Divisions. There are a number of locomotives listed in Cedar Hill as D.S.F, which I understand to mean "dumped, save fuel" and are therefore not in service. I'm not aware of any modelers with the space to model the Cedar Hill or Maybrook yards though.

Diesel Switchers

For diesels, switchers led the way in 1931 with ALCo Demonstrator #600. Although ALCo originally intended to demonstrate the new locomotive on many railroads, the New Haven extended their test, then purchased the demonstrator itself, numbering it New Haven #0900, later classified DEY-1.

The New Haven classification system for diesel locomotives was instituted in 1944, although in general practice it appears that many railroad employees still just referred to them by road number, such as "the four-hundreds" when referring to the DER-2a/b (ALCo FA-1, FB-1) locomotives. In addition, diesel locomotives delivered up to 1950 were numbered with a leading '0' to differentiate them from steam road numbers. They didn't change the numbering of these locomotives, but new ones were numbered without the leading '0' after this time.

In my case, the 44-tonner is the primary diesel switcher, with two assigned to New Britain. ALCo S-1 and S-2 switchers are featured on road freights, but in different years.

GE Custom Switchers

NH Class: DEY 2 (0901-0905) and DEY-2a (0906-0910)
The next diesels to arrive following the purchase of ALCo Demonstrator #600 in 1931 were ten switchers built by GE in 1936/37. These locomotives saw assignment to Boston, Providence, and New Haven, but all working Cedar Hill by 1948.

Joe Smith covered these in detail, including his amazing model, here. I don't believe any brass models were ever produced.

ALCo High Hoods

New Haven Class: DEY-1 (0900), DEY-1a (0911-0920), DEY-1b (0921-0930)
As noted, ALCo Demonstrator 600 was purchased by the New Haven and in service since 1931. Going back to ALCo in 1938, they acquired ten of the new production versions of #0900, the HH600 locomotives in 1938, and in 1939/40 ten more of the upgraded HH660. By 1948 these were all assigned to switching service in the Boston Division, although they occasionally served on road duty, as noted in the Engine Assignments for April 1949 where #0900 was assigned to the Taunton-Dighton local and in September 1949 #0923 was the Bird Mills Local.

Having said that, NHRHTA released a special run of the Atlas model in the Warm Orange and Hunter Green scheme that looks fantastic on this model. So it will make periodic visits to New Britain (especially since it's already DCC-sound equipped). For the foreseeable future it will be on lease to Stanley Works.

Brass models have also been produced in the past.

GE 44-tonners

NH Class: DEY-4 (0800-0818)
In 1941, the beginning of the end of steam on the New Haven really took hold, with the first ALCo S-1s (see below), ALCo DL-109 dual-service road locomotives, and the first 7 GE 44-tonners.

The two local New Britain switchers are DEY-4s. Assigned switchers from NH documents and Engine Assignment books (always looking for more!):
1948: 0802, 0812
1949: 0802, 0805
1950: 0805, 0806
1952: 0804, 0810
1956: 0802, 0809
1957: 0802, 0809

I covered the DEY-4 locomotives and available models in detail herehere, and here

ALCo S-1

NH Class: DEY-3 (0931-0995)
The DEY-3 became the largest class of diesel locomotives on the New Haven, with 65 built between 1941 and 1949. While primarily assigned to switching duties across the system, they were also used on local freights, such as the Hartford-New Hartford local (HDX-5). This train was discontinued by mid-1948, when it was usually hauled by K-1-d #479. Reinstated in September 1949 with #0967 assigned, and listed in the October 1950 assignments with #0994. I'm currently missing the spring 1950 information, but it was discontinued again by spring 1951.

There's also a J.W. Swanberg photograph of #0967 in New Britain on December 1, 1961 with a caption that says it's replacing the usual 44-tonner on that day. However, I think it's on NX-28, the Cedar Hill-Collinsville local, since it was assigned that service in 1957, it's not a stretch to assume it was still on that local in 1961.

Available in brass and Life-Like Proto 2000/Walthers Proto.

ALCo S-2

NH Class: DEY-5 (0600-0621)
In addition to replacing yard steam, though, they also started replacing road steam. To model a steam-only operating session, I need to go back before July 1945 when DEY-5 #0605 and #0606 replaced the J-1s on the NY/YN Cedar Hill/Holyoke freights. They continued in this assignment (occasionally including/replaced by #0604 as documented here) until the second delivery of the ALCo-GE RS-2s (New Haven class DERS-2b) in 1948.

