Past Drawing Updates
It's not too often that I uncover a 2+ inch discrepancy in a major dimension in the 1:18 drawings, but I spent today fixing just that. Up to now, I had drawn 4-axle Dash 7 units with a walkway height at 67.75", and 4-axle Dash 8 units at 70". Those figures were mostly correct - except the increase in height happened on Phase 3 Dash 7 units at the same time as the overall length was shortened. I only discovered the error when attempting to fit an air dryer to an SP B36-7 drawing and finding the piping didn't fit above the fuel tank.
In late 2011 I introduced the EMD SD24 to the 1:36 series with the intent of working backward to make SD9 and SD7 drawings. That never happened - because I stopped work on the 1:36 series only a couple of months afterward.
Now, almost 12 years later, the SD24 has arrived in 1:18. Hopefully this time I'm able to backdate it to earlier models!
A couple of small batches of updates on the go at the moment. First, EMD GP38 and GP40 drawings (Phase 2c left side views) are getting a minor glitch corrected in the bottom latch of the second hood door - which probably was propagated from a previous revision.
Second, Nathan P series horns are getting detail and dimension refinements after I received a batch of diagrams and photos from Philip Bushdiecker. Up to now the P series was the only horn type for which I didn't have the original specifications to work from. I'm pondering making some larger-scale horn drawings - an idea I previously started (but never continued) back in 2006 with three 1:14 K-series horn drawings.
Back in 2008, the first 1:36 drawing was an EMD RM-1, which I drew based on photos I had taken of SLR 800-series road slugs. When I started the 1:18 series in 2012, I held off on drawing them again since I wanted to focus more on things I hadn't drawn already, and these units were already very well represented in both the 1:36 and late 1:55 series.
However, it's now 11 years later, and since I've seen the SLR road slugs in person more than any other locomotive type, I figured it was high time to draw them again in 1:18. Just as with the prototype, the modifications from the base GP38/GP40 drawings are extensive.
When I first uploaded the site in early 2000, I had just started making 1:110 drawings - which were my first computer-generated train drawings that used black lines on a white background. These were on the site for only a few months before I replaced them with the 1:55 series, which has been online ever since. Meanwhile, many of my earlier drawings gradually disappeared in the early 2000's through imprudent deletions or corrupted hard drives and floppy disks.
Today I've uploaded a gallery of the surviving 1:110 drawings, harkening back to the site's earliest days.
It's been almost 11 years since the start of the 1:18 series of drawings - and now, at long last, I've added a page of Drawing Parts and Components! I previously had a similar page for the 1:36 series, but I removed it at the start of the 1:18 series with the intent of making a new page of 1:18 parts (which, until now, never happened). Hopefully this will make it easier for anyone attempting to modify or build off my drawings.
I don't usually have much to report in mid-summer, but rainy weather (and hence less time working outdoors) has given me a bit of momentum with drawings over the past few days. I ended up tackling a drawing that had been on the back burner for a while - an NSC 73' Centerbeam car that had been about 1/3 finished starting in 2019 and about 2/3 finished after a bit more work last year.
In the process I also drew centerbeam cars built by Trentonworks / ARI, which share the same general outline and truss design but are different in almost all the smaller details.
More than halfway through 2023, the first new locomotive model has arrived! Up to this point, the vast majority of new drawings this year have been first-generation Geep variations, as well as additions to a few other existing models - but now the 1:18 ALCO Century series has been expanded to include the C-420.
Each time I fill a gap in the 1:18 series, it seems to come with a longer delay since the model was drawn (if at all). In this case, the last time I drew a C-420 was more than 20 years ago, in the early 1:55 series - it never even made it to right-side views, let alone the 1:36 series. Back then I incorrectly used the same frame and truck centers as the C-424, but the overall dimensions were so far off with both models that it was a moot point.
While the C-420 shares many parts with the C-424, it's sufficiently different that I drew it from scratch rather than modifying a C-424 drawing. Unlike for other Century and M-Liner models, I didn't have my own physical measurements or photos as reference, but the steps were still simple: First, establish the truck centers, frame length and hood ends from ALCO specs and diagrams; second, copy the cab and battery boxes (lined up using the front jacking pad) and the rear hood doors/intakes from the C-424; third, copy over the center engine compartment doors and narrow them by 36 inches (the length difference of the prime mover); fourth, check that these parts match photos and diagrams and fit the remaining components around them. The in-progress time was short: I only started the new C-420 drawing 6 days ago.
I just realized that I hadn't posted a written update here in over 2 months - but as it turns out, the last update from February was still pertinent, as I've still been working on GP7 and GP9 drawings. All recent additions have been GMD variations.
One more piece of news: It doesn't happen often, but thanks in large part to all the recent Geep drawings, I've reached my drawing goal for 2023 very, very early. I've therefore upped the goal from 150 to 250 drawings, which even with my usual slowdown in the summer I should be well on my way to achieving.
Sometimes I end up working on a particular locomotive series without really planning on it in advance. That's what's happened recently as I've found myself deep in the midst of first-generation EMD Geeps.
In the process, I've added the first 1:18 GP7 drawings (although most components were already present in drawings of GP8 rebuilds) and the first-ever GP9B drawings. I was surprised to discover that I'd never drawn a GP9B in any scale since there is so little difference from a regular GP9.
Well, I feel a little sheepish... A few years ago I "corrected" a minor error in second-generation EMD drawings from the GP30 to the Dash-2 series - changing the seam at the bottom end of the long hood from straight to notched. But today I realized that the change was only correct for models prior to the Dash-2 series, so I've now "uncorrected" the seam on Dash-2 units (as well as adding a missing seam behind the last hood door).
A funny thing happened when I went to update SP and SSW lettering a couple of days ago. I knew it had been a while since making an SP or SSW painted drawing with roman lettering - the few more recent drawings have been either "speed lettering" or SPSF.
But I hadn't realized that it had been almost 16 years - and that the only SP and SSW roman lettering I had ever made was a 1:55 "approximation" from more than 20 years ago! With that in mind, I've created new SP and SSW lettering and will be putting it to use in at least a few new 1:18 painted drawings.
