Remembering the Rutland

Rutland Q&A
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Q. #11   (09/30/99)  Would you happen to know on the New York Central express or milk cars if they had end numbers? For example did they have...


...centered on the upper end of the car?  All of my photos do not clearly depict end numbers (due to them being filthy but...Microscale offers small numbers and small NYC to suggest that they are for this type of application? Railworks does not offer a small NYC but they did include small numbers.  What's the story?

-George Micklus

A (09/30/99)  There is a photo of NYC milk reefer #6576 on page 264 of Staufer and May's Thoroughbreds which clearly shows the car number in very small numerals centered on the end approximately 6 to 8 inches from the roof.  There is no "NYC" however.  The car is lettered in the so-called Railroad Roman style and is apparently new (circa 1929?) or just shopped (pre-1940?).  Unfortunately I do not have any NYC lettering diagrams.

-Jim Dufour

A (10/05/99)  I have in front of me NYC Milk Car lettering diagram R-51928 for 50' steel underframe cars.  [There are] a couple of notes of interest.  It states: "Outside of door, handholds, trucks, underframe and all apparatus under the car are to be painted body color in accordance with specification."   On 4-17-58 this was revised to state:  Cars to be painted Dupont Green (83-D-39527).  Roof to be painted black F-1 Car Cement.   Underframe and underframe equipment to be painted with F-1 car cement.  Trucks to be painted black enamel N.Y.C.S. Spec."

As for the end lettering, the numbers are 2-1/2" high.  The bottom of the lettering is 7'6" from the top of the end buffers.  It states the numbers are to be equally spaced (no dimension stated) with the 2nd and 3rd digits straddling the centerline of the car end.  All lettering on the car sides is 5" high except for the car numbers.  The car numbers are 7" high.

I may be able to provide additional details if someone so desires, but I believe this answers the original question.    

-Mark Rossiter

Q. #12 (10/06/99)    Looking for detailed information on Edward Henry Harriman's relationship with the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad.     Thank you.

-Bill Quinn at

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Q. #13 (10/10/99)  Is the Railworks model of the Rutland truss rod milk car similar enough to the New York Central version that the undecorated model could be painted and lettered for the NYC?  What numbers would be appropriate?

-Jim Dufour

A (10/10/99)  The NYC milk cars that were similar to the Rutland's truss rod cars were in the NYC 6200-6400 number series. The cars were built between 1907 and 1915 with early production lots being constructed in the NYC's Buffalo and Albany shops and later production lots being built by MDT.  In the 1930 Dimensions and Classification of Passenger Car Equiptment of the New York Central Railroad a class diagram of the series shows that they share the same general dimensions as the Rutland's cars although some of the details appear to vary.  I would suspect the NYC cars that [best] match the Rutland cars are the car lots built by MDT in 1910-1911.  The lot numbers of the cars in the NYC 6200-6400 series are not in any particular order as some of the low 6200 numbers were built at later dates than some of the higher number cars.

-Glenn Annis

Q. #14   (10/12/99)  I was wondering if anyone has had experience with the [HO scale] Gem/Takara New York Central class F-12 Ten-Wheeler?  Is this a decent running locomotive and is it an easy conversion to replace the motor with a can motor?  What would be a current fair price for this piece?

-Don Spiro

A (10/14/99)  I have two, one is a great runner and the other is a cadaver, both purchased in a private sale.  I have no idea what the market call$ for now, or how easy it would be to repower.  The one "runner" I have seems fine for all kinds of service, and seems to be prototypically proportioned in how much it will pull on a grade.

-Rome Romano

A (10/14/99)  I have a Takara F-12, (it's International Models, not Gem who was the importer) which I renovated into Rutland #74. A model in mint condition I would expect would go for about $175.00 give or take a few. The can motor is easy to mount. Remove the original motor, prefit the can motor and then support it at the correct height and angle on a bed of silicone (bathtub caulk) until it sets. It makes for a quiet mount.  Remember to run a ground wire to the frame since in the silicone the motor is no longer grounded to the frame.  Some brass details, paint and decals and you are there.

