PRR General Electric 44 Tonner 9337
PRSL Baldwin AS16 6015
General Electric Norfolk Southern B32-8
Baldwin BF16 “Sharks”
River Raisin Models B&O RF16
Omnicon Models PRR BF16 9704
River Raisin Models PRR BF16
PRR E7a 5863
I sort of “found” this E7 in my E unit pile. I forgot this 1 was painted. NONE of the Overland PRR E7 A units are correct as they suffer from a clash of era details, where all of the details could not have been on the unit at the same time. I made the parts to make them more correct for the mid 1950s like the large numberboards etc. It is just a matter of getting to finishing them. Much of the involved work is making them all wheel pick up.
This paint job was “presentable” but still not completely correct, and since I sold my running E7 A B A set in the spring of 2012, I got it out and threw a Tsunami in it. I found out when I thought I was done the wheels were all tight for gauge so that was about the 3rd unexpected disassembly and repair. That will teach me to look at the gauge when the wheels are out for cutting wiper grooves in the back of the wheels!
PRR E7b 5864
PRR EMD E8
Norfolk Southern PRR Heritage Unit
American Flyer ES44AC by Lionel
I chased the real Norfolk Southern PRR 8102 Heritage unit for so long and could not catch it, so I decided to get one of my own. I finally saw the real unit on 8-8-15 and this came about a week later. It was a bit of whimsy purchase, well not within my usual modeling era and PRSL scheme. This model is brand new American Flyer made by Lionel. It is DCC ready with sound and a ton of lights. I changed to Scale wheels and Kadee couplers. That is it. No other details were added. It runs a bit fast but is very nice.
B&O ABBA F7 Set
I already had an A B set of factory painted Overland B&O F7 for many years. In November 2016 another A B set came up for sale on eBay. Just for a goof I set a rather low bid and still won. The newer set had some work done with winterization hatches added, and a very interesting center nose numberboard. This was the chance to update all with new decoders (not sound) and LED headlights. I ran pick up wires to the wipers on the insulated wheels. The original drives are a bit noisy but I can live with that.
B&O F7 4551
This is also an Overland F7 imported in 1987. I much prefer the above B&O scheme but like this scheme as well. I did not paint it. It came to me in a collection with other brass cars some of which I painted for the owner. He was moving and did not want to take them with him. I covered the shipping to me. Average cost per model came to about $12.00. How could I refuse?
In September 2020 I got it out and spent some time with it. I did a 5 minute decoder job when it first arrived. There was a popped driveshaft that finally made me go over it. The paint was a bit rough and needed significant touch up. Blue is a brutal color to match. Luckily Scalecoat B & O Blue matched really well. What I did not get was the windows were a translucent “GOOP” of some kind, sort of like dried white wood glue. That was really annoying to get out and cleaned up. I lubed the drive, fixed the drivehafts, installed a Tsunami2 with LED headlights, added real glass for the windows, added crew figures and did touch up. It looks much better now and runs great.
Reading F7 ABA Set
PRR F7 ABA Set
This is a plastic F7 ABA set made by S Helper Service. I did some detail work to it, including adding the Trainphone Antennas, extra grab irons, nose lift rings, and modified the pilot coupler doors. The “how to” article for this set was featured in the January 2005 Mainline Modeler.
Alco PRR FA2 FB2 Set
These FA2 and FB2 were made by Overland Models in 1985. They are very nice, from the period that I call Overland’s “Golden Age” where Ajin was producing very nice models for a reasonable price. I have an A B A set of these that need painting. I bought this set on eBay in June 2007 because they WERE painted for about what I thought they should sell for unpainted. All I had to do was add DCC and I had added another set of diesels to the roster, or so I thought. When I opened the box it was immediately apparent that the seller mangled the antennas as it was put in the model box for shipping. We made good on that issue quickly. I got an assembled wood Phosphate car. But the repairs lead to a month long side project to repair the antennas, make the drive line slip proof, added all wheel electric pickup and sound units. I made rolled ring baffles that mounted the speakers directly under the roof fans. There was some touch up and we are good to go! I also added a 2 wire plug that runs between the units to insure pickup at ALL times not matter how dirty the track may be. The plugs get hidden in the diaphragm between the units. After a good lube job they run amazingly well! I hope all of my Overland units run this well.
