Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hello Old Friends..

Back while I was building the layout with an eye towards running with battery power I felt funny.. It seemed surreal laying track and not doing all the wiring that goes along with it.  When I was building my N Scale L&HR layout, I had gotten quite good at wiring, and it was second nature by the time I finished with that part of the layout building process.  And when it was time to start a new layout in my new home, the East Broad Top based one just before this current layout, I was comfortable in the knowledge I would have no problems wiring it.  The funny feeling I was having with this current layout was almost a guilty feeling, crazy as it seems.  This was way to easy, building without wires.  All of my friends were still using the tried and true system of wiring for DCC.  I was somehow cheating.  I know.. it's crazy, but if the battery system would have panned out for me, It would have saved all the work of wiring.  It just didn't feel right though.

But now that I've finished dropping all the feeders ahead of schedule, I took out the crates that contained all of my DCC components, and all of the bus wires that I set up for the EBT layout.  As I spread everything out on the floor and took inventory of what I have on hand, a warm feeling came over me as I remembered the struggles of putting these components together for my last layout and everything I learned building that layout.  All the memories of the guys coming over and working on the layout with me: the fun, the camaraderie, the constant flinching every time I heard something bang or crash and the words that followed- "Don't worry.. it's only Ted's layout!"  It all brings back happy thoughts of times past.  Maybe it's just that time of year but as I looked at all my DCC components I felt like I was seeing old friends again.  A comfortable, but also exciting feeling came over me that things are moving quickly now, and soon this layout will be up and running. :)

It was like friends who I haven't seen in years.  I was feeling happy as I took inventory of what I had on hand for DCC components.

An idea taken from my friends who are involved in N-Trak is to use Power Werx, Powerpole connectors between modules/sections.  N-Trak had been using what was called Cinch-Jones connectors for many years.  But as they become more hard to find and expensive to boot, they needed another easy way to connect modules at shows.  The answer has been the Powerpole connectors.  I had set up a bunch of 4' plus long bus wires with these connectors on each end for the EBT layout that never got built.  I'm leaning towards keeping this setup, but I'm worried about them accidentally getting disconnected during a session.  I might also just run new bus wires and if the time comes to move just cut them. 

Power Werx Powerpole connectors.

Easy connect and disconnect makes it simple to isolate a section of the layout if needed and also makes it easy come moving day.. if that ever happens.

I think the relief of finally knowing which control system I was going to employ on the layout has given me the inspiration to move quickly, and get more accomplished.  Feeders are all in, bus wires going up, DCC system is being installed, I found the 4 Frog Juicers I misplaced (with two more to come shortly). I'm in a happy place.. Till of course the first time a train stalls out on dirty track.. ;)

Happy New Year everyone!  The best from my family to yours!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Installing feeders Gangnam Style...

We're on Christmas break this week so I've been making the most of my time and have installed feeders on all of the main sections of the layout.  I also started getting them installed on the helix and should have that done by the weekend.  After that, the only section left to add feeders to would be the York Station section.  But there is no track on it yet, so that makes it very hard to add feeders, but I digress..

By the beginning of next week I should be able to start installing the bus wires and start connecting the feeders to them.  I also need to figure out where I will put my DCC system and circuit breaker boards.  I have everything already mounted on Masonite (from my previous layout) so it's just a matter of finding the optimal spot under the layout to locate and install everything. 

As most of you who have been following this blog for awhile know, I do get distracted by iPhone Apps from time to time. Angry Birds Space (how could you resist birds with light sabres) and Bad Piggies (The Pigs from Angry Birds and the whole saga from their point of view.. Oh and Rovio.. UPDATE PLEASE!!) have been the most recent time killers, but the latest App to waist my time, in a fun way of course, has been the Gangnam Dance Booth.  Gangnam Style is taking the world by storm, so instead of boring you with more pictures of dangling feeders I give you:

Hey maybe I'll follow George Dutka's lead and make it a weekly feature if you like it!  I can have one of my friends each week dancing Gangnam Style.  It could be called Gangnam Style Saturdays!  I think the Commodore will be up first. ;)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to Everyone!

You know Rudolph, if you had a Hex Frog Juicer you wouldn't be having these short circuit problems...

Friday, December 14, 2012

"Along the Black and Blue.."

Darel Leedy has been posting some interesting historical newspaper articles on his blog: 

that describe, sometimes in gruesome detail, events and accidents that occurred in Dickey CO during the time frame he's modeling.  Some of the more recent posts have talked about brakeman who were killed and mangled while working.  

