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Forty-five years and still running

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  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • 583 posts
Forty-five years and still running
Posted by robert sylvester on Thursday, August 22, 2019 6:03 PM

Happy B-Day This month there is a celebration on the Newberry-Columbia Line, SC. It was forty-five years ago that I had the opportunity to see and drive a brand new GP-38 Illinois Gulf Central engine with the name of Casey Jones printed just below the cab window. It was on display in Jackson, Tenn. for the public to view. At the time I was the news anchor for the local television station and I went to cover the story. The crew invited me to join them in the cab and sit in the engineers seat and actually work the throttle and move the engine a short distance in the yard. We then reversed the engine and I then moved it back to where it was on display. What a thrill; even honked the horn as required.

As an HO enthusiast I had to have a model of that engine. So I went to Memphis, Tenn., to the hobby shop there and sure enough there it was sitting in the cabinet, brand new, an Atlas GP-38 engine in the orange and white livery. I paid $35.00 dollars which was a sum of money in 1974.

This month marks the 45th year that this engine has been running on my different railroads I've built over the years, and here it is:

101-2796.jpg

This marks the 45th anniversery/birthday since this engine first ran on an earlier railroad.

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It remains a staple, never has needed a repair, just simple maintanence with a few drops of oil and keeping the wheels clean. This GP-38 continues to be a smooth runner, pulling freight on the mainline or performing switching duties.

So, hats off to Atlas for building a great engine that still runs 45 years later.

Robert Sylvester

Newberry-Columbia Line, SC

101-2794.jpg

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Central Vermont
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Posted by cowman on Thursday, August 22, 2019 6:16 PM

Congratulations on keeping a great product in great shape.  

Hope It's still around for it's 50th.

Have fun,

Richard

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, August 22, 2019 6:23 PM

45 years of service and still running speaks well of Atlas/Roco locomotives.

I'll join you in wishing your ICG GP38 a happy birthday and may she give you many more enjoyable years of service..

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, August 22, 2019 9:15 PM

That is great.

.

I have a 35+ year old Bachmann locomotive, but it has not run in 30 years.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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  • From: Duluth, MN
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Posted by OT Dean on Friday, August 23, 2019 12:27 AM

SeeYou190

That is great.

.

I have a 35+ year old Bachmann locomotive, but it has not run in 30 years.

.

-Kevin

.

 

Kevin, I'm not sure that's the same thing...  lol

Deano

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  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, August 23, 2019 1:02 AM

Congratulations on reaching that milestone, Robert.  Thumbs UpThumbs Up

I got this John English Pacific, used, in 1956...

....and while it's appearance has been altered several times over the years (it's currently torn down for a few more changes) it still runs and pulls well, equipped with its original open frame motor.  That's 63 years in service on my various layouts, and an unknown amount of time before that.  

I wouldn't be surprised if it outlasts me.

Wayne

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    November, 2003
  • 583 posts
Posted by robert sylvester on Friday, August 23, 2019 4:26 AM

Bow

Wayne:

That is a beautiful example of what we can do in this hobby. It's a testimony to your skills. As I have said before about your pictures and your presentations; a standard we could all wish to live up too, they are pieces of art that truly stimulates the rest of us to do better.

This is just one aspect that makes this hobby so great. Through our scenes and models we create a history, a picture of something great and wonderful. When we pull one of these icons off the shelf and fire them up, so to speak, history comes alive.

Thank you for your comment, a beautiful piece of machinery that still works today and is doing its job.

Robert Sylvester

Newberry-Columbia Line

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Kentucky
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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Friday, August 23, 2019 8:26 AM

Robert .... 

This is a remarkable story. Thanks for telling us of your 45 yrar old locomotive as well as the anniversary of the Newberry-Columbia Line. .....

You mentioned Jackson, TN. We viisted the Casey Jones Museum there a couple of years ago, and it was worthwhile. 

I have some very old HO locomtoves on dispaly shelves. They still are in operating condition. 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

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    December, 2014
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Posted by Wolf359 on Friday, August 23, 2019 1:41 PM

Congratulations Robert, and Wayne, on the many years of service your locomotives have given you. 45 and 63 years really speaks for the quality of these machines. I have a trio of Athearn Hi-F rubberband drive F7s that I think are about 62 years old and they're still running. I also have some Rivarossi steamers that are in their 40s and 50s, and all but one have their original motors and still run quite well. I'm only 28, and a large chunk of my collection is older than I am.Smile, Wink & Grin

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, August 23, 2019 1:48 PM

OT Dean
Kevin, I'm not sure that's the same thing...  lol

.

Not the same at all, but it is all that I have.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • 856 posts
Posted by Southgate on Saturday, August 24, 2019 12:30 AM

Nice to see these old workhorses still at it so capably. I'd still be running my original Athearn BB GP-35 from the mid '70s if I hadn't lost it in a storage shed fire.Embarrassed Dan

  • Member since
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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, August 24, 2019 10:59 AM

I had a few locomotives that were that age, but they were old Mantuas and Athearn BBs, and we're not worth repairing.  I gutted a few and now run them as dummies or sound dummies.

Congratulations on keeping up with an old friend to that degree.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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    January, 2009
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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, August 24, 2019 1:10 PM

Hi Robert
 
Isn’t it great to be able to celebrate a birthday of such a nice running older locomotive?  Most of my locomotives are old but I only have one that I bough new, a MDC Roundhouse 0-6-0 back in 1952.
 
Unfortunately I can’t remember the purchase date, after reading your post I wish I had saved the date when I purchased it so it could have a birthday too.
 
It’s been painted three times but like your GP38 never had a problem and still runs great today.
 
 
I did buy it a mate back in 2013 but again no date.  I was surfacing eBay and found an new old stock Kit also from 1952, cost a bit more in 2013 than 1952, $47 for the new bought, the original cost $6.85 back in 1952.
 
 
Thanks for the inspiring topic Robert.
 
At 82 I wish I ran as good as my 67 year old locomotive.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
  • Member since
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  • From: Clinton, MO, US
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Posted by Medina1128 on Saturday, August 24, 2019 2:27 PM

Funny that I would get home from the store while Arlo Guthrie's "City of New Orleans" on a CD I burned last night, then log in and see your post.

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Posted by Autonerd on Saturday, August 24, 2019 8:47 PM

Outstanding! Our club still has a few Blue Box Athearns and Hobbytowns that have been upgraded to DCC and still run beautifully. Granted, most got can motors early on... but the can motors are still going after 40-plus years!

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  • From: US
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Posted by wp8thsub on Saturday, August 24, 2019 10:58 PM

DSC03121 (2)

by wp8thsub, on Flickr

This Athearn GP7 was the first locomotive I detailed and painted for the WP, back in 1989.  It was about 10 years old at the time, so it's been around for some 40 years.  The Athearn F7 behind it is a 30 year veteran itself.

 

Rob Spangler

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    November, 2003
  • 583 posts
Posted by robert sylvester on Sunday, August 25, 2019 3:38 PM

Bow Mel: Great looking little locomotive. I have some Round House kits that I built. They have open frame motors but they still run pretty good. When you detail them up a bit and weather them they really look good

Thanks to all. I love looking at the pictures of all of your work it is truly inspirational and they always give me ideas as to what else I can do to improve the realism. I am always taking pictures of what I do just to keep a record and even share.

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It's the little stuff, small pieces of detail that can make a scene. In fact everytime I see or view a picture I learn something.

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So, keep plugging away, and of course it will never be finished, just like the real thing, always adding on to make it look better.

Robert Sylvester

Newberry-Columbia Line, SC

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