Another unit joins the fleet….

I’ve added another unit to the fleet. This one to add a bit of color and variety to the railroad. These units were leased as I recall late in the PC era when they were power short, I’m assuming when a lot of power was bad-ordered perhaps.

These were leased from Precision National, and were Paducah shops GP10’s rebuilt from older GP7’s and GP9’s. This model was made by Intermountain and purchased from the great folks at Spring Creek Model Trains in Nebraska.

I weathered this over the past two days using Vallejo model air paints, pan pastels, and rust texture by Vallejo for the couplers and rust spots on the unit. Except for sealing, this one is ready to go to work on the layout!

Photos below of the unit when test ran right out of the box, and today taken outside:


Today was a big day work-wise with quite a bit accomplished. Some small detail parts were added to the layout. New addition of the GP10 made by Intermountain was programmed and run through its paces. Some custom made tanks/silos were delivered courtesy of a friend of a friend. Four of these will be used as the storage tanks at Holsum Baking, while the other five or six will be used at Allied Chemical. But the biggest accomplishment was the installation and wiring of the smart booster from NCE.

Tomorrow is the big day as well, as all the throttles with all the locomotives will be tested with the smart booster in preparation for operating sessions. Stay tuned, but for now, here’s a few photos from today’s work:

On the way….

On the way for delivery Monday is the smart booster from NCE, which as previously noted will allow me to operate with the five throttles I planned and the equal number of locomotives. However, this smart booster will allow the operation of up to ten locomotives.

Also on the way in the same order is my fifth locomotive, this guy made by Intermountain and sold by the great people at Spring Creek:

Penn Central did lease quite a few units from Precision when they were power short. I do recall seeing these units along with BAR geeps at times.

Railfanning the Hitop

Today we were out about mid-day headed for the yard office at Dickinson yard to get the lowdown on any trains out and about. While we were talking to the yardmaster, he motioned over to a far track where GP9 7466 was coupling up to its caboose preparing to depart with the Spring Street turn. Photos below of the train:

In the photos above there is a hopper of fertilizer for Snow Hill, an empty tank car for Allied, two syrup cars for Holsum Baking, a gondola for Paxton Salvage, and a reefer for Holsum.

Next photo we grabbed was the turn waiting for orders at the yard office as seen below:


Next, we left Dickinson and caught the train starting up the valley in these two photos:

We followed the turn up the valley and caught him again entering Spring Street yard:

After setting off the inbound cars, 7466 starts pulling its outbound cars headed back to Dickinson yard, then we catch him departing:

Finally, we followed 7466 back down the valley and catch him entering Dickinson yard:


Recent work….

Here’s a short update on recent work on the layout expansion. Thanks to a good friend from our local club, the circuit protection for the layout from NCE was installed. The circuit protection is their CP6 unit, which basically protects the PowerCab system from being fried from shorts on the layout.

The layout with expansion was all one district or block. Now with the CP6 installed the layout has been broken into three blocks, left side is one block, original layout is the second, while the right side is the third block. Photo of the CP6 below:

In the photo above you’ll notice two cross braces on the legs. This is where shortly NCE’s smart booster will sit on a shelf that will straddle those cross braces. With the smart booster installed, I’ll be able to run with five throttles as I had planned. The smart booster becomes the brains or command center of the layout then, turning the PowerCab throttle into a regular throttle after switching it out with the coiled cable it comes with. With the installation of the smart booster, all the electronics will be finished on the layout with the exception of this final item.

The final item or items to be installed are two tortoise switch machines which are also on the way for two switches that are hard to reach. The installation of these will finish the electrical work.

Also currently on the way is enough static grass to finish the remaining scenery, plus Walther’s Water Street freight terminal to finish up the Dickinson yard area, plus one more locomotive, which will give me five to match the number of throttle s/operators.

More updates to come….