Happy New Year! 2022 ended up being an entirely "typical" year for drawings: Of the 10 previous years, 5 had more drawings and 5 had less. Here's the final tally:
- ALCO Locomotives: 30
- EMD / GMD Locomotives: 94
- GE Locomotives: 57
- Rolling Stock: 14
- Painted Locomotives: 14
- Total: 209
The total exceeded my goal of 150 drawings, largely due to more drawings added late in the year than in other recent years. I was almost surprised to end up with so many new drawings considering a lot of my time was used up with revisions to old drawings - including revised coupler cut levers on every drawing made before March 2022. Last year also ended up being the most "colourful" year so far for the 1:18 series, with a painted drawing total of... 14 drawings. While that's not very many, it's still the highest painted drawing count since 2010.
Among undecorated drawings, several major locomotive and rolling stock series made their debut last year, including ALCO cab units (the FA-1, FA-2 and PA series), EMD GP40X, Tunnel Motors and DC SD70 units, GE Genesis units, Gunderson boxcars, and Thrall / Trinity pressure-differential hoppers. Several of these had been sitting half-finished for a number of years. February also saw the arrival of the first locomotive end views. Among existing series, the GE ET, Dash 9 and early Universal series were expanded, and a scattering of second-generation EMD variations (from the GP38 to the SD45-2) were added.
For 2023, my goal is to carry through the momentum from 2022. Having finally reached my goal of significant progress on ALCO locomotives in 2022, I hope to do the same in 2023. There are still many major series that haven't yet made it into 1:18, including most earlier ALCO models, EMD F-units and switchers, and a few modern series like the SD80MAC / SD90MAC and AC6000CW. When I'm not working on new models, I hope to flesh out some of the common locomotive models for which I haven't yet drawn many variations, such as the SD50. I also hope to not waste so much time on revisions!
I'll once again be setting a modest target of 150 drawings - hopefully I'll be able to exceed it as I did last year.
Another new model just squeaked in before the end of the year! The first 1:18 GP40X drawings are here, along with GP40-3 rebuilds representing SLR 3805 and 3806 (not to be confused with the "early" GP40X on a GP35 frame, which I drew a couple of years ago). As with many recent new arrivals, these were started several years ago and received sporadic work before I decided to finish them a few days ago.
Incidentally, back in 2005, when I intended to start a larger and more detailed drawing series, a right-side view of SLR 3806 was the only result of that effort - after I realized that I didn't yet have good enough reference material (or experience) for such large drawings. I made more accurate (but smaller) renditions several years later in 1:36, with a single version standing in for both 3805 and 3806 - but the 1:18 version is the first time I've re-attempted a completely accurate drawing of SLR 3806 since the 1:28 version from 17 years ago.
One more tidbit of information is now making its way into the table lists of 1:18 drawings: The quantity of locomotives for a given number series. I've managed to incorporate it without adding any new fields in the database (which would be a big hassle).
If there's no quantity to display, the column is entirely absent. For now, that still applies to almost everything, but I've tested the system on ALCO Century drawings and will be periodically adding it to other models. However, I won't be listing it for rolling stock or for 1:36 and 1:55 drawings.
If you're into nerdy details and behind-the-scenes information, you're in luck! I've expanded and consolidated the Creating the Drawings section, which is now divided into four sub-sections and gathers together some of the information previously spread across the Drawing Accuracy and Lettering and logos pages.
Done! In early 2022 I started the third major drawing update in as many years - this time to correct uncoupling levers and (on some units) Leslie horn dimensions and stairwell/pilot details. While many of the changes were minor, every 1:18 drawing up to that point was affected - more than 2,600 in total. My goal was to finish the updates before the end of 2022 so I could then devote more time to making new drawings (as opposed to correcting old ones).
There are still some unrelated revisions in the pipeline for a few drawings - and there are still a bunch of 1:55 drawings that (12 years on) I haven't yet incorporated into the main list of drawings - but at least the big update is done.
A couple of milestones: First, on November 26, I reached my goal of 150 drawings for the year. This was slightly more modest than the goal of 175 or 200 I had set for most of the previous 8 years, but there are relatively few large series of similar drawings remaining (I've already churned out the majority of common models like the SD40-2 and AC4400CW).
Second, as of today the 1:18 series has been online for 10 years. While I expected it would be a long-running series (the culmination of gradual size increases over the years) it's still hard to believe that it's been a decade already!
Another new arrival to report! The GE P42DC has made its debut in 1:18. The last time I drew a P42DC was in 2002, at the beginning of the 1:55 series - and while at the time I considered it one of my best drawings, by now it was well overdue for updating.
The P42DC has actually been on my to-do list for over a decade. I started a 1:36 rendition in 2010 and it reached about 80% completion, but it was still missing all the underframe cables and piping - and I never finished it before starting the 1:18 series. Then, after taking pictures of VIA Rail units in 2013-2014, I started a 1:18 version in 2017 (based in part on the work I had done in 1:36) but stopped at the very early stages of the carbody outline since I still lacked sufficient reference material for the finer underframe details. I decided to take a "wait and see" approach, hoping that new material would eventually appear online in later years.
That wait paid off: In early 2022 I obtained a complete P42DC parts catalog (the holy grail of reference material) and the drawing reached about 50% completion by January 2022, with the rest of the work happening over the past week. The only parts missing from the catalog were the air pipes, so I did an extensive search for photos of three tricky areas (around the air dryer behind the front truck, variations in pipes behind the air reservoirs, and behind the right rear step) to fill in the details.
Tunnel motor drawings have arrived in 1:18! These were a long time coming despite being largely similar to the SD45-2, which I first completed in 2013. After taking pictures of an SD45T-2 rebuild in 2016 (which provided some of my best reference images) I started SD45T-2 drawings in 2017 and did sporadic work in 2018 and 2020 - and then they sat about 90% complete for the last 2 years, receiving only handrail and hood updates (as applied to other EMD drawings) as I worked on other drawing projects. They weren't among my highest priorities since I did a complete series of SD40T-2 and SD45T-2 drawings in 1:36, but I figured it was time to start finishing some old projects rather than continuing to start new ones.
