I don't have any update on @sdmann's Southern Crescent Project. I can see that there hasn't been an update on the GGD site, but the MP train doesn't look to be updated either, so I am thinking that doesn't necessarily mean bad news for us Southern modelers. Hopefully the reservations are getting to a point at where its worth it as a business for Scott to continue. (Glad to read that the SD40-2 project is still a go after all these years in limbo!)
In any case, I wanted to share some of what I provided him early on and to keep the discussion/interest in this train flowing in its own dedicated topic, similar to how the MP Eagle Train has its own topic by forum members. This topic hopefully will show current and perspective customers some additional information about the train that including additional add-on cars that could be done. The only way add-on's appear are if enough people email Scott to make it happen. Also of note, everything below is my suggestion. Scott has the final say based on all customer input.
I don't post here often anymore, but did come across https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...passenger-set?page=2 after I did my research, so I imagine @Tom Morris, @Dj'sOgaugetrains, @Will Ebbert will be interested in reading and contributing to this thread. They seemed to have come to similar conclusions as my suggested consist.
First up, I provided Scott a potential roster to use, along with all of the foreign road add-on possibilities. For Add-On cars, the SOU possibilities I suggested were limited at 3 each, and with most car names based on cars the most famous cars still exist today (or ended up in museums/historical societies). The overall list was generated using information from the PCL and Official PS Library books, other books in my Southern Railway library, and also discussing this specific train with several ex-Southern professionals who are considered experts on this topic.
As mentioned in the other post, the Crescent was a pool of cars from several railroads. The train itself ran from New York City (Penn Station) all the way down to New Orleans. The train itself would have been behind GG1's from Penn Station down to Washington, DC, when they slipped on SOU power. I suggested Scott keep the train purely Southern and then offer other roads as add-on's for anyone who wanted those, including some cars that were made specifically for the Royal Palm, rather than the Crescent, but were of the same design. Let's say the 5-Buf-Lng-Obs gets made (read on for why I even question it) and there are 20 people who would never purchase a Crescent, but want an NYC Royal Crest 5-Buf-Lng-Obs separate of the train itself, it can't hurt the project, right? Same goes for PRR 10/6 sleepers...which were identical to the SOU cars except for the “Pennsylvania” on the letterboards and the rivers were all in PRR’s territory. Inside, they were similar, but the PRR cars had slightly different fixtures in the roomettes and bedrooms.
As far as the 8-car consist itself, the only car I've suggested that probably shouldn't be there is the 14/4 sleeper, but I figured why not. If model railroaders of the Southern ever want a 14/4, this is probably the only chance to ever have it made with the high quality that GGD provides and at a reasonable price. If the add-on orders are poor for the 14/4 and/or the customer base doesn't want a 14/4 in the consist, then it can be removed in favor of another 10/6 sleeper or 52s coach.
Regardless of the 14/4 sleeper suggestion, there are unfortunately some other equally important decision points, which further influence the micro-era of even a "1950's Crescent". As the website says, overall customer feedback should dictate what is made. I wanted to highlight these decisions here, since it will greatly affect the overall appearance of the train. The re-equipped Crescent was officially inaugurated in March 1950, and below are three changes that should be discussed:
- 5-Buf-Lng-Obs Royal Arch was renamed Luther Calvin Norris almost right away - in November 1950. That means while you see so many pictures of the 5-Buf-Lng-Obs car with the Royal Arch nameplate, those photos were all taken during the first 9 months of its life. I have suggested that Scott either put both nameplates in the box, or have a way to hold the nameplates on with magnets, so if the 5-Buf-Lng-Obs is made, customers can choose which name to use. The same applies to the WofA's Royal Palace, which was renamed Charles A. Wickersham in 9/1952 (if that add-on car was to be made).
- The 5-Buf-Lng-Obs cars only lasted 6 years in service and were converted to 11DBR sleepers, which appeared in 9/58. If the majority of modelers actually want to model this train (or others) in 1958 or later, then the 11DBR is the better car to tool instead of the 5-Buf-Lng-Obs car. There is really no easy way to offer both without paying extra for the tooling. Perhaps whichever car is not in the 8-car consist, can be made as a very special car at an obviously higher price similar to how Scott is doing the 3/4 SP dome cars. (In the neighborhood of $700 each).
- Full-width diaphragms were removed within 1-2 years of original service. I have suggested that to maximize the target market of the train, and ensure easier operational aspects around actually running the train (on say O-72 for some), to forego full-width diaphragms. Obviously if the majority of customers want the March 1950 train exactly as it was at inauguration, then there should be full width diaphragms. I would still vouch hard if that was to case, to make it possible to remove them for those who wants to model 1952 or later, and/or help those thathave issues negotiating curves with them.
I provided Scott some other files that should be useful for producing these cars. AFAIK, several folks have car plans beyond the PCL/PS books, so Scott should be all set there.
From what I understand, it took awhile for the SAL Silver Meteor to get to critical mass. It will be interesting to see if the Southern Crescent can acquire sufficient interest to be made at all. If it does get enough interest, it will be more interesting to see if there is sufficient interest in non-Southern add-on cars. I have added another three SOU 52s coaches and three SOU 10/6 sleepers to my order to help support the project to get made. Sure beats trying to make any of these cars from scratch.
Hopefully there will be a good tracking mechanism for customers to help Scott decide on the four main decision points above:
- 14/4 or not?
- OBS or 11DBR? (1950-1956 or 1958+)
- If OBS, Royal Arch or Luther Calvin Norris (if not both)? (3/1950-11/1950 or 11/1950+)
- Full Width Diaphragms or not (if not both)? (1950-1952)
I'm currently for:
- N/A (Royal Arch if not both)
- No FWD (if not both)
Southern customers are spread across the modeling spectrum. It will be interesting to see what is desired at the end of the day by who is actually trying to purchase these, but for anyone on the fence, or that has recently made Lionel, MTH, 3rd Rail or even a Key Green E8 consist, they'll want to match my answers above and get in on what will be an amazing train to own. If one is unfamiliar with GGD quality, just look at high quality finish of recently finished projects: http://www.goldengatedepot.com/reservation.html
I will offer my services to Scott to review the CAD and artwork if we're lucky enough to have this train made. For O-scale, this is once in a lifetime and will be worth every penny.