DRGW 5387, DRGW 5394, and SP 8558 Join the Fleet
Today a shipment from ScaleTrains.com arrived with the three Tunnel Motors I reserved from their first release. All I can say is "Wow!" These models are stunning! Modeling 1996, Rio Grande motors were pretty well integrated into the EsPee fleet, so I ordered two. There are the first Rio Grand locomotives I have purchased. I also ordered the most modern SP version. SP 8558 is the only unit offered in this run with the white step stripes and other later mods. Hopefully future runs will include ditch lights and removed Mars lights. All three units are factory equipped with LokSound decoders. Enjoy the images!
Some Shots from Arkansas - 3-12-2019
Spring Break for our schools was this week. I was not able to get time off other than my rest days of Monday and Tuesday so my wife and I picked a close destination to go with our kids. Hot Springs, Arkansas it was! We drove there after my shift on Sunday and spent all day Monday in town looking around. Jacob and Kate had a blast! There were several hikes, tours of bath houses, hot springs, and great food. I even had a double Templeton Rye Whiskey neat at the Ohio Club, both favorites of Al Capone....
Tuesday was a leisurely departure from downtown Hot Springs. After lunch we went to the Garvan Woodland Gardens and spent quite a bit of time walking around. We would definitely go back! Of course I had made a list of railroad photo locations to see and managed to check two of them off the list on the way back home.
The above photos were taken at the Arkansas Midland (AKMD) shop and transload facility in Jones Mills, AR. Originally built as the Hot Springs Railroad in 1875, this line would become part of the Rock Island before becoming the Arkansas Midland which would incorporate seven isolated branch lines in Arkansas. One of these branches runs from the Union Pacific at Malvern, AR to Hot Springs and Mountain Pine. The AKMD was acquired by shortline giant Genesee and Wyoming in 2014.
It just so happens that the drive to Hot Springs follows this line! There are many photo locations that caught my eye. We stopped briefly at Jones Mills. There we found AKMD GP35s 2503 and 2504 along with recently painted LRWN GP38-3 2150. The Little Rock and Western (LRWN) is a separate Arkansas short line railroad that was picked up by Genesee and Wyoming in 2005. This place has great character!
Then it was onto the next stop--Malvern, Arkansas.
Still standing in Malvern is the 1887 roundhouse that was built by the Hot Springs Railroad. This 132-year-old structure was built as a five-stall narrow gauge roundhouse to service the locomotives of this railroad which branched off from the Iron Mountain (Missouri Pacific and later Union Pacific) and connected Hot Springs with the modern world!
It is simply amazing that this structure is still standing. From the looks of it, I would say its days are numbered. The button below will take you to a web page on the Arkansas Railroad History site with more information about the Malvern Roundhouse.
While I was photographing the roundhouse, eastbound Union Pacific Laredo, Texas to Yard Center, Illinois intermodal train ILDYC-10 passed by. Today the Arkansas Midland operates the branch and interchanges with the Union Pacific in Malvern. I took a few more shots around the yard before heading back home.
Orange Paint and Decals Applied Today - 3-6-2019
The first coat of Solva-Set is still wet on the first locomotive of my proto-freelanced Mississippi Central Railroad. Alco C425 MCRR 2425 wears my Illinois Central "inspired" color scheme. The decals are by Matthew Welke of Circus City decals and they look great!
On the drawing board this bold color scheme received quite a bit of criticism. Perhaps it is a face only its creator can love, however, having seen it materialize in person I could not be more pleased with it! More to come....
Club-Lounge Rio Bravo Takes Shape
Today the window tinting I ordered from Amazon arrived in the mail. It was a long trip from China via Los Angeles, Houston, and Detroit before being delivered to my home in Fort Worth.....go figure. I am not 100% satisfied with the tint finish, however I think it looks much better than without the tint. I applied it this evening, reassembled the car, and applied the decals I had made by Circus City.
I had considered several ways to decorate the business cars. Two things were important: 1 - they need to look good and 2 - they need to look unique. My initial thought was to have them all silver, but many railroads did that and the BNSF business cars are all silver. I have fond memories from my younger days of Southern Railway lightweight cars that were aluminum with black roofs with the classic Southern Logo on the right end. For the TGN businees car fleet I decided to go that route, but instead the car roofs, trucks, and under-bodies will be painted a dark green.
Also seen in the paint shop this evening is what will become TGN 8051 - dome car Pelican Vista. The Rio Bravo is a Walthers Proto 85' Budd 1 Drawing Room 29-Seat Lounge. On the upside with the Walthers car, the roof comes off, making it easy to paint the separate colors. On the downside the windows are glued in and need to be masked if the car is going to be painted.
For the Pelican View I purchased an undecorated Rapido Trains Budd Dome. This car came with the windows not installed which is great, however the roof is molded into the one-piece carbody shell. So I traded having to mask the windows for having to mask the roof. At least the window tinting will be easier to apply on the Rapido car!
These are the first models I have painted with Badger Model-Flex paint. I am not sure that I am comfortable with it yet... I decided to go with a darker green than the shade on my locomotives. The green is Badger Model-Flex 16-192 Western Pacific Green. The silver is a mixture of Model-Flex 16-32 Santa Fe Silver and 16-193 CB&Q Imitation Aluminum. The mixture is approximately 75% Santa Fe Silver and 25% CB&Q Imitation Aluminum.
For the Rio Bravo, I will have to mask the windows again before I clear coat the car. Not looking forward to that; however, I am excited to get a few business cars in service!