I think my eyes might start going square at this rate! With cold weather and rain over the weekend, I ended up completing drawing revisions on a huge number of late-model GE units and rolling stock drawings. Changes include:
- Coupler cut levers - a relatively minor revision started in early 2022 that nonetheless affects every single drawing (now about 85% complete)
- Corner handrails - affecting many EMD and GE units
- Horn manifold and back cap dimensions - affecting all Leslie horns
- GE cab door window height and numberboard seams/latches - affecting all GE units with the wide-nosed cab (I did ES and ET units with AC motors in early 2022, but then I forgot the other models)
- GE step and pilot bolts - affecting all GE units (Universal and Dash 7 units done earlier this year)
- GE brake lines - units with AC motors (AC4400CW done earlier this year)
Many of these revisions have been fast-paced but tedious - copying the same template into a bunch of drawings, then updating the date and revision history. All told, I revised well over 400 drawings in the past two days - some receiving only coupler cut levers, some (GE units) receiving all of the above.
With only a few major series left to go, there's light at the end of the tunnel! The main series that have yet to receive these revisions are EMD GP8-11 rebuilds; EMD GP/SD50-60 units; EMD/GMD cowl/passenger units; and GE Dash 8 units.
In 2020 I added Thrall and Trinity pressure-differential hopper cars with the intent of working backward to the earliest designs built by North American Car. Today I've made a couple of steps in that direction with the addition of Thrall 5165 cu-ft hopper drawings. These cars are closely related to the Trinity 5125 cu-ft design, and both are derived from the 5150 cu-ft (and earlier 3915 cu-ft) cars built by NACC.
A bit of drawing news to report! The MLW M-630 and M-636 drawings have received revised cab proportions and coupler cut levers - the same as the 4-axle Century series did back in March. While the changes are minor and none of the hood dimensions are affected, this brings the proportions in line with the Century drawings as well as with ALCO dimensions listed for the C-636. These were the last ALCO/MLW drawings that needed updating.
Sometimes I have in-progress drawings sitting for several years before I finally get around to finishing them. That wasn't the case with the most recent additions!
Last week's Gunderson 6269 cu-ft boxcars were fast enough, taking 6 days from the first steps to the finished drawings (with a lot of that time devoted to finding reference images). But perhaps setting a record for the fastest all-new 1:18 drawings are today's NSC 3675 cu-ft gondolas, which were in progress for only 2 days. A big reason is that I've now drawn many common freight car parts and details, which means I can assemble new drawings almost like Lego.
ALCO cab units are here! In a three-for-one deal, the FA-1, FA-2 and PA-1 (plus B-units) have all arrived in 1:18. These have been my main drawing project for the past month or so, and I drew the three models at the same time in parallel. The numerous recent revisions to MLW FPA-4 and FPB-4 drawings came from drawing or refining the same details in the ALCO drawings.
These drawings would not have been possible without the vast collection of photos and mechanical drawings forwarded to me last summer by Jones Rana. These are the first new drawings to benefit from that reference material, which just for these three models amounted to several thousand images. I also did an extensive search for additional photos, rosters and spotting details, which has landed me with reference images for almost every order for all three models. Along the way, I ended up researching and drawing Wabco E-2 and early Leslie "Chime-Tone" horns.
In terms of making the drawings, the FA-2 was the most straightforward since it's closely related to the FPA-4. The FA-1 had the most finicky underframe work (deciphering the air pipes, which are shrouded on the PA-1 and internal on the FA-2) while the PA-1 required drawing the trucks from scratch (which I drew with both 40" and 42" wheels, with corresponding changes to the bolster height and brake rigging). In general, one of the trickiest areas to draw on cab units is the rear underframe since it's largely exposed behind the rear steps. According to ALCO diagrams, there are at least five different variations of the coupler holder and draft gear, three of which I've drawn (and none of which are the same as the FPA-4). There are a few other quirks, such as a 1" lower side sill on the FA-1 than the other two models, and uneven spacing of the roof panel bolts on the FA-1 and PA-1.
The first FA-2 and PA-1 drawings represent BO and ATSF versions respectively. For the FA-1, since many orders shared very similar details, the first version is a generic model. I'm doing the same for B units, and may also make a generic version of the PA-1. I also plan on adding "as-modified" versions since some units were extensively altered.
The latest revisions have been ALCO/MLW Century-series drawings, on which I've adjusted the hood and cab proportions after reviewing ALCO mechanical diagrams. The largest discrepancy was in the "taper" at the front of the cab, which was 1.5" too shallow and had the windows and numberboards too low. The changes are otherwise pretty minor, but they will allow the details to line up properly when I expand into other Century models.
Having spent the last couple of days doing revisions, I'm likely to now resume work on new drawings.
Well, there are no new drawings to report for now - but there is news nonetheless!
First, there's another revision that's going to affect many drawings. Back in January I started a mass revision to coupler cut levers, which were undersized (for some reason, many of the dimensional errors that propagated from my earliest 1:18 drawings involved components that were too small). In February, when adding the first locomotive end views, I discovered that Leslie horn end caps and power chambers were also undersized - by a lot, to the point that they didn't even cover the manifold when viewed from the end.
I don't know what I was thinking when I drew them given that I had Leslie specifications to work from (and I drew the manifold height and bell length correctly). The drawings that got new coupler levers a month ago (mostly GP30 through GP40-2 units) are now getting new horns, and for the rest of the drawings I'm going to revise the horns at the same time as the coupler cut levers (gradually). Nathan/Airchime horns aren't affected. In the process, I've also made renditions of the Prime PM-920 and PM-990, which will replace the Leslie S-3L and S-3K where I can identify them in photos.
Second, the reason for the lack of recent updates is that I've been making major progress on several new ALCO locomotive drawings, to which I've devoted considerable time in the last 3 weeks researching and rendering. They should be online in the next few days, but I won't reveal any more for the moment...
Picking up from where I left off at the beginning of last year, I've continued working my way backward through the GE Universal series. With the completion of radiator/dynamic brake grid details, I've now reached the Phase 1a U30B and late U28B.
I haven't worked as far back with six-axle units as they will need some additional changes to the trucks and motor cables.
