Author Topic: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch  (Read 555 times)

central1751

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Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« on: December 25, 2018, 01:20:25 PM »
Been working on my new layout and need to decide on a locomotive for the line. Obviously the No1 2-8-0 is just for excursion use.  Era wouid be mid 1980's, and for the purpose of the line, the ex PRR Butler branch was left intact up to one of the major grain elevators from Logansport(this is the free lance part, along with the L&ER being more than a once a year operation).  Looking at various road units that would make sense as a "hand me down" unit from one of the lines that operated in that area.   On the table is a Conrail SD40 (not a Dash-2 unit), an unpainted GP35 w/dynamic brakes or a G38-2 w/dynamics brakes.   The Conrail I could have patched out and weathered to look beat down.  The other two could be done as beat up looking units or freshly painted in the shortlines colors.  I am unsure of which way to go.  i am leaning toward a 4 axle unit unless a 6 axle makes more sense.  From what I know of the remains of the line in Logansport, its fairly light rail for a 6 axle to tread.    Ideas, suggestions?  Engine will be brass, all of my motive power is brass.  A switcher was another idea, just harder to find one that doesn't have a
coffee grinder drive.    Thanks  Mike

Eel_River

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Re: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2018, 03:44:55 PM »
The ERR had minimum 100 lb. rail from Logansport to Columbia City. 

The last mainline ops in that section, between North Manchester and Mexico, ended in fall-1977.  Kim Heusel photographed CR SW9 #9114 and CR GP38 #7721 on that track in summer and fall-1977.  Paul Lutz photographed PC GP9 #7113 there in 1976.

In earlier days, PRR ran F units and RF16 sharks in freight service.

Craig

central1751

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Re: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2018, 04:05:25 PM »
I went with a GP35, kind of an unloved engine in the used world due to issues with the high voltage wiring's insulation flaking off. EMD tried something new and it got brittle with age. So used ones need a complete rewire many times. So the line got her cheap from the deadline at Avon will be the back story. Now to decide how to paint her, rusty Conrail blue and patched out, or into the lines scheme, which is similar to the L&I's PRR influenced scheme

crfan59

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Re: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2018, 01:14:33 PM »
If you can find a Kato NW2, that would make a suitable unit for use on this branch.  #8798 was a regular on the line in its last days as well as other SW types like #9131 shown here preparing to leave the PC Michigan branch and turn southwest on the remnant of the Butler branch towards Mexico, IN.  I have only one photo/slide of a CR blue unit (also an SW) but do not have a scan of it.

Paul
One way, Your way, My way, Our way, Right way, Wrong way, Conway, Conrail !

IndyKing

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Re: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 04:49:13 PM »
Now to decide how to paint her, rusty Conrail blue and patched out, or into the lines scheme, which is similar to the L&I's PRR influenced scheme

It depends on when your layout is set in time, relative to when your freelanced railroad started up.  The earlier you model, the more likely the loco will be in a beaten up, previous owner's color scheme.  The later you are, the more likely the loco will be in your own railroad's swanky new colors.  A few examples are as follow:

INRD - early = beaten up ATSF, Family Lines, etc.
INRD - later = gray, white, & red... then red & white

ISRR - early = beaten up Chessie & occasional NS
ISRR - later = red, gold, & white... then G&W-style orange, black, & yellow

LIRC - early = just about anything old & beaten up, including some antiquated ex-SP GP7's
LIRC - later = DEVCO-influenced green & yellow... then PRR-style Tuscan

Of course, very small shortlines seem to generally just use a patched version or derivation of the previous owner's paint scheme, at least from what I have seen.
Cheers, Al

central1751

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Re: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2018, 07:17:01 PM »
The GP35 will be ex ATSF. Era of the railroad will be late 80's/early 90's, just prior to ditch lights. Taking the PRRish look they gave the steamer, the Geep will have a Tuscan PRR single stripe job, which could be done easily by a shortline. The GP will retain its rooftop AC unit, and flasher beacon. The line chose the GP over an SW anticipating growth of grain traffic in coming years. The rail fans went bonkers when the steamer handled traffic for the first 2 weeks while shop forces struggled with some mechanical issues with the GP.

central1751

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Re: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2018, 06:46:51 PM »
Here is the GP35.  Our shop forces replaced the missing air horn with a stacked 5 chime we had on hand, along with replacing the beacon with a brand new 8913 model from Prime.  I am waiting for the AC unit detail part to come in the mail, then I can clean up and prep for paint. Took awhile today to limber up the drive unit.  This is an older "tank drive" that preceeded the silky smooth tower drive that Ajin developed after this style was made.  Power is a single ended Sagami can motor to a central gear tower, then drive shafts that come out of each end of the fuel tank to each truck.  Each axle has a cast gear box that resembles a traction motor.  All of the ones on this unit have zinc pest cracking but run ok for now.  A replacement set of trucks with better gear boxes are on order. The last run of tank drives had a different gear box casting that seems to be stable and not cracking.  But I will run these trucks till issues arise. As I do not use DCC, one of Richmond Controls excellent constant lighting circuits with Prime beacon is on its way to me.  One can see old No1 sitting on the shop lead in the background. In the last picture, you see one of my ticket from riding the Iron Horse train, in 1982.  Mom and Dad saved all of those kinds of things from when I was a kid.  Going to get a frame for this one.  I would have been 9 years old that year.      Mike the Aspie



trainmaster53

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Re: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2018, 07:41:37 PM »
That appears to be a Brass Santa Fe GP 35 with the Horn and Light above the Cab. That was what the Santa Fe had on their Locomotives. In my Early Days of Modeling. I modeled the Santa Fe Railroad. Had over 300 Santa Fe Locomotives from Santa Fe Steam to every Santa Fe Diesel Made.

central1751

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Re: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2018, 08:19:13 PM »
I added the horn and beacon, along with a roof top ac unit when the part gets here.  The model was a generic GP35 with dynamic brakes and high headlight from Overland Models. It was imported from Ajin in 1982.

central1751

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Re: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2019, 07:38:49 PM »
As I slowly build up the lines roster and rolling stock, I have picked up another diesel, something with a bit more "umph" for grain trains.  See the owner of the L&ER likes to play poker with other lines big wigs.  It was down to him and the owner of the Susie Q, the others had folded.  The other gentleman needed something to bet as he was out of $$ but the owner of the L&ER had a gleam in his eye.  He had been out to visit the Susie Q recently and see the remains of a big Alco C430 that had been turned over on her side in a derailment, ice in the flangeways at a grade crossing he had been told.  They mechanic said they did not plan to repair her as the line was upgrading to newer power.  Back at the poker table, he said "since your out of cash, I will take that C430 sitting out back of the shop."   The bet was made and the cards laid on the table.  A couple months later, a low boy and a normal flat bed pulled into Logansport with the battered C430 on the lowboy and the Hi-Ad trucks on the other.  Once again, ol number 1 was stuck outside the shop and tarped whilst the shop crew started repairing all the body damage.   When complete, she will emerge in the lines PRR style tuscan brown with yellow strip, Prime 990 3 chime horn behind the cab and Prime 8911 beacon above the headlights.  MUed with the GP35 will give the line enough power to handle the fall grain rush, hopefully if the shop forces get the big Alco on her feet by then!     

rej70

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Re: Protofreelancing the L&ER/Butler branch
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2019, 09:50:43 PM »
Any updates? I've wanted to do a freelance of the old PRR Frankfort-Terre Haute, focusing on Frankfort-Colfax. Figured on an early-80s timeframe.