Amtrak Downeaster

absnut Oct 20, 2008

  1. absnut

    absnut TrainBoard Member

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    While I model the transition era and most of my equipment is steam era stuff, I have long admired Amtrak's Downeaster which runs between Portland (ME) and Boston. Most of the equipment is available in N scale and in spite of thinking it would be nice to try and model the train, I have resisted because it just wouldn't "fit" the layout. Then, a few weeks ago, m wife and I took the train to Boston to see the Sox play the Bluejays and my interest was rekindled. So, I gathered up the equipment I needed: a P42, two Amtube coaches, a cafe car, and an F40 to convert to a cabbage. The P42 and Amtubes I left stock. I might add that the newer Bachmann Amfleet cars are much nicer than the first issue and while they still have a lot of "drag", removing the wheel contacts from one truck on each car helped greatly while maintaining the lighting. The cabbage conversion was fairly straight-forward. Using a Life Like F40, I removed the "prime mover" (how prototypical can you get???), cut out the roof fans and some vents, filled in the holes with green putty to make a smooth roof, covered the side vents with thin strip styrene, moved the horns, added grabs on the nose, and repainted. Correct Phase V decals specifically for the Downeaster are available in HO but not in N. So, I decided to do the train in Ph. IV, using Micro Scale's decal set for Ph. IV Amfleet cars. It worked out OK but, the train doesn't carry the "Downeaster" logo. It was a fun project and the Downeaster does look a little out of place standing beside a Mogul and a string of wood-side coaches at the station but.... it's MY railroad and Rule #1 applies! LOL I will need to add one more coach sometime to make it more prototypical although my not-always-reliable memory says I saw the train in its early days in this configuration.

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  2. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice work!

    This is kind of good timing because someone JUST THIS MORNING asked what a photo of his was showing - it was an old F40PH turned into a "cabbage" - and here we have photos of yours.
     
  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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  4. absnut

    absnut TrainBoard Member

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    Horns

    I didn't remove the horns, I moved them further back on the car body as did Amtrak.
     
  5. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree, very nice work and the scenery is soooooooooooooooooooo New England.
    < Bemused grin >- That someone was me in this thread.
    What Is This? Loco on Amtrak at North Station - TrainBoard.com

    Goddess, I love this place.
    //Note to self: Time to renew subscription.
     
  6. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Dick,
    I love it!!! Great model!!! :) :) :) What did you use for the side door and also what decal set did you use?
     
  7. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

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    Looks Great !!!! :thumbs_up::tb-biggrin:
     
  8. absnut

    absnut TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the kudos, gents.

    Richard,

    I used Micro Engineering's #80-204 N Warehouse Roll- Up Doors and Microscale's #60-971 Amfleet and Horizon Passenger car set. There's enough material to do at least two, possible three F40's/cabbages. Not quite exact but, close enough. The correct set is available from Highball Graphics but only in HO.
     
  9. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    Here I had mentioned in another thread about converting an F40 to a "cabbage" unit, and you had already done it! Nice job- you captured the look of the Downeaster nicely!

    One variant has been the use of P42s on both ends of the train- I shot a pic of such a configuration at the Portland, ME Amtrak station back in January 2006.
     
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I assume dual P42s were used during winter months due to snow and ice. The route is essentially water-level, so I wouldn't think that 4-5 cars would need more than one P42 during the rest of the year.
     
  11. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    I don't remember how many cars were on the one I photographed. It did have one P42 on the "outbound" end. If it helps I can try to get more pictures.
     
  12. absnut

    absnut TrainBoard Member

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    I've never seen the Downeaster with 2 P42's on each end but, I did see, a few months ago, two complete trains lashed together with the P42's nose to nose. I don't live close enough to the tracks to see the Downeaster all that often.

    Dick
     
  13. cfquinlan

    cfquinlan TrainBoard Member

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    Dick,

    Your Cabbage looks great! Can you post some more detailed shots of it? Thanks!

    Chris
     
  14. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Dick, that may have been a rescue operation. Can't be sure since you didn't say where the P's were located in relation to the cars, if the consist was moving, or in which direction relative to where the Ps were located. What's confusing is that the Ps were nose-to-nose, thus blocking forward vision from either cab, i.e. against the rules to move, except maybe for hostling within a terminal...?
     
  15. absnut

    absnut TrainBoard Member

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    Hytec,

    The train was heading south (west?) and a cabbage was in the lead which is normal for the Boston bound train. I couldn't begin to speculate why the second section was reversed. They do keep spares at Portland so.......????

    Chris, I'll post a few more tomorrow though I'm afraid to get too close to show up the imperfections in my work!! LOL

    Dick
     
  16. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Dick, I didn't realize there was a cabbage in the consist, and leading. Therefore I assume the first P, the one next to the coaches and heading backwards, was the one originally assigned with the cabbage. The second P, facing the first P nose-to-nose, was probably being taken back to the Boston Engine Terminal, and also was probably DIT (Dead In Transit) for whatever reason. Were there any coaches behind the two Ps? If so, then it also may have been a rescue operation.

    Regardless, you saw something that is pretty rare...pity you didn't have a camera handy.
     
  17. absnut

    absnut TrainBoard Member

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    I can (and have) carried a camera in the car for weeks at a time without seeing anything to photograph but, on a day when the camera is at home...... you know the story!

    Here are a couple more shots and, as expected, some of my boo-boos are quite apparent! But, from two feet away.....

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    [​IMG]
     
  18. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    < bemused grin >
    Hmm, you need graffiti on that bridge. :)
     
  19. absnut

    absnut TrainBoard Member

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    LOL, Grey One.... actually, my railroad is supposed to be set in the so-called "transition era", with steam running rampant on the layout. The building of the "Downeaster" was a whim I couldn't ignore so, it really looks out of place parked in the station next to a string of wood-side coaches. And, as I remember those days (and my memory is not as trustworthy as I'd like it to be these days), I don't remember a lot of graffiti on bridges or buildings. So, I'll keep it "clean"!

    Dick
     
  20. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Mother Nature has already graffiti-ized the bridge...note moss and/or grass in some of the panels....:tb-tongue:
     

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