ATSF GP7u 2233 Taken Apart
I have deconstructed the Athearn Genesis model of ATSF GP7u 2233 that I purchased to become Y&MV 201. It went a bit better than I had anticipated. The shell came right off once the couplers were removed. Scotch Tape holding the lights in place also came right out.
Prying the cab loose required a little patience, but it was relatively easy to remove. There are three tabs that fasten the cab to the body, one at the top of the nose and two at the rear-top of the cab. Pushing the tab through the fastener from the nose allows the other two tabs to be rotated out.
The handrails, remarkably, came out with ease. Most of the stanchions I just pulled out by hand. Several required a little encouragement from the tip of an Exacto knife blade. None of the handrails warped as I had expected. I have gotten a response from my inquiry to Athearn and I will purchase black GP7 handrails for the final product.
The front and rear cab windows were easily pushed out with a small flathead screwdriver. There was a sticky adhesive holding them in place. The cab side sliding windows were a bit more challenging as they are built into the cab sides. An Exacto knife blade was used to pry the the outer side wall from the main cab structure so that the windows could slide out of the bottom of the cab.
I also removed the coupler lift bars as a white decal stripe will go underneath them and I removed all of the grab irons as they would impede the application of the front and rear Y&MV logos. Some of the grab irons did bend, but no worries as I will replace them all with new ones for consistency.
The tabs on the main body piece connecting it to the frame are all glued on the bottom of the frame. For my Y&MV models this is not an issue since both the carbody and the walkway are black. For other schemes this could prove a bit annoying resulting in extra masking.
Now to decide what to do with the number boards and the horn. I think I will paint over the number boards and leave the Nathan K3LA in place, planning to giving the TSC Wow Sound decoders a try when released.
I will also do some work to remove the Santa Fe markings and numbers to create a uniform appearance to the Y&MV 201.
Athearn Genesis Handrails
I have detailed and painted many locomotives over the years. The Y&MV 200 and Y&MV 201 will be the first painted Athearn Genesis models I will take apart, paint, and reassemble. Though spectacular models, I am certain that the very thin plastic handrails will not endure the process well. I have seen Athearn Genesis handrails warp when only partially removed.
Recently I reached out to Athearn to see if new, black, GP7 handrails can be purchased. Given the ease with which paint flakes off plastic handrails it would be best to use black handrails instead of the yellow ones that come with the unit.
Do any of you have experience painting an already decorated Athearn Genesis unit?
New Section Added - Kansas Pacific
With the exception of some tourist railroads and perhaps obscure industrial railroads, no railroad is a stand-alone entity. Traffic patterns rely in interchange, run-through, and haulage/trackage rights agreements to move freight to destination. In the Proto-Freelance world there are exciting opportunities to create similar relationships among neighboring railroads.
The Meridian Speedway thrives on bridge traffic scripted from the prototype railroads that serve on-line locations. It is only natural to expect that as we adjust the "What If" variables we allow for other Proto-Freelance railroads to interact with our own.
To introduce such railroads that interact with the roads of my own Meridian Speedway, I have created the "Railroads In Network Page" to house the introduction to these connecting railroads.
Anthony Lorch's Kansas Pacific is the first railroad on-line. From the main page you will find links to the Kansas Pacific Main Page with information about the railroad and its creator. There are also a number of sub-pages linked to drill down deeper into the railroad!
New Locomotive Consist Photos Added
I took a number of photos of my HO Scale NS locomotives in consists and added them to the Locomotive Consists Page. One of these consists will be sent off for LokSound DCC installation to showcase the new Nathan P-5 horn file...
Operating Sessions Library Page Added
I have decided to add a library page with links to photo albums and notes from HO scale operating sessions that I participate in. The first one would be the January 2015 Michigan Interstate operating session. This railroad belongs to Greg McComas and is very well thought out....
- G-DQKC-02 at Page passing tied down empty grain train G-IHKCS-27:
Another blue-and-yellow duo--ICE 6450 and DME 6094--were worked heavily on a number of assignments.
