Anybody run Amtrak in N ?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by csxengineer, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

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    Well, were all settled into the new house with detached garage for my new train room. I have 12' by 12' to work with, so I'm doing an around the walls layout with a thin duckunder (1' deep). The layout will be modern, and focus once again on the Braddock (near pittsburgh) area. Mainline will be from McKeesport to Braddock with 1 main going towards Pittsburgh via CSX, and the other going to the Amtrak station located on the NS. I bought the 4 car set of Amtrak superliners in phase 5 scheme. I'm totally digging it, and wonder who else is doing modern amtrak in N? What min radius are you using?

    It will be a while before photos are posted on my end. Computer issues.
  2. oleirish

    oleirish Member

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    amtrc

    :thumb: I'am running amtrc on my "N" scale layout,looks good!!!!

    JIM
  3. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

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    Oh I'd say we run some Amtrak...I start from the F40's and go to the P42 Phase V's, including the Dash-8's. I like the Kato Superliner cars - they run well and look great. I added some Concor Viewliner cars and Budd passenger cars, and they look ok, but the couplers aren't that great and don't stay connected on my tiny 9.75 inch curves - which I know is waaaaaay too small to be prototypical. The LifeLike F40PH diesels (relatively inexpensive and sold as a powered and dummy engie set) can be modified with a MicroTrain coupler that improves their look and capability. The Kato engines and cars stay coupled on my too small curves with no problems. The Atlas Dash-8's run well and look sharp and don't uncouple from the Superliner cars. I'd opt for the Kato Material Handling Cars too...they have Phase III and Phase IV cars out if you can still find them. The Kato F40PH diesels probably run great as you'd expect from a Kato, but they sure look lacking in details. The LifeLike F40PH's don't run as smoothly, but have a bit more detailing than the rather smooth and bland Kato offering. For the cost of the Kato F40PH, I expected more small detailing than what the final product offered. Granted, the covered wagon look of the F40PH isn't as "busy" as the Dash-8's or P42 series, but I thought Kato could have made them a bit more interesting in small detail.

    Attached Files:

  4. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

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    Thanks

    I LOVE your layout!!!! Fantastic.
  5. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

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    Thanks...amazing what a little sunshine will do to improve the quality and realism of pictures. This is my first layout and it is still a "work in progress" adding realism and small details to cover up tons of little mistakes I made along the way. I've got the common problem of trying to do too much too quickly with too little experience. I forgot to answer your one question though...I used 9.75 in radius track, Bachmann EZ track actually. All of it is ballasted, weathered, and the only cars that give me any trouble negotiating the curves are the Concor passenger cars with the diaphrams between the cars. The Kato Superliners run fine and are made to handle the tight radius. There is a lot of overhang and I know the radius is really not prototypical - but I didn't have a choice when designing the layout. If you're interested in Nscale Amtrak, start looking and buying now. I'm finding that some of the cars and engines are getting harder to find at hobby stores and through online retailers - espicially if you want something unusual.

    Here's a few more pics -

    Attached Files:

  6. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

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    If that's Bachmann EZtrack then you deserve a medal -- the ballasting and weathering is a super job and you wouldn't ever know...

    Charles
  7. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

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    Thank you very much...yep that's EZtrack. I found to ballast it - and get it to stick to the slippery plastic roadbed - I had to add a bit of carpenter's glue to the glue/water/dishwashing liquid mixture to give me that extra holding power. I learned alot from doing it, but the next layout will use more flextrack (less track joining) on cork roadbed. It took me three attempts at ballasting till I was happy with the results. Then like so many other layouts, it was just a matter of adding oil stains (using chalk of various colors) and coloring the ties here and there to break up the uniformity along with hand weathering the rails (next time I'm going to use spray paint). The real trick was weathering the turnouts. I found that hand painting them using mostly black inks gave them a much better appearance and covered all the extra metal that the EZ turnouts have.
  8. nscaler711

    nscaler711 Member

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    Herc Driver i love your P42's!
    Are they a ton of fun to drive?
    I have a Phase V #134, that i am now weathering
    ill post pics later......
  9. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

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    Honestly - I had a hate/love thing with that P42. I couldn't stand the way they looked at first, but then I bought one and really liked the way the whole train looked with the Superliner cars in tow. Those Kato engines sure run smooth and corner great. They run fine with the short-shank coupler too. I've got too tight of radius to be prototypical and therefore I added the longer shank to the last diesel connected to the Superliner cars - but I really don't need it...the Kato cars stay connected to the diesel just fine, but the Concor Amtrak cars don't...they need the longer shank coupler.

    Soon as you get #134 weathered - better post the pics - I'd like to see them!
  10. nscaler711

    nscaler711 Member

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    Well here are two for now!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  11. nolatron

    nolatron Member

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    Got me some Amtrak cars too.

    [​IMG]
  12. oleirish

    oleirish Member

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    Amtrack

    :wave:This a new picture of my "N" scale layout

    [​IMG]

    Not real good but you can an Idea of It.
    JIM:java1:
  13. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

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    Nice weathering Nscaler711! Did you use chalks?

    Good looking signal Shaun. That Phase III looks good.

    Jim - where's the close up? That's a good lookin' string of smooth sides or Budds? (I can't quite tell from the photo.) Are those the LifeLike F40PH diesels or the Kato version?
  14. nscaler711

    nscaler711 Member

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    i used oil pastels and those must be Amfleets b/c no budds have been made
  15. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

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    Oils??? My compliments. I'm part of the "chalk-only" set and don't trust myself with paints yet. Aaarrrrrrggghhhh...I don't know what I was thinking when I typed Budd and not Amfleet...pardon the mental slip.
  16. nscaler711

    nscaler711 Member

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    not paint, oil pastels, are like chalks but its like grease.... lol
    we have all have mental slip ups! [;)]
  17. zachary

    zachary Member

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    nice stuff everyone
  18. oleirish

    oleirish Member

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    One is an bachmann F-7,the other not sure,I think those are lifelike cars,they have 4-wheel trucks I think they are buds,I'am working on trying to gat the picture larger.
    JIM
  19. nscaler711

    nscaler711 Member

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    oh ok cool!

    Here is my P42 and SD70M
    [​IMG]
  20. zachary

    zachary Member

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