Available in brass and from Atlas.

Lima-Hamilton Switchers

New Haven Class: DEY-6 (630-639*)
Purchased in 1950, these 7 locomotives replaced the Y-3s and the L-1 hump locomotive. Over the years they did see some service elsewhere, but they are more closely associated with Maybrook yard.

I don't believe these have been produced in brass.

EMD SW-1200s

New Haven Class: DEY-7
The first EMD locomotives purchased by the New Haven in 1956, the 20 DEY-7 switchers were equipped with the optional Flexicoil trucks to allow road service use with 65 MPH gearing. The upgraded Walthers model is expected to ship in 2019.

Brass models have also been released.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Small Projects - Youngstown Door with Early Camel Lift Fixtures

One of the (dis?)advantages of model railroading is that there are many, many different things to do at any given point in time. I've been telling people that I'm a "proof of concept guy" which means that I have a lot of projects that have gotten to the point where I know they'll work, and I've since moved on to something else.

So I've started playing to my strengths. Instead of trying to work on a single project to completion, I'll work on things here and there, and eventually they'll all be completed. It's been a great change in approach, because I've been working on modeling projects much more frequently, instead of worrying about finding enough time to work on this project or that.

Over the course of several evenings of fixing computers and watching TV, I cut all of the parts off of the sprues for all of my IMWX, Red Caboose, and Intermountain AAR box car kits, and started assembling some of them.

In the process I'd do some quick research on each prototype to see what I'd like to change. If parts were needed, I'd make a list, order the parts when I can, and the model is waiting for the next time I get back to it.

One of the things I noticed is that some of the cars have door tracks mounted at the extreme bottom of the side sill, instead of at the bottom of the side of the car. One example is the NP prototype available from Pierre Oliver of Yarmouth Model Works (kit YMW-107).

It's easy enough to model this by shaving off the door track, using the door from the Intermountain Modified 1937 AAR Boxcar, or any other appropriate appropriate door made for a 10'6" IH car, and fabricating a new door track from strip styrene.

Further examination on some of the cars, such as C&EI and ERIE, is that they used early Camel door fixtures, the same as the ones on the 1932 AAR cars. The problem, however, is that there isn't a tall Youngstown door available with those fixtures.

Note that the door track is below the bottom of the body. Also note the early Camel door hardware, recognizable by the angle of the door operating mechanism with the quarter circle guide behind the handle.

Compare the location of the lower door track and the later (and more common) Camel door hardware on NH 30000 to C&EI 64103 above.

On CN 477155 you can more clearly see that a portion of the side sill channel is visible beneath the lower door track. This car also has the more common later Camel hardware.

So I made one. I started with the top of the Intermountain Modified AAR door since it's taller and had the correct corrugation pattern for the doors I needed. I used the bottom of a Bowser door from their PRR X31 box car model. Unfortunately, the door was too wide, so I had to slice a piece out of the middle of that.

After priming it to see if I needed to fix any issues with the seams.

So I'll need a few of these (or at least one more!). Eventually I may try casting some, or have Chris or somebody else cast them for us. I'd be happy to send them to somebody else to cast if they'd like to make them more widely available.

For reference, here's what I've been able to compile on cars with these fixtures. There are probably more. Most of these are not the tall door I kitbashed here.

Early Camel Door Fixtures on early Youngstown doors

It appears that the AAR cars built before September 1937 generally used early Camel door fixtures. Of course, this explains why a tall Youngstown door isn't available with these fixtures. For the most part, cars with a 10'6" IH weren't being built until after this date.

Best I can determine right now is that these fixtures were used on the 1932 ARA Box Cars, and on many cars built in the '30s, including some single-sheathed and double-sheathed composite cars. There may be earlier prototypes, and are probably additional cars rebuilt in the '30s that used them as well.

