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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased on eBay, but have not received, a Proto 2000 GP60 NS #7123, presumably a locomotive modeled after one of the 50 GP60 prototypes Norfolk Southern bought from EMD in 1991. I have never owned a locomotive before, and I have just finished laying the cork for the first model railroad I have ever attempted. Because I will be wiring the track for DCC, I know I need to find a decoder that will work for this engine and I will have to correct the fact that Life-Like Proto2000 GP60 and SD60M locomotives have an additional lamp added for the number boards which, as wired, causes problems on DCC (it does not adversely affect DC operation, but I will be running on DCC). Since the bulb is wired to the gray (negative motor) pin and the black (track pickup) pin, the Digitrax DCC system will see this as a short circuit. The solution will be for me to disconnect the bulb from both pins and figure out what on earth a "function lead" is on the decoder, and wire the errant buld to that.

I would like to further complicate my life by attempting to rise to the challenge of making this P2K GP-60 look much more like the particular GP-59 known as SOU 4610. There is no shortage of photo references for the 4610 on the Internet, but I have not yet received my GP60 to learn exactly what I can do to make it look more like the desired GP59.

I have read that "The GP60 is fitted with the 16 cylinder version of the EMD diesel engine Type 710. (As an aside, the 710 represents the cubic capacity of the cylinder used; previous engines were known as Types 567 and 645 based on the same criteria.) In 1989 when the GP59 was built the Norfolk Southern, like many US railroads, were still interested in models that saved fuel costs while still giving similar performance so they ordered a 12 cylinder version from EMD - the GP59. This only produced 3000 horsepower as opposed to the 3800 horsepower that the GP60 produced but was considered more than adequate for many of the shorter routes that the Norfolk Southern had."

When I actually receive the locomotive in the mail, I will count its access doors and compare it to the all photos of NS 4610 that I have collected, but I am not sure how to go about making that look any more prototypical (did I mention I have never built a model of anything before, scratch, kit, kitbash, or other wise?) At any rate, I hope the Proto-2000 GP-60 is the correct phase (or at least closer to a GP59) than the Athearn that has the look of a Phase 1 GP50.

I have not seen any detailed lists of what can be done to make a P2K NS GP60 (hotrod) look like a SOU-4610 GP59. I say "look like" because I am only interested on what I would need to change on the model (e.g. if I learn that one is a 12 cylinder and one is a 16, that doesn't tell me what exterior changes are required because I don't know that much about locomotives).

I am so new to ALL of this. My wife's Dad died a few years ago; he started working as a telegraph operator for Southern and worked his way up to retire as an assistant superintendant for Norfolk Southern. Model railroading is a way to honor his memory and continue my son's love of trains.

One recent eBay seller of a Proto 2000 GP 60 "changed the dynamic brake hatch and replaced brake lever to brake wheel" and repainted it as SOU 4610. I don't know "to what" he changed the dynamic brake hatch (i.e. if he scratchbuilt something or if a squarer replacement part is commercially available), and with my lack of knowledge about aftermarket parts suppliers and my lack of knowledge about actual locomotive design, I am finding it difficult to even know where to start looking.

I know quite a few people have worked on converting a P2K GP60 into SOU4610, and I know many are far more knowledgeable than I about the particular differences; I did a search here that turned up no results for GP59, so I though I might put out a feeler to see if anyone who has attempted to do this before (or even thought about doing this) might be willing to share a list of the specifics differences that effect the external appearance of a model (which can actually be changed or replaced) or point me in the right direction of some quality conversion pieces that might be available.
 

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Can't really help much on modifying the GP60 to better suit your prefered prototype other than get as many pictures of the real thing as you can and compare those to the model. Any external differences can usually be sorted out by appying a suitable detail part from the the likes of Cannon, Detail Associates, Overland, Details West and so on. Most of these makers can be found in the Walthers catalogue or possibly on line, I'd check Model Railroader for ads. As for the DCC part well it's fairly easy. As you say remove the light wires from the gray and black pins and attach them to a suitable function output. Problem is that these function outputs have a limited current capacity and you have know the the rating of the bulbs you are going attach to the function wire. The capacity of the function wire is dependent on who's decoder you are using but most wouldn't exceed 150milli amps. Functions are just basically accesssories wires for say ditch lights or a smoke generator. The extra function wires are usually green and light brown or violet in colour. Another thing to watch with P2K locos is the voltage of the bulbs as these can be 1.5V up to 3V depending on which model you bought. It seems to vary a lot with P2K models. I usually solve the problem by fitting 12V or 14V bulbs in the 40ma range from Minitronics. It takes a bit more fiddling as the bulbs are usually physically smaller in size but with these you don't have to fit resistors.
Hope this helps.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (ModernNS @ 12 Aug 2006, 11:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I just purchased on eBay, but have not received, a Proto 2000 GP60 NS #7123, presumably a locomotive modeled after one of the 50 GP60 prototypes Norfolk Southern bought from EMD in 1991. I have never owned a locomotive before, and I have just finished laying the cork for the first model railroad I have ever attempted. Because I will be wiring the track for DCC, I know I need to find a decoder that will work for this engine and I will have to correct the fact that Life-Like Proto2000 GP60 and SD60M locomotives have an additional lamp added for the number boards which, as wired, causes problems on DCC (it does not adversely affect DC operation, but I will be running on DCC). Since the bulb is wired to the gray (negative motor) pin and the black (track pickup) pin, the Digitrax DCC system will see this as a short circuit. The solution will be for me to disconnect the bulb from both pins and figure out what on earth a "function lead" is on the decoder, and wire the errant buld to that.