Exciting news! The first 1:18 locomotive end views have arrived, representing BO GP40's #3700-3739 (which were also the basis for the very first 1:18 side views back in 2012).
Front/rear views have been on the radar for many years. It's been (unbelievably) almost 20 years since I did a few (quite basic) front/rear locomotive drawings in 1:55, and I never finished any in 1:36. The 1:18 GP40 end views haven't been "in progress" as long as some other drawings (I started just over a year ago) but they were somewhat time-consuming since everything was being drawn from scratch, including generic parts like couplers and air hoses.
Along the way I discovered several quirks that I never realized after years of making side views, such as
- The dynamic brake hatch on the GP35 is a slightly different profile than on later units, which use a profile that blends with the angled radiator intakes used on the SD45 (and prototype GP40X and SD40X units)
- The short hood on GP35 and later units is narrower than the long hood (71" vs 72")
- The end handrails on late GP38/GP40 units have wider stanchion spacing than on earlier units (in addition to taller corner rails)
- The blower duct that appeared on Phase 2c GP38/GP40 units (with 2 ribs, carried over to Dash-2 production) is slanted outward slightly, while the earlier version is vertical
These discoveries (along with re-measuring various pilot details) are the reason for recent revisions to EMD side views of the GP30 through GP40 series, as the uncoupling levers were undersized and poorly shaped (I neglected to review them when correcting the handrail diameter a year ago) and some of the end handrail heights were incorrect. Similar changes will be affecting many more drawings, but to preserve my sanity I'm not going to try to correct them all at once!
Now that at least some of the generic parts are done, I expect further end views won't take very long to add. Next to the arrow links for side views, end views are listed with a "+" symbol.
You (hopefully) won't see any major changes in the site today, but I've been doing a significant update of the code behind the scenes to allow for more drawing variations.
First, I changed how the drawings are counted. In the past, it was solely based on the number of image links in the database. However, if ever there were to be duplicate links, it would have double-counted them incorrectly. That has not been an issue up to now, but it would have been problematic if, for example, I listed a single top or end view several times alongside different side views.
Second, I changed how the painted drawings are stored in the database. In the past, there was only a single image link possible for each entry. As a result, in rare cases where I had painted both sides of a given locomotive (such as with UP SD70M's #2001 and #2002) they were listed as two separate entries. They're now listed as a single entry with two links, which will streamline the process if ever I make more painted locomotives from both sides.
This update has required batch-renaming many drawings (adding a prefix "r" for all painted right-side views, for instance) along with some directory name changes. I've done a lot of testing to make sure things function as they should, but it's possible there are glitches here or there that I've missed. Please let me know if you find any!
The DC SD70 series (including the SD70M and SD75I) was always an early arrival in previous scales: It was among the first "tiny trains" I drew in 1999, and it appeared in the second year of the 1:55 series (2001), the first year of the redrawn 1:55 series (2005) and the second year of the 1:36 series (2009).
But 1:18 was the exception - and today the first SD75I variations finally arrived almost 10 years into the series. I had actually started on the SD75I before the SD70MAC, which arrived in late 2020; I drew them partly in parallel but then focused on finishing the SD70MAC since it was much less well-represented in earlier scales.
The thing about having a website for many years is that you sometimes lose track of lingering old pages or bits of outdated code - long forgotten amid more recent updates.
Case in point: The 1:36 "Road vehicles, Lineside Structures and Equipment" listed under "Other Images" below. I discovered that those drawings (formerly split in two pages) were still using the page template from many years ago - and hence the pages had a complete lack of page styles and colours! I've updated them to the current format - and in the process combined them (as well as the 1:28 and 1:14 drawings) into two pages instead of four.
Another code-related update: A long-overdue switch from http to https.
Happy New Year! Thus ends one of the strangest years in the history of the drawings. I started 2021 with a bang, adding more than 100 new drawings by the end of February - but then added no more new drawings after that. In fact, just about the only work on the site for the rest of the year was a series of drawing revisions in April, August and the end of December. Thus, after a nearly record-setting run in 2020, I ended up with only 103 new drawings in 2021. Most of the additions were GE Unversal and Dash-7 units, along with a few new series such as MLW cab units and GE Super-7 rebuilds. For the first time in the history of the drawings, I made no painted drawings last year.
There were a few reasons for the shift. Part of it was from resuming my usual seasonal outdoor work over the summer - as well as growing a bit tired of screen time (covid has brought more indoor computer work than I had in the past). But I ended up pausing almost all Trainiax activity entirely - including emails - and in retrospect I think it was because it had become a bit too much like a job. I had rediscovered two long-lost passions recently (cycling in mid 2020, and model trains at the end of 2021) and they reminded me of the meaning of a true "hobby". While I still enjoyed making the drawings, I realized that I was becoming too constrained by expectations - not just to meet my own standards for detail, but in how I selected which trains to draw in the first place.
Going forward, things will be mostly the same as they have been - but with a few changes. The high bar for accuracy, of course, will remain - but while I'll continue to try filling out requests, I may end up doing more drawings simply on a whim, rather than constantly scanning my rosters and lists to find the requests that haven't been filled or the variations I didn't draw in previous scales. I'm also not going to engage in commercial use of the drawings - apologies to anyone who has been waiting for a reply from me in this regard, but I simply don't want this hobby to become a business.
For 2022, I'm setting a modest goal of 150 drawings. Most of the drawings that were "in progress" at the beginning of 2021 are at the same state now, so hopefully I'll be able to finish some of them in 2022.
I'm still here! As has become the norm for summer in recent years, most train-related activity has been on hiatus as I've resumed as seasonal outdoor work (and cycling). However, I recently received a huge batch of reference files (forwarded by Jones Rana) that include many ALCO mechanical diagrams, which will be immensely useful in future drawings. For the moment, I haven't started anything new, but I have made a number of revisions to my existing ALCO RS-11 and RS-36 drawings.
As it turns out, my MLW RS-18 measurements (from which the dimensions were derived) were almost all accurate - except for the overall for-aft position of the cab and hood components, which is the main change. The MLW RS-10 and RS-18 will be receiving similar revisions.
After updating Universal series drawings, I've made a bunch of minor revisions to all GE Dash 7 drawings. I've also added all various SOU variations.
A couple of slight revisions to some older locomotive models: Up to now I've used standard angled Snyder fuel fillers in most drawings representing present-day components, but many older locomotives weren't built that way. It's a very small detail, but I'll be updating them whenever I expand or otherwise revise a particular series.
I also discovered that I set the wrong height for the footboards on GE Universal units. I had measured the height correctly against the pilot - but then lined it up with the wrong part of the footboard, so they were about 3" too low.
In a slightly unexpected development, GE Super 7's have arrived in 1:18! They weren't even on the radar a week ago, but as I was casting about for some relatively "easy" new models, it occurred to me that Super 7's are not much more than a Dash 8 cab and a simple, angular hood combined with a U-boat underframe.
These models have a bit of a model-name crisis. I found five photos of GE builder's plates, and they all list the model with "Super 7" spelled out in front (as GE had starting doing with Dash 8 units a couple of years prior). Since I prefer to use original manufacturer model names where possible, I'm doing the same - even though (in the case of Super 7's) almost nobody else does other than GE, instead following the convention of the Dash 7 series (as in "B23-7R" or "B23-S7"). Even the builder's plates I found were inconsistent, with three listing the axles first ("Super 7-B23", "Super 7-C30" and "Super 7-C30MP") and two listing the horsepower first ("Super 7-23B" and "Super 7N-30C"). I've decided to list the horsepower first since that's consistent with concurrent Dash 8 and Dash 9 models.
The last time I drew Super 7 drawings was early in the 1:55 series, in 2003. Apparently (I had forgotten) the dimensional errors in my early 1:55 Universal and Dash-8 drawings were such that combining the various components resulted in my Super 7-23B drawings being over 7 scale inches longer than my U23B drawings, even though they were supposed to be the same. By comparison, in the 1:18 versions, when lining up the Dash 8 cab with the U23B jacking pad and the Dash 8 dynamic brake section with the U23B side sill jog, they were an exact match (a zero-pixel difference) which is better than I expected even in 1:18 given that I had scaled the two series separately.
Sometimes a seemingly minor change can prove more challenging than expected! A couple of days ago I started working on C36-7 drawings representing NS #8531-8542, which I thought would be a relatively simple update of my existing drawings of earlier NW variations. I had decent photos of the unique dynamic brakes and rear hood intakes, and figured the rest would be a combination of parts from other Dash-7 and NS drawings.
Turns out the air piping on the right side is unique to that one order - different both from other Dash-7 units as well as early Dash-8 units built at the same time. After an extensive search turned up few good photos, I eventually resorted to taking screen-captures of Youtube videos of former NS units operating in Brazil! In the end it was sufficient for reference - but not ideal.
In the process of making these drawings I also updated my B32-8 drawings, since I was able to make a more accurate rendition of the (mostly similar) dynamic brake area.
Following yesterday's addition of the FPA-4 I've uploaded a version illustrating all the measurements I took of CN #6765, listed in the Locomotive Dimensions and Measurements section.
I'm excited to reveal the latest locomotive models, which have gradually taken shape over the past week and which mark the debut of first-generation cab units in 1:18: The MLW FPA-4 and FPB-4!
The FPA-4 spent longer "in-progress" than any other drawing so far. I started it fairly early in the 1:18 series (at the beginning of 2014) after taking measurements of CN #6765 at Exporail. By mid-January 2014 I had the basic outline of the hood, windshield and fuel tank complete - and it then sat untouched for 7 years as I worked on other drawing projects.
Last week I was forwarded by Jones Rana an ALCO FA-2 erecting diagram - the gold standard of drawing reference material - and it was motivation for me to complete the FPA-4.
Although the carbody was easy enough, a few parts were harder to decipher. Most preserved units have the steam generator piping either removed (units in operation) or modified (CN #6765 at Exporail) so I did an extensive search of older photos of units in operation on CN (including B units) as well as relying on one of my own photos of the pipes on a GMD FP9Au. The steam generator hatch and piping were also different between A-units and B-units.
The FPA-4 is substantially similar to the FA-2, so I'm hoping these drawings will form the basis for more ALCO cab units.
Most of my drawing work over the last month has been revising old drawings, so it's been a slow start to the new year in terms of new drawings. But with revisions finished as of a couple of days ago, I've now resumed work on a couple of new locomotive and rolling stock models.
Two steps forward, one step back! When I first made the SD70MAC drawings I noticed that there was a 1-inch gap between the fuel tank and the frame, which I incorporated into the drawings. But it turns out previous EMD models have the same gap, and my rendition of the fuel tank hugging the underframe was yet another carryover error from the start of the 1:18 series. The error affects almost all EMD models from the Phase 2 GP35 onward.
Fortunately, it's an easy update. Within less than a day I've updated more than half of the affected drawings, and I expect I'll have the rest done by the end of the weekend.
Happy New Year! Whatever might have happened elsewhere in the world in 2020, it was a great year for drawings. With 369 drawings completed throughout the year, it's the second-highest total since the start of the 1:18 series just over 8 years ago. Here's the final tally:
- ALCO Locomotives: 14
- EMD / GMD Locomotives: 188
- GE Locomotives: 60
- Rolling Stock: 100
- Painted Drawings: 7
The biggest story of the year was the major expansion of rolling stock. After drawing up a large catalog of components (including diverse brake components and 30 different truck variations) new rolling stock drawings came thick and fast, especially in the first half of the year. They included boxcars (from ACF, Berwick, FMC and Trinity), covered hoppers (Richmond Tank Car 4750, Thrall carbon black, and Thrall/Trinity pressurized), tank cars (Trinity LPG) and doublestack well cars (NSC 53').
Among locomotives, several models made their first appearance, including the ALCO C-424, the EMD F59PH, F59PHI, GP39-2 (in the Dash-2 carbody), SD35 (along with the GP40X/SD40X), SD39, SD40A, and SD70MAC, and the GE ET44AC / ET44C4. Some existing series were also expanded, such as the EMD GP35 and SD40-2, and GE Universal units (including the arrival of the U33B). The drawing total also doesn't include revisions (some of them significant) to all prior EMD / GMD locomotive drawings.
