Friday, January 27, 2023

Modeling the Dudley #2

Window pier panel 

Using the jig to set the inset depth of the replacement windows and panels described in the last post, seven New England Rail Service #200 Pullman paired windows and one #201 24" window were installed on each car side. Styrene window mullions and solid baggage room panels complete the window pier panels.

The baggage room doors are pressed into place for a final fit check but will remain as separate parts until the door windows are cut out, rivet detail added and for ease of primmer and painting. 

Fish plating and rivet decals added according to prototype.

Because one vestibule has been removed from the Branchline Pullman core the roof will need to be shortened as seen in the below photo. A narrow clerestory resin roof from Tom Madden lacking any venting or ducting detail will be used as a starting point.

 Completing the roof will be the next step in the build.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Modeling the Dudley

Body/chassis core

The body/chassis core and assorted parts from a Branchline Pullman kit will be the starting platform for modeling this car, these parts are also available from Bethlehem Car Works. 

The Dudley only had a vestibule on one end of the car, removing one vestibule from the core is the first step. Later in the build a replacement car end will be attached where the vestibule was resulting in the correct 74' 6" length over over the body end sills.

The core with one vestibule removed below.

Car sides

To model the correct window/door plan of the Dudley above, the entire center section with windows between the belt rail, letter board and end sills of the donor sides must be removed and replaced with new windows, filler panels and a baggage door in the prototypical configuration.

The remaining vestibule door was also removed completely separating the top and bottom panels of the sides. The door set aside to be reinstalled after the replacement windows, baggage door and filler panels are permanently in place. 

For ease of workability while still a separate piece, the vertical rivet detail and fishplates below the beltline has been removed and sanded smooth.

The best way found with hand tools to assure true and parallel surfaces to mount the replacement windows and filler panels between the separated top letterboard and lower side pieces is to lightly fine file the mounting surfaces until these pieces measure consistently in height within .005" end to end. 

Care must be taken not to remove to much material so when reassembled with the replacement parts the side height dimension remains the same as an unmodified kit side.  

Again for workability it will be easiest to the cut the opening for the baggage doors while side pieces are still individual parts.

The prototype baggage doors below are a simple design and are easily modeled but must be scratch built

There are several things that are unknown about the prototype because of lack of photo verification, specially after the New Haven café-coach conversion being modeled. One example is the baggage door on what became the kitchen side of the car.

Below is the plan of the once baggage room after the café-coach conversion, the 4' baggage doors originally were directly opposite each other. Sinks and other equipment are now placed flat against the interior wall of the car where the baggage pocket door was on this one side, conjecture would be that this door was removed and a flat exterior panel replaced it but no photo proof has surfaced to date.

Speculating that the kitchen side door was replaced with a plain panel, one door was modeled as originally built and the other with a flat panel.

To locate the baggage door an unmodified car side was snapped tightly into the core receiving holes using the side locating pins designed into the kit pointed out below, then the separated side pieces snapped into the opposite side of the core. This will hold the sides and core horizontally parallel for marking the vertical edges of the door.

The prototype dimension of 10' 4" from the car end to the door edge closest to the end was marked on the lower side piece, from that point the actual width of the modeled door was added and a second mark made on the lower side piece outlining the material to be removed. These measurements were vertically projected to the top side piece with a machinists square. The actual height of the modeled door was marked on top piece between the vertical measurements.

After separating the side pieces from the core removing the material on the bottom piece is a simple scribe and snap procedure. The top is more tedious, the top edge of the door was deeply scribed and verticals lines completely cut thru to the top line before snapping off at the top line.


Before installing the replacement windows and filler panels a way to locate a consistent inset depth of these these parts in relation to the outside surface of the car side is necessary. 

A quick temporary jig to achieve this step utilized an aluminum block on hand and some styrene pieces. To function this jig will need to be sandwiched tightly between both cars sides while they are snapped in place onto the core as mentioned before. 

To widen the aluminum block being used to a total measurement equal to the exact inside width between the kits car sides, two appropriate sized styrene pieces were glued in place to the side opposite the work surface. A third styrene piece to set the proper inset depth of the replacement parts was glued to the work surface of the block.

A styrene floor that will be installed later in the build serves as a temporary surface for the jig to slide back and forth the length of the car as the new windows and filler panels are installed one by one simultaneously pushing them and the car sides firmly against the jig while gluing. That will be the next step in the build.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Dudley & Quincy

Merchants Limited

The elegant New Haven Railroad Merchants Limited  served mostly wealthy businessmen with a matching pair of extra fare and first class only seating passenger trains that ran simultaneously in opposite directions between New York City and Boston, leaving their respective terminals at 5 PM continually from 1903 until the end of the New Haven Railroad.

Identical headend cars Dudley & Quincy were built for and assigned to the consists of the Merchants Limited from when they were delivered new from Pullman during 1916 thru 1948, the following year being replaced by the arrival of the post war stainless steel consists. 

