Building the HO Scale American Freedom Train

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by MadCoW1, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

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    Hi Gus/Steamhead,

    My friend I must admit that due to the heavy workload from custom painting and the American Freedom Train project, the layout has remained dormant as far as any progress goes. But here is a little history for you.

    The Railroad operates in the mid to late 70's era.

    The Madison Central of Wisconsin - M.C.o.W. R.R.

    "Route of the MadCow"

    In April of 1969, a group of five young men from Baraboo pooled the resources of investors and made an offer to the Chicago and Northwestern R.R. for the lines eminating from Madison. The offer was accepted and the Madison Central was born. Operation was taken over on April 17th, using equipment leased from the CNW with a purchase option. The lines' main source of revenue is the large quarry at Ablemann. From this quarry comes the famous 'pink lady' ballast the CNW is known for.

    In those early days, you could catch such trains as the Guernsey '400' gliding past the loader.
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    And it is common to see Chicago commuter service F's working freight service on the weekends.
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    There is usually a switcher assigned to the quarry, which is never short of activity.
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    Just beyond the quarry, railroad west, is the most railfanned spot on the system. Judging from the age of the trestle here, I would say some inspector is getting a greasy palm. The high bridge at Ablemann is a great place to catch all sorts of action.

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    For me, I'm a covered wagon fan and catching the F's makes my day.

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    Here, a GP-30 is bookended by GP-35's with empties arriving for the quarry.

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    And for the FANTASY fans, here is an SD50 with a CNW SD40T-2 on a loaded train.

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    As we leave the quarry headed westbound, we pass thru Diablo Pond State Park. this area was once a tourist destination for CNW excursion trains. The area is under construction and extensive work is being done here.

    After leaving the bluff area of the state, the scenery becomes rolling hillsides typical of the midwest. Arriving at Dachshundville, home of Eddy's Bread milling company a large customer on the system.

    In this view taken in CNW days, GP-9 #1755 lumbers through town with a manifest.

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    Highway 14 still crosses at grade with the MadCoW.

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    Being relatively close to Madison, one can often catch the 'wienermobile' making the rounds.

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    With the MadCow track speed upgraded to 45mph, these geeps are doing close to it as they roar through town.

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    I caught this shot of a couple in the cemetary as a leased CNW unit tip-toes by.

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    And on another fine sunny day, these boys were adding to the artwork over the Little Tiddle river that borders the west edge of town.

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    The co-op still sees seasonal grain traffic and it looks like some sort of passenger special is passing through town.

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    And again, for the FANTASY fans, a shippers special, led by MadCoW SD40T-2 leads an FP45'B' with a train of gallery cars. The FP45 B was to be part of an A-B-A set the never came to pass.

    [​IMG]

    And that pretty much covers the completed scenes thus far on the MadCoW. These scenes were done in diorama style sections that are being incorporated to the layout. The layout design is double decked with the scenes that are complete on the lower level. Directly above the quarry is where Madison will be. The section of Madison that will be modeled is where the CNW station is. An area known as Blair St. and the CNW crossed the Milwaukee at grade in the middle of the street there. As I mentioned, I have not had a great deal of time to work on it but that will change soon, I can feel it. Till I can post new photos, I hope you enjoyed a 'tour' of sorts of the MadCoW. And the new scheme will be unveiled shortly!!

    Now it's back to the Freedom Train.


    Thanks for looking,

    More to come,

    Johnny
  2. Justin

    Justin Member

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    To bad your loco died. Maybe you could buy one of those newer GS-4 thats actually correct details wise. Precision Models has one.
  3. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

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    Yes, Yes I do!:D sign1 Btw, do you have CNW SD50 # 7038? If so, I'd like to see it run!
    Is that big structure made from the Prarie Star Grain Elevator?

    EDIT:


    I don't think so :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pMgy1emY1E
  4. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

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    Hey CNWman,

    Nah, the only SD50 I had was the 7004 in the photos. I built it long before Athearn came out with theirs. I doesn't fit my era so I sold it off.

    The big structure(white one?) is from an old craftsman kit that was in pieces so I bought it for $3.00 and nursed it back to life. A few months ago, Keith Meacham of the pages of Model Railroader, dropped me a line to say that it had once belonged to he and his father. He told me he was pleased to see that it had found a good home and was resurected.

    Johnny
  5. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    Hey Johnny...

    That's quite a tour. I can only say that it's very top-notch modeling...!!! As good as ANY we see on this forum...Congratulations, and keep up the GREAT WORK...!!! :thumb:

    Now...how about a little tutorail on those AWESOME rock faces...(We'll leave the trestle, poles, wires, etc. for later...) :D
  6. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

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    Cool story on the big white building:thumb: But I actualy meant the big brown one in the foreground. Plus, the SD50 # 7038 thing was a joke:D Although number 7038 did exist, the loco ended up being a nightmare to maintain for the mechanic department and it did so when the UP got it, and the UP just chuncked it. I want a SD50 # 7038 just to mess up realists some more on my modern-era CNW layout while they're still phazed by my running F3A loco:D
  7. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    That train really looks cool- why do they have a bell in the coach though??
  8. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

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    I'll have to search but I thought I did one here once....................

