Rock Island Model Rosters

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by rockislandmike, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    White Caboose?


    Did you get your caboose yet?

  2. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Andy -

    Not yet (although I'm at work, so don't know what came today).

    The shipment was delayed to add a boxcar, which he had to order.

    My GP18 is also "in the mail" ... I CAN'T WAIT for all these goodies to get here !!!

    But I guess I'll have to (sigh).

    Will let ya know with I get them!

    Meanwhile - I am still modifying the RIL of 1996 map. Deleted and added more "track" last nite. Hope to finish and "publish" it by Sunday night.

    Something to do while I wait!

    - George

    - George
  3. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    yeh yeh goodies goodies

    definitely looking forward to a review of the gp18.
  4. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    New video with RI!!!

    Walthers is selling a new videl with RI in it. I am copying and paste the ad here.


    "Classic Twin Cities Railroading 3rd in Fallen Flag Series 52 Minutes
    Walthers Part # 561-2213
    A scale, $19.95, currently in stock at Walthers

    Pentrex takes you back to the golden days of St. Paul/Minneapolis railroading in this, the third in its popular Fallen Flags Series. All the footage in this presentation was shot during Spring of 1970, just after the merger of Burlington Route, Great Northern, and Northern Pacific which formed the Burlington Northern. All the railroads shown here are Fallen Flags: Soo Line; Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern; Chicago & North Western; Burlington Northern; Rock Island; and Milwaukee Road. A wide variety of locomotive types can be seen, including Alco, GE, Baldwin, EMD, a Fairbanks-Morse, a rare Baldwin DT-6-2000 centercab switcher, and an unusual home-built electric switcher. You'll view locomotives painted in predecessor colors (Burlington Route, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and Chicago Great Western) as well as in the paint schemes of the featured roads.

    This nonstop parade of equipment is seen at Shoreham Yard, Glenwood Junction, Westminster Tower, Belt Yard, St. Paul ("Pigs Eye") Yard, Dayton's Bluff Yard, St. Paul Union Depot, Inver Grove, and the now-defunct Koppers Coke Plant with its custom electric switcher. A final highlight is a ride in a dome car on the Morning and Afternoon Zephyrs to experience the sights between the Twin Cities. Color, 52 minutes. "

    Attached Files:

  5. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Stopped by my LHS after work today and "The Train Guy" was working. Found out two important bits of info:

    (1) he's bringing in four (4) P2K GP18 ROCK's. He said he'd keep one in the back for me, but I don't know he'll remember or not. We'll see. He's hoping to sell them for $99CDN. I doubt that, but we'll see.

    (2) Overland is announcing the ALCO C415 in ROCK appointment. Available in solid maroon, red/yellow, and blue. Checking on Jeff's site, there's definitely proof that the first two were real, but he does not show the C415 in the blue scheme. Neither does the Fallen Flag website (which seems to indicate in 1980 that they were all repainted to red/yellow). FYI, the ROCK owned ten of these C415's, road numbers 415-424.

    I am *seriously* considering this as my first brass purchase - $150 deposit, and the unit's not out for a year, so I can easily set aside $100 per month over that time. I've also got some consulting gigs that will probably come about during that time, any of which would pay the $1000CDN (his estimate) asking price. Am I crazy??? Perhaps, but you'd better believe that would be an extraordinary model to have in my stable.

    *ADDED BONUS NOTE* - while I was trouncing through Jeff's, I noticed a GP40 that has a blue/white front, and a red with "ROCK ISLAND" speed lettering long hood. I'm adding that to my list of projects to do (road number 4710, shown on the blue page).
  6. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    The Christmas Option for Mike!

    Hey Mike:

    You know that Christmas is coming very soon!:eek: Maybe the better-half would get you one or maybe 2! :D :D :D I have asked Jessica for somethings. I'll have to waite and see. I would like to get an O gauge Rock Island train set for under the tree this year. HO seems to be small.


    You know Santa makes trains at his work shoppe and they are brass!:D :D :D :D :D
  7. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    In checking BPL Brassworks website, it does not appear this unit will be available in bankruptcy blue, which makes sense.

    7008.1: road numbers 415, 418, 423 - maroon
    7008.2: road numbers 418, 422 - maroon white yellow ends
    7008.3: road numbers 415, 421 - bright red with yellow ends


    ( so I guess I'm a wanting 7008.3 )

    I'm sure she'll be getting me something, Andy, but certainly nothing crazy like that !!!! We usually spend more on each other at b-day's anyways, when there's only one person to buy for.
  8. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    No, the C415 was never in the blue scheme.