These stories brought back horrible memories of a series of incidents that all happened one day on Perry Squier's Pittsburg, Shawmut & Northern RR.  I had always admired Perry's layout and this day was to be the first time I ever had to chance to operate on it.  All was going well, and the layout ran as smoothly as everyone told me it would.  That was until about two thirds of the way through the session when I heard a loud uproar of guys yelling "OHHHH NOOOO!" and then hysterical laughter ensued.  I went around the other side of the peninsula from where I was working on a local, and spotted what all the commotion was about.  It was awful!  The engineer of the train working that area had run over a brakeman flagging another train which was just up ahead!  All you could see was the poor brakeman's arm (still holding onto the flag BTW) sticking out from underneath the front pilot truck of the engine!  The engineer (who will remain nameless, but he does get excited over feeders for some reason) was fifty shades of red and all the witnesses were making comments like "OH MY GOD YOU KILLED HIM!" and "OHHH the humanity!"  Luckily I had the presence of mind to take pictures for.. um.. let's just say evidence, just in case the superintendent ever wanted to blackmail him. ;)

Poor fella.. Still holding onto his flag.  Doing his job till the bitter end..

Amazingly, after the superintendent conducted his inquiry, he allowed the engineer to stay on the job!  Tragically, the same engineer was involved in another accident later in the session, which resulted in livestock being killed.  While working a stockyard, the engineer was backing his train into the siding and for reasons unknown to anyone, part of the stockyard pen fencing was snagged by a moving boxcar.  This caused the cattle inside the pen to panic resulting in several of them being hit and killed by the train with one actually being run over!

Ground beef...

A very eventful and tragic day on the Shawmut.  Luckily, I've attended several more sessions since then and I'm happy to report I haven't witnessed any more deadly accidents. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Feeder Frenzy..

"Hey DiIorio! I thought you said way back when that you were going to use battery powered locos so you wouldn't have to do all that tedious wiring?"  Well.. Um.. I did say that I wanted to do that but.. well I changed my mind OK?

Actually there's more to the story than that.  A few months back I started to have some reservations about the LiPo battery powered wireless systems.  As I researched the LiPo batteries, I was finding out that under some operating conditions, and during recharging, they give off a lot of heat and if you do a search on YouTube of exploding LiPo batteries you will see what can happen if you are not careful charging them the right way!  Maybe it's the shop teacher in me, but I'm always cognizant of safety issues and potential hazards.  

On my old layout in my former home I made sure there were egresses to exits from every point of the layout.  It amazes me how little thought is given to getting your crew members out of the layout fast and safely in case of an emergency.  I remember operating on Cal Winter's FEC layout in Miami during the Fort Lauderdale NMRA convention and feeling very uneasy about being in the layout room.  There was one door only and when all the operators were in the layout room (up to 20) 3 bridges were put in place across the doorway and the door SHUT.  If there would have been a fire we would have been toast.  It didn't help that Cal was outside keeping an eye on staging and not in the room with us.

On this new layout, I worry about anything that could cause a hazard to my guests, or my family.  The potential for at the very least, melted plastic steam engine tenders, or in the worst case, a fire started by a LiPo battery, had me weighing these hazards against the benefits of wireless battery operated trains.  In the end, the logistics (fitting all the hardware into the small steam engines I have, designing an accessible quick disconnect to get batteries out of the engines to charge them in a safe place i.e. outdoors) along with the potential safety concerns finally sealed the argument against the battery system.  I still think it's a neat system, but I'd maybe only revisit using it in a larger scale, like O-Scale narrow gauge. That's not going to happen anytime soon, though.

So.. I now have started dropping feeders and thus began the process of wiring the layout.  This doesn't bother me as much as it does other people, and I don't really mind putting in feeders and wiring in general (NO I'M NOT GOING TO COME OVER AND DO ALL YOUR WIRING FOR YOU.  I said I don't mind it on my own layout.  I don't LIVE to do wiring. :P ) and I already in the past two days dropped feeders on 90% of the York yard sections.  

One night I put on my Ben Harper Pandora station and sat at my work bench and stripped and prepared a large bunch of feeders.  I stripped one end and then bent and flattened the end to look a little bit like a spike head.

The underbelly of York yard and a bunch of feeders installed.  3m Scotch Lock connectors will be used to tie them into the bus line.

The topside of York yard with feeders ready to be lowered and soldered to the flextrack.

My goal is to drop 15-20 pair of feeders each time I work on the layout (which is exactly what I did in 1 1/2 hours tonight) and I figure I'll have the bulk of this done within the next two weeks along with running the bus lines for the DCC system.  Now, if I could only remember where I stored all those Frog Juicers I thought I wasn't going to need...

Monday, December 3, 2012

This progress report is made possible by Black Friday and the number 10,000...

The lines at the mall started around 7pm in anticipation of it opening at 12 midnight...There were people camped out all week at Best Buy... There were near riots at Victoria's Secrets over under garments.. I love Black Friday!  Not because I go out to fight the crowds to get the big bargains, because I don't.  No, I love Black Friday because the girls head out in the wee hours of the morning to go shopping for the entire day, and I get some honest to goodness me time!  Which this year I put to good use working on the layout.

My Black Friday dinner.  Does it get any better than fine wine, and awesome thin crust pizza from Ciro's in Matawan NJ?  I don't think so. :)

So starting on Black Friday on through to this past weekend I made a major push to try and get all of the sub roadbed and track laying completed.  I glued down all the track that still needed it, I glued down the Styrofoam base on the removable York Station scene and built the two removable active staging modules. I also glued down Styrofoam and cork onto the modules.  This past weekend I also picked up two Atlas wye turnouts at the Greenberg Train Show in Edison NJ to use on the staging modules.  

All the pieces are cut for the two staging modules.

Staging module framework is finished in this picture and is just waiting for the Styrofoam base to be glued on.

Ready for roadbed.

Here are the two staging modules with the cork roadbed glued down.  Behind them is the York Station area module with its foam base glued on. 

The staging modules are active fiddle type staging areas with each track able to hold 7- 40' boxcars.  The longest trains anticipated to be run on the layout would be trains number 31 and 32, the two manifest trains that ran between Baltimore and York each day. They each will be about 12-14 cars long.  Most of all the other trains that are run during a op-session will be either short locals, or the two car passenger runs, so I anticipate the staging modules will be more than big enough.  The two staging modules along with the York Station scene are portable and are not connected to the layout when there is no operating session.

Lower deck with staging module shown at the end of the York Station scene.

The upper deck showing the staging module at the end of the Red Lion scene.

I have to get around to revising the plans shown above because what I have built to date has varied in some areas and is no longer accurately portrayed on the plan.  Mainly this is because of acquiring accurate track maps of the areas being modeled which caused me to modify the track arrangements on the fly while building the layout.  Notice that the staging modules show one track instead of the two actually being laid down.  I originally wanted to use something I saw on quite a few Ian Rice track plans, staging cassettes, but decided against it and went with a simple two track fiddle yard arrangement instead.

Sometime this week I'm going to try and get the York Enginehouse and York Station modules up on their legs and attached to the layout along with the staging modules.  I need to get roadbed and track down on them, then I'll disconnect them again while I work on the rest of the layout.

On a final note: Sometime within the last week, the blog had its 10,000th visitor.  I was so busy dealing with family issues that it quietly slipped by me.  Thank you again to everyone who has taken the time to read this blog!  I'm not, nor ever claimed to be, a professional writer and I know it probably shows quite often.  But I hope you will forgive me for the occasional butchering of the English language here and hopefully you enjoy the blog and sometimes get something useful out of it.  Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

Tune in next time for:


 Oooooooo.. He said Feeders!

I'll explain it in the next post.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blog House Cleaning, or, Getting Rid of Dead Wood..

Maybe I'm just in a funk, or just plane grouchy, but today I decided it's time to bid certain dormant blogs Adieu because I do not feel like promoting blogs whose authors have basically considered them not worth keeping up to date.  Yes, there is information still there that people can glean, but to me they are just taking up bandwidth now.  So, since Mr. Lincoln still hasn't proven he hasn't died and the Georgetown Branch has hit a dead end.. We bid them Adieu.  Maybe we'll revisit when they are updated more than once every ten months or more.

