Motive Power

In the not too distant future, Comstock Road will have some rails that a locomotive can run on. I have an Atlas SW-8 converted to Proto:48 with drop-in NWSL wheelsets. This unit will be the only loco for the near future although I will probably acquire at least one more of a different class that CN might have plausibly run in Scarborough in the ’70’s.

The before photo reveals a few minor tweaks needed.sw8before

I am neither an experience locomotive detailer nor an expert on CN locomotives so I expect this project to be a learning experience in many ways. I have begun making a list the things that will need to done to produce a plausible CN SW-8. I am looking at photos on sites such as CNR Photos to get an idea of what needs to be done.

  • DCC decoder and sound.
  • Paint (duh) – the yellow paint looks very thick to my inexpert eye. The louvers and hinges may be decently molded under all that paint.
  • Decals – fortunately, the simple paint scheme does not require a special decal set. If I can find CN “wet noodles” in the appropriate size, I am class labels, GS-8a, and unit numbers, 7100 series, away from done.
  • Maybe louvers and hinges depending
  • Spark arrestor – this is probably the most distinctive feature on CN switchers.
  • Headlight/number boards
  • Side handrails – outer ones on stanchions, not ones on the hood. Some holes are going to need to be plugged.
  • Remove MU drop steps
  • Air hose but no MU hoses.
  • Sinclair antenna on the cab roof
  • Horn – seems to vary from unit to unit, will have to pick a specific one. None match the current model one, of course
  • Those bay windows – extended view?
  • Sunshades
  • Flush windows – the Atlas ones are highly inset – there is/was a kit for these
  • Replace all the grabs and handrails with scale sized wire.
  • Windshield wipers

Stretch goals:

  • The roof and cab wall are massively thick compared to the prototype. A replacement cab out of sheet brass would look much better if I can pull it off.
  • Cab interior.

Phew, this might take a while. I will either need to resort to an initial quicky re-paint and do the detailing incrementally, get a second loco to use while this one is all over the shop floor in pieces or be resigned to having an unpainted, partially detailed shop escapee handling the switching chores.

3 thoughts on “Motive Power”

  1. FYI, CN Lines published a two-part series on the CN family SW8/SW9/SW900/Sw1200 switchers in Volume 8 #3 and Volume 9 #1. These issues are included on the back issue DVD from the CNRHA.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Acquiring copies thereof is on my todo list. I am curious to see if they consider O scale at all or if I just get a glimpse into the mainstream of HO where details parts abound.


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