1937 AAR Cars built with Youngstown Doors and early Camel fixtures:

ATSF Bx-27, tall door
C&EI (Viking roof), tall door
C&O (Viking roof), tall door
CP 226000-228799
ERIE (Viking roof and Buckeye ends), tall door


ACL O-14a double-sheathed box car rebuilt as all steel
CB&Q XM-30 single sheathed
CNW Rebuilt Box Cars
C&WC Rebuilt Box Cars
GA Rebuilt steel single sheathed box cars
GTW Rebuilt Box Cars
MILW 13500-13599 50' rib side auto cars
NP double sheathed
NYC Box and Auto Steel Rebuilds of 1916 double-sheathed box cars
P&LE Rebuilt Box Cars
PRR X31 classes
T&P Rebuilt Box Cars
UP B-50-17 steel (rebuilt from double-sheathed box cars)
UP B-50-20 steel single sheathed cars rebuilt into steel single sheathed cars

Parts available for Youngstown doors with early Camel Lift Fixtures

Unfortunately, none of these fit the IMWX, Red Caboose, or Intermountain 1937 AAR Boxcar models as is. They are all too short. So they don't work for the KCS, NKP, SP, UP, or WP cars that had the door track mounted in the location on the models. Another experiment, perhaps!

Atlas from their 1932 ARA Boxcar (no current link because they are probably out of stock)
Bowser from their X31 boxcars
Speedwitch Media for the P&LE Rebuilt Box Cars

Incidentally, the Viking roof used to be available from Des Plaines Hobby, but it appears they are sold out. They also packaged IMWX and later Red Caboose kits with the Viking roof for the appropriate prototypes. I have a few of them, and they crop up on eBay relatively frequently.

Additions, deletions and corrections can be noted in the comments and I'll update the list.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Freight Schedules - Employee

So the employee freight schedules on the New Haven, Arranged Freight Service Symbol Book, were published at the same time as the Freight Train and Package Car Schedules. New Haven fans often refer to these as Symbol Books.

They also carried the same numbering scheme, until the McGinnis era. Like the employee timetables, the Arranged Freight Service was restarted at #1 during that era. Probably to coincide with the current employee timetable. However, the Freight Train and Package Car Schedules retained the original numbering scheme.

Employee Freight Schedules

The early editions appear much like the later Freight Train and Package Car Schedules. The presentation of information is almost identical. The latest edition I have with this format is a NHRHTA reprint of the October 30, 1929 issue. If this format was combined with the 1935 Package Car Schedule I mentioned in the last post, it would comprise probably 90% of what became the public freight schedules. The cover of the June 12, 1927 issue does indicate "For Employes Only."

An interesting sidebar - in pretty much all of the New Haven official publications employee is spelled with only one 'e' ("employe"). The story that I've heard is that the second 'e' is optional, and the railroad chose to save on printing costs and eliminated it. A similar reason has been attributed to GE as well, which is listed on this site, as is an interesting alternate origination: since the 'e' and 'r' keys are next to each other on the keyboard, eliminating the extra 'e' reduced the risk of accidentally typing 'employer' instead of 'employee' in legal documents.

The earliest issue I have in the format I'll address today is April 27, 1941 (No. 71), the scans are from No. 87 (April 27, 1952), while I've provided some written examples from No. 89 as well.

Section 1

After the index and general instructions regarding train symbols, is an extensive section on classification. This is quite interesting because it includes some information on routing (with regards to destinations in common with other carriers), but most importantly the classifications used within the major yards to move traffic, including to some foreign destinations. The classifications include a listing of all stations within that classification. So in my case there are a few that are relevant (these are from No. 89):

Cedar Hill
New Britain (From Oak Pt. or Bay Ridge)*

*Cars consigned to Cremo Brewery, New Britain, classified as Cedar Hill from all points except Springfield and Cedar Hill. From Cedar Hill classified as Berlin block.

This note is necessary because while Cremo Brewery is in the city of New Britain, its siding is off of the Springfield mainline. It's serviced by whatever train is assigned to work Berlin, not New Britain.

New Britain (from Springfield only).

So this clearly tells us that (as would be expected) cars bound for New Britain from Springfield don't go all the way to Cedar Hill before heading to New Britain. They'll be put on a train from Hartford instead. Which makes sense. But this classification changed from time to time. For example, by April 25, 1965, there were no trains scheduled from Hartford that would go through New Britain. So all cars destined for New Britain were classified Cedar Hill.

No. 89 has simplified classifications for the P.R.R. compared to earlier issues. For example, No. 86 from September 30, 1951 has extensive classifications for Enola and Greenville. No. 71 from April 27, 1941 has six different Pennsy classifications.

At the end of this section is an alphabetical list of stations that indicates their classification.