    I would get the Red & Yellow scheme for this loco, too, Mike.

    But in plastic.

    Brass sounds nice - but ...

    $743.00 WOW !!!!!!!!!

    The IHC plastic model for $35 is sure cheaper !!!


    I hear on the Atlas forum that there are some problems with the P2K GP18:


    The red color is off (too dark), and fans wrong. I can live with the fans, but I hope they didn't screw up the colors TOO bad...... only one GP18 was ever in MAROON and yellow. For the price, I would expect much better!

    I will give you guys a full report when I get it.

    NOTHING got here today (SIGH).

    I have decided what to do about a blue GP 9 - I'm going to get an undec P2K GP9 and paint it. It will be numbered as right out of the CRP program. It could even be a upgraded GP7, I suppose, as there was little difference externally, especially after modificaiton at Silvas. A color photo in Marre's book of a blue GP7 looks just like my striped maroon P2K GP9 except for the loco color.

    And I know the P2K GP9 is a great model at a reasonable cost
    I begin to doubt if LL will ever do this scheme - and if they do, what will be the cost of THAT model?!! LL P2Ks are good, but they are NOT in the ATLAS MASTER or KATO class, and shouldn't cost as if they were!

    - George
  9. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member


    You guys are all probably in bed, but I just got here.

    Mike, I will pass on anything brass. I would be shot on site if I spent that KIND of money on ONE thing.

    At one time I BADLY WANTED an Overland Brass BN SD70MAC, but now that Kato is coming out with them, I have no more worries. That and coupled (hey I made a funny!) with the fact that Athearn got themselves tooling for creating a whole range of the newer locomotives. I feel that the SD70MAC is not too far off.

    They did have some really nice ROCK cabooses from Overland though.

    Anyhow, I noticed that IHC is releasing an Alco C-415. Is anyone going to get that? The scheme looks pretty accurate for the ROCK. Though, I thought I seen those for a bit cheaper than $32... I am NOT sure if I am going to put down the money or not. My period of modeling might be too new for that, and I need more road diesels than I do switchers.

    I looked at the GP18 high-nose, and from the picture the scheme looks correct. Maybe they over at Atlas do not like P2K, George. I haven't heard anything bad about P2K from anyone, and I do cruise a lot of shows.

    Well gentlemen. It is nice to see you guys posting again. Sorry I could not contribute today.

    Will see ya later.
  10. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Hard to say if there'd be any C415's left in 1996 or thereafter. I'd guess since only 26 were ever made, probably not. Easier to keep locos going (the C415's were made in 1966-68) longer term if there's enough of them out there for spare parts.

    PS, I absolutely *LOVE* my P2K's. I don't have any Kato's or Atlas Master's yet, though. As noted, my next purchase is the Stewart U25B (just as soon as some of my durned relatives send me cash for my b-day).
  11. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Mike -

    The ten RI C415s lasted until shutdown. Some (5) were returned to leasor Railcar, the others were returned to owner UP.

    You might check this site for what happened to the UPs:

    The other major user was SP.

    The RI bunch stayed near the Blue Island area.

    *********DOOR BELL*************

    My GP18 just got here!

    As I heard, the red is too dark - not maroon, but think air oxidation and/or dirt. Most color photos of the RI show a brighter red, even on "working" locos.

    More later after I try it out!

    - George



    Atlas Master and Kato locos beat P2K any day of the week!
    Stewart falls just under P2K. Athearn Genesis equal to or slightly better than P2k.

    The only MRR loco I will pre-order from now on are those in the Atlas Master series - all the others I will wait and see!

    - G
  12. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    I'll have to print out a pic myself from Jeff's site, and compare it to the GP18 b4 I decide whether I want it or not.

    So you're saying, in level of detail/performance:

    1. Atlas Master
    2. Kato
    3. Athearn Genesis
    4. Proto 2000
    5. Stewart
    6. Others (including regular Athearn)

    See, now that's a good list to have !!!!!
  13. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member

    I copied that list! LOL!

    Hey, where does Bachmann Spectrum fit in there? I have seen those perform, and they weren't bad, but I didn't exactly like the level of detail...for instance the handrails.

    I am going to get a couple of the Atlas units. I like the idea that they come with a crew and have snowplows with them. Athearn and Bachmann, you have to purchase the extra detail parts.

    Hmmm, since those C-415s lasted till the end, I may end up getting one afterall. Though the need for road diesels greatly outnumbers the need for switchers. I noticed they have a BN version of that too. Hmmmm.

