Author Topic: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service  (Read 2785 times)

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BruceG

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NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« on: April 24, 2018, 10:53:08 PM »
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I'd like to model an NKP Berkshire heading up a freight train in the late 50's.  There are excellent photos on Richard Leonard's Steam Locomotive Archive:  http://railarchive.net/rlsteam/nkp.htm.  Judging from these, it would appear that the Bachmann Rail fan version WITH the Mars Light could be backdated by merely removing the white stripes and whitewalls and giving it some weathering.  I'm not a rivet counter; I'll settle for a reasonable representation of the prototype.  Can anyone tell me of any other significant changes I would need to make to avoid creating a serious foobie?

Thanks,

Bruce

nickelplate759

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 12:00:24 AM »
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Any NKP engine is worthwhile, even a foobie  :D

You would be in good shape with your approach.  Remove the white wheel stripes,  but you can keep the running board stripes if you like them. That's what I did.   There are plenty of in service photos showing those running board stripes (and plenty more without).

If you want to be fussy you should also renumber it (I didn't).  759 was a class S2, and the Bachmann model is an earlier  class S1 (so was the LifeLike).   Rowa and Rivarossi did the S2.  S1 numbers are 715 through 739.  I don't think anyone has done a class S (Alco built) or S4, but NKP fans have been blessed with two classes of Berkshire!

[edit]
Here's a weird thing - the Rowa/Rivarossi S2 model has roller bearings on the trailing truck and tender trucks, but the prototype class S2 (and S3) had solid bearings.  Near as I can tell from photos, only the class S4 had the roller bearing trailing and tender trucks - but that's a significantly different locomotive in a number of other ways (for example, inside bearings on pilot truck, and boxpox drivers).  I wonder why Rowa/Rivarossi did this?
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 12:36:52 AM by nickelplate759 »
George
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seusscaboose

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 03:31:52 AM »
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Looking forward to a pic!
"I have a train full of basements"

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BruceG

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 11:41:41 PM »
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Thanks, George. Can you tell me what the visible differences are between the S-1 and S-2?  I can’t find any clear photos of an S-1 on line.

nickelplate759

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2018, 12:51:09 AM »
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Sure - there are a few really obvious things to look for.

The S2 has roller bearings on their pilot trucks.  S1 has solid (a.k.a. "friction") bearings on all trucks.
The S2 has 6 sand pipes coming off each side of the sand dome.   S1 has 4.

Also, of course, the numbers.   
S:    700 - 714  - built by Alco
S1:  715 - 739
S2:  740 - 769
S3:  770 - 779  - I don't know how to tell these from class S2, except by their numbers.
S4:  801 - 832  - these were acquired with the W&LE, built by Alco, and have Boxpox drivers.  [ edit ] they also have inside-bearing pilot trucks, and roller bearings on their trailing and tender trucks.

Here's a picture of #717, an S1.  Note the bearings on the pilot, and the sand pipes.


If you find a loco that has the S1 features but a ROUND builder's plate - that's an S, made by Alco.  S1, S2 and S3 were made by Lima and have a diamond builders plate. In the photo you can see the plate just above the  the steam pipe over the right cylinder.

RR Picture Archives has a album called NKP Berks The Motherload here: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiveThumbs.aspx?id=88955
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 12:32:40 AM by nickelplate759 »
George
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2018, 10:25:54 AM »
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These really were like NKP's SD40-2.

mmagliaro

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2018, 01:26:51 PM »
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I'd like to model an NKP Berkshire heading up a freight train in the late 50's.  There are excellent photos on Richard Leonard's Steam Locomotive Archive:  http://railarchive.net/rlsteam/nkp.htm.  Judging from these, it would appear that the Bachmann Rail fan version WITH the Mars Light could be backdated by merely removing the white stripes and whitewalls and giving it some weathering.  I'm not a rivet counter; I'll settle for a reasonable representation of the prototype.  Can anyone tell me of any other significant changes I would need to make to avoid creating a serious foobie?

Thanks,

Bruce

Bruce,
Do you already own one of these Bachmann Berkshires?  Aside from the cosmetic issues you are trying to address, are you sure you'll be happy with it?  I am not trying to stir the pot, but those engines have mechanical "issues".  You might want to test-drive one before you plan on using it for your kitbashes.

btrain

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2018, 02:20:47 PM »
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I'm pretty happy with my Bachmann Berks, they pull more than my Walthers and are a great deal with sound/DCC. I would highly recommend using NeoLube to black out the whitewalls, that way your electrical pickup won't be affected by paint splotches. Also painting the smokebox and firebox black would help achieve a more prototypical look, I don't think NKP applied light graphite during the 1950s, even though both 759 and 765 sported such looks in their excursion careers.