I would like to further complicate my life by attempting to rise to the challenge of making this P2K GP-60 look much more like the particular GP-59 known as SOU 4610. There is no shortage of photo references for the 4610 on the Internet, but I have not yet received my GP60 to learn exactly what I can do to make it look more like the desired GP59.

I have read that "The GP60 is fitted with the 16 cylinder version of the EMD diesel engine Type 710. (As an aside, the 710 represents the cubic capacity of the cylinder used; previous engines were known as Types 567 and 645 based on the same criteria.) In 1989 when the GP59 was built the Norfolk Southern, like many US railroads, were still interested in models that saved fuel costs while still giving similar performance so they ordered a 12 cylinder version from EMD - the GP59. This only produced 3000 horsepower as opposed to the 3800 horsepower that the GP60 produced but was considered more than adequate for many of the shorter routes that the Norfolk Southern had."

When I actually receive the locomotive in the mail, I will count its access doors and compare it to the all photos of NS 4610 that I have collected, but I am not sure how to go about making that look any more prototypical (did I mention I have never built a model of anything before, scratch, kit, kitbash, or other wise?) At any rate, I hope the Proto-2000 GP-60 is the correct phase (or at least closer to a GP59) than the Athearn that has the look of a Phase 1 GP50.

I have not seen any detailed lists of what can be done to make a P2K NS GP60 (hotrod) look like a SOU-4610 GP59. I say "look like" because I am only interested on what I would need to change on the model (e.g. if I learn that one is a 12 cylinder and one is a 16, that doesn't tell me what exterior changes are required because I don't know that much about locomotives).

I am so new to ALL of this. My wife's Dad died a few years ago; he started working as a telegraph operator for Southern and worked his way up to retire as an assistant superintendant for Norfolk Southern. Model railroading is a way to honor his memory and continue my son's love of trains.

One recent eBay seller of a Proto 2000 GP 60 "changed the dynamic brake hatch and replaced brake lever to brake wheel" and repainted it as SOU 4610. I don't know "to what" he changed the dynamic brake hatch (i.e. if he scratchbuilt something or if a squarer replacement part is commercially available), and with my lack of knowledge about aftermarket parts suppliers and my lack of knowledge about actual locomotive design, I am finding it difficult to even know where to start looking.

I know quite a few people have worked on converting a P2K GP60 into SOU4610, and I know many are far more knowledgeable than I about the particular differences; I did a search here that turned up no results for GP59, so I though I might put out a feeler to see if anyone who has attempted to do this before (or even thought about doing this) might be willing to share a list of the specifics differences that effect the external appearance of a model (which can actually be changed or replaced) or point me in the right direction of some quality conversion pieces that might be available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many, many thanks for taking the time to point me to detail manufacturers and to give me some idea of what to expect when I look at the internal components of a locomotive. I have never evn held one in my hands before, so I am sure I will have many of my questions ansered when I actually get to look at what I have and what 4610 looks like. I suspect I wll also need to add ditch lights, and I appreciate the tip about minitronics.
 

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Ahh Ditch lights! They can be a pain in the ass to install.Also there are different styles used by the various railroad companies. I know that Details West and Detail Associates make ditch light castings and that they used to supply bulbs with them. I found the bulbs a pain to install and if you blew one a pain to uninstall. I started to use surface mount LED's which are a bit more robust comared to 1.25V miniature bulb but just as difficult to fit. I used the original casting supplied with a the P2K SD60 and just fitted the LED to the back of the casting. I drilled a small hole in the anti climber and passed the wire, I used armature wire, through the anticlimber then through the coupling plate. I had to mill some slots in the chassis with the trusty dremel to allow the wiring sufficient clearance. I then fitted a Loksound decoder with a Panasonic 40mmx16mm 1watt speaker to the loco after milling sufficient clearance to the rear of the chassis. The Loksound decoder worked well though getting the lights to flash when the horn was used was bit of work but I got it in the end.

Anyway enjoy the research as it's half the fun.

Ozzie21
 
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