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  • Topic: Building and Bashing Amtrak Equipment

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    • October 1, 2011 6:43 PM EDT
      • SHUT UP MAYNARD ,
         
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      OK....A few mods(which I call easy) that can be done too these cars that make them look a bit better. As Tim Brien stated in another thread these cars are really good looking and well made right out of the box. One of the issues I didn't like was the clear marker lights on the end of the cars as they should be red. This is an easy fix as you just slide the doors open and remove the clear plastic sprue. I then just dabbed some red paint on the back of the sprue and reinserted it. This makes for very pleasing results. I also used a back and blue sharpie too color in the HEP cable ports. These are a molded piece and can easily be removed.

      The next thing I did was body mounted Kadee couplers. The G gauge #820's work perfect. First you remove the truck (one screw in the center) then flip it over on the car. There are 2 screws that hold the factory mounted coupler arm too the truck, remove them and loosen the 2 screws on the outside below the springs. You don't need to remove the outer screws just loosening them up will give you enough clearance too remove the coupler arm. I suppose I could have cut the arm but if I ever want too put them back like they were I opted too remove the whole arm.

      Next I made a bracket from 1/4" pvc board CA'ed together. I removed the 2 screws that hold the end frame of the car and replace them with #4 x3/4 screws with washers. I inserted the factory screws on the outside holes of the coupler box so they wouldn't get lost. One screw in the center of the Kadee box will secure the coupler as the tang on the box slides flush against the car. "NOTE" I BASED MY MOD'S ON A 4.5 Radius OR 9' DIAMETER CURVE anything less will probably not work. Being that the cars are coupled so tightly the factory hard plastic diaphram's will not work so I removed these (they are pinned with a pressed fit) and added USA trains PA1 rubber diaphrams that I cut down for just the center section. If your using the factory couplers and want the rubber diaphram's these will probably work right out of the box.

      Some before and after pics.(Note) I already shaved down the coupler arm(on the before pics) as they were very long from the factory.

      I'm currently working on the Genesis Loco and will update shortly
    • October 1, 2011 7:01 PM EDT
      • Nashville, IL
         
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      Nice ""How-To"" article, Son.... good job.... :)
    • October 1, 2011 8:05 PM EDT
      • SHUT UP MAYNARD ,
         
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      I'm not done yet Dad! ;)
    • October 1, 2011 8:22 PM EDT
      • inside out, Pa
         
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      Looking good 'Worm'.
    • October 1, 2011 9:42 PM EDT

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      Looks great. Will they go around your curves?
      Ralph
    • October 1, 2011 10:16 PM EDT
      • Off the Grid
         
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      Nice Mods !
      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • October 2, 2011 2:22 AM EDT

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      I think a set of Amfleets would look great on my new line.
    • October 2, 2011 6:16 PM EDT
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      Ralph Berg said:
      Looks great. Will they go around your curves? Ralph
      NO! I just did that cause I thought they looked cool! ;)

    • October 2, 2011 8:37 PM EDT
      • Nashville, IL
         
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      hmmmm, track looks like it needs a lil support there, son..... :)
    • October 2, 2011 8:37 PM EDT

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      what is the going rate on an Amfleet car?
    • October 2, 2011 8:42 PM EDT

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      David Russell said:
      Ralph Berg said:
      Looks great. Will they go around your curves? Ralph
      NO! I just did that cause I thought they looked cool! ;)
      They do look cool. I assumed you had to move the couplers before you could test it ;) Ralph
    • October 2, 2011 9:15 PM EDT

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      John,
      unfortunately, I think you left your run too late for these cars. Eighteen months ago they were being flogged off on eBay for a pittance. I have not seen cars listed for a long time. I purchased my six cars and two Genesis back then. A coach could be had for around $150 (Cafe car around $130)and a Genesis for around $215 - $249. I purchased the phase lV as it was cheaper than the other versions. Today, a Genesis will be around $550 - $600. A car, well could be anything?
    • October 3, 2011 2:00 AM EDT
      • Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO,
         
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      Nice simple mods, but they really do add to the authentic Amtrak look. I like what you did with the MU covers. That third MU cover is painted white. If there is a white sharpie? These aren't HEP ports. HEP ports are typically painted red and are typically lower and closer to the coupler. The black ports are locomotive MU run through ports. This is for locos on both ends of the train. I always forget what the blue and white are for. Something to do with push pull service and PA announcements? The white port might be a dummy plug so you can plug one end into the blue and the other into the white. I'd have to consult my Amtrak electrical manual again to be sure. It's nice to have a cousin who used to work as an Amtrak electrician in Chicago. Here's the prototype:

      You also mentioned working on a Genesis. This photo might be useful for the front details:

      ____________________________________

      Click Here for photos of my train layouts

    • October 3, 2011 6:29 AM EDT
      • Shut up Rooster
         
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      Looks good Rooster. Those are nice cars. When do we get to see them on your layout running?
    • October 3, 2011 6:52 PM EDT
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      Tim Brien said:
      John, unfortunately, I think you left your run too late for these cars. Eighteen months ago they were being flogged off on eBay for a pittance. I have not seen cars listed for a long time. I purchased my six cars and two Genesis back then. A coach could be had for around $150 (Cafe car around $130)and a Genesis for around $215 - $249. I purchased the phase lV as it was cheaper than the other versions. Today, a Genesis will be around $550 - $600. A car, well could be anything?
      I agree they are fetching crazy prices these days. Glad you checked out this thread Tim, was thinking of adding too yours but didn't want to jack it up....perhaps some of these mods will give you ideas on your fleet. ;)
      Matt said:
      Nice simple mods, but they really do add to the authentic Amtrak look. I like what you did with the MU covers. That third MU cover is painted white. If there is a white sharpie? These aren't HEP ports. HEP ports are typically painted red and are typically lower and closer to the coupler. The black ports are locomotive MU run through ports. This is for locos on both ends of the train. I always forget what the blue and white are for. Something to do with push pull service and PA announcements? The white port might be a dummy plug so you can plug one end into the blue and the other into the white. I'd have to consult my Amtrak electrical manual again to be sure. It's nice to have a cousin who used to work as an Amtrak electrician in Chicago.
      Matt, Once again thanks ! I knew the end port was White but all I had on hand was spray paint or white out....I didn't figure anyone would notice but I forgot about you!!...:) I also thought that the HEP ports were marked red with yellow plugs but I didn't research the cars that much and could not come up with a picture as clear as yours too see them down there. As for the Genesis ...it's actually pretty much finished but was waiting for page 2 so Ralph didn't complain that I forgot my pictures on page 1.
    • October 3, 2011 8:07 PM EDT
      • Shut up Rooster
         
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      There you go page two now post those pictures.
    • October 3, 2011 8:31 PM EDT
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      Shawn said:
      There you go page two now post those pictures.
      ;).........Page 2

      For Ralph....

    • October 4, 2011 7:00 AM EDT
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      Nice Rooster. Im not a fan of moderen stuff but I can see myself putting in a larger loop around my pool area and running some stuff like that. Although it would be NJ transit logo instead.
    • October 4, 2011 1:21 PM EDT
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      Shawn said:
      Nice Rooster. Im not a fan of moderen stuff but I can see myself putting in a larger loop around my pool area and running some stuff like that. Although it would be NJ transit logo instead.
      Then you'll need to be scratch building one of these. Coming to rails near you :D

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • October 4, 2011 7:35 PM EDT
      • SHUT UP MAYNARD ,
         
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      When will it be done Shawn?
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