Section 2

The main part of the book are the actual freight schedules. This is full of useful information for modeling operations. It includes the symbol and name (if any), along with the major locations of service. For example (from No. 89 again):

Bay Ridge-Cedar Hill-Providence-Boston
Boston Speedwitch (NH documents can't seem to make up their mind whether this is one or two words...)
BNE-1 Except Sunday Boston to Cedar Hill
Daily Cedar Hill-Bay Ridge

Then it lists all the stations (towns) it serves, including times. Next to each station is indicates any connections they make (by symbol, including connecting roads), or 'extra' for a local freights in later issues. It also includes the usual power and tonnage rating.

After that it lists the blocks from each town, and any classifications within those blocks. It also notes the connections for those specific blocks.

Special notes follow, such as closing times at freight houses, and then the service objective is listed.

This gives you all of the information needed to block inbound and outbound freights, assigned power (if not specific road numbers), and timing. Note that in this section, these are all through freights, with a few exceptions.

Section 3

Since No. 87 doesn't have a New Hartford Local, here's the Valley Local instead.

This section details the local freights. The local freight symbols changed over the years as divisions were combined. For example, through at least No. 87 (April 27, 1952), the actual locals were noted in the connections with the symbol freights. New Haven locals were NHDX-x, Providence PDX-x, Hartford HDX-x, etc. but by No. 89 in 1953 they are noted as 'extras' in section 2, and in the local freights identified with a two-digit symbol, NX-x, PX-x, BX-x. In 1941 there were four divisions, New Haven, Hartford, Providence and Boston. In 1953 the Hartford Division has been eliminated, and in later years there was only two, New Haven and Boston Divisions.

The local freights include the towns they serve, the days they serve them, and times. Some trains have specific notes as well.

Times are an interesting topic. For through freights, the times were pretty standard, and from articles and discussions with New Haven railroaders, they seem to have kept pretty close to their schedule. Locals, on the other hand, simply did their work. There are a few specific times that are noted for local freights that seem to have been closely adhered to:

NX-8: Connects at Beacon from NYC-TV-1, due 6:30am with autos from Tarrytown and NYC-VB-2, due 10:45am with cement from Hudson. It's scheduled to be in Beacon from 10:25 to 11:30 to receive these cars.

NX-9: Switches yard until 2:00pm. Places Poughkeepsie meat by 6:45am. After placing the meat, it's scheduled to leave Poughkeepsie at 7:00am, work Highland from 9:15 to 10:15 , then be back in Poughkeepsie (abbreviated 'Poke' later in the book), at 10:30 to work the yard until 2:00pm. So if you're modeling Poke, you know NX-9 is delivering the meat reefers first thing, then going to work Highland, and returning to work the yard until 2:00pm. Fantastic information.

Section 4

Float Schedules. Pretty self explanatory, although interesting nonetheless.


They have the Diversion of Perishables information listed here. Some also include truck service and the towns they serve. The 1953 through 1964 ones also include L.C.L service,  which incorporates the truck schedules. This appears to be the same as the public schedules, with a little more information, such as zones. I haven't quite figured out the zone system, but the key info here remains the same as the public schedules - what cars need to be spotted at the freight house?

My Copy of No. 89 revised to April 26, 1953.

This is a very interesting issue, that I grabbed on eBay not realizing that it was any different from any others I had located. Whoever owned this one taped all of the bulletins that modified service into his copy. So it is loaded with these modifications, additions, and cancellations of specific trains. In addition to those notes, there are a lot of updates and notes made in pencil as well. He's taped in the map/schedule for the New Canaan Branch. I don't know if he wanted the map or the train schedules. It also has the map page from a B&M public timetable, so I'm guessing the maps.

Aside from showing how complex operating the railroad was in this era, with regular changes and updates, I'm surprised that he appears to have included all of them, rather than just the ones that applied to a specific line as one might expect, since conductors often worked regular jobs. If the maps weren't taped into the back, I might think that it was an office copy, with the changes taped in place for the purpose of typing up the revisions for No. 90.

Whatever it's origin/purpose, it's the only one I have that mentions a "Stone Extra" for servicing Lane's Quarry in Westfield. I hadn't looked at it in a while and had forgotten that it's not for Cooke's Quarry, although it does go through New Britain and Plainville.e. I suspect that "Stone Extras" created to local quarries when the New Haven was (re) ballasting a line.