The above information gleaned from the comprehensive history of the Merchants Limited  that appeared in volume 36 #1 of the SHORELINER magazine published by the New Haven Railroad Historical & Technical Association (

Dudley & Quincy 

Cars Dudley & Quincy were originally configured as baggage-24-chair cars when built to Pullman plan #2915, the only two cars built to this plan. 

A 1920 New Haven Passenger Train Consist List classifies these cars as first car in the consist of the Merchants Limited  of both westbound train #23 and eastbound train #24, the New Haven referring to these cars on the list as composite-baggage-smokers, abbreviation CS. 

Train #23 from the 1920 consist list below.

Said to be the original floor plan below, but dimension over the end sills @ 77' 3 1/2" does not correlate with several later plans @ 74' 6" believed to be accurate. Maybe the length dimension of a vestibule was mistakenly added to the baggage end on this drawing adding to the overall length?  

An early side view of the Quincy.

The Dudley & Quincy were a narrow clearstory design, easily compared below to the wide clearstory cars of the remaining Merchants consist.   

This photo shows the inset baggage car end, opposite end was typical vestibule design, both car ends were curved at the top where end meets roof. 

All three photos above were taken before these cars were air conditioned.

Several reconfigurations thru the years of service

Both the Dudley & Quincy had seating and purpose reconfigurations, equipment additions while assigned to the Merchants Limited during Pullman ownership. Additionally one final reconfiguration under New Haven ownership for general assignments by the roads Dinning Car Department.

Not all reconfigurations are known here.  Relying on a collection of Passenger Consists Lists that has several gaps in years, notable revisions known are listed below.

Originally composite-baggage-24 chair-smokers a 1931 consist list now refers to both cars as a Club car with 42 chairs. No floor plan available. Listing below, note the Merchants Limited  now has new train numbers #26 & #27 that will also remain to the end of the New haven.

 The 1934 lists both cars as remaining Club (42 Ch) but an ice air condition system has been installed.

Pullman duct layout for plan 2915 G dated 1934 after air conditioning installation. Also note that a buffet now replaces the women's toilet, in the baggage room various lockers and an ice cooled refrigerator with roof fill hatch have been added.

Still listed as a Club car in 1937 but list now indicates a seating capacity reduction to 38 chair, no floor plan. Dudley & Quincy will remained listed as Club 38C on the Merchants Limited  until being replaced by the stainless steel cars delivered in 1948.

Below is the final 1942 Pullman floor plan 2915 H with seating for 38.   

Note the 74' 6" over end sill dimension believed to be correct.

Photo of the Dudley @ Boston 1946. 

Dudley & Quincy under New Haven ownership

After being replaced on the Merchants Limited by the stainless steel post war cars of 1948, Dudley & Quincy now under New Haven ownership were listed as "spares" during 1949.

The 1950 Passenger Train Consists list shows both cars as being "Withdrawn from Service". This status continued thru 1951, possibly this is when these cars were being converted into Café-Coaches at the New Haven Readville MA. shops. 

Dudley & Quincy are no longer listed with the parlor cars, now listed in the 1952 Passenger Train Consists with dining cars having been reconfigured into Café-Coach cars.

This is the 48 seat Café-Coach floor plan and final plan for these cars, 24 coach seats, two tables with 8 individual seats and 16 booth seats. The former baggage room now has a fully electric kitchen installed, the ice refrigerator remains although unclear if it is still cooled with ice and some additional lockers have been installed others repurposed.

Note again the 74' 6" over end sills dimension.

The Dudley

The main focus here going forward will be on the Dudley car number 2093.

The Dudley was assigned to name trains #13 "42nd Street Express" and #28 "Gilt Edge" in 1954. The following years of 55, 56 the Dudley is again listed as a "spare".

The consist list from 1957 shows Dudley assigned to NYC-Springfield MA. trains 69-60 and Quincy to Berkshire trains 141-144.

Never before having photographic proof of these Café-Coaches in service on the Berkshire, the following photo taken in 1957 appeared in the SHORELINER magazine volume 43 #4. 

Contradictory to the passenger consist assignments above, the Dudley is the 2nd car in the consist entering Danbury on train #144 "The Berkshire". Of special interest is the Dudley's McGinnis new image color scheme, most likely the only existing photo of that scheme on this car.

The magazine photo to small to work with, the photographer of the photo J. W. Swanberg was kind to provide this copy to enlarge.

A desire to have the food service cars used the Berkshire during 1957 for the layout this photo is a real treasure and piqued an interest in modeling this unique car as photographed above, that will begin next.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Modeling State Line Interchange Yard part 6

Make it Green

A covering of Scenic Express 2MM blended color static grass has been applied to the remainder of the State Line yard, this is the basic "make it green" layer put down first before finishing up later with taller grasses, bushes and trees.

The static grasses used for this below come in pre-blended colors, the Dard Green (center) is mostly used but further randomly blended in a separate container or the applicator cup with Late Summer and Forest Green in various locations within the scene for color variety.

