S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Model Railroad Continuation Page 3 keywords = model rail train Z HO scale Ztrack Western Fruit Express WFEX Great Northern GN Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR Berlinerwerke Vest Pocket Long Island Degnon Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal BEDT Marion River Carry Adirondack

Updated:   19 Jan 2014, 14:40 ET
{many missing images restored 21 Jun 2008/19 Jan 2014 - see Problem}
[Page converted 19 Jan 2014/21 Jun 2008
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/mrr3.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/mrr3.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Continuation Page 3

Continuation of SB,III's MODEL RAILROADING Page

NOTE:  It appeared that my pages were limited by AT&T, without warning, to 30kB!  Thus, I was forced to add this continuation page and separate pages to fit the lengthy Berlinerwerke saga in HO and Z scales.


On the first page:

  Sunrise Trail Division (STD) of the
      Northeastern Region (NER) of the
      National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)
  Long Island - Sunrise Trail Chapter (LIST) of the
      National Railway Historical Society (NRHS)
  Long Island Live Steamers

On the preceding (2nd) page:

    Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model

  Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad
      (now on its own page)
  Degnon Terminal Railroad, plus     Murrer's Sidings
    Kearney Sidings,
  Marion River Carry Railroad       (now on its own page)

On this page:

  REALLY HEAVY Electrics - (moved from
      Main MRR Page - 18 Oct 99)
  Model Railroad Miscellany -
      (including material moved from Main MRR Page - 18 Oct 99).
      and including:
  A and B vs. F (and 1 and 2) Ends.
  PRR/Wrong Island #007 Cabin Car.   Garden Railway Scales - moved to Scale Conversion page 04 Jan 2002)
  Making a Stacker from a Front End Loader
  Berlinerwerke-ALCo RSD-1m
  Model Railroading HELP!

On MRR Continuation Page 4:

  Railroad Grades
  Model Railroad Photography
  More Model Railroad Miscellany, with
      Hobbytown of Boston (Bear Locomotive Co.).

On MRR Continuation Page 5:

    Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model - continued
  Atlas Terminal RR

On MRR Continuation Page 6:

    Life-Like ALCo DL-109.

On MRR Continuation Page 7:

  Oyster Bay Marine Turntable
      (moved from RR Page 3 and greatly amplified 07 Jun 2004).   HOMABED® Roadbed.

On the Great Northern/Western Fruit Express Page:

  Great Northern/Western Fruit Express Reefers
      (moved to MRR page 4 from the main page 07 May 2001
      and to this page 10 Nov 2004).

See also the new Rail-Auto Page, with "critters" you can model.

On Z-Scale pages:

  Z-Scale Narrow Gauge (really)
  Scale and Gauge
  Scale Conversion Table
  Ztrack Magazine
  Z-Scale Miscellany
  Z-Scale Wiring Conventions
  Z-Scale Vehicles and Märklin Rubber Autos
  and much more on Page 2 and noted below.
  Z-Scale Page 3 with
    Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains and even 1:900 Tiniest Trains!

On the LIRR Continuation Page 3:
  Victorian Stations Still Standing on the LIRR
    (with dimensions)

On separate pages:

  S. Berliner, III's Pennsylvania Railroad Page
    and PRR Modeling (Penn Line/Cary/Bowser)
  Berlinerwerke Saga (HO, included with Horseshoe Curve info.)
  Horseshoe Curve Cont. Page 3:
  Dimensions of the Horseshoe Curve -
      a mile-by-mile and even foot-by-foot guide to the Curve - and
  Dimensions in N (1:160) and Z (1:220) scales -
  Horseshoe Curve Cont. Page 4, with satellite photo and description.
  Berlinerwerke-Z Saga (Z-Scale) and ff.
  Berlinerwerke Apocrypha (tall tales of the BW and its equipment and such>
  Berlinerwerke Guest Apocrypha (taller tales?)
  ALCo (American Locomotive Co.).
  EMD - Electro-Motive Division of GM - models, etc.,
    including the fabled BW DDP45 and other EMD engines
    EMD may never have dreamed of!
  HOW TO BOOT A STEAM LOCOMOTIVE or How to hostle without really tiring -
      (Firing up a cold oil burner - in 1:1 scale).
  Schnable and other Giant RR Cars, et seq..
  The Whyte System of Classification (4-4-0, 4-6-2, B-B, etc.).