So those two documents, the public and the employee freight schedules, are where to find the key information for freight schedules and more. They are both pretty useful, although the Arranged Freight Train Service Symbol Books have more information that might be helpful to modeling operations. The Freight Train and Package Car Schedules are easier to find, though.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Freight Schedules - Public

So Mike Kay asked in a recent comment where to find New Haven Freight Schedules, since they aren't listed in the Employee Timetables.

While I have some information on the main site here I'll go into a bit more detail as they are valuable primary sources of information. Usually published twice a year (in Spring and Fall), the freight timetables were produced in two formats. I also have a few schedules from other railroads, and it appears the general approach is similar on many roads.

The best place to find them is eBay and then train shows. But we've got a pretty good collection of New Haven ones so feel free to ask if you're looking for specific information. Also, the California State Railroad Museum has an extensive collection of New Haven freight schedules of nearly every year. It's a mix of the public and employee timetables.

 And if you have some yourself, we're always looking to fill in gaps and are happy to trade digital copies for these or other railroad publications. In particular we're still looking for engine assignments, especially 1946-1948.

Public Freight Schedules

The public version, Freight Train and Package Car Schedules, provides information about advertised freight service, including regularly schedules freights, package (L.C.L.) service, and includes service via truck.

Note that the earliest of these types of documents I have is November 12, 1935. I've also got an Arranged Package Car Service booklet from April 28, 1935 that only lists the package cars (L.C.L). The April 26, 1965 issue is called Freight Train Schedules and does not include any package car service. I am missing the 1964 issues, but the October 27, 1963 issue still has them, although the truck information has been folded into the package car schedules.

The issues were numbered as well, although not all were so labeled. The earliest I have with a number is the September 28, 1941 issue (#72), although the last one I have that doesn't have one is the November, 1935 one I mentioned. So while including the numbering started between those dates, the numbering itself did not. The April 29, 1951 issue is not only misnumbered, labeled as #84, it also refers to the wrong preceding issue, "Superseding schedule No. 83, April 30, 1950." This appears to be an old "copy/paste" error, as the actual preceding issue was No. 84 from September 24, 1950.

Although freights technically run as extras on the New Haven, they were treated as regular trains, including ensuring that they are not delayed, especially hot freights such as the Cannonball, Maine Bullet, and Speed Witch. They did not carry flags as extras, but train orders seem to have consistently addressed them as "Extra xxx" with the lead locomotive road number in place of the "xxx."

Section 1

The first section of the FT&PCS is a list of the regular freights. Each one notes the schedule and connections.

At the end of each section (westward and eastward), there are tables of connections, and shipping time examples based on when and where the car is picked up, and when it will reach major destinations. These are, of course, estimates, but the reality is that there were planned connections at each interchange point along the way.

Section 2

The second section lists out the local freights. This is a simple list with the time they are scheduled to leave, and a list of stations (towns) they serve.

Section 3

The third section is Package Car Schedules, or L.C.L traffic. These are cars that are spotted at freight houses. Each car has a specific scheduled destination to a freight house on a foreign road. Aside from the obvious scheduling information, it also tells us which freight houses are still served by rail. Many of the New Haven freight houses in later years were served by truck, although a consignee could make arrangements to use the house track for a car if that was more appropriate than a bulk (team) track.

This is also very useful information for modeling, because it tells us exactly what cars need to be spotted at a freight house. Local consignees might request additional cars at the house tracks as well as I already noted.

Section 4

Motor Truck Service. There are a lot of stations (towns) that aren't served by rail at the freight houses. These are towns that don't generate enough business to warrant a car to be scheduled in that location. Instead, trucks will take these loads to one of the larger freight houses. It indicates which station will handle the transfer to rail (Concentration Station), and the stations that are served along they way.


There are ads for the railroad and their services (Seeking a Site? For your new plant or warehouse, contact the New Haven Railroad for assistance). In addition, there are pages with specific information of benefit to shippers.
There are two pages noting closing times for diversion of perishables. Back in this era, it wasn't uncommon for perishables to be loaded without a final destination. Brokers worked to sell these carloads while the reefers were on the road, typically from the west coast (PFE, SFRD, and others) or the south (FGEX and related). If a buyer was found, the car was diverted to that location en route.

There's a route map, and a list of direct railroad connections.

The inside back cover has a list of cranes, with locations and capacities.

The back cover is a list of online and offline New Haven Railroad traffic agencies.

