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By the time the NC had modernized and upgraded its steam fleet, no 0-6-0’s were in service. All switching was taken care of by 2-8-0’s and some early Diesel switchers. Yet, I have a model of an 0-6-0 I can’t part with. To incorporate it into the scheme of things, it wound up as NC 760. This engine is a Tyco “Big Six” that was my very first HO scale steam engine in the fifties.I have added a few things to it over the years, and NC-ized it. This engine is so smooth and quiet (having a Helix Humper motor/flywheel kit in it) that you can hear the side rods click as she passes. Yes, it is quite worn out but still serves every day.
To add to the confusion of transition era operations and replace ageing steamers, the NC ordered five steam generator equipped GP-7’s. These engines were used to serve branch line passenger operations, and a few worked mainline trains such as the remnant of the City of Memphis. Painted in passenger scheme, 754 is an Athearn model upgraded, re-detailed and custom painted in that scheme. This shot shows 754 with the “City” and a little extra rare head-end business this day. The train is VERY late. By 1955 the City was one bedraggled Geep and two, maybe three cars. By 1958 the train was gone.
Steam engine 651 and crewman foul the switch at Kayne west end. It does not matter, for they are only stopped for a moment to line up another switch. This is my first scratch-built steamer, built in 1970-71. The chassis is a PennLine Pennsy Decapod that has been shortened by one driving axle and a trailing truck added. It still has the original Pittman motor and runs as if it has a can motor in it. Another engine with over thirty years of service, it clanks along almost like the prototype. I like the smoke and sky effects Maryann added.
The Kayne Ave Turntable was for turning most anything that was pointed the wrong way. On dynamometer cars, the “Business end” of the car was where the cupola is, and it faced forwards in operation. Here 90130 gets turned for another trip down to Cowan and the Cumberland Mountain for more testing. There is some question if the car was Tuscan red or Pullman green when originally on the NC. This car is a standard unmodified (except for inspection lights and full, lighted interior with crew) custom decorated Walthers Dyno car. This car now belongs to Terry Coats, NCPS VP.
Stainless fluted car 100 is two Varney shorty cars spliced together. A coach and observation car were used to make this 82’ car and experiment with stainless steel painting techniques. I painted the car with gloss black laquer then sprayed two coats of Rustoleum High Temperature Aluminum over it when well dried. The result is very convincing, but the aluminum is easy to scratch. Clear coat sealer does not work on test samples and dulls the paint. Here, the windows are yet to be added. There was no prototype for this car on the NC, it is just for fun.
Engine 673 is one of two identical class L-3 Mikados I built as a logical extension of the L-2 class. These engines both have synchronized sound and double heading is startling. They are built from almost exclusively Tyco parts, except for the Buehler can motors, A-Line flywheels and sparse additions of Cal Scale details. Big visual change is the addition of old Rivarossi USRA cabs. They utilize the Mantua “Power Drive” gear box system and run like a dream. All drivers are flanged, and they will negotiate 22” radius curves and number 4 turnouts. The scratch-built roundhouse is over thirty years old and has complete lights and some interior detail, but retains the original brass rails!

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