Visit the courtesy and official home pages listed on the main MRR page.

You may also wish to jump to SB,III's RAILROAD Page

MODEL RAILROADING - 3 (continuation)


In a fit of madness one day, I picked up a brand-new brass GN W1 at a bargain price to modify it for a free-lance fake-Pennsy version of the UP coal turbine.  Once I had it on the layout (club-size), I found I had to remove the steps to get it around even the broadest curves (~46"!) and then didn't have the heart to chop it up.

Brass just don't get no respect from me, do it?

In case you don't know the W1 (NOT W-2 as previously noted here), look it up.  It's a giant GE B-D+D-B (4-8+8-4 to steam types) with all axles powered!

Here's the HO KMT model (sans cab steps and a bit damaged - but whadda monster!): GN W2 HO
Photo by SB,III (restored 19 Jan 2014)
[Photo by and © 2000 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

Another monster you should know is the Pennsy's super-gigantic 1917 FF1 "Big Liz", a jack-shaft, side-rod 1-C+C-1 (2-6+6-2) which I describe on my BOXCABS page.  If you go there, you'll also find reference to OSL biggies which went to Chicago inter/suburban service.

Just the Pennsy and GN, alone, had so many huge juice-jackers as to stagger the imagination.

And all this from a dedicated steam and oil-electric (diesel) nut!  Of course we also won't mention my LIRR DD1 pair which, bracketing, and powered by, a pair of ALCo PB-1s without traction motors, form my legendary (read mythical) non-third-rail, non-catenary, PRR DD3, will we?  This latter has been written up and published (what gall!) and now appears on the Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page.

Also, for Pennsy fans with good imaginations (or strong stomachs), ya gotta see the rest of my Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page!

Serious Pennsy modelers should see my PRR page.


Speaking of good imaginations and strong stomachs, here's a look at the Berlinerwerke's DDP45:

  For more about her and her family, see my EMD page.

For excellent line drawings from which to make your own kit-botching projects, visit Joshua Moldover's outstanding Railroad Paint Shop.

Here's a monster for you!  It's a huge German WWII 80cm (31½") railroad gun, sitting on 40 axles and used only against Sebastopol in a 13-day action in which 48 shells were fired.  It required a train of some 25 cars and 2,000 men for support and two curved tracks to emplace (it took up to 6 weeks) and train!

Dora RR 80cm Gun Model
Commercial HO-Scale Model by Bodo Hockeborn, Germany

For more technical information about the gun, see my ordnance page.

When I was a pup, Mantua made a great die-cast General, that famous Western & Atlantic 4-4-0 that was the hero of the "Great Locomotive Chase"; I never got one, even though it looked great, because it had tender drive (and because later ones were plastic) but, on 16 Sep 00, at a meet of the Sunrise Trail Division (NER, NMRA), I found one at such a bargain price that I couldn't resist it (only the headlight was plastic).  I took her home (along with a Cary-bodied PRR K2 Pacific) but she balked.  She just wouldn't budge without an awful lot of fiddling so I took her apart, immediately lost two of the four tender screws, oiled around, stripped and reconnected the frayed tender lead wire to the engine frame (the motor is in the tender), finally found the two screws stuck to the motor magnet, reassembled her, and she runs like a dream!  Far better than I ever remember when they were new on the market (which is why I never had one before).  Here she is:

Mantua General 2

I put a string of re-axled "John Bull" cars behind her (they're really far too old and low but didn't look half bad) and she walked off at speed with them without any appreciable amperage increase:

Mantua General 1
(18 Sep 00 General photos by and © 2000 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The Cary-bodied PRR/LIRR K2 (on a Penn Line or Bowser K4 chassis and which had to be some 20 years old) ran like the proverbial well-oiled watch, just as found; I can see it double-headed ahead of my big K5 or behind the Z6s Arctic 4-2-2 some day!