-Charlie Lehmann

A (10/14/99)  I purchased a Gem NYC F-12 in August '98 and paid $265.  I've seen it advertised once since then, for $300+ from a dealer that seems to have consistently high prices.  In either case it's no bargain.  The engine runs poorly and the detail, in addition to not being correct for the Rutland, is of poor quality.

Nevertheless, the basic boiler, cab, frame, etc. and tender have dimensions that match VERY closely the dimensions of the Rutland class F-2k ten-wheelers #70-73 as given in Nimke's Vol. 1.  Perhaps the most obvious discrepency is that the Rutland tenders have sides that roll in slightly at the top of the coal bunker whereas the model tender's sides are vertical. The cylinders on the Gem model are another weak point.  I'll probably rebuild them when I get around to rebuilding the engine.  I don't think that replacing the existing open frame motor with a NWSL can motor would be too
difficult, but I'd also replace the gearbox with one from NWSL.

I would imagine that, with the cost of a can motor and gear box as well as the brass detail parts, an additional $100 or so would be needed to bring the model up to the Rutland F-2k.  But the result would be a model of a Rutland locomotive that isn't otherwise available to modelers.  And the total cost probably wouldn't be more than the cost of current Rutland brass 2-8-0's or 4-6-0's, if you can find them.

-Jay Conant

A (10/14/99)  I spoke to my friend Ed Kennedy who is a great modeler and fan of the NYC.  He has one of these models and says it is GREAT and runs GREAT!  But, there is always a "however."  Strongly suggested (as always) that models like this be tested and reviewed before purchase.  Ed claims that he has heard that some didn't run very well but.... also said a can motor can be substituted quite easily.

In summary, the model is great for NYC and possibly Rutland? I called Kurt at The Caboose to obtain a fair market price. He advised $150.00 to $175.00 depending on the cosmetic and running condition, paint of the piece.
Please advise Don Spiro accordingly!
-George Micklus

A (10/15/99)  Gem/Takara NYC 4-6-0: I am not sure what Don is asking about. I have an ancient Takara NYC 4-6-0. The box says it was made for Smart Products, NY, NY. Nothing about Gem. It has decent proportions but very crude detail. Big nasty rivets on the tender and none at all on the cab. It has a funny tapered stack and an open frame motor. But it is sprung. It runs fairly well for something that archaic. I planned to use it as a starting point for learning how to modify brass,since I figured I couldn't hurt it. However, I have yet to do anything to it. I bought it used, but in good condition, in 1980 for about $80. Then I have a Gem NYC F12e, but it doesn't say anything on the box or engine about Takara. A much better detailed model than the earlier one but all I know about running is mine has been test run.

-Bill Badger

A (10/15/99)  Boy, Don opened a can of worms with his Ten Wheeler question!  I decided to have a look in the Brown Book in order to clarify who imported what.  

There are quite a few NYC Ten Wheelers in the Brown Book of Brass Locomotives Third Edition, but many of them are the Presicion Scale variations.  Anyway, here are three of the engines listed in the Brown Book that I think apply to this discussion:

1. International imported a KTM-built NYC "Ten Wheeler" in 1962, catalog #12-E (same as the NYC class number apparently).  No quantiy given.  List price was $50, resale estimate is $150 to $180.

2, The only NYC Ten Wheeler listed as having been built by Takara was imported by Smart in 1960-61.  No quantity is given.  Mint resale is estimated at $260.  John Glaab (the author) calls it a "crude model" but you would never know it by the resale estimate.  He further states that it comes in a silver box with a silver-blue label that states "Takara Prototype Plans Line."

3. Gem's class F12e Ten Wheeler is listed as built by Tsubomi in 1975 with catalog #KT-107.  330 units were built and it listed for $124-185 (why the sliding scale, I don't know).  Resale varies from $180 for average to $200 for a mint example.

I believe that this last one is the model that most of us are thinking of.  I remember the Gem model being abundant when I first got back into the hobby circa 1985.   They were selling for $149.99 new.  I almost bit, and then Overland came out with their Rutland Ten Wheeler.

