Some Primary Research

I have previously mention my plans to detail my Atlas SW-8 as a Canadian National unit for Comstock Road’s primary Motive Power. I am lucky in that there are many photographs of these units to be had. The issue is that railfans have different photographic goals than model makers. They never include one of those dimensioned sticks for instance. They also are less concerned with underbody, pilot or roof detail although bridge shots do tend to cover the latter.

Thanks to a Tuesday Train post by Stephen Gardiner, I knew there was a plinthed CNR SW-8 in Memorial Park in Lindsay, Ontario. Which is conveniently on the way to this years canoe trip. I managed the time to stop by the park with notebook, tape measure and phone/camera in hand to gather some information. I am especially interested in the shop-built handrails that replaced the factory hood mounted ones.

I had a warm but enjoyable time climbing up and down over the loco accompanied by half a dozen railfans in the 5-8 year old age bracket. I was the only one taking notes and measurements and allowed to climb about unsupervised so nyeah! 🙂

I took many badly composed but useful detail shots and learned a few things you can’t tell from photos. For example, the handrail stanchion bases look solid from any normal angle but are actually formed from 1/4″ steel plate just like the stanchions themselves. I foresee a use for my Micromark photo etch kit in the not-to-distant future! stanchion_base_down

I also took shots of the brake gear, the pilots, the headlights, etc. Here is another shot railfans would see no reason for.8510_shorthoodpilot

All these shots are of a restored locomotive so there may be some deviations from the original (other than the missing spark arrestor and blocked off windows) so I will check for other sources where I can but this is way better than just working off shadows in photographs.

Here is an overall shot of the long hood end just to round things off.8510_longhoodend

FYI, the side handrails are centered 3 feet about the walkway. Somebody liked round numbers. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Some Primary Research”

    1. Hi Andy!
      I am modelling mid-1970’s of my childhood. I say mid because I like the red cab paint scheme. Those spark arrestors are definitely something I remember.


  1. Mark, glad I could help! I hope you got lots of good information on your trip through Lindsay!! The funny story is, when I took those pictures, we were up there for a friends wedding and staying in Lindsay, my wife was in the wedding party, so I had some time to kill before getting changed and catching the bus to the ceremony/party. So of course, I went and took pictures and crawled all over the equipment as railfans are want to do. When I got to the ceremony, the father of the groom, a british ex-pat from Thunder Bay (who worked at Hawker Siddley/Bombardier) comes up to me an goes, so we drove by the train park this afternoon, and we saw some guy crawling all over the equipment this afternoon who kinda looked like you….did you have fun!!! I certainly did, and hope you did too!



    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will certainly help, especially as I am one of those prone to analysis paralysis. Concrete information heads that off. Sorta.


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