Man, some days you hit it just right.

A and B vs. F Ends
(and 1 and 2 Ends).

Because a lot of railfans and modelers have no idea what the small letters "A", "B", and "F", stenciled on the far ends of the sides of locomotives and cars represent, I'm repeating it here (it's on the RR page).  Taking them in reverse order, "F", logically enough, means the "FRONT" end, the end facing the normal or preferred direction of travel.  "B" designates, again logically enough, the end with the "BRAKE" wheel or staff, leaving the "A" end to be the end away from the brake wheel or staff.  Simple enough?

BUT, what about locos labelled "1" and "2" at the ends?  As far as I can tell, "1" = "F", and "2" must therefore be the other end (clever, eh?).

Who remembers the WWII-era StromBecKer line of railroad (and airplane) models?

If you are on Long Island or in the area and have never seen with your own eyes a PRR Kiesel tender body separated from its frame, now is the time to visit LIRR G5 4-6-0 #35, where just that has happened preparatory to moving the engine and tender to a new site in Oyster Bay.  Of course, you could look at the engine also, with its cab on the ground, boiler off the frame, and the smokebox front off.

Bernie Ente is a gold mine of prototype RR info; he sent me this gem from Eastern Rail News:  The Snow-Jet went out of control while blowing out the west departure yard of BRC's Barr Yard (whoever they are and wherever that is), running into the side of CN T347 which was doubled up trying to leave.  The Snow-Jet was estimated to be moving 70mph at the time of impact sending it's two operators to the hospital and derailing the car that was hit.  Now, wouldn't that make a nice scene to model?  It reminds me of the time a Mechanical Mule hit a van during an Ordnance test I was running at Aberdeen Proving Ground, q.v.

Kids N-scale Layout

Here's the N-scale "layout" (if one can call it that) I made for my kids some 30 years ago (so they'd leave my HO one alone); it remains virtually unchanged except that their papier-maché mountains and tunnels are long gone and the grand-children now can play with it.  That's an original (first issue) Arnold Rapido FM* switcher on the far right (one that my father got from Charlie Merzbach, the first to bring in true N-scale, as opposed to Treble-O-Lectric OOO-scale, personally) and the original Christmas gift card in the front right!

* -One little problem, as David Helber kindly pointed out on 26 Oct 2003, that's NOT "an original (first issue) Arnold Rapido FM switcher; it is actually a Baldwin, "(not that it looks much like either with its bloated hood, but that's what Arnold Rapido called it, and what the details most resemble)".  "Minitrix later made a long-in-production FM switcher".  Thanks, David.

Let's hear it for Homasote!  I swear by it, having used many sheets in my long "career" as an HO, N, and (now) Z modeler.  Some swear AT at it, claiming it moves with humidity changes, but I've found that well-supported Homasote does just fine and holds track nails/spikes and paint fantastically well.  It's easy to cut, the dust can be recycled for scenery (or for patching unwanted holes in old panels), and it's easy to bend and twist when you want to.  On the HO layout, which stretches some 40', the Homasote sits on heavily-braced 3/4" plywood; on the N and Z, it sits directly on closely-spaced framing and has never sagged, even in extreme humidity (as in a flooded cellar!).  The Homasote Company claims expansion at 50%-90% relative humidity (max.) is only 0.25%, but it takes a really long time for that stuff to soak up moisture; hot, soapy water once rained down on my HO layout from a broken dishwasher above (as did hot fat from a stove accident) and, while a lot of stuff got ruined, the Homasote bore up well.  Try it, you'll LIIIIKE IT!

BIG NEWS! - Homasote roadbed is now available in Z-scale (1:220)!  HomaBed, of Richmond, California, announced it late in 1999.

