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South Jersey S Scale Modelers


PRR 8617 & 8635

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These PRR RS11 were built by Overland/Ajin in 1989.


This is yet another long “Back In The Box” project. The last time I did any work to them was in 2009. I did not take any photos of the locos as built by Overland. This photo was taken from an eBay ad.


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This photo was taken 6-10-17 as I restarted working on them. It took 6 months in 2017 and wound up being a project I worked on while I was not working on other projects.


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I had 3 big issues with this loco I had to change. I did not like the as built drive, and the PRR antenna stanchions were very small and fragile. I made new antenna stanchions and completely reworked the antennas. Overland did not even have the receiver disc included. Overland obviously did not look at photos of the PRR RS11. There is a grab iron ladder on the short hood that has to be moved to the other side.


New Motor


In the previous drive design that was in Ajin GP38-2, SD40-2, FA, E7 and E8, was 1 motor connected to a center gearbox, down into the fuel tank, and out through the fuel tank to the trucks with driveshafts. The River Raisin E8 and RS11 had 2 “HO” sized motors, not connected to each other straight out to driveshafts and the trucks. It made for a lot of interior space but I thought the motors were too small for S Scale. I also thought 2 motors not connected to each other with a coupling could not be synchronized to each other creating a performance issue. Replace the 2 motors with 1 motor will fix that problem, and that is what I did.


In 2008 I was on a Solidworks designing binge like I have never done since, making truly 100s of wanted parts. I designed motor mounts for a NWSL 22363-9 motor, but it worked as well for the 22405-9 motor that I used on the RS11.

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If I did this motor conversion today I would probably not use flywheels. They are mostly not needed now with DCC.

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Just for a goof on 6-15-17 I hooked up the decoder and took one for a test run. This is the first time a RS11 ran on my layout. The Tsunami will become a TSC WOW4 with LEDS instead of bulbs.


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Added 7-23-17

Photos taken 7-2-17

The grab iron ladder was on the wrong side of the short hood so it had to be moved. It was a bit intimidating but I got it done. One hole drilled in the wrong place would be very noticeable. The original holes were filed with .025 wire and solder. They are only roughed in at this point. Final body work will come later just before painting.

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Photos taken 7-23-17

I got the WOW4 decoders and LEDs wired. It is 8 LEDs per loco. 4 are 3mm for the headlights and 4 are 2mm red for the corner markers. I remapped F6 to run the marker lights. F6 previously was a sound function. Progress is slow going in the summer.


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Mounting the speaker turned out to be significantly simpler than I expected. I like to challenge myself sometimes just for a goof to see what the end results are. They are almost all different from the project before or after. No complex bent brackets needed. It is just 2-56 Tee nuts soldered to the roof and a piece of brass flat stock. Done! Oh well. It is a RailMaster DLG8 speaker.

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Added 11-24-17



I took yet another side trip for 4 months. I had to change the draft gear casting because the first 1 I tried coupled too close and hit the footboards. In that time I completed 3 of my PRSL “HOT” P70, a Logging Bobber Caboose, PRSL N5 Cabin and changed the motor and added a sound unit to my new Reading M-1sa.


Photo taken 11-23-17


On 11-23-17 I gave them both 1 final test run before painting. They are perfectly matched running together.


I changed from 8625 to 8635 just before painting because 8635 does not have an equipment box in the walkway like 8625. Hopefully I don’t ever see a photo of the other side of 8617 and that has the equipment box! 8635 was the later built group but was assigned to Philadelphia in 1957.



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Photo taken 11-25-17

Ready For Paint

I finished the antennas. I realized I was missing 2 radiator screens which I should be able to get from a friend. I painted anyway without them. Soldering stainless grills is difficult, and impossible without liquid flux.


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Added 12-20-17


For recent past projects I had decals custom made just for that loco but did not do that for the RS11. I was going to decal bash from various sources, mostly my PRR steam set. The numberboards have proven to be a real challenge even though I decided to not light them. I thought it would be simple, but NO. They are an odd size; making specific S Scale numberboard decals I have not usable. I painted the numberboard areas black over the Brunswick Green. I tested Roman alphabet set on 2 numberboards realizing that was wrong. They got painted over black. The Microscale decals I had that fit and was for numberboards were CLEAR for the numbers. Even if I were lighting I would NOT want clear where the numbers are. They would have to be white. I now had to QUICKLY make the black areas white. Paint would not do it. That would take too many coats. Luckily I had white decal film. I decaled all the areas white. I put the numberboard decals (HO diesel) on top on the white decal film, and painted the areas not covered black again. I will NOT be defeated! What complete insanity. These numberboards will be the most covered areas of a loco ever.


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I chose to not add “detail” decals. I do not have many high resolution RS11 photos to read the small print. Some can be determined from the shape of the text. Fire Extinguisher Inside is 1 of them. Fire Extinguisher Inside is on the short hood behind the engineer. Because of Overland’s wrong body details for a PRR RS11, there are not even doors on the engineer’s side of the short hood, as can be seen above.


Completed 12-26-17

At truly the last minute I decided to remove the flywheels. The shells were completed with glass, crew and electronics. The decoders and capacitor banks (Keep Alive etc) take care of the momentum now. You could see and watch the flywheels were not completely balanced making it worse and cause vibration. I have turned the motor to high and drum sanded the flywheels to better balance them.  Removal was not an easy task. I had to get medieval chopping them off with a Dremel cutting disc, my milling machine and the NWSL gear/wheel puller.


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These locos turned out to be 1 of the most annoying “nothing went right” projects in a very long time. I test run everything before painting. They both ran fine. 8617 fried the decoder. A Miniatronics 4 pin plug shorted for the first time ever in 20+ years of using them, making the decoder burn out and fail. Finding the shorted plug was very frustrating. Further I was hitting my attention span wall so close to completion.


So… 8635 was completed and got photos taken first.


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8617 was completed 12-26-17 after a new decoder was bought.


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Brothers From another Mother

Posed with my GP7. It is very similar in size to the RS11


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Updated 2-25-18

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