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  1. #1

    My ALCO C420 project

    My 1/8th scale "Live Diesel" Long Island C420 in fabrication. The backbone is 2" x !" "C" channel, decking is 16g. sheet metal, edging is 1" x 1/8" flat bar. She's getting too heavy for me to lift on my own, about 150 pounds so far. Drive will be 24 volt electric motors on each truck. This will be painted in the World's Fair gray and orange sweep.
    I made the truck molds from wood and a a friend has cast them for me in aluminum, recycled from old lawn mowers and other scrap.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Calgary, Alberta
    Blog Entries
    Looking at the title, I thought "Didn't I just see this?" That was the Z-scale version. This I haven't seen.
    Fan of late and early Conrail... also transition-era PRR, 70s Santa Fe, BN and SP, 70s-80s eastern CN, pre-merger-era UP, heavy electric operations in general, dieselized narrow gauge, modern EFVM and Brazilian railroads in general... why bother trying to list them all?

  3. #3
    Yeah, kind of the extreme opposite of Z scale! The trucks will be machined next, and I will start on the hood section. While it will be a great deal of work, it should be fairly simple as a straight forward build. You have to love ALCO's.

  4. #4
    Three quick pictures of the ALCO Century 420 in progress here at "Schenectady North". The radiator cabinet is mostly ready, except the lower louvers, for which I am still not finding an acceptable piece. I have a pretty good idea for the inside roof louvers and cat walk. Plenty of work remaining before you know exactly what she officially is. Next part of the body to be constructed will likely be the cab, then the short end high-hood. I'm hoping for good news regarding the 5" drive wheels, but right now, those are in limbo.
    Progress in little bites each week.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    East Northport, NY
    Looks great! Can't wait to see it done, some awesome craftsmanship going on there.

  6. #6
    May 04, update. I've built and installed the short end, high-hood. This was where the LIRR C420's held steam generators for the commuter coaches they hauled for millions of miles.

    The front doesn't look too different than before, but I've built the center section of the hood and added ventilator louvers to the top of the radiator fan compartment. I have not yet installed the 24 volt muffin fans I recovered from an old computer. I doubt they'll make much difference, but air circulation is a good thing around electronics. You might note the front side louvers are not yet fabricated. I have been searching for a way to step around that tedium, but haven't yet discovered it. The Devil is in the details, yes?
    The engineer's side looks to set better than the fireman's side, but neither side is completely spread out, nor are they screwed down.

    And of course, I need to get those tasks completed in order to fit the cab properly. There appear to be cracks and tiny gaps, no matter what is done to eliminate them. Putty of some sort.

  7. #7
    Latest pictures of the project, with a list of self-criticisms.
    I finally undertook the cab which admittedly, was a matter of some trepidation. I am not really good at cutting curves, and it shows. There is a matter height as well, which may actually serve to alleviate a problem. ALCO hounds may note the cab is about 1/4" inch too tall for the hood. This is the same location as an obvious gap between the from cab walls and the hoods on both sides. I will probably remove the hood and cut the error off the bottom, and grind out the curvature errors to better match the hoods. I may also face the gaps will corrected sheet metal and either weld or epoxy the coverage in place. People tell me J.B. Weld is a Godsend. The other possible error is the length of the ladders. Again, a relatively easy fix.

    End to end, Long Island 206 measures 83 inches, excluding draft gear and couplers. These will be permanently fit when I get the trucks under her.

    Steam generator end looking forward.

    Top radiator grates are aluminum louvers from Home Depot roofing and insulation department. Not a perfect match, but too close to quibble, in this case.

    I need to cut doors and sheet metal details, add some front end fixings, and then I'll post again.

    Thanks for following my first attempt at a locomotive build.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    D&H Rocky Mountain Division

  9. #9

    Front grill has been added, salvaged from an old a/c unit at the dump. Not exactly prototypical, but it works. There is a 24v muffin fan inside the hood, as well.

    Opposite side view.

    From the rear.

    Note the cab shade and smoke lifters have been added.

    I am adding the hood cabinet doors next, some pins to facilitate removing the hood, and a faux fuel tank.
    I have the electronics for motivation figured out and ready, but still am looking for 5" Diesel wheels I can afford.
    Hopefully, am update during the next week. Thank you for looking and your comments.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Mississippi Gulf Coast, USA
    Richard, she's comming along beautifully. Although, I'm surprised to see Bettendorf(?) trucks. There must be something I've forgotten about their traction capabilities.
    Hank....I may have to Grow Old, but I Never have to Grow UP!!!

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