Thursday, October 24, 2013

1981 Manifest Freight led by FP45 5943

1981 Manifest Freight on the Needles Division

This FP45 is a very interesting unit.  It was remanufactured in April of 1980, and became the prototype for FP45 rebuilding program.  It retained its number until early 1982, when it joined its fellow FP45's in the 5990 class as 5993.  It did receive a roof mounted air conditioner, but did not get the smoke deflectors (yuk!) which were installed just forward of the dynamic brake fans on most of the remainder of the 5990 class.
A close up view of the BLMA fans I installed on this FP45 shell, taken from an old Lima manufactured model built in the late 70's.  (I described all the modifications in my April 1st, 2013 blog.)  The model is not weathered, as it was kept very clean for a long time post rebuild, traveling as the lead unit on some of Santa Fe's premium trains.
Nicely weathered SD45 no. 5622.  Santa Fe purchased more SD45 locomotives than any other railroad, purchasing 90 of these 3600 h.p., 20 cylinder behemoths from EMD.  They continued their 20 cylinder fascination by buying an equal number of its successor, the SD45-2. 
Heavily weathered GE unit B23-7 6390.  The B23-7 was an upgrade by General Electric of the U23B model.  It retained 2300 h.p. from its 12 cylinder diesel engine, but got upgrades in the electrical modules and improved floating bolster "B" trucks.
One of two 60 foot Bx-101 boxcars on my Needles division.  This custom painted and weathered car had originally had deep Indian red paint, which has faded over time into a pinkish red.  When painting, I added white to the red to represent the fading.
I love this car.  I saw a few like this in Cajon Pass in the early eighties.  The were holdovers from the mid-fifties.  The model is a Micro Trains 50 foot box, custom painted and decaled, modified with roller bearing trucks and with roofwalk removed.  Heavily weathered, but with recently applied U-1 stencil (black and yellow emblem noting wheel inspection) and black and white consolidated stencil (maintenance records). 
Very cool modernized 40ft boxcar from MT.  No roofwalk, but retains bettendorf trucks.  White door most likely indicates food shipments only.
Stock MT Shock Control car, toned down with dull coat, trucks and wheels painted with weathered black, and consolidated stencil and U-1 wheel inspection emblem added.
Custom painted with faded red.  This is a Super Shock Control car.  These type of cars had couplers that cushioned during both coupling and travel, thus reducing damage to lading.

As shipments of fruits and vegetables were driven to tofc traffic, the need for mechanical refrigerators declined.  On cars such as this, the cooling equipment was removed, and cars converted to carrying regular freight.  This car had the mechanical refrigeration emblem "oranged out" on the blue door, and spot painted where needed.  MT car with roofwalk removed. Masking and painting on quickly repaired cars were never quite symmetrical.

MT car heavily weathered.

Very cool example of an early "Damage Free" 50' box.  This would be a holdover from the 50's, as indicated by the large yellow DF herald.  By 1981, the "Route of the Super Chief " had been gone 12 years.

Nicely weathered UP plug door box by MT.

Missouri Pacific gondola of unknown manufacture.

Custom painted and decaled 50' plug door box on a MT model.

The BN plug door box is nicely weathered in rust, but does not show up in pictures very well.  The Santa Fe 40 foot "Hy-Cube" (high cubic feet, elevated roof) car was designed to ship appliances.
Mildly weathered MT cars

Seeing double
The Richmond, Fredricksburg and Potomac cars have a beautiful shade of blue, contrasted with a silver (aluminum) plug door.  Mildly weathered.  Wide vision Ce-6 caboose.
Why the designation Ce?  Santa Fe freight car classes used the first letter and the last letter of the type of car to name the class. Thus, Caboose is Ce, Box is Bx, Flat is Ft, Reefer is Rr, etc..
The number represents a different type of car in that class.

For more information on Santa Fe Shock Control freight cars, please see my article in the March 2006 issue of N Scale Railroading.  In this article, I show 20 different paint schemes used on the red 50' Shock Control cars.

A video of this train can be seen on You Tube at: