lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
in an e-mail subject line does not inspire confidence and smells like a scam.

However, when the first paragraph of said e-mail reads:
" We appreciate your interest in Norfolk Southern and the Conductor position in Philadelphia, PA. After reviewing your
application, we would like to invite you to participate in the next step of our recruiting process. For further
consideration, please arrive promptly at the following time and location:
your attitude changes rather quickly. :=3

So, on the 20th of this month at 8am in Philadelphia I will be meeting face to face with a Norfolk Southern rep and possibly even get an interview.

The only concern I have is that I may have to spend up to 6 months(!) in Roanoke, VA. That is a long time to be away from my house.
lionkingcmsl: (Trained lion)
I had mentioned previously that I had wired up three light assemblies from a Position Light Signal, and they were stacked on the corner of my deck's railing.

The thing is they were balanced somewhat precariously, as the 1.5" PVC pipe was holding them in line and preventing them from going over backward. However it did not have enough mass to keep them from falling off the front of the railing. This was something I was concerned about, as the hood on each assembly is 15 inches long and good snowfall would have enough weight to move the balance point too far forward and then they would tumble ~5 feet to the ground. Something I did not want to happen.

While it was not on my list of things to do yesterday, I located a 5 foot length of pressure treated 4x4 in my scrap pile and proceeded to plant it in front of the deck.

So now the signal looks like this:

I had wanted to mount the "spider", the black thing in the background, that would allow me to mount all 7 lamps, but I did not have large enough bolts and it would have put the bottom lamp to close to the ground. I also realized later that the target, or background, would've protruded into the driveway.

I took off the lower lamp hoods as you could not really see the lights with them on.

As you can see in the picture it is snowing today, at last. :=3
lionkingcmsl: (Trained lion)
Most of you know I had mounted my searchlight signal to the newel post of my front deck and it was resting on the bottom step.

This bothered me for a couple of reasons. It was not really mounted as balanced; the newel post was not designed to hold something of that weight and it was a tripping hazard.

Back in late November or so I had "planted" the section of mast I had and was in the process of mounting the signal correctly. This stalled as just the case and bracket probably weigh in the 150lb (68kg) range and I could not lift the signal to its proper height and put the bolts in by myself.

This languished until yesterday when I called a buddy and he agreed to stop by and help me with the install.

With much heaving and groaning we got it installed and here is the result:

Which looks a damn sight better than this:

So now my searchlight signal is in its proper place on a mast. I still need to do some clean up and dress the wires properly, but the heavy work is done. :=3
lionkingcmsl: (Model Railroading)
I'd thought it be neat to show the passenger train differences from the 1840s to today; a difference of 175 years.


In front is the John Bull and its normal consist of 3 coaches. Behind is an Amtrak P-42 Genesis loco with three Superliner(tm) cars. From front to rear: coach, sleeper, Sightseer Lounge(tm). While the Amtrak equipment may not be in the current scheme it is equipment that most U.S. residents have seen, at least those outside of the NEC (NorthEast Corridor) where the Superliners won't fit through the tunnels into New York City and the platforms are "high level" and you could not access the cars. The sleeper and lounge were probably not even a gleam in somebody's eye in 1840. I'd wager that you could probably put the entire passenger load from the John Bull's cars into the Superliner coach alone.

It is interesting to note that the entire John Bull train set is just over 1.5 Superliner cars long. Each modern American passenger car is 85' long, except for those that Colorado Rail Car built for the Alaska Railroad and the Acela(tm) cars, which are semi-permanently coupled together and would not be seen combined with regular passenger cars.

EDIT: After checking I found that each John Bull coach can have 48 passengers for a total load of 144 passengers. A standard Superliner coach can handle 74 passengers; 12 on the lower level and 62 on the upper level. So it would take 2 Superliner cars to handle all of the John Bull's passengers. However a standard bi-level coach, with no toilet, for NJ Transit, which operates into New York City, can handle 140 passengers: 60 seats lower level, 20 seats mid-level, 60 seats upper level. So one regular NJ Transit bi-level coach could handle the entire John Bull's passenger load with only 4 standees. A normal week day commuter run from Trenton, NJ to New York City. :=3
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
Link is:

News story:

Local Environmental Groups Warn of Accident Potential From Marcellus Shale Freight Trains
March 4, 2015 3:37 PM

By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Last month’s oil train derailment and explosion in West Virginia has prompted environmentalists in Pennsylvania to sound the alarm about the potential dangers that residents here face.

