Locating Locomotives for Layout

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Agatheron, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Sorry for the alliteration and more newbie questions, but here's a few things that I've been pondering. As I've mentioned before, I'm looking at doing a layout based on the CN/Via rail prototype in Southern Ontario. There's a lot of industry potential (automotive, concrete, plus others). I'm wondering what locomotives to buy. I've recently acquired a new Kato Via P42DC locomotive, as I mentioned in another thread. I may have an SD40-2 at some point soon... actual track and such will have to wait a while.

    Anyway, in terms of mainline locomotives, I've seen CN SD75s in consists with two other SD40-2s. There's been one or two Dash-9s as well. In the local yards, I snapped a bunch of pics of the locomotives being used as switchers:

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  2. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    The above pic is a GP9 located at the Talbotville Yard near St. Thomas Ontario (southwest of London). It is beside Ford's St. Thomas Assembly Plant and is one of apparently several locomotives used for moving cars in and out of the plant. Full parts cars are brought in, and full auto-racks brought out.

    I caught a pic of a pair of GP9s moving some empty parts cars out of the yard and presumably to a place to be picked up and taken to pick up more parts. Assuming I understand the industry right...

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  3. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Finally, I noticed this solitary GP9 waiting patiently in the railyard in London proper. Some 20-30 km from where the above pics were taken.

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  4. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Now after all these pics of the prototype, I know that the GP9 is not a common model. Granted, there isn't really even a CN marked switcher locomotive that is readily available in N Scale. I am thinking that perhaps to model things accurately, I would try to locate some GP9 locos and try to paint/detail them to these appropriate CN markings.

    Any suggestions?
  5. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    Life Like is bringing these exact models out later this year, you are in luck! I think they are doing them in the CN noodle, strips and one other scheme. If you don't want to wait, you could get a Life Like GP20, they look almost like the chop nose GP9's, and try painting that. Here is a picture of one I did for CP. The area above the cab is different on CP GP9's, so you wouldn't have to put the piece of styrene on it like I did. Hopw this helps.


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  6. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    When's the expected release date on these ones? This is very cool...

    How to the Life Like locos run? I've been told to stick with Kato and Atlas... However, if one needs a GP9 on their layout...

    Since I'm new to model railroading, but not new to modelling, chopping and painting a model isn't daunting... but I wouldn't mind being directed to the best techniques. I paint miniatures usually with water-based acrylics and brushes... No experience with an airbrush yet.

    While I may not need to do it with the GP9 in light of the Life-Likes... I may have no choice when looking for a Dash 9...
  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi Agatheron!
    I believe the new LL releases mentioned above are part of their continuing "Proto" series...theese are high-quality models, & excellent runners!
    You may want to avoid older LL locomotives...the quality of their models has drasticaly improved over the last 5 years or so.
  8. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    I would stay away from the older Life Like for sure, but the new GP9 has a split metal frame and runs, so far, just like the NEW Atlas and Kato locomotives. It will be difficult to put a decoder in them, but for now, I just run them on address '00' on my Digitrax system. I also got these from Model Expo for $19.99, so if they don't last too long, I don't mind! They will still look good sitting in the yard.

  9. davidmbedard

    davidmbedard Member

    I could build you one. I think. I model CP but perhaps I could inspire you to kitbash your own locos rather that wait for companies to bring them out. Here is a few pics of my work
  10. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member


    I have experience in painting miniatures for wargames... Warhammer if you've heard of it. Painting up a locomotive doesn't frighten me at all, and I was wondering what special steps need to be taken when actually painting up locomotives for ones own layout.

    I know that going after undecorated models is perhaps the best bet, plus developing a very close relationship with Microscale decals is the best way? I am not as experienced with using Decals at the moment to really make them work... My own experience with painting is water-based acrylics usually over a primed base-coat (usually black)...
  11. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Member

    Life-Like is putting out the GP9RM soon enough and I'm getting one for sure. You better reserve one because they're only making less than 300 of each. You can see them all herehttp://www.wig-wag-trains.com/L-L%20Pages/Life-Like-Canada-GP-9-Product-Page.htm

    They're making #7074, which is a sister of 7072 ( the one in the 3rd pic) but it has the older one-stripe scheme instead of the older noodle scheme 7072 has. It's basically the same except it has a single stripe right behind the cab on the long hood.
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I just looked at the Trackside Guide and the GP9RM seems to be CN's biggest class -207 of them - and also the second largest class at Macmillan yard in Toronto. You'll need some SD75I and maybe a GP40.
    Your own observations are probably best. Most of the SD40 are based out west, but they seem to get around.
    Do you have access to a Trackside Guide? Best reference work for Canadian modelling. (Did I tell you that yesterday?)
    Your biggest problem will be modelling the VIA trains -- but you should be able to model Amtrak's International right off the shelf.
  13. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    My Trackside guide is sitting right in front of me. In addition to the pics I've posted above, I've been checking off the road numbers of every locomotive I've seen since I bought the trackside guide a week and a half ago. VERY useful for figuring out what locomotives I'm looking at, and therefore what should be on the layout.

    Here's the count so far for the London and St. Thomas area:

    GP9RM: 4 units: 4117, 4140, 4143, and 7072
    SD40-2: 1 unit: 5373
    SD-70I: 1 unit: 5616
    SD-75I: 2 units: 5748, 5739
    Dash 9-44CWL: 1 unit: 2523

    From this, perhaps I need to look into SD-70/75s... but I've not even seen the 75 advertized as a built locomotive. Advice?

    As far as Via trains are concerned, I already have the P42DC locomotive. I figure that I'll acquire some unmarked Budd corrugated steel cars and put some Microscale decals on them. The Renaissance Cars are not likely to be manufactured as no other rail company uses anything like them.

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