May 2008 – As a result of me meeting the seller of these locomotives, he is back in trains bigger than ever. We are VERY good friends now! (But he is NOT getting this FA set back!) Life works like that sometimes!
PRR FP7a & F7b Set
This American Models FP7 set was purchased as shown below from my friend Bob Frascella in April 2017. Bob is an amazing artist and modeler. He decided to move his modeling from PRR transition era to the 1970s Delaware & Hudson making this set available for sale. There was extensive rework and detailing done. It is just gorgeous.
This is my first big "S" project (C) 1989 adding antennas to my AA set (only 1 shown – ironically also 9834) from an Overland F3 set. Note the antennas are 1 stanchion too short. I thought it was the best thing going back then. Next to Bob's work it is SO dated looking! I don't even have decoders in them yet.
Reading FP7 901 & 903
PRR GP7 8551
PRR GP7 8553
Reading GP7 621
This is a slightly modified American Models GP9 representing Reading GP7 621. The Reading did not have any GP9. Making a better GP7 in S Scale is a significant effort. This loco was made in 1989 by John Hall, one of a very few Reading modelers in S Scale at that time. I bought it 2-13-19 from Roy Hoffman. I changed to a Sagami motor to match the rest of my plastic GPs, added LEDs for headlights and a NCE D13NHP decoder. Other than some touch up it will remain as John built it. I consider it to be a historic piece. I have also run the 621 with my RS3 set as that did happen on the Reading. GP7 could run with the RS3. I temporarily programmed it as 489.
B&O GP9 6541
PRR GP9 7006
PRR GP9B 7185
PRR GP9 Set
N&W GP9 806
PRR GP30 2224
Southern GP30 2551
Conrail GP35 2374
PRSL GP38 2002
Norfolk Southern GP38-2 5235
This is a stock out of the box PRR EMD NW2 made by S Helper Service. It has a stunning Soundtraxx EMD Tsunami factory installed. Check out a video of the NW2 with the Tsunami in action here:
Reading NW2 92
Reading RS3 Set
These are what was the original S Helper Service from before S Helper Service was making their own trains. SHS was HELPING American Models make new items. This is from the first run of the RS3 in 1991. I have had 489 for a few years and bought 494 on 2-9-19. I added LEDs for headlights and a NCE D13NHP decoder. They are both programmed for 489. 494 is wired to be permanently trailing. Other than the handrails painted yellow they are stock out of the box. I get that the headlights should not be on in the trailing unit. Oh well. I like headlights a lot!
And Then There Was 3
I did not know there was 3 loco numbers for this RS3 until 474 popped up on eBay. I bought it on 8-8-19. It was 25ish years old but new never run in the box. Like 494, 474 is wired to be permanently trailing as well.
This RSD5 is a part of the run of the very first commercially produced S Brass locomotives in 1982. It was made by Alco Models/Samhongsa and was Alco Models only venture into S scale brass. A few various versions of the RS2 & RS3 were made as well. This run of locomotives has a problem in that the truck gearbox castings were diecast white metal that swelled, disintegrates and became brittle with age. The swelling clamped down on the axles making running impossible. I am very lucky to have this locomotive runs at ALL let alone how well it does run. Further the real PRR RSD5 did NOT have antennas! This shell will be swapped to a RS3 drive as a part of a massive planned 5 unit RS3 & RSD5 project – also for some day. It is shown here on my layout on 7-30-12 – my 50th birthday!