Re the Proto 2000 PA-1 model from Life-Like reviewed by Jeff Wilson on pp. 32-36 and the Life-Like ad on page 126 of the Feb. 98 MODEL RAILROADER, no, DAMN IT!, the "difficult shapes" of the "cab roof" are NOT right!  How Life-Like could screw up so badly is beyond me.  The cab roof slopes down far too much to the front.  You can easily spot it by looking at the height of the upper front corners of the side windows against the upper outer corners of the windshield.  On the model, the tops of the windshields are barely above the side windows.  On the prototype, the tops of the side windows are nearly half way down from the top of the windshields.  It's a great model and it looks good, but it's not right.  To PA fanatics, it's 'way off.  It lacks the "lean and hungry" look; it's more "mean and angry".

For weird prototypes to model, it's hard to beat Don Ross's "Critter" (more photos):

Palmer Critter
Palmer Sand & Gravel Co. - Don Ross photo

Take your tongue out of your cheek and visit D. Dickens' The Patiala State Monorail Tramway site; whooie (and it's for real)!  Nothing, but NOTHING can top this actual prototype predecessor of such as the old NMRA "Burdick Nightmare" 0-2-0!

To ease the strain of imagineering these prototypical idiocies, I have created yet another page, the Rail-Auto Page, with "critters" you can model.

Incidentally, I also wrote an article about the bobber caboose (hack or cabin car) that was shown later with the PRR/WI Z6s 4-2-2 Arctic but it really belongs to another similar engine yet abornin', a freight engine (the Z6s is a passenger engine); that kind of detail never stops me and, the article was appallingly bad, so here is Wrong Island hack #007:

WI #007 Hack WI #007 underside
[Photos courtesy of Berlinerwerke
(remember, I used the Wrong Island name long before there even was such a club!)]

If it looks suspiciously like a Mantua bobber, but not quite, that's understandable.
So there's no place for the crewman's feet in the cupola; whaddya want from the Wrong Island?

Serious Pennsy modelers should see my PRR page.

'Way back, when the Berlinerwerke was just starting, I took a Lesney Matchbox VW Microbus (one of the few Matchboxes actually in HO scale) and grafted in a Marx slot car chassis with brass HO RR wheels with phosphor bronze wipers, and ended up with a 250mph VW railcar!  She's now some 35 years old and still runs like a well-oiled (albeit noisy) watch:

VW Bus Railcar VW Bus Railcar underside
[Photos courtesy of Berlinerwerke]

  On the B&O-C&O section of my Railroad Continuation Page, I mention my old B&O EM-1 2-8-8-4 Yellowstone, the most beautiful articulated ever built, in my biased view, and I'm not even a B&O nut.  When Lee's Hobby Shop burned out in East Meadow (LI), ca. 1970?, I paid $75 for it, an original-series Akane!  The box had smoke damage, which wiped off cleanly; the loco was perfect.  It even survived a nose-dive to the floor ca. 1966!  It truly wasn't even my doing - a young girl visiting had her bathrobe sleeve overlapping the main and the engine dove into the sleeve; when she (the girl) recoiled in horror, down went the EM-1, on its pilot!  Once, in a fit of madness, I sold that unique tender, since I run the loco with a Pennsy 16-wheel long-haul; has anyone got a tender to spare?  That lokey has been used so much that the tires are no longer round but polygonal, with a flat spot corresponding to each tooth on the drive gears, and I still haven't gotten around to painting it!

{picture to follow - see proto shot at B&O-C&O section or RR2 page}

Garden Railway Scales - (moved to Model RR Scale Conversion page 04 Jan 2002).

I wanted a stacker (or whatever it's called) to carry heavy pipes or logs or rails around the Berlinerwerke.  On the HO BW, I simply took a duplicate Matchbox Nº 43 "Aveling Barford Tractor Shovel" (read "Front End Loader") and sliced away the center and end sections, leaving the hydraulic cylinders and the arms intact and what sure looks convincingly like the grabber claws (for more accurate detail, you'd have to fake a hinge joint in the middle of each claw and add hydraulic cylinders to open and close them):

Matchbox #43-cum-stacker
[Photo by SB,III, 02 Feb 00, © 2000 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

Note that I put a heavy tube brace across the main joint (you can just make out the screw head) and a thinner one at where the claw joint would be.