Now let me get off my curmudgeon soapbox and let you know about some of the new blogs I added to my blog roll to the right of this post.  Most I've been following for awhile, but I haven't remembered to add them to my recommended list on this blog, until now.  Just like my favorites from Bernie Kempinski -  US Military Railroad- Virginia 1863, Marty McGuirk- Central Vermont Railway, George Dutka- White River Division  Riley Triggs' two blogs- Port of New York Railroad and Model Railroad Design, and I almost forgot, my good friend Eric Hansmann's blog- Notes on Designing, Building and Operating Model Railroads. The new blogs I've added are updated often and are always an interesting read.  So in no particular order here they are:

Darel Leedy writes a great blog about his Sn3 C&S layout- C&Sn3  Darel is a true artist in S scale!  And I'm always a sucker for anything narrow gauge.  Cowboy Up Darel!

Another great S Scale blog is Trevor Marshall's Port Rowan in S scale  You may know Trevor's name from the many articles he's written for various model railroad magazines.  He's also the co-host of The Model Railway Show.

A.R. Pollard, who lives on the other side of the big pond in the U.K. has a very interesting blog on a variety of Model Railroading topics- No Two Alike  A.R. is an accomplished modeller and she models American prototypes.

Tom Patterson's blog on his Chesapeake, Wheeling and Erie Railroad showcases the beautiful freelanced railroad he is building.

The great thing all these blogs have in common are they are updated pretty frequently and are interesting to read.  Sometimes when I'm having a stressful day, seeing updates from some of my favorite blogs is just what the Dr. ordered to help me relax.  Plus, they help keep me motivated to get more done on my own layout, and to keep my blog updated.  And as time goes on, if more blogs on the blog roll start to fall dormant- 4 months or more between updates (take note Commodore, friends are not immune from my dormant blog wrath) I'll look for new ones to replace them.

Wow!  I feel better now!  I'm glad I got that off my chest. :p

Friday, November 16, 2012

Onward HO!

It's taken well over a week for me to get rested up after the ordeal of Hurricane Sandy.  We got our power back over a week ago and we spent most of last weekend cleaning up and catching up.  During Sandy, and afterward when we didn't have power or heat, I obviously couldn't get work done on the layout and understandably, it was the last thing I was worried about.

Once the winds and rain were gone and we were just dealing with the cold and power issues, I did try to do a little modeling to take my mind off everything.  I worked on three car kits ( I have a bunch that have been on the back burner since I've been pushing to get work on the layout done) and I finished two of them with the third almost done.

Our little generator allowed us to run a couple of lights and our mini fridge.  I needed more light to work on the cars so I used this LED hat brim light to be able to see what I was working on.

This ACL flat was the first of three cars I worked on during the power outage.  I also completed a MILW Ribside boxcar and 3/4 finished a Proto 2000 stock car kit.

I did however spend quite a bit of time in the basement this past week, and made a big push to finish laying roadbed and track on the remaining sections of the layout that needed it.  I'm happy to report that all sections of the layout currently up (the exception being the ramp to T.H. Knisley Coal and the York Station modules which will be worked on shortly) have roadbed and track installed.

Last section before the staging shelf on the top deck.

Just the T.H. Knisely Coal ramp remains needing track.  I'm waiting till I get the building built before install the track here.

This is the passing siding/run around track at the Red Lion Station scene.

I ran out of track again.  As has happened in the past, I thought I had figured out how much track I needed to complete the layout, and once again I was woefully wrong.  I now figure I need at least another 3 bundles of Micro Engineering flex track to finish the York Station modules and the staging shelves.  Yeah, 3 bundles should be enough...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sandy's aftermath..

I thought I'd share some pictures of some of the damage Hurricane Sandy caused around our town.  

We were blocked in from both directions and the only way I was able to get out and check on my mother who lives 2.5 miles away was to ride my bicycle to her house.

The pole almost snapped.

This was a common scene around the harbor.  Lots of downed trees and power lines.

Boats from the Viking Marina were picked up and literally stuffed into NJ Transit's Morgan Draw Bridge.  I counted 3 and I've seen pictures that show a shipping container too.

The Viking Marina was destroyed.

The lot in the foreground was full of dry docked boats.  Not one boat was left in this lot.  They were washed back into the water and onto the opposite bank of the Cheesequake Creek.

Boats litter the banks of the Cheesequake Creek.  Scenes like this were seen up and down Rt. 35 at all the marinas along the bay.

The power has been back on for one week now and I've been busy catching up with work on the layout, so I will post a progress report very soon.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Quick post storm update..

Hi everyone. I thought I'd give a quick update on how we fared with the storm. We survived and had minimal damage to our home. No flood, but we will still be without power for another 3-10 days which totally sucks. I'll have a more complete update once power and Internet is restored. 