B&O Alco S2 524
This is an Overland Alco S2 imported in August 1986 with other Alco S1 and S4 locos. 100 locos were made. While not shown in the Overland First 10 Years book this was custom painted by Overland. It is a very nice detailed loco but the drive is a very inefficient use of interior space. The motor is ¼” off of the frame. I could not use my favorite Railmaster DLG8 speaker as there as not enough room. I had to use a cell phone speaker at least for now.
PRR EMD SD9
Conrail SD40-2 6469
Southern SD40-2 3233
Norfolk Southern SD70ACe
This is American Flyer by Lionel like the ES44Ace below, made in 2015. It is shown stock out of the box except for adding Kadee couplers. The current Conrail Shared Assets exists as the former PRSL. I pass Norfolk Southern locos all the time. I always liked the NS paint scheme. This came up for sale on I and was bought on 2-17-19. It already had the scale wheels which I did not know they were offered as an option. I had significant programming issues with the ES44AC which I had to be sent back to Lionel to fix. If I had to I would gut it and install a regular sound decoder. The seller made a short clip showing it running on DCC. I got it running as well but it is by far not as easy as a DCC sound decoder. It is VERY fast. When compared to the ES44AC I like the SD70ACe better. The Kadee coupler mounting brackets were missing so I had to make them. Also I screwed the pilots down from swinging. It does look great and is appropriate to run with the ES44AC.
This is also American Flyer by Lionel. I looked for the Reading SD70Ace for about 4 years and none were ever for sale. In March 2021 the unpowered loco was for sale. I thought maybe I could flip it to a powered chassis to so I bought it. A week later the powered loco was for sale so I got that too. 1067 is the powered loco and is the real Reading Heritage unit. 1836 really is a Norfolk Southern SD70Ace but it is not painted in the Reading Heritage scheme. In over 30 years of S Scale I never owner an unpowered loco. This is the first and will likely be the last. The only scale wheels are geared. I thought it to be very ironic changing the wheels with gears into a loco that does not have a motor.
Chessie SW1200 9619
This is an Oriental Models brass SW1200 made in 1985. It was Oriental’s only S Scale project. Other SW locos like the SW1 above were made as well. It has a rather unconventional drive with a centered vertical shaft motor, but runs amazingly well. This model was painted by my friend the late Charlie Carangie for my other friend Don Thompson in the 1990s. Charlie would not turn down any paint job because of complexity. It was a surprise purchase by me on 12-14-19. B&O + Chessie+ For Sale = Get the hell out of my way! This model will be motor decoder only forever, not even headlights. There was no holes drilled for headlights, which needs to be done before paint. I am not risking bruising this wonderful paint job for installing headlights.
Reading Trainmaster 861, 865 & 867
PRSL Doodlebug 400
This is not really a diesel but I had to put it someplace!
This PRSL Doodlebug has a long interesting history. It was made by Scenery Unlimited as a Northern Pacific prototype. In the early 1990s I was asked to paint it for PRSL for a fellow South Jersey S Scalers member. I protested painting a foobie scheme but it got done. In April 2014 it appeared on eBay, in amazingly perfect condition and I WANTED it now! I sold an unused brass SD40-2 to finance the deal. I bid on it and LOST, but was still able to make a buy-trade deal happen with the winner through the eBay seller for an unpainted model which is what he wanted anyway.
While the real PRSL 400 is significantly different the Northern Pacific car is similar in size and gives the same ancient machine look to it especially when compared to the “new” RDCs. As painted back in the 90s I did not install glass or a headlight. So it was a mini modernization project. I added all wheel pick up, an N Scale decoder, a headlight and headlight lens, an engineer figure and glass all around. Gaining access to the otherwise soldered in rear area meant permanent removal of a divider wall. Doing this work on a painted model was fun! It was a worthwhile effort getting the results I wanted.
PRSL RDC M-405 and M-410
I would be interested to know if there are any other S Scale
PRSL Modelers out there. Please contact me if you are.
All photos and content © Lanes Trains 2005-2021