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Good Early morning to you forumites!



It's time once again for our favorite weekly thread- Switcher Saturday!



Here at #SwSat, the scale or gauge never matters as long as we stay basically on the topic of Switcher Locomotives. We celebrate all the nimble machines that grind out their day in the yards, work the local at all hours of the day or night, or sit neglected in a dusty corner of the shop for months until called to service. Sometimes they are the face of the railroad to the public, including pulling tourists on the weekend.



Switcher locomotives come in all sorts of flavors. Diesel is the most common today, but steam is king to many, and electric overhead or third rail supplied machines are amazing too. Coming soon are natural gas and hydrogen fuel powered locomotives for general service.



   And while all of these are cool, today I want to talk about a BUG! No, not an insect powered machine, but a battery powered bug!



Meet Conrail locomotive #0. This shop built battery operated machine survived well after the Norfolk Southern takeover. It is a locomotive is shop switcher,  I believe it was mostly used at the wheel true up shop in Enola. There is no cab, its a walk along side machine with a radio remote. 

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These images were captured by photographer Bruce Kerr and are used here with his permission.  I found these on the Conrail Historical Society website.  Since it's smaller than a slug, they called it a bug, I call great! 

So please,  share your Switcher stories,  photos,  videos,  and vignettes.   And if you see a bug on your layout,  you might want to think twice before calling the exterminator!

Have a great day everybody 🚂!

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Stricken again by the Switcheritis disease this week.

Now, it is my pleasure to introduce to you this MTH PS2 Pennsy Consolidation 2-8-0 steamer hauling freight:

Although I understand such Consolidation steamers hauled heavy freight, I believe the broad, inclusive definition of switcher used on this thread would make this one still qualify as a switcher. After all, it's not a Big Boy. LOL.

Do you agree?

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20221118_220802

Good morning jhz563.

Looks like today is Conrail.

Conrail #0 is a unique and excellent example of a switcher - a small yard-locomotive without a leading or trailing truck - and only driving wheels. Actually, I would say Conrail #0 is a 0-4-0 switcher...unlike a 2-8-0 Consolidation, which is not listed as a switcher in any book on steam locomotives that I have ever seen.

My model of Conrail MP15DC #9624 was made by Atlas O in 2008 (1813-1) with TMCC at an MSRP of $479.95 and runs very smoothly.

EMD built 351 MP15DC locomotives between 1974 and 1980. They were powered by the same type of 1,500 horsepower V12-645 diesel engine as the SW1500 switcher. They rode on Blomberg trucks and therefore were capable of running at 60 miles-per-hour, so EMD considered the MP15DC to be a road switcher rather than a pure switcher. They weighed 258,000 pounds and produced 61,000 pounds of tractive force. The MP15DC designation stood for multi-purpose – 1500 horsepower – direct current generator.

In the videos, the model is running at 24 scale miles-per-hour on my 10’-by-5’ layout with an Atlas O model of Conrail extended vision caboose #22131 at the rear of the train.

MELGAR

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Last edited by MELGAR

Good morning from cold, but fortunately, not snowy, Central MA.  Your Yardmaster is still on the hunt for coal trains, but he’s moved on from the B&M to the B&A in Westboro, MA.

He found a rare steam double header on a coal drag.  NYC 0-4-0 no. 901 is teamed with TALES OF A DOCKSIDER star shop switcher X-8688 to form a mighty duo.  They are seen passing a magnificent piece of NYC steam power,  the original L3A Mohawk no. 3000.

Mel, like you, I’m a big fan of the 0-4-0 we own in common.  Not only does it have great detail and is a smooth runner, it can “haul” too!  It has no trouble pulling a heavy train that includes seven die cast hoppers.

Arnold, I have no problem with your definition of “switcher”.  Be warned, however, that following my advice could get you into trouble!

And JHZ, I love that bug.  Great find!

John

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@MELGAR posted:

Strap Hanger,

Your Long Island 2015 is great!

I don't know why, but your layout reminds me of downtown Jamaica (Queens) near the LIRR station. Then, I noticed "Forest Hills" tower in your video. So, I'm not too far off!

MELGAR

Thanks Mel!  I grew up in Queens and the layout incorporates my fond memories of the greater ny area, so you were definitely close. If you get a chance to pick up one of those MTH B6 switchers, don’t hesitate. It’s a real hoot to operate.  Originally, I thought it was a fantasy model for the LIRR, but that’s wrong. The LIRR picked up a number of them from the Pennsylvania RR in the 1920s/30s and used them regularly for switching duties along with 0-6-0 B5s, and 0-8-0 C51 Steam switchers. Great little engine for smaller sized layouts with tighter curves.