-Jim Dufour

A (10/15/99) I believe this dates back to the days of the S-4 wheel flange, so right there it isn't as good as later engines. We had one, and if I remember even the great Kyle Williams* wouldn't take it one. But it probably depends an awful lot on your luck in getting one that works well, and your skill in doing such conversions. In the cases of other models, sometimes I sigh and say to myself that at least it's the best so far, when there is only one manufacturer. (By such logic, it's also the worst, too, but I try to think on the positive side.) But in this case, there have been later, far superior NYC/Rutland 4-6-0's, so my very subjective opinion on this is to pass.

*I am in awe of Kyle's abilities to deal with brass engines, especially since I got as far as buying them and taking them apart, and never got any further.

-John Nehrich

A (10/16/99)  These are in fact two different models.  The Takara was done in the early 1960's, and was crude then.  The Gem was done about 1975 by Tsubomi.   Some of the detailing wasn't really even up to the standards of the day -- there are a number of turned parts where everyone else had been using lost wax cast parts for a decade.  There are also some weird omissions -- no generator, though the headlight is modern.  However, everything is neatly done, and it makes a good base for an F2k (70-73).  Performancewise, the Gem models are variable.  The 4 or 5 I've seen ranged from ok to not bad at all considering that it is an open gear set, not a "proper" gear box.
Yours truly,

-Chris Martin

A (10/21/99)  Anyone thinking about purchasing a used Gem ten-wheeler for Rutland #70-73 should [check] the scale fidelity of this import.  I believe...that a major dimension (height) is incorrect and serious brass surgery is required to correct it.   It may be more accurate to use the Athabasca brass kit that is based on the Model Railroader NYC ten-wheeler scratchbuilding articles.

If one is not a stickler for prototype dimensions or anxious to kitbuild in brass, the Gem model may be a reasonable starting point. I think the RPI guys used at least one of the Gems for a NEB&W engine (based on Rutland practice) and a photo appeared in one of the magazines.  Extending the tender sides (coalboards) is the most obvious modification required.

My recollection is that the Gem ten-wheeler is a very poor runner. I believe it uses a primitive "torque arm" mounting of the motor (with the worm mounted on the motor shaft) to allow vertical movement of the sprung driver axle. This is sort of a moot point because the driver springs are way too stiff too allow any drive axle movement under the model's own weight. I think the motor is of the
"open" type. It should be relatively straightforward to replace the gears and motor with NWSL gearbox/Sagami motor or similar. This will require removing and requartering an uninsulated driver. I don't know about replacing just the motor but I doubt it would be an "easy" conversion.

Regarding price, I have no idea. A reasonable guess would be the appropriate used price from the Brown Book plus about 10 percent.

-Jeff Ashworth

Q #15   (10/13/99)    Does anyone have info about Brass NYC Milk Cars?  I've found some and was wondering how accurate they were, etc.  Thanks for the help.

-Steven A. Schulman

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Q. #16  (10/13/99)   What shade of green do you use for the Rutland milk cars with the yellow striping?   I have some decals from Hearld King that are applicable.  I see that John Sheridan has a proposed mixture of Rutland green using Accu-paint on the Microscale this what you would recommend?

-George Micklus

A (10/24/99) To answer the question in the color of the diesel era milk cars, just refer them to the comments on the colors of the diesels -- The Rutland was at least trying to match the colors.

-Chris Martin

Q. #17  (10/14/99)   I'm working on modeling Stephentown NY (on the Corkscrew Div.) as it was in 1927, and I have about a billion questions.  But to start it off, does anyone have any ideas as to the engines and consists of any of these trains?

Trains through Stephentown NY, Summer 1927
Even numbers SOUTHBOUND, odd numbers NORTHBOUND

Time:    Train #:   Direction:     Type:             Notes:
00:58      87            N                Milk               Empties
05:25     202           S                 Pass.             Steph-Chat "Scute"
08:05     201            N                Mail/Pass.
10:17     204           S                 Local Frt.       Tu, Th, Sa.
12:01      29            N                Thru Frt.
14:45     203           N                Local Frt.       M, W, F
16:03     206           S                 Mail/Pass.
16:58      28            S                 Thru Frt.
19:15     205           N                Pass.              Chat-Steph "Scute"
19:52      88            S                 Milk               Loads

1927 was the last year for the "Scute", which was based in Stephentown.   Was it headed by a 4-4-0 American-type loco?   What passenger cars were used for it?  Where were the passenger cars "parked" between 7:15 p.m. and 5:25 a.m.?

