Monday, March 26, 2012

BNSF Stored Power

I know there has been some talk about CN picking up a bunch of spare engines, some of which have been in service on the BNSF. After CN picked up all the C40-8s that were available I don't know what they are going to get, but there are over 40 engines in storage at Northtown Yard (NTW) right now, not counting BNSF 4663, the C44-9W wrecked in the Fridley derailment last year. I think most of the BNSF paint schemes can be found in the lineup.
The view under the St.Anthony bridge. These are the lines to the right of the TBOX car in the photo above. The snow is gone now, but I'm guessing the engines are still there. BNSF 8193 is a SD60M, the rest are SD75Ms.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

MILW 5658

Another MILW U30C made it's way to the Skally. This one was finished just in time to have a photo-op with the BN F45s before they all head off to their prospective lines. Oh to watch the big coal drags back in the day...

 This us a Kato U30C I added a few details too. I used BLMA grab irons, mu cables and cut levers. It has Gold Medal wipers, an Atlas Strobe light and a MbE Sinclair Antenna. The paint is Polly Scale MILW Orange and Engine Black. The decals are all Micro Scale. I gave it a light weathering using Tamiya chalks.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I love lease engines. I don't know what it is, but they are some of my favorites. Here are some shots I've gotten recently at the Pigs Eye Shops in Saint Paul. The CITX "Grey Ghost" 3090 is one of my favorites, but I have more than a few of the SD45-2s (SD40M-2) lately. There was even this snoot nose unit CEFX 3164.
In this shot you can see 4 SD45-2 body units as well as CITX 3064, one of the green units, which was hanging around the shops for about a week this spring.
 On the Minneapolis side, the BNSF Northtown has been overflowing with Oakway Leasers. I've gotten pictures of quite a few. I like the primered section in middle of EMDX SD60 9002.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dirty, Dirty Cars

During the Westminster Show in St.Paul it occurred to me that while a good number of my cars are weathered, very few had graffiti. An aging fleet of cars needs to have a little more in the way of color, so I took a half dozen cars and added some graffiti. I weathered this batch after the decals were on to give the graffiti a more aged look as well. Here are a couple examples of what I got done. I had another Intermountain hopper done as well, but my lovely wife knocked it off the counter and well... that one is in the parts bin now as the car shops were unable to put it back together again.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St.Patty's Day!

Well, today was a progress kind of day and to celebrate, I thought I would show off a little green. BN 6609 rolled down the line today after coming out of the ILS shops. This Big Green Monster is the first of two,  BN 6607 was finished later in the day today. These two will be heading off to work the coal fields on a friends modular N scale layout.
These are very heavy Athearn units that I added a few details to. I added the winter hatch, mu hoses, lift rings and the proper air horn. The owner wanted them dirty, so I added some chalk weathering. The paint is Polly Scale BN Green and Engine Black. The decals are Micro Scale.

Friday, March 16, 2012

ILSX SD9 1399

ILSX SD9 1399 was running a small cut of cars down the line this week. The 1399 will be paired up with sister SD9s 1374 and 1384 for use on the sand trains at the new loadout in North Branch. These engines will provide great low speed tractive effort on the heavy unit trains.
This was another Atlas SD9 nose chop job. I had to add the 48" rear fan from another shell and raise the forward 36" dynamic fan per the prototype. The winter hatch, firecracker antenna and air horn are MbE. The lift rings and wipers are Trainworx. The cut levers, grab irons, mu cables and air hoses are BLMA. The decals are from Solidesign. I made the strobe stands from styrene. I'm sending the frame of this unit to Aztec for milling as I would like to add some sound to one of my SD9s.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rush City Operations

Here is a video Joe B. took of himself running ILSX 1344 swtiching out the Horizon Mill. The tow tracks to the left are flour loadout tracks. The third track in is wheat unloading and the siding across the main line is off-spot storage for the mill. I still have a lot of work to do to the scene (like building the SCXY Corp. HQ buiilding), but this gives you and idea of how the industry works.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rush City Redo Part 9

Well, the deadline for Rush City has arrived. I built the scene to FreemoN standards so I could use it at shows until my layout finds a proper home. The Westminster Train Show this weekend was the operational debut of the modules as well as my MN Transload module (the future Zinpro scene). Here is a time lapse video by P. Keppel of the setup in St. Paul. Operating with the FreemoN group was a blast and I'm looking forward to my next opportunity to do run with them again. The modules performed well. I didn't get my frogs wired or my scenery done, but I have some time to develop those before the next show.
Rush City is set up in the back of the scene (sans buildings).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rush City Redo Part 8

Progress has been hit and miss lately. A special thanks to my friend HK for helping me get going again. Ground cover is down on both RC modules, static grass is about 80% complete and the ballast is 90% complete. All the tortoises are wired, operational and programed. The facia is complete on both sides and I installed a UP-91 panel for the digitrax system. I even planted a few trees because I could. I couple more hours and it will be ready for more road work and some details.