It has been a while since I last posted any pictures so here are some recent ones I have taken of a few operating sessions.
Interstate & Western High hood GP7 #7 is seen arriving at Benson and passing Arkansas Feeds mill with a Hubinger black tank car. She spots the car in the east yard, then makes her way to the Trisco Flour Mill to pick up some loaded box cars.
An Athearn blue box model with a few added details.
Not the prettiest locomotive maybe, but I find them very attractive in a no nonsense workman like way.
The Santa Fe GP50 #3814 I won in an NMRA raffle and although it is not a road I had any particular interest in, I must admit it grew on me. So I bought some detailing parts to finish it off. To justify its appearances on the layout it is assumed it was working off horsepower hours.
The three shots show her with an incoming grain train at Benson.
The GP38-2 #2375 in Kodachrome colours I bought second hand and although rather bright I like it.
Because so many locomotives were painted in the colours of a merger that never happened someone suggested SPSF meant “shouldn't paint so fast”.
Here we see her working in the west yard at Benson.
It is probably not generally known but the Rock Island Railroad virtually invented the road switcher with the Alco RS1. It is a concept that today dominates the industry.
It began simply enough with a request to Alco for a 1000 hp switcher on a lengthened frame with road trucks and room for a short hood behind the cab. The engine end being considered the front, as per switcher practice.
The first unit called an RS1 for road/switch 1, was delivered in March 1941, followed before the outbreak of war (for America) by three more.
The original four were requisitioned by the War Department for urgent use overseas.
My version is lettered for the Talbot Valley Rail Road and is an Atlas model.
She is seen shuffling cars around the yards at Benson.
The next locomotive featured is a bit like Marmite I think, you either love it or hate it.
So we have what is not the most attractive locomotive it must be said wearing one of the prettiest colour schemes.
The BL2 was a strange beast and when the Rock originally purchased them they were without steam generators. These were installed and the locos used in Chicago suburban service until 1953 when sufficient GP7's were available to take that over.
In the condition that the model is in, without the boiler installation they worked in the Cedar Rapids division on freight.
The BL stood for branch line and due to the lightly built frames could not be used in lash ups.
I must admit I find them rather attractive but I'm not sure why really.
The model an early Life Like example was always popular in my exhibition days in the early 1990's because people had heard of the Rock Island Line.
Here is a selection of pictures RI BL2 #429 shuffling cars around Benson.
It is odd but after taking the photos this loco has started making ominous clonking sounds which apparently is caused by the gear train breaking up. I'm told this model has a reputation for suffering with this fault, I suppose I'm lucky the problem has only just arisen.
I have solved it by replacing the trucks with some Athearn ones I had in stock, that are practically identical.
It now runs better than it has ever before.
A selection of pictures showing a Life like Rock Island SW9 #775 and the BL2 #429 making a welcome return to Benson.
The original Life Like trucks fitted the Athearn side frames perfectly as I suspected they might.
Life Like really did copy an awful lot from Athearn it would seem.
Southern Pacific #3897 is an EMD SD7. These handsome locomotives are known by the crews as Cadillacs because they are so comfortable. She was used on the exhibition layout to haul ore trains, nowadays she is used on general transfer work.
The model is an Athearn blue box model with an ocver scale width hood and growls most realistically, it always has from new. Despite being rather noisy she still runs smoothly and slowly.
I must admit I rather like the profile of these machines and find them most attractive.