One of the most useful things that Chris and I have found is comparing different issues to identify what's changed from year to year. It gives a pretty good start for understanding the evolution of service over a period of time. The era we selected is a good one for that since traffic was strong in the immediate postwar years, but slowly declined, with a number of changes moving into the 1950's. In 1951, though, traffic began to pick up again, due to the Korean War.

This has gotten a little longer than I expected, so I'll cover the employee freight schedules in a second post...

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Household Fuel Part III: The Model (so far)

I promised a buddy at the Enfield meet that I'd publish something on the blog about this.

Looking at the options available for PVC pipe, a 2" interior diameter has a 2-3/8" outer diameter, or 60.32 mm. Dividing by 3.5 mm per foot yields a bit over 17 feet. Our estimate was 16 feet, but the extra size won't have a sizable impact, particularly since our measurements were best guesses anyway.

Even more interesting is that based on the Sanborn map, combined with mocking up the model on the layout over the last couple of years (cans of spray paint, cans of soda, etc.) I had settled on the squeeze bottles used by restaurants for ketchup or condiments (and I use for diluted glue). I decided that for the space I had, five of these looked "right." At the time, I marked their locations on the layout. After Dick gave me the PVC structure I discovered it was an exact fit to the dimensions I had mocked up.

Dick's approach to building the model is ingenious. I figured I would use something like PVC to do it, just wasn't sure how. He screwed a piece of PVC to plywood to keep it from rolling, then shaved the two sides flat. Our estimates meant he could leave enough material to avoid cutting all the way through the wall of the pipe, making construction much simpler. He arrived at Chris's with the whole thing assembled and cut to size.

You can see my estimated footprint which I derived based on Sanborn maps and the size of my ketchup squeeze bottles (I think) is almost an exact match!

For calculating the rest of the details (so far), I started with the idea that the window panes are 1' x 1' square, making a window that is approximately 2' x 3' in size. Working this out in HO scale led me to a Grandt Line and Tichy window that is almost the exact same size, save that they are double the number of panes high. So I've cut off the lower portion of the Tichy windows to get the correct size.

To install the windows, it appears they are about 3/4 the height of the windows from the top. I tried snapping a chalk line to mark the top of the windows, but I couldn't get an even line, but the chalk didn't really stick. So I just used a caliper to mark each silo. Finding the center was a bit tougher.

I started by measuring the flat portions on paper where the cylinders meet. I divided that in half to mark the center point at those joints. I placed a straight edge across those marks and used a square to mark the center point on one side (which will mark the center point of the windows). I then did the same for the other side, making small adjustments by eye.

Based on the dimension of the windows, I mocked up the head house with rough measurements. This took a few attempts to get a final size I'm happy with. The house itself is a simple styrene house, with the proper I-beam support.

Paper mock-ups of the windows and head house.

Styrene head house and styrene strips between the silos, along with a thick styrene roof.

The fun begins! Drilling and filing holes. Ugh.
The black paint is where the head house will be.

So I had to figure out roughly where, and what size, the holes needed to be for the chutes, windows, and cleanout doors. I drilled out the holes, used the Dremel to clean as close to the lines as I could, and filed, filed, filed until it hurt. PVC is not easy to file by hand.

I mocked up a coal chute using thin black styrene sheet. 
It's a much simpler shape than it looks, with a U-shaped chute, two sides, and a bottom sheet.
This one's a touch too wide.

For the windows, I used double-sided tape to hold them in place while painting them with my go-to Rustoleum Camouflage Brown.

I used a Rustoleum Frosted Glass on the window panes to make them translucent.

Next it was time to paint the main structure.

I'm using a textured Rustoleum paint, but didn't realise it was so transparent.

I blended a rust-brownish color using craft acrylics to cover my pencil marks.

Then resprayed with the textured paint.

 The texture is pretty strong. I've since sanded it down a bit, in part to make it less evident, but also to try to add the horizontal banding evident on the prototype.

I also experimented on a piece of scrap to try and get the horizontal banding caused by the construction of the prototype in multiple pours of concrete. I'll see what I do when the time comes.

The model itself should be grayer, and needs weathering.

Here is is with the head house, including a frame of steel channel underneath, and the windows...

...and in place on the layout.

I've since come to the conclusion that the head house is a little bit too narrow. But it's installed and painted and I don't want a seam where they meet, so for now it's staying.