    Johnny
  9. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

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    Not sure other than it was a Walthers' kit. Here's a pic of it during the construction of Dachshundville. Might give you a better idea.............

    [​IMG]

    Johnny
  10. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

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    Hi MadHatter,

    Good question. The American Freedom Train was full of historical artifacts and most could be viewed by going through the cars. However, there were two converted baggage cars that had large 'showcase' windows so that the large displays inside could be viewed trackside even while the train was in motion and they were also lit for night viewing as well and while the train was in motion.

    The contents of the cars were;

    #41--

    A) Twice sized replica of the Liberty Bell

    B) Large map of the trains' route across the United States

    C) A lunar Land Rover from the Smithsonian(the real ones never came back)


    #40

    A) 1903 Oldmobile Runabout

    B) George Washington's fire pumper

    C) Baltimore and Ohio 'Arabian' steam locomotive

    Hope this helps.

    Johnny
  11. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    Thanks for the info- what was the liberty bell for? Were these items included in the train as milestones that the US reached?
  12. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

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    No Problem. I'm learning a lot as I go as well.

    The Liberty Bell hung in Independance Hall from the tower. On July 8th, 1776, it was rung to summon the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. As for the items that were included in the train, yes. They proclaimed U.S. history 'milestones', achievments, and otherwise historical items from the timeline 1776-1976.

    Some of the items in the display cars included, Judy Garlands' Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz movie, Abraham Lincolns' rocking chair, copies of the constitution and on, and on.

    Johnny
  13. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    Penzoil has a picture of a cracked bell in it's name- Is the name playing around with the words: Pennsylvania Oil? Is't Philadelphia in Pennsylvania where the liberty bell is kept- just wondering if there's a connection.
  14. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

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    thats a good question madhatter.im not sure but someone has the answer on here.there always is!LOL.oh and the first time th liberty bell was rung...it cracked LOL.but i beleive penzoil has that because it s americn made and the liberty bell is a very american thing.thats just an idea and i've never been to africa so its just a guess.--josh
  15. Justin

    Justin Member

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    How bad of shape is your loco? Maybe I v=can rebuild it for you. I have some very sucessful rebuilds in HO and O-27.
  16. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    You are correct. The Liberty Bell was originally hung in the state house in Philadelphia, and is still kept nearby on display. The first version of the bell cracked the 1st time it was rung after hanging in 1753. The bell had been ordered to commerorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn's grant. The cracked bell was recast, but the second version had a terrible sound. It was recast again in 1753, and eventually became the Liberty Bell. This third bell cracked when being rung sometime in the 1st half of the 19th century. It was repaired by stop drilling in February 1846. While being rung for Washington's birthday on 22 Feb 1846, the crack grew from the stop drill hole to the crown, which made it unusable.

    Philadelphia was the capital of the new country that was trying to become the United States during the American Revolution - the Continental Congress met there. That's why the British march into and occupation of Philadelphia in the fall of 1777 was so disasterous. And that's why despite the severe hardships and losses, Washington was forced to winter over in nearby Valley Forge. The Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation (predecessor to the Constitution that didn't create a strong enough central government) were written in Philadelphia.

    Washington DC was developed as the new capital as a compromise with Virginia and the other southern states to avoid dominance by the northern states (an ongoing issue that preceded the Civil War by some 90 years), and to get the critical votes to ratify the constitution. Virginia and Maryland ceded a 10 mile square section of land that would not be in any state for the new capital. Virginia's cede of land was returned in 1847. As punishment for their part in the Civil War, the Lee family holdings in Arlington (Virginia section of the cede) were taken and turned into Arlington National Cemetary, among other things.

    Penzoil took its name from the first commercial oil wells in the US located in western Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania oil was supposed to be cleaner burning than other early competitors.

    Wish I knew nearly as much about South African history as you do about US history.

    Fred Wright
  17. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    We see tons of US soapies, movies etc, etc. UK stuff too. Not really Austrailian though.

    And we also have our stuff that we watch, which is in one of our twelve official languages, I speak two: English & Afrikaans (which comes from Dutch).

    If you ever have a question or are interested in something, you can just ask or p.m. me.

    AND NO- there are no lions in our back yards!!! As I'm sometimes asked, hehe!
  18. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

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    Thanks to all for the additional information on the bell.

    Here are the three cars that are now complete.

    The 4449 tool car PNWC 76............

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    What it looked like when in it's proper place coupled to the 4449.......

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    The AFT111, generator/exit car..........

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    The AFT 200, generator car.........

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    How they looked when coupled together. It was between these two cars that the split was made when displaying the train. The 111 stayed with the display portion, while the 200 stayed with the crew portion........

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    More cars are underway,

    More to come,

    Johnny
  19. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

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    Say, you said that this was going on STATIC display? Why bother waiting for the working engine then? If that is an AUTHENTIC Lionel, I'd display it even if it won't run. It's colorfull for the young ones, a true Lionel origional so the super-realists won't get on your case because it's a restored antique, and it will please the modelers that are more into the latter years! Why NOT display the Lionel? You've already restoered it and I don't see any drawbacks:D Just don't tell them you pretty much disected most of the carssign1
  20. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    Whooooooo, looks great!!!!