The times, they are a changing….

After I dropped my youngest off at school, I figured that since it was only 92 degrees, I should go down to see what was happening on the old Sunset Route. Uncle Pete Has been busy,  the track is now double tracked east of Hermosilla St (Arizona Grain), and they are just finishing up the ballast.  Uncle Pete is also doing a few things that will make an Espee fan sad, they have pulled out the old signals, and are replacing them with new, 3 light signals.

East of Thornton, it is now triple tracked, and the old cotton gin on Thornton that I wanted to shoot today, well the foundation remains.

Playing with a new track plan….

I have been thinking that I need to design a new plan of Casa Grande. In the plans are Arizona Grain, the oil distribution company, and a cotton mill. I am going  to use the Walthers ADM grain elevator for Arizona Grain, New Jersy Intl. has a oil company, add in a few more tanks of random size, and the cotton mill is going to have to be scratch built. Fortunatly, they look pretty straight forward, with few windows and corigated metal exterior walls. I have yet to see a photo of one while they were served by the SP, but there is one on Thorton between 9th and Main and another in Maricopa.

Now I can get close-enough’s or easy scratchbuilds, but the 1939 art deco station is going to be difficult to scratch build. The prototype burnt down 2 years ago, and while there are a few good photos, the Borg even tore out the foundation. One option would be to use the Model Railroad Way-Back Machine. in 1939, the orrigional Southern Pacific depot that was built arround 1880, was simular to the SP Type 22, and American Model Builders has one in N Scale…oh the choices…


d’oh!!!! I forgot the camera….

So today, as I do EVERY night I work, I drove past the Arizona Railway Museum, but today, I saw white diesel smoke coming out of the yard. I pulled into their lot, ran in to hear the distinctive burble of a Baldwin diesel. I was offered the chance to climb up into the cab, and of course I took the chance, after about 15 minutes of enjoying the cab ride, I was informed that it was my turn next…scratch one off the list, I got to move Magma Arizona Railroad Baldwin DRS-6-6-1500 back and forth for about 5 minutes, it amazes me how easy it really is to operate a diesel locomotive in a yard in a controlled environment. Being in a working yard, or on the mainline would be a different experiance…I was a little kid again, even for just 5 minutes.

Red Wings!!!

Right before Christmas, the LHS got the SP Bloody Nose Red Wing decals in, went down, picked them up, and I got the nose light from Trevor D in Quebec, got sick, worked too many hours….Today, the wife went to the gym, the two young ones fell asleep, out came the decals, superglue, SP Scarlet paint….now for the not so fun news…BLMA does not make a P3 horn. Craig Martyn, if you read this blog, i will let you use my U30C as a test model for your new P3 if you ever make one.  

my first atempt at detailing a loco in a decade or two…

Well, as a kid, I did some stupid things to some good equipment. I even went so far as to “weather” a Kato U30C and an Atlas U25B with Testers paint. I have discovered that the ideas of a teenager are not always the best, and some can be fixed. Testers thinner will remove their paint, as well as the Kato factory lettering and the wings on a bloody nose U30C.

Flash forward to November, 2010. I was asking on the Atlas forum ( if anyone had parts to fix a messed up Kato U30C since Kato made these parts obsolete (only to find out that they are re-running the U30C next year and parts will flood back in).  Clint Giustra  came to my U30C’s rescue by shipping me a damaged truck, for free, with the right parts to fix mine!

Less than a week later, some old molds from N Scale of Nevada popped up on EBay, and I started to ask if anyone had left over detail parts from the NSN Southern Pacific U33C kit. I figured it was a long shot, but there had to be some Eastern road modeler who bought this kit just for the shell….and I was right. Clint had done such to make a model of a Delaware and Hudson U33C, and the next thing I knew, not only did I have the truck, I also had the needed parts….

I painted and detailed my once broken U30C today, and I learned that i lost the P3 horn that Kato built somewhere in a few moves in the last two decades. BLMA will be getting an order for my missing horn and Microscale will be also getting an order for the disappearing wings (for some reason, the nose and tail paint survived my cleaning). I gave up on the idea of adding in a GE nose light, until I get more comfortable on cutting into a nose. When new, Kato numbered this unit as 7913, a real SP number, but a Phase II unit. The SP had 7 Phase III units, like the Kato model, so due to these numbers being able to be put onto the model by only using 2 decals, Microscale made the choice of road number for me. Ironically, the number 7913 was on the decal sheet….