I wanted to paint the entire thing with the roof attached to avoid a seam there too. I couldn't figure out a way to mask the windows, nor to install them after it was painted without removing the roof. As it turned out, I was able to remove the roof, and the seam is still virtually invisible when reinstalled.

I looked at as many ladders with safety cages as I could. Walthers has produced them in brass and plastic, Plastruct has a plastic one, and Gold Medal Models a brass one. While I like the Plastruct and Walthers plastic ones because the cage is already intact, the structure wasn't a match for the ladders I'm reproducing. Each of those has 4 vertical stiffeners, instead of the three as on the prototype. Tichy one has the advantage of it being a kit, along with having the correct structure (one center vertical, along with one on each side). Because the frame is separate from the ladder, I can also make short and long sections as appropriate. The prototype also has diagonal stiffeners every other course. The addition of some nbw-castings will finish the proper look.

In addition to the ladders, I have to complete the chutes on the track side. Then I need to tackle the street side (which will be the more visible side). The platform and roof will be challenging enough, but the chutes on that side are different, with two merging into a single loading chute. I haven't figured that out yet.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Small Projects - Rapido Switch Stands

A mini project that I can work on when I have a few moments (and to make sure the cats won't be a problem when I'm working on models upstairs).

So I (and Chris) will need a lot of switch stands. The sprue of parts that comes with the Rapido Rail Crew Switch Machines includes 3 different Racor switch stands, all of which were used on the New Haven. They are designed to be "operable," that is, they'll turn when the switch machine turns. I spent some time trying to figure out how to make them turn without the switch machine, and while some ideas showed progress, it was very fiddly, and ultimately probably more trouble than it's worth, at least for me. So for now these will remain solely as scenic elements.

The switch machine with stands is available here, and without the switch machine here.

Incidentally, while I like the switch machine, I'm not using them because:

1) They weren't available when I built the layout.
2) I can't afford that many switch machines.
3) I find it more intuitive to directly throw the points of the specific turnout, than it is to locate the correct switch on the fascia. Especially in areas with lots of turnouts.

Note that for areas where the switches are thrown by a tower operator, such as Chris' section of the Shoreline, then I'd absolutely use the switch machines because they'd need to be operated remotely. 

I was fiddling with them when Chris sent out an email wondering who had our box of switch stands. Since I'll give him back what I'm not using, I decided to go ahead and start putting some together, which has grown into I'll probably put them all together. I figure Chris is going to need them too...

The process itself is simple enough. I spent an hour or so cutting the parts off of about 80 sprues (and did another 30 today).

I figure the workers at the factory do this in about an hour...
Those three trays of sprues are now holding many finished switch stands (although not enough!)

Dead sprues (with the "working" parts if I were using Rapido's switch machines)
I think I've got 144 sets.

Rapido indicates there are one each of three styles:

Racor 20C (low), 17B (high), and 31B (high). The 17B looks just like the 17C I have in front of my house, and the 31B I think is the style that Bill Schneider has in front of his house (and one of the primary sources for the model I believe). 

The reality is that there are enough parts to do at least two stands, one low and one high, since there are only two lanterns, and one set of brass etched targets (there are a lot of target styles, but you'll probably only use one of them).

They were originally designed to come with their switch machine, with the assumption you'd pick the one needed. The reality is, they are such great parts (and greatly needed), that they decided to package them separately too.

So with each set, if you aren't planning on using the switch machines, you can make a 20C with the lantern with day targets, and either the 17B or 31B with the mainline-style lantern and brass targets.

I'll be assembling the lantern, targets and handle, but not permanently mount them to the base so I can choose whether to use the 17B or 31B when installing them. I am attaching the lantern and staff to the 20C stands.

Building a (non-working) Racor 20C Switch Stand (by Rapido)

The parts are already cut off the sprue.
You can see a completed one on the table next to the parts.

Glue a lantern onto a piece of wire using CA.
I grabbed what was handy, I think it was Tichy .0125" wire. 
The wire connects the pieces together, and also makes a handle while working on it.

The metal plate is provided by Rapido to mount on the fascia if using the switch machine.
It makes a good glue palette if you're not using the switch machines (one with each set!)

Glue the collar below the lantern with CA.
The tall part of the collar should point towards a corner of the lantern. 

Thread the switch stand base onto the wire.
Glue the collar onto the base using Styrene Cement.
The hole for mounting the operating lever should be facing up (you).
The tall part of the collar points toward one of the two corners.