-Michael Hobbs

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Q. #18  (10/21/99)    I know the main freights ran to Norwood for interchange with the Central, but what ran from Norwood to Ogdensburg?   I remember as a kid seeing freight cars at Howard Lumber in Ogdensburg.    I also remember what I now know was an RS1 in the yard there. What I'm looking for is where to find info on the Rutland from Norwood to Ogdensburg, with lists of industries in Madrid, Lisbon, and the 'Burg.  I think it would make a great layout in HO.

-Tom McCoy

A(10/24/99)  In the late 1940's, the trains running beyond Norwood to Ogdensburg would have included a Passenger train (#'s 3/6), The Milk train (#'s 7/8), and a local freight that served points between Malone and Ogdensburg (MO-1/OM-2).  Nimke's books are the best source for the industries.  Steam engines showing up in O-burg in the 40's-50's were mostly the consols, Mikes and the "big" F-2 Ten-Wheelers.  Both the RS-1's and RS-3's were seen, and I have heard comments to the effect that the RS-1's were better liked on the O&LC than in Vermont.

-Chris Martin

A(11/02/99)  The RS-1 diesel in Ogdensburg yard would have been either the yard switcher that was on during the construction of the Seaway or the engine off OM-2/MO-1.  For awhile it worked the yard switcher during the day and the wayfreight at night. They would rotate the engine at Malone and then the engine would rotate to Alburgh for fuel and maintence. My grandfather Mumley worked that Ogdensburg-Malone wayfreight for years and then after him John McKeen held  the job down. It was a busy yard with switching for the two warehouses (#7 & #8), Seaway Cement Co, the grain elevator, the state hospital, GLF feed store, local other business like Howard Lumber.

-Steve Mumley

A(11/24/99)   If you can get your hands on them, R.W.Nimke's Rutland 60 Years of Trying Volume 6, Part 1 and Volume 6, Part 2 contain a lot of information on the Alburgh to Ogdensburg industries. Part 1 has a listing of traffic by station and industry for the 1956-1961 time frame.

The O&LC would make a great model RR on its own - as if it was independent but still affiliated with the Rutland. "Modelers license" could be used to beef up traffic a little and base yard switchers in Ogdensburg, Malone, and Alburgh. The Malone station could be the RR headquarters, with local freights running from there to Ogdensburg & return and to Alburgh & return, a milk train from Ogdensburg to Alburgh to connect with the Rutland, maybe even include a Spectrum EMC Gas Electric for your local passengers. The Rutland would still run its Bellow Falls to Norwood & return thru freights. Adding a carfloat operation from Ogdensburg to Prescott, ON similar to the NYC operations in Ogdensburg could grab some more interchange traffic and keep the Ogdensburg yard switcher busy.

-Rich Parkola 

Q. #20  (11/03/99)  Do you know where the records of the Rutland Railroad are housed? I'm asking from a genealogical point of view. My husband's grandfather, Fred Wheeler, was a trainman on the railroad. He was killed at North Bennington Station on 22 Feb1912 while switching a train, when he slipped under it and was killed.   He left four children, one a few days old. Sad story. I'm wondering what the official railroad posistion or report was and if they did anything to help the family. I know your group is more interested in the train hardware than people, but thought that perhaps you know where to find the human interest stuff that I am looking for.

Thanks for any help you can provide.


-Mary Anne Wheeler

A(11/04/99)  Here is a copy of the accident report as recorded in the Report of Vermont Public Service Commission, 1912 Edition. It is recorded in the section titled "Accidents Investigated Informally."  This should help answer the first part of Mary Anne's question.

-Glenn Annis


On Feb. 12, 1912, about 4:55 p.m. as train No. 59 on the Rutland Railroad, was backing in on track No. 1 at North Bennington, Frederick Wheeler of Rutland, brakeman, about thirty-seven years of age, went in behind the moving train and was trying to open operating lever of L. S. & M. S. car No. 59401, when he fell, the car running over him and injuring him to such extent that he died in about thirty minutes. No one knows how he happened to fall, but the supposition is that he slipped as it had beeen raining and freezing during the afternoon and the ground was very slippery.

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