Friday, July 9, 2021

Planning Ahead

DERS-2c (RS-3) 529 with a circus train in New Britain c1954. K. Cochrane.
I think this is during the summer of '54 when the Highland Line was single-tracked.

I've been working a lot of extra hours lately, we're getting ready for vacation, and I'm still working on rebuilding the main website, among other things. Plus it's mid-year so it seemed a good time to take a step back to refocus my efforts. Usually I would be doing this about this time after the NE Prototype Meet.

I do want to finish those flat car models, and paint more, but the primary focus needs to be getting the layout fully operational for ops sessions. A lot of time will be spent on the layout and basement.

Another thing I need to work on locomotives. There's a good chance that I'll have a friend do the decoders, not because I can't do it, but it's time consuming and I'll be putting that time into other projects. I'll still need to detail them as well. 

For now, the focus will be solely on diesels, since they will be easiest to get running. That narrows the focus to 1949-1954, but the reality is that the line was single-tracked in the summer of '54, so if I'm sticking with November, I'm really modeling through 1953.

The goal is to be able to start some sort of Operating Sessions in September.


This is the obvious starting point since it's only the 44-tonners and RDCs, and priority No. 1. I'll plan on one major locomotive project per month, and I should be able to complete this in August.
  • 44-tonners (3)
    • Repair/replace the gears.
    • Install decoders/speakers/weight.
    • Paint and letter.
    • By completing all three, one can be leased to Stanley.
  • RDCs
    • Decide whether to apply the Fight Cancer decals.
    • Weathering.


The other years require quite a few more locomotives. This is probably the easiest in terms of the amount of work to be done to get them ready. I'd like to get these done by the end of the year to be able to add a more complex session. 
  • FA-1/FB-1/FB-2
    • Two Maybrook freights. This is late enough that they can be the factory painted Proto 2000 FA-1/FB-1, plus the Rapido FB-2. These will need a look for final details, then weathering.
  • Two RS-3s.
    • I'll be detailing three total, at least to start. These will need some work, particularly the pilots. 
  • RS-2 0503
    • Already done.
  • DL-109 
    • The brass one, since it would be rebuilt by then. It will be the first brass locomotive running on the layout.
    • Paint, letter, and weather.
    • DCC.


There are two locomotive projects, a bit more involved:
  • RS-1
    • Since I've decided to go ahead and make modifications to the shells, these will take some time. 
    • Acquire one more.
    • Modify the shells
    • Paint (hopefully just touchup) and renumber at least two of them.
    • DCC if I get one with DC only.
    • Weathering.
  • S-1
    • I'll need two different road numbers, one for 1949, and the other for 1950-1.
    • Get KV Models to produce the correct fan grates (the P2k model is wrong).
    • There will be other modifications, but not too many.
    • Build the cabs.
    • DCC
    • Paint, letter, and weather.


Only one additional locomotive project.
  • DL-109
    • If I haven't completed it with the other DL-109
    • Complete roof and other shell modifications
    • Touch up paint, letter and weather.
    • DCC


This will be last simply because I'll need to custom paint and get custom decals made for the Comet. Other than that, all the other locomotives needed will already be completed.

To model operations for any year other than 1953 will require cabooses and passenger cars as well. I'll work my way through those lists in another post or two.


  1. Get KV Models to produce the correct fan grates (the P2k model is wrong).

    Interesting...I didn't know the P2k S1 fan grates are wrong. I've tried to put the two parts of the KV Rutland RS-1 Grille together at right angle to each other to try to make a grille for the Atlas S2, which only offers a narrow grille. I thought it was close enough for the S2.

    1. We've been chatting separately, but I wanted to post something to clarify here too.

      The P2k models have an etched grate over the fan housing itself. On the S-1s and S-2s with square housings, these were shutters, the same as an RS-1. So the see-through grate is nice, but incorrect.

      Included in the box was a "walk-over" grate. The New Haven added these to many (most?) of the locomotives later on. I've seen pictures of both the narrow version (like on the Atlas RS-1 and S-2), and the full one that's included with the P2k model.

      In photos of the S-2s when they were assigned to the NY/YN freights, they don't appear to have them yet. In late '40s photos, the S-1s seem to have started to receive them, so I'll probably do the S-1s with them and the S-2s without.

      I don't know what the arrangement was for the roads that have a circular fan housing, but I suspect that was just a grate. The NH didn't have any, so I've never researched it.

  2. Not sure if you knew, but you can get the S-1 cab from Shapeways, created by Mike Redden from the post above.

    1. Yep, I have four of them. I know Mike well.