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I have the original NW-2 set from 2002 (30-2273-1) and other than changing the speaker and installing a BCR, it has operated flawlessly.  I bought both the long and short MTA crane car extensions, a maintenance box car, a MTA trash gondola,  as well as the crane tender and two R-17 dummy work trains to complete the set. I absolutely love it.  I also created another work train with the RMT offerings - the Bang S-4 Diesel in MTA Subway Colors along with two MTA ballast cars and tank cars as well as an MTA caboose. If you want a cheap, conventionally operated work train alternative to the MTH models, the RMTs aren't bad, particularly after you weather them.  I'll try and post some pictures eventually.

If you really want to have some cheap fun, you can buy a Bethlehem steel K-line Plymouth switcher and re-decal it with MTA decals. I picked mine up for $25 at a train show in 2019. The yellow of the model is very close to the subway yellow and these little things even have a smoke unit.  I did that to mine and added it to my subway maintenance fleet. With some weathering and other detailing, it looks rather good.  I'll try and get some pics eventually for this as well.

Last edited by Strap Hanger

I haven't run it yet (story of my life ), but I have a pair of RMT's 'Bang' S-2 switchers, and a quartet of RailKing unpowered R-17 "work motors".

Needing a bit more work are a pair of unpainted Weaver "war emergency" gondolas (they resemble MTA work flatcars with their low wood sides) that I had equipped with roller-bearing trucks by Weaver before shipment. They'll need paint, lettering and some scratchbuilt anticlimbers, head/tail light assemblies and end railings. In addition to this I have a Industrial Rail undecorated tank car that I intend to equip with an MTA paint job and raised number boards as per prototype. I may even lower the expansion dome, again as per prototype.

At this stage of backed-up projects aggravated by a lack of workshop space, I might as well add in a proposal to scratchbuild one of those "SpanDeck" cranes also used by the MTA subway division.


Last edited by RailRide

Someone say work train?


I have various other work train sets from MTH and RMT, but this one is the “OG” and it’s my favorite.  Unfortunately, the crane car from the set is sitting in a static display on another part of my layout.  Strangely, this engine has an original Ps2 5 volt board that has, despite significant run time, worked flawlessly (this board has failed in all of my subway sets except one other).  I’ve only changed the speaker out as a precaution.  


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Last edited by Strap Hanger

Search light is an old post war Lionel O27 along with others.

I sold all of the RailKing and Lionel non scale items awhile back.

Never had a need to run the all that collected stuff. Don't really run subways much anymore as well... boring. The modular sub layout is for sale if interested? MTH should have had ambient tunnel sounds like the real subs. Weren't done realistically by MTH.

Hello guys

Well, I scratchbuilt my own NY Subway work trains many years ago ---  a number before MTH even produced their own.  I did get 2 MTH Low-V Yellow Work Cars --- and a pair of R-12 Yellow work cars.  To convert to TWO RAIL track operation.

BELOW are some photos - and VIDEO LINKS at bottom end of photo column, - of my work cars seen on the EL and yards

BELOW - My scratchbuilt NYCTA GE-50T diesel loco i did back around 2008 or so. In one of my layup yards


BELOW - My scratchbuilt Mantis type crane car and companion flat car - seen at work at interlocking area on my EL

BELOW -- two MTH Cars 2-rail converted seen with my scratchbuilt scrap car in foreground in one of my layup yards

BELOW -- rooftop view down to the El and my scratchbuilt Mantis type crane car and its companion flat "open end gondola" car as a local train of 2-rail converted MTH R-62 IRT cars passes by.  And an MTA bus travels below the EL

BELOW -- My Manhattan EL IRT Work train of scratchbuilt MUDC EL cars,  scratchbuilt Manhattan EL 28'  flat car carrying coal, and scratchbuilt Manhattan EL 28' rubbish collection car. Trash is loaded to Car 98 while crewman puts coal from flatcar M-8 into wooden bunker box on platform.  Seen at one of my local stations.

BELOW - Scratchbuilt R-21 Rider car from 2004,  and scratchbuilt open ends work gondola car and other scratchbuilt work cars. MTH R-12 work car in background

BELOW - Scratchbuilt ex IRT SMEE passenger car as rebuilt to a Work Motor box car in work train

BELOW - MTH 2 rail converted Rider car seen at a side track along my shops in my layup yard

BELOW - rooftop view to the EL with my MTA rubbish collection train - scratchbuilt work motor in lead, scratchbuilt flat car and scratchbuilt trash collection car with rubbish bins on board.  A 2 rail converted MTH R-62 car at right provides more motive power for the train.

BELOW - scratchbuilt electric work boxcab loco seen in   material yard loading platform along with my scratchbuilt steel early era IRT subway flat car with rail load

BELOW -- My IND coal or ballast dual-dump car which was major converted and upscaled from an old LIONEL dump car body --- which near exact mimics the IND Dump Car

BELOW -- Not MTH Low V's!  These I have had since the late 1980's.  Seen with, on parallel track,  3 of my scratch built wooden Manhattan El 1878 era flat cars  and at rear, my scratchbuilt IRT EL Work Motor Flat car used on the EL's and later for some years in the subway when the old IRT EL's closed.

BELOW -- My Scratchbuilt IRT High-V Gibbs Motor Car seen with my created NYCTA Magor Hopper Cars of the 1950's seen at one of my Local Stations

BELOW --- All cars seen in my work layup yard were scratch built by me  or kitbashed from various body shells

BELOW -- My scratch built Low Roof Q-Type Trailer car as a rider car for my BMT work trains - seen with NHRR Freight car in materials yard

BELOW are some LINKS to videos of my work trains running on my EL : -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VIDEO LINK - My O-Scale MTA Work train rolls thru Local Station on EL >>

VIEDO LINK - Another of my O Scale work trains on the EL >>

VIDEO LINK - My O Scale Trash collection work train rolls thru local station on the EL >>

For much more of my many hand built work cars - early era cars and more modern era cars - check my FLICKR PHOTOS Work Cars Photo Album -- link here:

Work cars and trains ARE a very important integral part of ANY commuter or rapid transit rail system.

For those here interested, enjoy !   Regards - Joe F


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Last edited by Joseph Frank

Hello Ben  (F) --

Yes, I am aware of that situation and understand it -- as I rode a number of revenue trains long ago in NYC (decades ago) and an occasional  work train could be a   P I T A   trying to follow behind it or during switching moves.  But on YOUR own (model) transit or railroad layout,  you can control that and let the mainline trains (heh) have all the right of way !   regards - Joe F

Last edited by Joseph Frank

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