My goal for 2021 is much the same as for previous years. It's now been 2 years since I've drawn any MLW locomotives, and although new ALCO units arrived in 2020 there are still many more yet to be done. I'd like to further expand into rolling stock, and I hope to fill the last gaps in major locomotive models from the 1980s to the 2000s, with the DC-powered SD70 series now being the only major omission among modern 6-axle units. I'd once again like to add a bit more colour - although looking at the small-but-consistent tally of previous years, painted drawings are still likely to play second fiddle to undecorated.
Revisions, part 2! As with EMD units, GE locomotive drawings are affected by slightly undersize handrails. This will be a much smaller undertaking than the EMD revisions since (aside from the lower number of drawings) no components other than the handrails are being updated, and on all but the latest-production ES-series units it only affects the corner handrails near the steps (the larger-diameter side handrails are correct).
The last few days have been devoted to variations of existing EMD locomotive models, including all remaining BN / BNSF SD70MAC variations. I have a couple of new models on the go that will likely arrive at the very beginning of 2021.
Thank goodness that's over with! I've had more free time than usual in December as I've been in a break between work - but for almost three weeks it has almost all been devoted to updating EMD drawings with changes to the handrails, radiator fans, sand lines and fuel tank vent pipe. All the revisions were relatively minor, so it didn't take too long to update any given drawings - the challenge was that there were more than 1300 of them!
Every single 1:18 EMD / GMD drawing, undecorated and painted, has been updated. The most significantly affected were Dash-2 units; other models (such as the SD70ACe) only had the handrails updated and nothing else. In the process, I've also updated all painted locomotives (including a few GE units) that hadn't yet received revisions that had previously been made to the undecorated versions, including a few EMD units that didn't receive the updated hood proportions from 2019.
Having gone over the drawings with a fine-toothed comb in this update, I hope I don't have to update them all again!
Revisions, revisions! I'm going to gradually be rolling out some minor changes to a large number of EMD units:
- Thicker handrails: My first 1:18 drawings started with handrails that were too thin (1" instead of 1.25") and the error was carried through to subsequent drawings. I later drew ALCO/MLW and GE handrails correctly, but didn't feel it necessary to correct EMD units. However, the latest SD70MAC drawings have two different thicknesses at the nose and stepwells (one pipe wrapped around another) which necessitated the correct size.
- Handrail stanchions: A measurement error resulted in the bolt spacing on stanchions with a narrow side sill being significantly off.
- Radiator fans: I forgot to make a minor correction to fan size (narrower by 0.5") and spacing when I was updating EMD hood details last year - but since I'm updating the handrails I figured I'd update the fans at the same time.
- Sand lines: Similar to handrails, several EMD models have undersized metal sand pipes in the underframe.
- Fuel tank vent pipe: Later EMD units have a slightly larger pipe than earlier ones, and my rendition was narrower than both. This was also an error carried over from early drawings.
The details are relatively easy to correct, but since a large number of drawings are affected I won't be updating them all at once.
Another new locomotive series has arrived in 1:18! The first new SD70MAC drawings in almost 15 years have arrived, representing the last major domestic third-generation locomotive model that I had never previously drawn in either 1:36 or 1:18. (Not coincidentally, it's also the only major EMD locomotive series from the last 30 years that I haven't photographed myself).
It ended up being rather more work than I expected. The SD60M, SD70M and SD70MAC have many shared components, but there are enough minor differences that it's not a straightforward comparison. I found a pre-production SD70MAC diagram illustrating a version that was apparently never built (listed as 75' 2" rather than 74' 0" over the coupler pulling faces) but that also listed SD60MAC dimensions in a table underneath, and I spent considerable time trying to decipher which dimensions applied to the SD70MAC as-built. Between that diagram, an SD70M parts catalog, and many photo measurements, I finally was able to get the dimensions on all three models to line up exactly - but it was probably my most time-consuming exercise in tedious dimension-hunting since the GE Dash-8 series in early 2015. In the process I've updated existing SD50 and SD60 drawings with slightly revised dimensions and components.
Even after the first SD70MAC drawings were largely complete, my work wasn't over as I still needed to establish production phases (I had done so for the 1:55 drawings but they didn't include all the detail changes). After browsing through a couple hundred photos representing most SD70MAC orders I was able to track down a number of detail changes, although there are some details that I've likely missed and that I'll end up discovering as I draw other variations. I've posted the details in the Locomotive Phases section.
In working out the dimensions I also made considerable progress on a 1:18 SD75I, which I had actually started much earlier and the first steps of which I drew in parallel with the SD70MAC. Since the DC-powered SD70 series was well-represented in 1:36 drawings, my initial focus is going to be on the SD70MAC, including variations (such as CR and early CSXT versions) that I never previously drew at all.
Incidentally, with these drawings I've reached my goal for the year of 300 drawings.
I've been figuring out the hood dimensions for the EMD SD70 through SD70MAC series, and in the process I discovered some minor errors in the SD60 series (thanks to shared components). The biggest error was in the SD60M, where the total length of the cab from the nose to the rear wall was almost 2" too short; the SD60M and SD60I both had the nose too far rearward, and the SD60M also had the rear wall too far forward. All the parts of the front hood section (first engine room door, inertial air intake, dynamic brakes and blower duct) were also very slightly too far foward (by 0.25" to 0.5").
While these errors may seem small (apart from the cumulative errors of the SD60M cab) correcting them brings them in line with the dimensions I've established for the SD70 series, in addition to correcting a nagging inconsistency between the blower duct and handrail stanchion locations that I had always noticed but for which I couldn't find the exact error.
I took a bit of a trip down memory lane today - continuing the ongoing transfer of old 1:55 drawings from the old text-based pages to the current tabular format. It's been 10 years since I created the current system - the only reason there are still 1:55 drawings that remain to be transferred is because it's a time-consuming and rather boring task, so I've tended to do a few dozen at a time.
Today I transferred all undecorated and painted intermodal containers and trailers, all originally drawn from 2004 to 2007. In the process, I had to do a bit of behind-the-scenes tweaking to get them to display in a logical fashion, since the page code and tables I had created to list the drawings were optimized for locomotives and rolling stock and weren't initially planned with containers in mind.