Glue the lever at an angle using styrene cement. 
Cut the wire off under the stand.

The process is the same for the taller stands, although not all of them need a lantern. It seems like the best way to attach the targets to the wire will be to solder them. I plan on installing them once I know where each stand will go so the wire will be hidden behind the targets.

I'll paint the entire thing black, then detail the lantern. 

On the New Haven, the lanterns without day targets (the rings around the lantern lenses) were used on the mainline, along with the staff-mounted targets, and the lanterns with day targets were used in yards. The short stands had a lantern with no targets, although I think I've seen pictures with targets and no lanterns as well.

For New Haven modelers, lanterns were only lit at night. which makes it easy to paint the "lens" silver, then use a transparent paint on top of that to add the color. The important thing to consider here is that the "white" lenses are colored blue. When lit they appear white.

Since I'm painting these lanterns for day use, instead of trying to figure out how to install an LED for night use, I'll paint those lenses blue.

I use Citadel inks from Games Workshop, a line of paints designed for fantasy miniatures. The bottles I have are quite old (I think I bought them in the late '80s). They are now labeled as shades by Citadel, although I might try the glazes for this application.

These are very thin, transparent colors. While you can get a similar effect by diluting paint into a wash, that tends to dilute the color too much, requiring multiple washes for the desired effect. These inks, and similar products, don't have that problem.

Two very old bottles of Citadel Inks. 
The insulators were painted with a chainmail color paint (as were the metal supports).
The insulator on the left received a wash of green ink.
The one on the right received green and then yellow ink after that dried.
The supports received a wash of the black ink.
More about line poles here.

If you've never looked into the techniques and paints that fantasy mini painters use, here's a great collection of videos that explains their line of paints, and particularly the videos on shades and glazes so you can see how these two products work:

Citadel Paint Guide

Games Workshop is a UK company, and their games are entirely miniature-based. You'll have to look for colors you like based on appearance, since they are all named for their monsters...

They have some tools and other things that are useful from time to time. The main issue I have with Citadel is that their paint and accessories line tends to change fairly frequently. For example, I don't really see a paint in their line that's a close match to the "chainmail" that I still use. You could get something similar by mixing silver and black.

They also position themselves as a premium company, with prices to match. Having said that, their Saw and Mouldline Remover might be useful tools to have.

Citadel miniatures are found in any store that carries the Games Workshop minis. There are still some hobby stores that carry both gaming and railroading stuff around (there's four within an hour of me that I can think of), and gaming stores will often carry them too. They also have their own standalone stores. As far as I know, Games Workshop pretty much requires a store to carry their entire line if they are going to carry any of it. So you should be able to see all of the colors.

I also have some Reaper inks, from another fantasy miniature company that has two lines of very good paints. For years I was painting everything using these paints, since I had a full set of some 300 different colors. Reaper were the first to come out with sets of paint specifically designed for the basic approach that fantasy miniature painters use, but is useful for all modelers.

Each color is available in a 3-part set: Base, shade, and highlight. These are all the same basic color, but formulated for the basic approach of base, wash, drybrush. You see the same approach in the Citadel paint line as well. While fantasy miniature painting is a niche hobby, it's an active one. The main downside to Reaper paints is you'll have a hard time finding them in stores. So it's hard to compare colors since you won't be able to see them in person.

Vallejo also makes both a line of fantasy mini paints, as well as modeling paints for railroads and military modelers. While they don't have specific inks or glazes, they have an extensive line of mediums, including a glaze medium that can be mixed with with their paints for the same transparent effect as the Citadel glazes. Vallejo paints can be found in hobby stores, gaming stores, and art stores. However, the given selection is usually tailored for the type of store. So you won't typically find the "Railroad Weathering" set in an art store. They seem to have very little penetration into the model railroading hobby, a little more in the fantasy gaming hobby, and much more in the military and historical modeling hobby, aside from art stores.

Of course, any acrylic glaze medium should work in a similar manner. Mediums are different from just thinning with water (or solvent if using a solvent-base paint) because they tend not to dilute the color as much. But I find it easier to just use the colored inks that are designed for use in painting minis and models. I have no idea if these are the same as artist inks you'd get at an art store.

Didn't mean to go off on a painting tangent there....I suppose I ought to paint a few of the switch stands I've finished to see how they look!