Applied to brushed on full strength Elmer's School Glue, this material goes a long way.  

 Looking to the west end of the yard. 

Looking to the east end of the yard.

Next job is to make background trees, a lot of trees, that will take awhile!

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Modeling State Line Interchange Yard part 5

Modeling the Turntable

Using a Walthers turntable as a starting point to model the prototype at State Line will not result in anything more than a reasonable stand-in after the conversion is completed, but personally acceptable.

The first step in the conversion is the remove all the detail except the top deck in preparation to add the sides from a Walthers girder bridge. As the prototype, these sides will have to be notched on both ends to clear the slope of the turntable pit before attaching them to the turntable, see below.

Below the bridge girders have been attached to the sides of the turntable and the Walthers operators shed has been resided with styrene to better resemble the prototype.

This is the completed turntable after painting. A power arch has been added with modified Central Valley bridge girders using the same assembly procedure when building the Danbury turntable. Weathering will be applied in the future. 

Before permanently installing the turntable pit into the layout surface, Sculptamold finishes shaping the land forms glued in place previously.     

Then a basic earth color blends all together.

After the turntable pit and the lead track were installed, a dirt texture was glued to the pit surface and some basic weathering to the ring walls.

With ballast to the surrounding areas of the turntable pit and the lead track affixed, some additional textures are added and rock surfaces are colored with PanPastels.

A first layer of short multi-colored static grass to the general area and turntable pit completes the scene for the time being. 

Some photos of the scene with turntable in place.

Next project will be extending the same basic short static grass and rock coloring from the turntable to the opposite end of the yard, that should go quickly.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Modeling State Line Interchange Yard part 4

 Turntable Pit

In an effort to make the turntable pit more like the prototype, two sections of the ring wall have been removed leaving only the sections that support the lead track and radial tracks.

Additionally, some land forms have been added although these are guesstimated from the few photos available and to fit into the space allotted.


Next, the turntable will be modified to more resemble the prototype.  

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Modeling State Line Interchange Yard part 3

Engine Service facilities at State Line

The original turntable at State Line is thought to be of the "gallows" type similar to others on the Housatonic Railroad in the later 1800's. The turntable below was located at New Milford CT on the line, the one at State Line is thought to be similar but no photo of it is known to exist.

 A portion of a May 1917 New Haven Railroad validation map below indicates the location of this turntable, south of the yard tracks near the station building. This original engine service facility appears to only have had a few service tracks and sheds in conjunction with the turntable.  

The map below is shown upside-down, orientated as one would view the yard from layout operators aisle.

The complete 1917 New Haven Railroad valuation map also indicates a proposed location for a new turntable with engine house on the north side of the yard where there was more space, surely needed by this date to accommodate larger locomotives of the time and a comprehensive indoor service facility. 

Below is the newer State Line turntable with three stall engine house that was in service during 1918, this photo probably dates to shortly after the facility was completed. The turntable appears to be of the "Armstrong" type and part of the ring wall is stacked ties with dirt pit.

There was no coaling facility at State Line. NYNH&H engine service data sheets show coal was shoveled from cars to tender, the coal delivering car possibly spotted on an adjacent raised track.

Very little information for modeling is available about the turntable other that it is shown as 75' in length on engine service data sheets and the information that can be gleaned from the very few photos of the prototype that have surfaced.

Fortunately for modeling, there are a set of plans for the engine house available for purchase from the University of Connecticut Library archives at the Storrs CT. campus.

The photo below is possibly after the end of steam power in January of 1948. Visible changes show that the turntable now rotates by electric power and that there is a concrete ring wall only where the lead track and radial tracks align with the turntable bridge and operators shed. The turntable pit remains dirt and the stacked tie portion of the ring wall is no longer in place.

Modeling the Turntable

Although the turntable and engine house were in use and would still be considered signature structures during the modeled era, when the State Line portion of the layout was designed there was no room for these facilities in the prototype location therefore excluded from the track plan.

Since then an inexpensive used 90' Walthers turntable became available and was purchased. In hopes to enhance layout operation and include these signature structures a decision was made to install the turntable and engine house in a non prototypical location and orientation to fit where possible.

The turntable and engine house will be relocated directly to the south on the opposite side of the yard tracks same side as the original gallows turntable was as indicated below.

Defiantly not a prototype location, but there is room in the far corner of the yard for the turntable and engine house as indicated below.

The floor plan of the engine house with its relation to the turntable was printed in HO scale and placed in the corner of the yard as above. 

The turntable on this printout below has been increased from the 75' of the prototype to the 90' of the Walthers turntable that will be used.

With the hole cut in the base and turntable temporally set in, cork and lead track installed below. 

The orientation of the turntable and engine house is off set to the right about 45 degrees from the lead track, unfortunately that's the only way to fit this desirable facility into this space. 

The challenge next is to convert this Walthers turntable into a reasonable looking stand-in of the State Line prototype.

Cutting up perfectly good models is a personal favorite!