Of the more than 3,000 1:55 drawings, more than 80% are now transferred, with mostly rolling stock remaining.
New locomotive series! In a two-for-one deal, the F59PH and F59PHI have both arrived in 1:18. The last time I drew either was near the start of the 1:55 series, and those versions seem extremely crude when I look at them now (although to be fair they're from almost 20 years ago).
As is common with all-new locomotive models, these were a couple of years in the making, and I ended up drawing them in parallel. I started the F59PHI in 2018 immediately after completing the GMD F40PH-2D, using a couple of general arrangement diagrams and an extensive CDOT parts catalog to scale the hood. I got rough outlines of most of the major hood components done by early 2018 before moving on to other drawings. Then, in early 2020, I completed the rest of the hood and the cab, leaving mostly underframe details to be done.
The underframe details are largely the same between the two models but are partly shrouded on the F59PHI - so it made more sense to draw the underframe on the F59PH first (which I started a couple of weeks ago). The hood was adapted from the F59PHI and the cab came from the SD60M (incidentally requiring a smaller side window opening - not an obvious difference at first glance). Then, once the F59PH was completed, I copied over the shared underframe details back to the F59PHI.
Dimension sources list the F59PHI as being 5" longer than the F59PH (58' 7" vs. 58' 2" over the coupler pulling faces) and I discovered when starting the F59PHI that the difference is nothing more than a longer coupler shank on the front of the F59PHI in order to provide clearance for the streamlined nose.
I've ventured back into rolling stock again with the addition of a bunch of ACF 50' boxcar drawings, representing several common variations:
- 5090 cu-ft - originally RBOX cars and later used by many other roads
- 5290 cu-ft - as-built RBOX versions and CNA rebuilds with plug doors
- 5295 cu-ft - rebuilds of 5090 cu-ft cars for baled pulp service, common on CP, HS, OAR and others
Sometimes a single component can hold back the completion of several drawings. Such was the case with recent GE U23C, C30-7 and C36-7 variations, all of which were waiting for a clasp-brake version of the FB-3 truck.
Other additions over the last couple of weeks have been all over the map - ALCO RS-11's and C-424's, EMD SD38's and SD60M's, and the first 1:18 EMD SD39 drawings. I've also resumed work on several in-progress new models as well - we'll see which ones get done first.
New drawings! A couple of rainy days have resulted in the first updates of any sort on the site after a five-month hiatus over the summer. Today's work has centered on the AC4400CW series, with several minor detail corrections to all existing drawings, and three new drawings representing the first order of CP units. In the process I've made a couple of additions to the Dash-9 and AC4400CW phase descriptions in the Locomotive Phases section.
I'm still here! I don't think I've ever gone so long without making drawings. With outdoor work starting in May - and with a newfound passion for cycling - I've spent very little time in front of a screen all summer, and with work and zoom-related emails enough to keep me busy I had to postpone everything train-related for the last few months. But with today being the first rainy day in recent memory, I'm finally able to turn my attention back to the site for a bit. I don't expect I'll be making many drawings in the immediate future (if the weather remains nice) but by the end of the year I'll likely be back in the swing of things as work slows and I spend more time indoors.
Back in January the first Tier 4 GE drawings arrived in the form of a single ET44C4 variation. I've now been expanding the series to include a few more units, starting with CN and GECX ET44AC variations. With most of the main details now in place, I think drawing many of the ET44AC variations will involve little more than copying over railroad-specific details from late-model ES units.
There aren't many second-generation EMD models that I haven't drawn in any scale - but the SD40A was one of them. Thanks to the EL SDP45 I drew last year, I had most of the underframe complete; it took little more than combining it with standard SD40 hood components. In the process, I also revised IC versions of the GP38AC and GP40, which (like the SD40A) had an ATS shoe on the right front axle for a very short time after being built.
I've ventured back into locomotive drawings after a steady stream of rolling stock, filling in the SD35 series with later-production units with low-mounted brake cylinders. In the process, I reached the third of three interesting milestones that have passed in recent weeks.
First, as of March, Trainiax has been online for 20 years.
Second, as of approximately late April, the 1:18 series is the longest-running drawing series, surpassing the 7 1/2 year span of the 1:55 series that ran from October 2000 to February 2008.
Third, with the latest SD35 drawings, I've already reached my goal of 175 drawings for the year. Since there is still more than half the year remaining, I'm setting a new 2020 goal of 300 drawings. It's an ambitious total - I've only exceeded it three times since the start of the 1:18 series (twice by a small margin) - but with the current slowed pace of the world I may continue to find myself with more time than usual for drawings as the year progresses.
More rolling stock! Today's additions: Thrall/Trinity 3230 cu-ft pressurized hopper cars. These are a familiar member of the drawings - I did them at the end of the 1:55 series as well as the 1:36 series, and both previous versions were dimensionally accurate since I have a very good builder's diagram to work from.
Why did I draw them again? Because I never expanded the series to include related cars in either of the two previous scales. These include the Thrall 5230 (a stretched 3230) and Thrall/Trinity 5660 (a 5230 with shallower sheets and slightly revised piping) as well as more distantly related earlier cars built by Thrall, Trinity and North American Car - which together account for thousands of pressurized covered hoppers currently in service. I've already added renditions of the Thrall 5230, and a Thrall/Trinity 5660 is likely imminent as well.
More rolling stock drawings are on the go! After filling in Thrall carbon black hoppers last week, I've started a couple more new freight car projects - we'll see what I end up finishing first!
But in the meantime, I've taken a brief trip down memory lane and transferred several dozen 1:55 rolling stock drawings to the current lists from the old 1:55 page. There are now only a few hundred 1:55 drawings (of more than 3000 in total) that are not listed in the current pages. I've also (just for the heck of it) added "past updates" from 2007 and 2008 in the link below.
I don't often share news from the outside world on this site, but it's worth mentioning recent updates in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. If there's a positive side to it all, it's that, with schools and businesses closed and people encouraged to stay home, I've been left with a whole lot of time for making train drawings.