- ICE 6450/DME 6094 pass through the Heavener fuel rack en route to deliver interchange to the AOK at Howe:
- After delivering to the AOK, ICE 6450/DME 6094 were brought back to Heavener and used to power up northbound empty grain train G-HVUP-02 seen here at Poteau:
- The previous day, the ICE 6450/DME 6094 trailed BNSF ES44AC 5778 on empty grain train G-DQBN-29:
And ICE 6446 trailed a colorful 5-unit consist on train M-SHKC-30 seen here blasting through Poteau:
ICC Valuations Reports - Early 1900's
In the early 1900's railroads went through the Interstate Commerce Commission Valuation Process. A number of these documents still exist. That paint the picture for the basic ancestral framework for the railroads they became and have some interesting content. For ease of reference and inspiration, I have created a main Valuations Library Page. The Alabama & Vicksburg Railway Valuation Report is the first of several to be filed here!
This first page of this report is an an excellent map. A larger file of this map is also saved on the maps page.
New Library Addition - A&V
Originally published in 1936, this historical account of Meridian Speedway predecessor Alabama & Vicksburg Railroad gives some insight into the colorful past of this region. This article was passed my way and I am pleased to have it in my library!
Be sure to visit the History of the Alabama & Vicksburg Railroad page.
UP SD40-2 1896 and UP SD40-2 1996
In May 1996 a trip was made to Jackson and Vicksburg to witness the UP Olympic Torch relay special on the Meridian Speedway. The train was led by UP SD40-2s 1896 and 1996 in a special Olympic livery.
Recently I handed a roll of slides to my father to scan. This image of the UP special on the KCS crossing the IC main tracks at Jackson, MS was the only slide of this train I had taken. The rest of the pictures I took on this day were prints. I'll have to get them scanned and added at a later date.
If memory serves me correctly, my brother Steven, Patrick Harris, and Kurt Nastasi were along for the ride on this venture!
You can visit Wikipedia for more on this trip.
So, I will start this photo essay with a single photo:
Page 4 Added to the Story
I have added Page 4 to the T&GN/NT&O story to paint a bit more of the picture of the significance of the western end of the Meridian Speedway at Presidio, TX. NAFTA opened up a whole new market beyond the border and the current rail infrastructure was not sufficient enough to handle the potential growth in traffic.
This page also introduces the significance of Fort Stockton, TX to the Meridian Speedway as this is the primary sorting location for manifest traffic in the Mexico Network. A simple map was also added to hi-light the primary components of this network. A higher resolution of this map can be found on the Maps Page.
New Link Added to Recommended Links Page
John Winfield is a local Fort Worth artist who does some outstanding railroad paintings. Some of his art hangs in the BNSF Yard Office at Alliance, TX. He even participated in a family day event at Gainesville - his paintings were a hit with the employees.
For ease of reference I have added John Winfield's Railroad Art to my Recommended Links Page.....
YouTube Model Video Library
Well now that there are a few fun videos floating around of my models in cyber-space I figured it is time to corral them in one place where I can find and share them. I have created a YouTube Library Page under my Library Tab for this. There will be a number of exciting future additions, the scripts for which the voices in my head are writing as we speak...er...read.
The button below will take you to that page:
Santa Fe St. Louis Division in HO Scale
Steve Priest is by far one of the most advanced model railroaders in the hobby. I had the pleasure of meeting him when I worked as Trainmaster at Argentine Yard in Kansas City. In fact I was there when he walked in, called the crew office, and quit!
At the time he was modeling the Santa Fe Emporia Sub in his basement. This railroad existed from 2000-2010. A move ended the railroad...and that is too bad.
Steve is now building a new railroad in his new home and has a website and blog to go along with it. Be sure to check out the shop section. Truly impressive!
I have added links to both on my recommended links page. The buttons below will also take you to these locations.
Wanting to shoot my two new Athearn Genesis GP7u's together I thought it might be neat to have a page dedicated to locomotive consist images. So the Locomotive Consists Page has been added under the Models Tab. There are several directions I have in mind to take this...we will see where it goes.
I like the idea of have one of these images at the bottom of each web page on this site, right above the footer so I have standardized the format at 900x150 pixels or page continuity.
Since I was playing with my new Santa Fe (though soon to be Y&MV) models I thought I'd shoot a few Santa Fe consists to start the page:
A second Athearn Genesis GP7u arrived today via U.P.S. This one is a model of Santa Fe 2201 and will be shopped to become Y&MV 200. This unit will b processed with the Y&MV 201 so there will not be a separate blog category for it; though I will appear throughout the Y&MV 201 blog.
This unit has different features than the Y7MV 201 including the blanked dynamic brake hatch, horns relocated to the long hood, and no cab roof beacon.
A Y&MV GP7 200 page has been added to the models page.
