RS-3’s arrived yesterday and a great RDC picture

Yesterday I picked up a parcel with the trio of RS-3’s in it from New York. Every aspect of that purchase was a shining example of the potential for online model railway communities. But that’s a note for another day perhaps. Now that I have the trio here on the Island I wanted to dig up some pictures of Long Island RS-3’s and compare the Atlas/Kato model to what I want to model and see what I’ll need to do to get them closer.

I’m interested in modelling the RS-3’s after the prototypes as they would have appeared in the early 1970’s. It looks like I won’t have too many modifications:

  • Steam generator stack behind cab on short hood. This looks to be square and totally unlike the ones I’ve seen on New Haven units. Should be simple enough to fabricate from some styrene.
  • Fill in the pilots. These older models had open pilots for truck-mounted couplers. Per my previous experiments I’d like to use Micro-Trains Z scale couplers on these models. I see that Miniatures by Eric sell a replacement pilot for the Atlas RS-3 and I think I recall one from Micro-Trains too.
  • Horn. The LIRR used a Nathan M3-R1 horn on the RS-3 and it’s mounted at roof height on the cab using a bracket that I’ll fold up from some brass shim stock or styrene.
  • Bells. Not sure about this one. They should have been there but I haven’t noticed their location yet in the pictures. I’ll have to keep an eye out.

I’ll be painting these units in the MTA/Long Island blue and yellow colours and think I’ll try my hand at making my own decals. I already have the stuff to do this and am looking forward to figuring out if I can.

Now for the “B part” of this post’s title. From Jerry LaBoda’s collection and found on the website is this picture. I’ve seen a couple of these types of shots and this is one of my favourites. It features a Budd RDC-2 pulling a P-54 coach. The coach is a proper railway car. Apparently the LIRR had a habit of using RDC’s to pull railway cars and the folks at Budd were concerned about how this would tax the RDC’s direct-drive transmission. Consequently warnings were shared and eventually the warranty on these cars was voided by this activity. Regardless it would make for a little more variety. I already have a pair of RDC-1’s and could see them representing this on my layout sometime.



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