So much great stuff on this thread!  I really enjoy the contributions you all are posting.  
So,here’s a NH SW knocking cars in the Vernon Ct yard, just off the Midland Division of the NHRR.  The yard was openned in 1864 as the Rockville RR, funded by textile mill operators to bring supplies into Rockville and ship huge quantities of woolen goods nationwide at its connection in Vernon.  The NHRR was originally chartered as the Hartford Providence & Fishkill.  

The Atlas TMCC SW was originally Chicago Belt RY, which I painted for the NHRR. Rustoleum primer was followed by Scalecoat black and Testors orange—decals by MicroScale.

I have not posted here in quite some time.

Here is my recently created switching annex with a B and O GP7 LionChief Plus awaiting switching duties.  As you can see, it is in need of detail accents, but I have all winter for that fun.

Also, a previously posted series on the old part of the layout, a Pennsylvania A5.

This is one of the best places on the form and all of you have wonderful contributions.

JohnBD269C57-8AF9-4D90-A474-9DB15DC03391360BD86A-8FC5-4679-8FF9-DEF76A261CDFA404B0EA-09C2-4408-AEB3-D7CEAC5E34E4FACBB40C-9A19-48F9-84E6-90AAAEAAF078374D0C09-4468-4BCC-8C5B-D2CCEB63A5172558B0A4-794A-4153-A7EC-07BA5C4C643588E92D5A-BDDA-4CCA-8735-43932ACDDEF7

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Last edited by Fendermain

Well great photos and video's everyone thanks for posting.  Jhz I must say that the "bug" was the most unique thing I have seen in some time, a tribute to the shop workers that figured out how to get real use out of what might otherwise have been scrap parts.  A complement to their ingenuity for sure.  @MELGAR - I can't help but mention that yours is the first posting of an MP-15 that I have seen.  This locomotive was one of KLINE's early diesels and they made many varieties.  I have a UP version but I only paid $50 for mine.  It looks good, pulls like mad (2 motors) , and reverses but does little else.  Still I like it because it is about the largest engine that will go around the tight curves on my inner loop.

Today I have some views of two steam switchers in work on my layout.  The first is the Lionel #1615 0-4-0 from 1955-1957.  Modeled after a PRR locomotive I am sure but its prototype designation is not known to me for sure although it says "B6" on the PRR boiler plate on the side of the boiler.  I show it pulling a #6454 Erie boxcar from 1949-1952 and getting ready to turn over work to the yard goat and an earlier vintage PRR 0-6-0Tank from the modern era of Lionel.

Here are the "girls" getting ready for the morning's work. 

Lionel 1615 and 2295 T switchers head on

The Lionel 1615 side view with the Erie boxcar

Lionel 1615 Switcher side view

The modern era Lionel (but earlier prototype) 0-6-0 tank switcher with a "Galveston Wharves" boxcar also Lionel modern era.

Lionel 2295 tank switcher side

Here they are getting ready to clear the main for the morning Christmas shopper's special to downtown.

Lionel 1615 and 2295T switcher side view

Best wishes for a great weekend.  Thanks again jhz for starting us off and presenting a truly unique switcher.

Don

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@Fendermain posted:

I have not posted here in quite some time.

Here is my recently created switching annex with a B and O GP7 LionChief Plus awaiting switching duties.  As you can see, it is in need of detail accents, but I have all winter for that fun.

Also, a previously posted series on the old part of the layout, a Pennsylvania A5.

This is one of the best places on the form and all of you have wonderful contributions.

JohnBD269C57-8AF9-4D90-A474-9DB15DC03391360BD86A-8FC5-4679-8FF9-DEF76A261CDFA404B0EA-09C2-4408-AEB3-D7CEAC5E34E4FACBB40C-9A19-48F9-84E6-90AAAEAAF078374D0C09-4468-4BCC-8C5B-D2CCEB63A5172558B0A4-794A-4153-A7EC-07BA5C4C643588E92D5A-BDDA-4CCA-8735-43932ACDDEF7

Love the look, Fendermain, of your classic Postwar trains and accessories, beautiful hi rail scenery and structures, and benchwork that is as gorgeous as fine kitchen cabinets. Arnold

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

Yay ! SWSat is rolling on!