To: Photo Distribution List
Subject: KCS Oklahoma Trip - G-KCHQS-30
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 13:21:04 -0500
This past weekend I took a break and spent a couple of days shooting the KCS on/near Rich Mountain. This is the first time I have been up there to shoot trains, so all was new to me. Rich Mountain was a bit more difficult to shoot than I had anticipated due to LOTS of trees with few openings. The railroad north of Heavener is just as fun to shoot, however, and much more accessible.
When all was done, 26 KCS trains were shot in just over two days. The weather – perfect!
Here are a few shots:
A Belle leads grain shuttle G-KCHQS-30 into Spiro (pronounced “spy-row”), OK:
The DP power for this trains slips behind some AOK power waiting for KCS interchange at Howe, OK:
At Heavener, OK the train's head end lands on the main line fuel pad for fuel and inspection while the rear DPU's are fueled by truck:
The G-KCHQS-30 makes a run for the mountain after fueling and a crew change at Heavener, OK:
More to come….
Straight from Bradley DCC in Indiana, NT&O C44-9W 1065 and T&GN C40-8 3149 now equipped with LokSound Decoders and LED Headlights and Ditch Lights make their way to the NS in coal train service! Part I by Josh Clark (NSmodeler24) was posted on YouTube today. As expected, an excellent job by all!
Many thanks to Arthur Bradley and Josh Clark for a job well done. The virtual railroad is coming to life!
I have added this video to the home page.
Looking forward to Part II,
Athearn Genesis K3LA Horn on Santa Fe GP7u
Decision process - Y&MV GP7 201. The Athearn Genesis GP7u ATSF 2233 which I purchased has a very nice looking (in my opinion, anyway) K3LA horn. The model was purchased without sound for the purpose of installing LokSound because the horn sounds on the Tsunami decoders just make me angry that they do not sound better. LokSound has some excellent horn files and just stepped up their game with their latest P5 release (though on the GE 7FDL-16 Modern Soundfile which does not apply to former Southern Railway locomotives).
There is not an exceptional K3LA horn file on any decoder that I am aware of. The K3LA became the Santa Fe Railway's standard replacement horn in the late 1970's. Quite possibly there are more modelers of the Santa Fe than any other railroad. This void in sound should be high on the to-do list for sound decoder manufacturers.
I will reach out to LokSound to see if any timeline information is available for the release of a K3LA sound. As my good friend Dan Munson has pointed out to me several times, the horn models on the NTO 1065 and the TGN 3149 are NOT Nathan P3 horns, though I have the sound set for a P3. He noticed this on the YouTube videos posted.
That being said I need to be more faithful to matching the horn sound with the horn replica used on the models. Though, in all fairness to me, the NTO 1065 and TGN 3149 were completed years before the awesome LokSound P3 came out and gained my interest. As soon as those models make it back to the home shop, the horns will be replaced.
So the choices I have are:
1 - Remove the Athearn Genesis K3LA and replace it with a model of a horn that does have a good sound file.
2 - Leave the K3LA and have a mis-matched sound file.
3 - Delay the project for release of a suitable K3LA sound decoder file.
The appeal of the K3LA on this model (and, spoiler alert, a second Athearn Genesis GP7u currently in transit to become Y&MV 200) is that it showcases the model's Santa Fe Heritage.
Here are a couple of photos of the model of the K3LA on this unit:
The buttons below will take you to writeups on horns used by the Santa Fe as well as a closer look at the Nathan K3LA :
TCS Decoder Nathan air horn demonstration - Per Arthur Bradley's comment below I have added a button to the TCS video demonstration of their to-be released Nathan air horn sounds. Impressive!
The Nathan K3LA is at 1:23 in the video.
Roster Stat Page for Athearn Ready-to-Run NS SD50 6508 added. This page includes pages from the NS Mechanical Department with equipment and detail specifics.....
The intent of the Timetable Section is to provide both the developed timetables for the Proto-Freelanced HO Model Railroads as well as the historical Timetables for the prototype railroads that make up the railroads of the Meridian Speedway. This historic Timetable data is invaluable as it provides station names, milepost identification, distance calculation, run-time data, as well as other specific local instructions.
Gulf Mobile & Ohio Southern Division Time Table No. 11 randomly became available today as my new Corridor Superintendent just happened to have it in his box of goodies at his desk on the NOC floor! Go figure...
Thank you Mr. Sharpe!
The pages have been scanned and it is posted in its entirety on the GM&O Southern Division Timetable No. 11 Page.