Hey, it even comes with an operator!  Now, I'm going to do the same thing with an old Adam Scull front end loader (now made by someone else) in Z-scale (1:220); get out the microscope!

The Famed Berlinerwerke-ALCo RSD-1m

I am enamored of the ALCo RS-1 and even more so of the six-axle versions but hate the rounded, sissified RS-2/3 and RSD-4/5 models.  Now, at long last, as noted on my ALCo page, the Berlinerwerke has uncovered an old, long-forgotten project; it has "rediscovered" the BW-ALCo RSD-1.  At the Greenberg show in Stony Brook, Long Island on 24 Mar 01, I casually asked custom painter (and dealer) Dave Harrison of Dave's Custom Trains & Supplies (631-581-9232) if he had, or could get, an old Atlas RSD-4/5 and was amazed to hear that he'd just acquired and sold off a whole case; nothing daunted, I asked if he could find another one and he did, so, on 07 Apr 01, I became the proud possesor of an Atlas #8493 unnumbered CNJ RSD-4/5!

I had asked Atlas if I could graft the three-axle trucks from an RSD-4/5 into my RS-1 but they said no; now I know why - the RSD-4/5 is about a foot longer than the RS-1.  Also, the RS-1 is made by Kato in Japan and the RSD-4/5 in China, so direct swapping is not easy.  Here they are for comparison:

(Photos 08 Apr 2001 by and © Copyright 2001 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The Berlinerwerke is working on this a bit and magically will "discover" another oldie in it's attic; this is what the RSD-1m, built by the Berlinerwerke in conjunction with ALCo, may well look like when the BW "finds" it:

{This aberration was perpetrated by the Berlinerwerke Art Dept.;
(Photo by and © Copyright 2001 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
{Missing image restored 21 Jun 08}}

A note on six-axle RS nomenclature - I had started out calling this an RSC-1 but it turns out that ALCO, illogically, calls the A-1-A versions the RSC-series and the C versions the RSD-series.  The BW has to have six traction motors, one on each axle (Berliner himself decrees it!) and there already was an RSD-1..  There's a good reason for the two; the A-1-A truck has equally spaced axles because it only has traction motors on the end axles, facing inward, whereas the C truck has one axle far away from the center axle because there are motors on all three axles and the greater spacing accomodates two motors back to back - RSC = A1A = 0o-0-o0 vs. RSD = C = 0o-0o-o0 (got it? - there'll be a test!).   rev.gif (21 Jun 2008)

Speaking of ALCo, how about this fantastic Jun 79 "David and Goliath" shot [by Tim Darnell ("TAD")] of LIRR GE 25-tonner #398 towing dead FA-2m #600 (probably in the Morris Park yard) - unless, of course, the FA is pushing the GE:

(cropped and enhanced by SB,III from 6/79 photo by "TAD", courtesy of A. Inserra, - all rights reserved)
{"TAD" turns out to be Tim Darnell - thanks to Mark Laundry}

This is from Andy Inserra's Alcos in the USA and Canada and Beyond site!  This teen covers a lot of ground!  It goes to show you, as always, that truth is 1,000% strnager than fiction, that there exists a RR prototype for any object or practice your feeble or fevered imagination can invent!

Model Railroading HELP!

Will the person who asked me about LIRR Budd M-1/M-3 cars please e-mail me again?

Does anyone know who made those HO traffic cones?  Are they still available?

Who has a tender for my HO B&O EM-1 Yellowstone (see above)?

0 There is an incredible simulation program by Charlie Dockstadter on steam valve gear available on the Alaska Live Steamers VALVE GEAR ON THE COMPUTER page.

If you like model railroading nonsense (and good tips), take a gander at Jim Wells' incredible

and at the AW NUTS Magazine site, "A Publication of the A.W. N.U.T.S. Garden Railway Society".

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S. Berliner, III

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