Great photo of 717, George. That's the same digits of my membership number at the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.


Nickel Plate Road in Bellevue Layout: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=40849.0

BruceG

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2018, 04:18:38 PM »
+1
George: Thanks for the link. The archive is a tremendous resource!

Max:  I appreciate the warning.  I’ve owned Bachmann’s 765 Berk for over a year, have run it often, and never had a problem. It’s a great puller, too.  Sound is weak compared to other brand locos, but not too bad. Funny thing with Bachmann - sometimes you get a really good one!

I was going to buy one of the MARS Light versions, but just missed a great price on one on the bay.  I’ve noticed in the archive that many in revenue service had only the single headlight, so maybe I’ll just use the model I have. I’d prefer to renumber it to an S-1 number, but I haven’t found any NKP steam decals.   I’ll check other roads. It looks like what I need is just yellow numbers in Railroad Roman font.

nickelplate759

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2018, 04:45:32 PM »
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I'm pretty happy with my Bachmann Berks, they pull more than my Walthers and are a great deal with sound/DCC. I would highly recommend using NeoLube to black out the whitewalls, that way your electrical pickup won't be affected by paint splotches. Also painting the smokebox and firebox black would help achieve a more prototypical look, I don't think NKP applied light graphite during the 1950s, even though both 759 and 765 sported such looks in their excursion careers.

Great photo of 717, George. That's the same digits of my membership number at the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.

LifeLike sold a nice model of 717, by the way.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

jdcolombo

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 10:51:13 AM »
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George: Thanks for the link. The archive is a tremendous resource!

Max:  I appreciate the warning.  I’ve owned Bachmann’s 765 Berk for over a year, have run it often, and never had a problem. It’s a great puller, too.  Sound is weak compared to other brand locos, but not too bad. Funny thing with Bachmann - sometimes you get a really good one!

I was going to buy one of the MARS Light versions, but just missed a great price on one on the bay.  I’ve noticed in the archive that many in revenue service had only the single headlight, so maybe I’ll just use the model I have. I’d prefer to renumber it to an S-1 number, but I haven’t found any NKP steam decals.   I’ll check other roads. It looks like what I need is just yellow numbers in Railroad Roman font.

The NKP started equipping Berks with Mars lights after WWII.  By the early 1950's all of them had Mars lights.  That said, I run a bunch of the LifeLike Berks that didn't come with Mars lights - there isn't a currently-available detail part for these, but it wouldn't be hard to do a 3D print of such a part, and it's on my list to get done one day.

The Bachmann Berks have the best electrical pickup of nearly any steam model I've owned.  But they are highly variable in performance.  I bought three.  With effort, I got two of these running reasonably well.  The third I gave up on and stole the tender for one of my LL Berks, since the Bachmann tender is far superior to the LL one on the electrical pickup front.

If you are really interested in the history of the Berks and seeing tons of photos of them, there is a whole book with photos and history: Berkshires of the Nickel Plate Road, by Kevin J. Holland.  Everything you'd want to know about them is in that book.  And when it comes to the NKP generally, the standard reference is The Nickel Plate Story, by John Rehor.   And there WERE differences among each of the S classes - mostly minor (e.g., number of sanding lines; roller bearings on the trailing truck, etc), but if you're obsessive about such things, the information is available in Kevin Holland's book.

John C.

btrain

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2018, 03:07:48 PM »
+1
The NKP started equipping Berks with Mars lights after WWII.  By the early 1950's all of them had Mars lights.  That said, I run a bunch of the LifeLike Berks that didn't come with Mars lights - there isn't a currently-available detail part for these, but it wouldn't be hard to do a 3D print of such a part, and it's on my list to get done one day.


Hey John, I've had luck with Kato Part 934016, which is the glass set for the 844. Even tho the lens is red for that mars light, I imagine the light could be filled with Micor-Kristal Clear.



Nickel Plate Road in Bellevue Layout: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=40849.0

BruceG

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 11:21:54 AM »
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I've ordered the Bachmann Berkshire with Mars light from TrainWorld.  Their 30 day return policy will allow me to test run it thoroughly before making any modifications.  If it has mechanical problems, I can send it back for a replacement or at worst for a refund.  They also had the best price I could find.

Thanks for the advice from all of you.

Bruce

atsf3751

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 10:20:51 PM »
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Mine runs great and you can get instructions from Bryan at SBS4DCC.com on how to get the Mars light to work. He will also sell you a kit for that.
Marty Young
San Diego, CA

johnb

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Re: NKP Berkshire in Revenue Service
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2018, 10:30:27 PM »
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There is one for sale on Trainboard