    I am glad I decided to create my own decals for my ROCK Intermodal fleet. RailGraphics wants way TOO much money for what I wanted!

    Ohh btw guys, I have decided to go into the mailorder business. I am going to try to offer HO and N stuff through the mail and website. Of course, I would give you guys discounts. I just have to fill-out the tax ID information and send it in, with my deposit for the state. I will keep you updated on that.

    See ya all later.
  14. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Mike, Wolv and group -

    Please understand my "best" list is ON AVERAGE, and IMHO !

    As the car dealers say, your actual loco (or tastes) may vary!

    There are lemons to everything from time-to-time, alas!

    For example, Kato had theirs with the last SD40-2 bunch, which had an electrical pick-up problem.

    (NOT to be confused with their SD40s, which run great!)

    OVERALL, Atlas Master and Kato have the best motor/drives and best detail. Then comes P2K with great detail and less perfect drive system (sort of an improved Athearn).

    Which leads to Athearn Genesis whose detail has approached P2K level (so I think a tie between these two, but some individual models are better than others).

    Stewart (good runners usually, less detail than P2K/A-G but is improving of late), Atlas Classic, and maybe P1K (I haven't seen much of this type - only my RDC-3) next.

    Then good ol' Athearn blue box - cheap, less detail (though some surprise you) and dependable (with some work). Many Walthers Trainlines are at this level, too, but they vary.

    Bachmann ??? It depends. For steamers, maybe at the A-G level. For diesels, rank about ... on scale of 1-10 ... 30!

    Please understand that individual MRR modelers/collectors have their personal bias when it comes to lists like this - some will always think Kato is best, others Atlas Master, still others P2K. It may depend on their individual experiances with certain models.

    So .... this I MY opinion of the best locos .... YOURS will probably be different!!

    Still, you usually can't go wrong with the top four - and will have to buy from all of them (and Stewart and A-C and B-B-Athearn) to get those models you want!

    Maybe even IHC and Bachmann!

    So please take my rantings with this shaker of sodium chloride.

    I just got back from visiting my wife in the hospital (elective surgery last week, rehab for two more weeks!), so no report on the GP18 yet!

    Soon !!!!!!!

    - George

    PS I know nothing about Intermountain - I've heard they are good, but don't have any to compare so are "unranked". Do any of you have any ???? What do you think of them, if so ????

    PPS Two more locos on order and one in the mail for this year! My e-Bay RI RS-3 will ship Monday, have an Atlas Dash 8-40B which is due out in October now, and of course the RI H15-44 in December (prob Jan).

    PPPS Good luck with your mailorder business, Wolv!

    - G
  15. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Grain of salt taken, George. Still, a good list to start out with for the average modeller (who usually ask that question at some point) - then they can modify it for their personal tastes.

    I have a Bachmann Spectrum VIA F40PH which worked really well for about a week, and now makes a spinning noise like a gear isn't connecting right. So I'm somewhat dubious about them. I do have another one (GP35 w/dynamic brakes) that I'm painting for MOPAC (in the garage, first coat done as we speak), so I'll let you know about that one.................

    Best of luck from this way too, Wolv. Did you want to do any more updates to your spreadsheet??? I thought you mentioned one section seemed to be a bit low. You can play around with this yourself through the percentages on the front page (each successive railroad - through primary, non-engine, and secondary - will be a set proportion of the one above it; I could also make one of these start higher, though, so that the highest secondary railroad, for example, has more units than the lowest non-engine railroad).

    PS - looking good for some side consulting gigs over the next six months. While that would cut into my train time, it would also put the house that much closer to reality, and of course stoke my train funds................
  16. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Just thinking, wolv, I can't remember if you said you were a web developer or not, but if not, I could help you with your website for your mail order biz. Maybe we could work out an exchange or somethin.
  17. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    P2K GP18 report

    Well - it runs!

    Oh ... you want more than that?

    If you have a P2K GP7 or GP9, the assembly is about the same: take off the couplers and fuel tank, put the shell on, put the couplers back on, two screws to hold shell to body, re-install the tank (same sticky tape as the GP7/9s).

    Then try to figure out the "extras" package - as no instructions are there! Need some prototype photos to see if they used sunshades, etc. The RI did (as most), but they are the glue on type with no pins :mad: . I think I will wait and get some brass ones (IF I think I can match the paint).

    The paint. As I said before, the red is too dark - a photo I have of #1346 (which was the RN I got on purpose) in the Silvias yard after 1980, with some of the speed lettering and other paint worn off, still shows as a bright red - like most of the RI locos in this scheme. Not the dull red of the model. The yellow is also a bit too dark. The real 1346 has a lighter yellow as does other prototype RI locos in this scheme.

