Time-travelling Box Queen

A couple of weeks ago, I was lamenting the fact that no trains have run on Pembroke in almost two years.  My friend Mark Dance suggested I get a little diesel and convert it; then I could at least bang around a few cars when I want.

It reminded me that this was actually part of my original strategy for Proto:87 some 24 years ago: build a switching layout and operate it with a diesel until the first steamer arrives.  I even converted that diesel, and so, I don’t know why I didn’t remember this – well apart from the fact that diesel is “die” with a “sel.”

So, when I was up in the attic putting away a box last week, I dug out that old die-sel and set it on the track.  This is a very old Juneco conversion of an Athearn SW1500 to SW1200RS.  I think I built it in high school, or perhaps early in University, and converted it to Proto:87 in about 1995 with my friend Kevin Knox’s help.   It doesn’t hold a candle to more modern models (check out those old-skool handrail stanchions!), but 1352 does have the happy property of existence!

The loco has no DCC receiver, and indeed it has the old Athearn direct connection between motor and frame, which makes conversion to DCC non-trivial.  But, after a few cuss words and a little cleaning and coaxing, it ran on address 0.  Maybe it will run the local  occasionally while 622 gets built.



4 thoughts on “Time-travelling Box Queen

    1. Thanks, Steve. I think it was good in its time.

      I was especially pleased when I showed it to Jim Cameron, who worked for the railroad, and he immediately recognized the pattern of weathering.

  1. Have to agree with traingeek but my dislike toward “D cells” runs as deep as the sailor in me who despises the stinkpot.

    It does have a lot of character though and adding dcc with sound. Hearing an older engine with warn valves working hard to pull a few cars would make a stand in to a tea kettle more palitable.


    1. Cheers, Neil. At this point, I am loathe to put any effort into it, with the possible exception of installing a decoder (address 0 makes too much noise to be kind to motors). We’ll see.

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