As oil shipments from North Dakota’s Baaken shale deposit have boomed in recent years, there has been a corresponding rise in derailments.

A report released this week by the groups Penn Environment and the Frac Tracker Alliance shows that nearly four million Pennsylvanians live within the potential evacuation zone of an oil train accident, including 700,000 at risk here in Philadelphia.

Penn Environment’s David Masur says residents are being left in the dark.

“The train companies and oil companies aren’t even required to tell local communities about oil trains travelling through their backyards and how much oil they’re carrying and what their plans are in case of real dire accidents,” he noted.

Masur says the city has flirted with disaster several times in recent years:

“Just four weeks ago we had a train derailment with oil trains in South Philly, right by the stadium. A near miss, luckily no explosions.”

Later this month, a City Council committee safety panel will take a look at the dangers posed by oil trains.

My response:
Don Miller, Jr • 34 minutes ago

As a railroader I might have a slight bias in my feelings. That being noted, how would these people want the oil transshipped? Pipeline? Would take too long and too costly to build; not to mention the NIMBYs not wanting it near by. By truck? You think moving by rail is dangerous, then it would be at least 10X dangerous by truck. And one rail tank car holds the same amount as ~5 tanker trucks. Could you imagine the congestion on the highways? Rail is by far the safest, cheapest way, and most fuel efficient to move oil and other products. Hundreds of millions of gallons of oil and other hazardous materials are moved daily by rail, without incident. They pick on a few high profile cases to do fear mongering. Should the rail industry upgrade their track? Yes, of course. But do not let a few fear mongers dictate policy towards an entire industry.

Interesting quote here:
Penn Environment’s David Masur says residents are being left in the dark.
“The train companies and oil companies aren’t even required to tell local communities about oil trains traveling through their backyards and how much oil they’re carrying and what their plans are in case of real dire accidents,” he noted.

Guess what neither are trucking companies required to report what is in their trailers, where they are traveling or their responses to accidents. It is because railroads are a fixed guide-way system that they are being picked on. As for explosions it takes an awful lot of heat for an oil tanker to "explode". If a tank car derails, as in the lead photo, which I will note is not an oil train, and there is no fire, no explosions. They don't derail and automatically go "BOOM".

Thoughts on either the news story or my reply?
lionkingcmsl: (3d)

by LionkingCMSL on deviantART

This is a regional headquarters for the police department of my model/fictional railroad, the South Jersey & Western.

All skins are custom by me, as is the sign.

Building Set: Dreamland Models' City Block Eight
Crown Vics: DP Models
Motor home/Forward Command Post: KPL Original
Service Truck: IW Vehicles
Light Bars on truck and Command Post: S3D

Posed and rendered in Poser Pro 2014. Skins done in Paint Shop Pro 8
lionkingcmsl: (Model Railroading)

SJnW 90000
by LionkingCMSL on deviantART

A now for a photo of a real piece of South Jersey & Western rolling stock. :=3

This is an ex-Pennsy N8 Cabin Car that I acquired and painted for the SJ&W. I had planned to turn it into a mini-business car, but the car proved to be more rust than steel and it has been scrapped, though I still have bits and pieces of it in my collection.
The markers are Handlan-Buck kerosene powered lights, and they are marked for the SJ&W as anyone to my den can attest.

For more on the SJ&W you can visit
lionkingcmsl: (Model Railroading)
After thinking about the increased HP of a PA-9 it dawned on me that the radiator area on a traditional PA would probably not be enough. There is some over cooling capacity on a PA, but I don't think it would be enough to cool double a PA-4's (re-built D&H PA-1s) 2400 HP.

I re-imagined the PA-9 with a third shutter panel and a second fan. You lose the characteristic rear porthole, but that isn't required as there is no need to have natural lighting in the back, as there is no steam generator.

So here is the new version of a PA-9:
lionkingcmsl: (Model Railroading)
[ profile] jfox and I have had numerous discussions on how rail history would have turned out if the SJ&W had, indeed, been real. I envision the SJ&W to be on equal footing with the Pennsy; and the two railroads battling it out between the east coast and the mid-west. The SJ&W's headquarters would've right across the river, in Camden, NJ, from the Pennsy's HQ, in Philly.