    The prototype photo also shows a straight sided fan housing, not the tapered one on the model. The tapered fan came with the GP20s. The tapered housing does pull off, so IF someone makes the proper fan housing I should be able to replace them.

    The phototype photo shows the typical RI white warning stripes on the steps. The model has dark gray ones (Why? The GP 9 model has white ones!). Another thing I don't like is the truck and fuel tank color - a light gray instead of the silver gray of the GP 9 model. Makes it look more like unpainted plastic!

    The lights SEEM dimmer on the GP18 than on the GP9 loco. This may be an illusion, as the lights are surrounded by dark maroon on the GP9 vs the yellow of the GP18. One good feature is the GP18 numberboards are slightly indented instead of almost flat as on the GP9 - this I think looks more realistic. Of course, I'm not happy with ANY headlight except perhaps my new Athearn Genesis SD70M: P2K & Atlas Master too dim (AM because it's set for DCC), Kato is bright but blue (still need to try the amber paint), Stewart bright but too yellow, as is my A-G "Mike".

    With a dozen cars, the GP18 seems to have the pull and performance of the GP9. It is too bad it doen't have the COST of a GP9! Especially as the GP9 is the better looking loco, IMHO.

    Well, despite all this, it's a nice addition to my RI collection - a red & yellow schemed loco to go with my Athearn SD40-2.

    But I think my next P2K model will be an undec. GP9 to paint blue. The smaller fans on this model match the photos of blue GP7s out of the CRP (except the horn is on the LONG hood, but I can fix that!), so I think I will number it as a GP7 (CRP series number).
    And the cost will be a lot less than a "new" LL P2K.

    If LL P2K wants to charge Atlas Master and Kato prices, then they should build to those standards. They aren't there yet! And $130 is a bit much (discounted by Walters to $110.50 with shipping, and by my LHS to $101.40 with tax.

    If you are thinking about the P2K GP18, you should look at it in person, if possible. Also run it, if possible. The colors, light intensity and power may seem perfect to you, but the above remarks are the judgement of MY eyes!


    - George
  18. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Thanks, George, that helps a lot. If my LHS sells it to me for $99CDN, I'll probably get one (although I'm printing a pic from Jeff's website to see if I can live with the color and other variances). Otherwise, I think I might pass based on your review.

    I'm already painting an older Bachmann GP18 into ROCK colors (solid maroon), so I don't really *need* another GP18.
  19. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Well, like I said, Mike - check it out in person!

    You may disagree with my observations.

    But I hope they are of some help!

    The photo Jeff has of the GP18 in R&Y is the one I was using - and that roadnumber the one on the model I got (I try to get prototype photos of my models, if possible).

    I sent a copy of my review to LifeLike - and told them I would no longer pre-order their products!

    - George
  20. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member


    From what I am seeing, I think you pay entirely too much for motive power.


    You can get P2K GP7s undec from Trainworld for $39.95 each and GP18 high-nose for $69.99 each.

    Most Atlas are under $90, some under $70, and Kato under $70 as well.

    I use Walthers as it was intended...a reference. I do NOT buy from them. They are WAY too high!

    Now if the color is too dark, why not repaint it and decal it all over again?


    I am kinda like you when it comes to Bachmann. I had a bad one with a DASH-8, but I have some that still run. I mainly buy Athearn, Model Power, P2K/LifeLike and a few others. I have not ventured into the expensive yet with Atlas or Kato. I have seen how much Intermountain wants for their rolling stock, so I will NOT go there with motive power. I know nothing about Stewart, so that is still open.

    Aside from rolling stock and motive power, have any of you seen the new auxiliary items from Bachmann? They now have a diesel maintenance building, a sand tower, sanding rack, fuel rack, and a car shop on the market. Too bad they did not include inspection pits with their new line of structures. I would have a complete service area!

    I really do appreciate the offer Mike. I have store-front/shopping cart software, and have experience in Java, Visual Basic and HTML web-development. In fact, right now I am in the process of developing software that will allow you to perform operations on your layout. Later, after I figure out how to get my hump yard to be fully functional, I will be designing software for the hump computer.

    I am going to add a link to your site on my new links page, if you do not mind, Mike.

    I cannot remember if you guys told me or do you figure out what type of locomotives to get, and what percentage of each for each road you model? I remember George saying something about HP, but I thought there was another formula to figure out ratio of motive power vs protype inventory or something.

    Well, lemme know guys.

    Talk to ya later.

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