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Penn Central E8 portholes

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  • Member since
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Penn Central E8 portholes
Posted by Autonerd on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 4:21 PM

Hey all -- I'm going to paint up an E8 for Penn Central. In pictures of the prototypes, I've seen all sorts of things done with the portholes. Some locos have them all blanked, some have none blanked, some have two blanked -- sometimes the inners, sometimes #1 and #3, some time #2 and #4.

Anyone know if there was any rhyme or reason to whether and which portholes were blanked out?

Thanks

Aaron

Tags: E Unit , E8 , Penn Central
  • Member since
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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 5:58 PM

No rhyme or reason other than cost. The side panels were thin sheet metal wrapped around plywood (Plymetal) as the steel rusted away panels were swapped from other engines waiting to be scrapped or in some cases just the plywood was bolted back in place.

The portholes were just extra work to install in the new panels so skipping them was a matter of economy. In later years the glazing would have had to meet FRA impact requirements so that was yet another reason to skip any unnecessary glazing.

 PC_4248_E8-9-73 by Edmund, on Flickr

Some of the B units had to keep one opening porthole window for the hostler to see where he was going.

I've seen some PC E-units where the panel was replaced and the old lettering was still in place, sometimes even being upside-down. Didn't matter to the shop forces.

 P-C_4312 by Edmund, on Flickr

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by Autonerd on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 9:25 PM

Thanks! The upside-down panel thing looks cool but probably beyond my abilities... for the moment. Might try that on another E-unit!

I think I'll find a number that had the portholes blanked, I think that'd look cool.

Aaron

  • Member since
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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 10:58 PM

Autonerd
I think I'll find a number that had the portholes blanked, I think that'd look cool.

I agree. It would have been nice if Life-Like or their new owners, Walthers, would offer some Es with blanked portholes. B&O and Erie-Lackawanna are among several other roads that eliminated them in later years.

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:54 AM

Autonerd
The upside-down panel thing looks cool but probably beyond my abilities... for the moment.

The simple way to approximate it is to carefully trim a decal to the panel lines desired, then apply it 'upside down' at the same or a different panel location -- this trimming method works for hood units with the doors 'out of order' too, if that is something you want to duplicate.  Don't forget to weather the resulting 'upside-down' panel upside-down as well as in its current 'alignment'!

  • Member since
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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, October 15, 2020 4:21 AM

Although on the scrap line you can see the upper-left panel has been re-arranged:

 PC 4233 E7, South Amboy, NJ. 3-01-1980 by JACK KUIPHOFF, on Flickr

Also note the ex-PRR E7s still show the "bars" on the traction motor blower filter door (just behind the cab door) where the PRR "Five Stripes" continued across the opening uninterrupted.

Here's another example of switched-around panels and, perhaps, evidence that one of the first "portholes" to be eliminated was just aft of the engine room door possibly for the PENN CENTRAL lettering?

Note below the word Penn the panel has the remains of a large, intertwined PC.

P-C was experimenting with quite a few variants for the lettering of Es and Fs in their early years. Seems like no two were the same.

It may be a rather poor photo but this shows what I meant about upside-down panels:

Fallen Flags Photo. It would seem the 4295 has donated some side panels?

Good Luck, Ed

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