One of those discussions turned to the American Locomotive Company, aka ALCo. I had always maintained that the SJ&W would have manufactured their own crankshafts to replace the ones in the 244-16 engines, to mitigate engine failures. In the same way the UP showed EMD how to turbo charge the 567, the SJ&W would've shown ALCo how to improve the 244's reliability. It was thought just as UP supported EMD in the lean years the SJ&W could have supported ALCo.

We discussed how ALCo might have continued the PA line to the present day and now would be offering a PA-9, with a 5000 hp 251-16 K series prime mover. It was also thought they could have replaced the traditional car body frame, with its truss work, with something like a frame off of a Century series, as was done with the Cowl units from EMD. I thought they would offer the traditional PA styling in a monocoque carbody.

To that end I present a conceptual version of a PA-9:

You will note that the steam generator hatch is missing; it is equipped with an HEP alternator. It is in the current SJ&W "New Image" scheme with FRA mandated retro-reflective safety stripe along the frame.
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)

New Viewliner baggage car
by LionkingCMSL on deviantART
On my way past the coach yard at 30th St. Station today I noticed an odd looking baggage car. After looking at it for a bit I realized it was one of the new "Viewliner" baggage cars that were in the works. It is interesting to note that it has one of the older paint schemes and not the current one, which is shown on the bracketing Amfleet cars.

So in the near future all of the single level long distance trains will be solid blocks of "Viewliner" equipment.

I apologize for the quality of the photo, as it was misty this morning and I had only a short amount of time to take the photo from my truck.
lionkingcmsl: (Model Railroading)
I used to watch Starsky and Hutch back in the day. Although Paul Micheal Glaser hated the way the Gran Torino was painted, I like the scheme.

So much so that I actually came up with a paint card for a F40PH locomotive:

I have had a few people tell me that it actually works on that locomotive.

Now to buy an actual F40PH and paint it like that. :=3
lionkingcmsl: (Trained lion)

Group Potrait
by LionkingCMSL on deviantART

Here is Leo, the lion, Altaica, the half-size Siberian tigress, and my human self, with the old style Amtrak herald, which represents my employer. Personally, I do not like the new herald, often called the "broken wing", but is, in reality, a stylized rendering of two rails going through the countryside. It would be dang hard to do as a 3D model. :=/

Done with Poser Pro 2014 and the Amtrak herald was done in ProgeCad2014 Professional.

Human is a Poser 4 bundle part, as is his clothing. The big cats and background are from DAZ. The "pointless arrow" was done by me.

The blunt (pointless) arrow device is Copyright 1971 - 2014 National Railroad Passenger Corp. dba Amtrak.
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
have been acquired. ;=3

This time the route out is one I've been wanting to take for some time.
The routing is the Crescent from PHL to New Orleans. A night's lay over in the Crescent City then I take the Sunset Ltd. to Los Angeles,and finally the Coast Starlight up to San Jose.

The only other time I've done part of that route, from Philly to Houston, was in Feb. of 1983. 8=0
So, nearly 32 years later I'll do the Houston to Los Angeles portion of the route. :=3
The difference in the intervening years is now I'm an Amtrak employee; something I never even thought about becoming all those years ago.

While the tickets are all for coach, I'll be upgrading to a roomette during the year. The ticket agents are going to strangle me. :=3

BTW, yes, I have reserved a room, in the Hilton. :=3
lionkingcmsl: (Model Railroading)
I keep inventories of different type of H-O equipment I own. These are broken down into locomotives, freight and work, and passenger. I keep an over-all break down of each type, such as locomotive power source and car type.

Today I just updated said list and here are some interesting stats:
Of 167 locomotives 117 are diesel. There are 28 steam engines and 11 electrics. Of the electrics 9 are GG-1s in different paint schemes, an E60C, and my dad's Fleischmann loco.

I have 334 total pieces of freight and work equipment, of which 256 are freight cars. Of those box cars are the most numerous with 70 units and I have 38 cabooses and 40 pieces of work equipment.