Thanks for all the kind thoughts and prayers we received.  :)


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fear and Loathing in NJ..

As I write this I'm waiting for the inevitable.. Hurricane Sandy is on her way and this storm promises to make history in NJ, in a very bad way.  We live 1 mile from the water and I don't have good feelings about this. The forecasters say they have never seen a storm like this in history hit NJ like it will.  Hurricanes have always come up the coast parallel to it and never has there been one that has veered sharply left to make a direct hit to our coast.  Add to this that they are predicting the atmospheric pressure to drop to 947 millibars and we could be in for a very bad time over the next 48 hours.  To put this into perspective, the lowest atmospheric pressures ever recorded here has been around 960 millibars.  What this translates to is we're screwed in a big way as far as damaging winds go.  On top of that, they are predicting 6-12 inches of rain.  We lucked out last year with Hurricane Irene.. our half of the development didn't loose power.  The half that did all had flooding in the basements.  This storm will be much worse so I don't think we'll be able to dodge that bullet twice.

I bought the only generator I could get, a small 900 watt one from Harbor Freight.  I bought this Thursday and it was one of the last ones there.  Tonight I find out that a sump pump draws 1200 watts and upwards on start up so basically the generator won't be able to cut it.  So not if, but when we loose power, there's a good chance my basement will get water.

I spent most of yesterday and today getting things off the floor and as high as I can.  I also cut the gaps into the bridge section tracks finally so that I can remove the bridge sections to get to the sump pump.  

The many different computer models of the storm track.  The only common theme is that if you live in NJ, you are F***KED.

I got as many things off the floor as possible and the more valuable items were moved up to the living room.  Also, there was a mandatory evacuation of all beer and scotch from the mini fridge up to the upstairs refrigerator. 

I cut the rails at the bridge section joints so they can be lifted out out.  I had planned to do this at some point.  Sandy forced my hand to do it sooner than later.

Bridge sections removed for easy access to the sump room.  I hope it won't be necessary to get in there.

I hope the forecasters are ultimately wrong and Sandy turns out to sea.  I would like the next pictures I share with you to be more layout progress shots and not disaster cleanup photos.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This, That, and Some Other Stuff...

I suspect a lot of you are like me when it comes to keeping up with your favorite blogs.. You love it when you sign on and see a new update from your favorite authors.  I know I'm always happy when I see updates from my favorite blogs (see my blog roll located on the right hand side of this blog) and some are updated quite frequently, while others are not. One of the blogs that hasn't been updated in awhile has it's most recent post titled "I Haven't Died".  That was posted 7 months ago.  I'm tempted to leave a comment on his blog and ask "Are you dead now?"  

I feel some obligation to keep my blog updated on a semi regular basis for my readers. But sometimes, like in the past few weeks, I fall behind because of things beyond my control: A few health issues, one serious enough to land me in the hospital overnight, work commitments, and family issues.  I love writing this blog though, and I try hard to keep it updated.  Writing it keeps me motivated to work on the layout, which obviously is a good thing.  So instead of letting it go for another week, I thought I'd update the blog, even if there have only been little things accomplished lately.

There has been some activity modeling wise on my part, but it's been varied.  I've done some work on rebuilding RPO number 34, (Thanks to Dick Bradley on correcting me that this RPO was number 34, not 35) I now have the side walls built with doors and windows installed.  

The new sides for number 34 take shape.

I temporarily put up the last section of bench work for the upper level to see where I have to move the two portable studs needed to hold it up. I'll hopefully get this section up permanently this week so I can lay the last of the roadbed and track on the upper level. 

New section attached temporarily.  With the exception of the fiddle yard that will go on the end of this section, this is the end of the line on the layout.

I laid a little more roadbed (not much), and just in the past two days I've cut all the pieces needed to start building the last 5 turnouts (hopefully) needed for the layout. My friend Dave Ramos had lent me his #6 Fast Tracks jig and he needs it back to rebuild two turnouts in one of his yards.  Needless to say this has lit the proverbial fire under my ass to get the turnouts I need done.

All the parts needed are cut and ready to be built into the last 5 (hopefully) turnouts needed for the layout.

So, I guess you could say sometimes progress can be measured in bits and pieces, and if that's truly the case, I guess I have been making some progress.  But then again, when all else fails, I can always fall back on posting pictures of El Sombrero to fill up some blog space. 