Wow I am super late posting to SWSat today. Great stuff posted so far today. I love any and all little shop switchers. The one and only engine I have ever operated was a former UP shop switcher and the only GE 44 tonner they owned. Now it is at the Danbury CT Railroad Museum.

Last week I was at a convention for work in LA and I had an evening off so I visited Travel Town in Griffith Park. They had plenty of steam engines. I think I counted 18. Switcher wise these ranged from 0-4-0Ts to 0-6-0Ts and 0-6-0s to a rare operable EMD model 40.

The EMD Model 40 looked like an EMD NW5 cab end grafted to a second cab end. They were very short and only had 4 wheels. Only 11 were made and nearly half still survive in preservation only a few are operating.

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Here is a link to the video I made of my Travel Town Visit. I am trying to get more subscribers for my videos. https://youtu.be/-bEXZeT3N4E

Thanks. I can’t wait to see what you guys post.

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Good afternoon fellow switcher fans!   Wow!!  This thread gets better every week!  You all have posted some terrific photos, videos, and info!!!   I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Today on the FSJR the focus is on a B&O Plymouth industrial switcher which has been assigned as the push/pull power for the B&O Big Hooker.  Big Hooker has been called in to handle some bulky/heavy scrap items being transloaded from truck to gondola.  

Here is the Plymouth having moved Big Hooker into position.  Crane operator Booker T. Wentworth has already swung the boom into position.  Locomotive engineer Jack Sprigg, inside the Plymouth cab,  sips on his large black coffee as he watches watches the action.

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Foreman Fitz Curry stands beside the gondola yelling out directions.  86F9E581-E1BA-4CDB-B56E-A6DD4CB93D42

Truck driver Otto Reinsch stands in front of his truck twiddling his thumbs.   Big Hooker is about to lift an old junk car off the bed of the truck. Booker T. steadily lowers the hook. 84D94BD8-F98E-4EFC-826B-BD2585C8598B

Looking straight up through the middle we see Westley Eastman giving hand signals to Booker T.  288EBCAB-255B-4DF0-B9A1-856EF8E2C596

With the hook latched onto the old junk car,  Booker T skillfully privots the boom toward the gondola. 315AB853-1A41-4326-B56C-6582F85E2848

As the junk car is now secured on the deck of the gondola, Mack Grimley gives Booker T the hand signal to raise the hook.  In a few minutes, a Patapsco and Back Rivers VO1000 will enter the team track, couple onto the loaded gondolas and pull them to the freight yard.  Otto is already sitting behind the wheel of the truck and is ready to skeedatle.  Lunch time is approaching fast and he wants to get down to Edna Critcher's Lunchroom for some pulled pork barbecue, sauerkraut, and beans.  Gol darn good thing no one is riding along with him in the cab of that truck after that lunch ... lol!!  CE1521F0-CC78-446C-B622-0E7B9CFD5B22

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@Fendermain posted:

Thank you for the positive comments Arnold.  The Switcheritis humor is quite profound your layout is a wonderful example of postwar charm.

John

I guess, John, that you and I have our own micro mutual admiration society. I just can't get your gorgeous bench work and layout out of my head.

Come to think of it, isn't this Forum a giant mutual admiration society?

Everyone's contributions are nothing short of marvelous.

Arnold

I guess, John, that you and I have our own micro mutual admiration society. I just can't get your gorgeous bench work and layout out of my head.

Come to think of it, isn't this Forum a giant mutual admiration society?

Everyone's contributions are nothing short of marvelous.

Arnold

Well….our layouts are somewhat similar, so that’s understandable.

One nice thing about SWSAT is appreciation of different modeling doctrines, scale, postwar, tinplate, etc.  We have talented folks here.

John

@Fendermain posted:

Trumptrain,

In addition to your fabulous photos, you have truly descriptive and fun filled commentary.  A forum delight!  Bravo sir!

John

John - why thank you so very much!   Congratulations on your new switching annex!  It look terrific  Seeing your annex inspires me to embark on an expansion project I've been thinking about for quite some time.  Thank you for the inspiration!  

Okay so it's Sunday, why can't SWSAT be stretched a little?  We were treated to some unique critters this week,

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some great layout shots as usual, another informative post from Mel that also displayed part of his wonderful collection and his wonderful 10'x5' layout, and another day on the railroad from the FRSJ and the crew in Patsburg.  Thank you all for 2 days of switcher enjoyment.

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