In the passenger department I own 401 cars and 308 are earmarked for the SJ&W. The Southern Pacific is the second most numerous with 41 units, all of which are Daylight cars. I have 17 Athearn Daylight cars and 24 BLI units. Four of the BLI cars are from the pre-war Morning Daylight and were ordered by mistake. There are some differences between the pre-war and post-war cars and the average non-SP fan probably wouldn't notice, but I do and I wanted the full correct set. :=3
Of the different car types I have the most coaches, 102, of which 3 are bi-level commuter coaches, 2 are high level step-up coaches and the remaining 96 are coaches of various kinds. There are 46 self-propelled units: one AeroTrain set, 4 Metroliners, one gas car and 40 RDCs, of which 36 are earmarked for the SJ&W and 4 are for the P-RSL.

This adds up to a grand total of 902 total units and I will be holding off buying any new equipment, though I do have 3 pieces back ordered (1 passenger and 2 locomotives), which are included in the counts. This is not to say the counts won't change, as I may repair some locomotives and may receive equipment as gifts.

I also need to make a model railroading icon. :=3
EDIT: New icon is done. :=3
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
This morning I noticed a line up of the four locomotives that we use on long distance trains out of Sunnyside Yard. I was able to take a photo. It is not the best as it is overcast and early moring. I had to "sharpen" the image and adjust the contrast and brightness.
Here is that image:

From left to right the locos are:
#710 - P32 AC-DM aka "Genesis" - These are dedicated units between Penn Station New York and Albany/Rensselaer.
#921 - AEM7 aka "Meatball" or "Toaster" - it will eventually be replaced by
#600 - ACS-64/Cities Sprinter aka "Angry Bird" - This is our newest "motor" it will first replace
#660 - HHP8 aka "Banana" - These are based off of the "Acela" power cars.

If you see any of the 700 series Genesis units outside of the Albany - New York City run better grab a photo, because it will be a rare occurrence. However I will note it is possible they may run as far as Fort Edward-Glen Falls, NY on occasion, though the timetable leaves enough time for an engine change at Albany/Rensselaer. This series are the only long distance diesels out of Sunnyside, though you may see a P40/P42 coupled behind it. If they are MUed the second unit is shut down, between "Empire" and SSY, as you cannot run the diesels through the tunnels or into PSNY. When running through the tunnels into PSNY and while there they operate off of 700 VDC third rail; the reason for the "DM" designation. The ability leads to some interesting situations, as the third rail has gaps at turnouts, which can be longer than the span of the collection shoes, so the HEP (Head End Power) shuts down and you lose all power in the train, except the emergency lighting which runs off of the car's batteries.

New Badge

Feb. 13th, 2014 04:52 pm
lionkingcmsl: (Trained lion)

Certified Engineer badge
by LionkingCMSL on deviantART

I commissioned Mary Mouse to do a custom "Certified" badge for me.

As I am a certified locomotive engineer for the CMSL, the choice was easy. :=3

I decided to forgo my trademark black baseball cap and use the traditional Oshkosh pinstripe engineer's cap for the badge.

I think it came out great. Look for it at the cons I attend; first of which will be CMFM in May and then AC2014. :=3

Thanks Mary!

FC bound

Sep. 13th, 2013 10:11 am
lionkingcmsl: (Trained lion)
I have just made the final reservations for the 2nd party of my trip to FC next year, [ profile] u_t_tiger.

We'll be taking a regional to Washington, the Capitol Ltd. to Chicago, the Southwest Chief (ex-Super Chief) to Los Angeles, then the Coast Starlight up to San Jose.

So those of you, on the left coast, that want to meet the scuba diving tiger will be able to do so at FC. ;=3

And we'll be looking to meet up with other furs on the trains. ;=3
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
Here is a "paint card" for the New Image F40PH.
lionkingcmsl: (Trained lion)
For those that are interested in such things I have developed a "primer" about scale and gauge for model railroading.

You can find it here: .

Let me know what you think.
lionkingcmsl: (3d)

Monorail at sunrise
by ~LionkingCMSL on deviantART

The sun is just starting to peek over the horizon as early morning commuters finish their coffee and read their newspapers in route to work.

Boy, I know that feeling, though not on a monorail. :=3

The final render of the set of four.

Poser Pro and Vue Complete
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