Amy and El Sombrero.. Isn't she cute! ;)

She's gonna kill me. LOL :p

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Northeast Fallen Flags RPM this Saturday 9/29/12


Just a quick note about the NEFF RPM meet that is coming up this Saturday, September 29th.  It's shaping up to be another great one day RPM event and if you have the chance to make it to Bridgewater NJ please come by and join in the fun!  We have a great lineup of clinicians and the modeling on display has to be seen!  And did I mention free lunch?  (And you thought there was no such thing as a free lunch. ;)

Check out our website for the meet at:

I'll be there helping out with the meet (sorry, I'm not doing any clinics, so the Martini glass is staying home for this one) so stop by, have some fun, and say hello. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's a twister! It's a twister!!

"Well it was a miracle that no one got hurt today, but that there twister sure did some damage in the yard"  Ted D. Baker, Maryland & Pennsylvania RR Superintendent was quoted saying in an interview in The York Dispatch today.  

Seems like there was a freak weather occurrence where a strong thunder storm produced an F1 tornado that passed through the far end of the M&P's York Yard.  There was very minor damage to buildings, but one of the road's RPO's was obliterated.  "We were working in the engine house when we heard this loud roaring noise approaching.  Just as we got outside to see what the commotion was we saw the twister hit #34 and it looked like a bomb went off inside it! KABOOM! And just like that she was reduced to a pile of splintered timbers!  I've never seen anything like that in my entire life!" Mr. Baker said.  

He went on to explain the RR's plans to rebuild #34 "That old RPO was a piece of junk anyways.  We bought her second hand off eBay and didn't realize from the pictures that the guy who tried to build her had less talent than a chimpanzee trying to do physics!  I mean it was a disaster before it even got wrecked by that twister!  Glue marks all over, crooked doors and windows, lead weights inside that looked like someone dropped some turds, good God that car was a mess!  Thankfully we got her cheap so it wasn't that bad, just figured we'd need to get around to rebuilding her some day"  

How the car looked before the Tornado.

Opposite side.  This side was even worse than the other side!

The aftermath of the twister.

The M&P shop crew is wasting no time in rebuilding #34 and is doing so using more stronger and durable polystyrene. 

Mr. Baker concluded in the interview "We have the original blueprints though and we will recycle all the doors, windows, and end pieces and rebuild her better than ever.  You'll see."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. - Yogi Berra

It's been a long time since I've painted or decaled any models.  I have a couple of engines that need to be painted and decaled, but I've been putting it off.  There are a couple of reasons why: First, I have a spray booth I built that is just missing a blower motor (just haven't prioritized that purchase yet).  Second, I never have painted brass, let alone steamers, so I've been nervous about trying it.  Third, even though I've done it many times before, I have not decaled anything in a long time, so I feared I was out of practice and put off trying to do some.

One of the engines that needed painting and decaling was a Ma & Pa light consolidation that I had bought a while back.  I figured I needed just one engine of this class since they were not used too much on the Ma & Pa in the time frame I'm modeling.  A few weeks before we left for our trip, I found one of this class of 2-8-0s already beautifully painted on eBay, with the only problem being it was painted for a private road name.  You find that's common with this particular model as it was produced over a period of years by Akane, Atlas Industries, and finally, United Scale models and imported towards the end by PFM.  Many modelers bought them and painted them for various RRs as the engine is an attractive representation of an consolidation style of locomotive.   So, I theorized that if I bought this engine and changed the lettering and numbers to proper Ma & Pa RR ones, I'd save the trouble of having to paint it, or paying someone else to do it.  How's that for putting off learning how to paint a steam engine?  I know.. I feel ashamed.. Actually I don't.  ;)

Here is a picture of the engine as decorated for a private road name by the previous owner.  Yes, that is the wrong box.  I've seen a bunch of these engines being sold on eBay with this wrong box.  I don't know why.

Here I used Micro Sol to soften up the old decals so I could remove them.  This method works best with equipment that has been lettered with decals.

Here is how it looks after I removed the number from the cab.

This is how the entire engine looked after about an hours worth of work removing all the numbers and lettering.

Maryland & Pennsylvania RR #26 all finished except for weathering.

Here is the view of the left side of the engine.  What I love about the paint job the former owner did was he actually went through the trouble of painting the builder plates and smokebox number plate!

This turned out to be fun, and I think the re-numbering and re-lettering job came out real nice.  Just the relaxing type of project I needed to help me unwind this week after a hectic start to the new school year.