If the number of recent drawing additions is still fairly modest, it's only because (somewhat to my own surprise) I've ended up concentrating exclusively on new freight car drawings. They are more time-consuming than simply churning out additional SD40-2 variations, but they are rewarding - and I'm rapidly building up a collection of separate parts that will gradually speed up the process. The latest additions include Trinity 7500 cu-ft boxcars and NSC 53' well cars, the latter of which I hope to eventually cover all DTTX variations.
To date, I've drawn no fewer than 15 freight car truck casting/suspension variations (traced from photos) as well as an increasing variety of air brake control valves, brake cylinders, vent valves and similar components (mostly traced from Wabtec and NYAB diagrams). It's likely that I'll soon be uploading these in a separate "parts" page, along with some locomotive components like horns - a project that has been on the back burner for a while but which is moving higher up the priority list as I draw more parts.
In a change of direction from recent drawings, I've added a couple more rolling stock drawings: Variations of the Trinity high-cube boxcar drawings I first made in 2014. Creating them was more involved than it would seem at first glance, since aside from carbody differences, it required new renderings of NYAB air brake equipment, a new 100-ton truck variation (Chicago Castings Company), and two plug door variations. Most existing 6235 cu-ft boxcar drawings have also received minor revisions.
The 1:18 series is finally getting a bit more colour! After only three painted drawings last year, I've started a mission to vastly exceed that total this year. Along the way, I've been adding more images in the "Lettering and logos" page - some are all-new while others are old renditions I made for the 1:36 series that I have re-verified for accuracy.
The most recent painted drawing (KCS SD70ACe #4040) has quite a story behind it. No painted locomotive has ever spent so long in progress - it goes all the way back to the end of 2007, when I nearly completed a 1:55 rendition of KCS SD70ACe #4010. All that was left was the logo and a few minor details, but I never finished it before moving to the 1:36 series in early 2008. I eventually forgot about it, and I never did any KCS locomotives in 1:36.
I started the 1:18 version in early 2018. However, it required a lot of work on logos, lettering and small stickers, and sources conflicted about which parts were Brunswick green and which (if any) were black. As a result, it sat half-completed for almost two more years until I decided to tackle it in the latest batch of painted drawings. (Incidentally, after a lot of photo comparisons and colour tests, I concluded that all dark areas in the current KCS scheme are Brunswick green and not black.)
Another new series has arrived: Tier 4 GEs! These were requested more often than any other model in recent years. After sitting about 40% complete since I started it a year ago, I've finished the first ET44C4 drawing, representing early BNSF units. Since it incorporates many changes from the ES series, I'll likely be working out minor errors or omissions in the coming days as I gather reference images for the ET units of other roads.
Although there have already been some minor evolutions over the production of the ET series, it's still too early to create phases.
First drawings of 2020: New model! The EMD SD35 has arrived in 1:18. It was rather like assembling lego blocks: The hood (lengthened by 3 feet) and air reservoirs/piping straight from the GP35, trucks and steps from the SD40, and a few new underframe details. In the process I've also added phases for the SD35 and related models.
Happy New Year everyone! So ends one of the most unusual years in drawing history: On the one hand, the smallest-ever full-year tally of new drawings since they were started in 2000; on the other hand, the largest-ever (or at the very least second largest after 2006) combined total of new and significantly revised drawings. Equally unusual, although my work is often seasonal (with fewer drawings in the summer months) this year almost everything happened only in January and December.
The total of new drawings from 2019 is a modest 138:
- 34 ALCO Locomotives
- 52 EMD Locomotives
- 49 GE Locomotives
- 3 Painted Drawings
However, these numbers don't include nearly 900 existing EMD drawings, including almost all models from the 30 to the 60 series, that received significant modifications to the proportions of the hood and (in some cases) underframe. The work was tedious, but the increased accuracy paid off. A few dozen drawings in the GP26, GP39, GP59 and SD60 series are the only ones I haven't updated yet - and changes won't be as significant as the 35 through 45 series.
The last days of 2019 saw a significant milestone reached: The 2000th 1:18 drawing (I didn't select anything special; it ended up being a BN-version GE U30C). A second milestone is on the way in May of the new year: Assuming the drawings continue as they have been (which is extremely likely) the 1:18 series will be setting the record for the longest-running drawing series, surpassing the 7 1/2 year run of the 1:55 series which I drew from October 2000 to February 2008. How time flies!
First order of business for the new year: Changing how the drawings are listed. I was never satisfied with having the model name repeated for every drawing link, with a red asterisk * denoting right-side views. I've finally found a solution: Using arrows to represent the views. This will make it easier to list any top or end views when I make them.
I'm slowly chipping away at the updates to EMD hood units, continuing the corrections I started in January (relocating the front hood seam and making slight revisions to hood proportions). Of more than 900 affected drawings, there are now fewer than 200 awaiting correction (plus painted versions), mostly in the GP30 and 50/60-series.
I'm still here! Summer has brought a significant reduction in screen time - and with it a slowing of Trainiax updates. I probably won't be making many drawings in the immediate future, but the pace will pick up again in the fall.
As a result, my prior permission is no longer required for non-commercial use of the drawings - on two conditions:
- For non-personal use of the drawings (such as display on other websites) please provide credit in some way, such as my name and/or the URL of the Trainiax site.
- Please indicate if a drawing has been modified, such as adding to or modifying the label under the drawing. I count on unmodified labels to be indicative of my original drawings.
Of course, I'd still enjoy knowing how/if the drawings are being used or displayed - but I'm hoping the new terms will keep people who'd like to use the drawings from falling through the cracks.
I'm going to be batch-processing the images to remove the permission requirement displayed at the bottom of all the drawings. The "last modified" date listed for 1:18 drawings won't be affected.
One problem arises, two problems solved! Today I attempted to update the dimensions of SD45-2 drawings, and it didn't quite work - the revised SD45 hood doors didn't line up properly with the SD45-2 rear hood section, which was mostly good as-is.
So I went back to the SD45 mechanical drawings and made a conversion table and template of all the dimensions - and discovered that my rearward shift of the SD45 hood doors by 1" was a half-inch too much for all but the first six doors. Shifting them forward means they should now work with the SD45-2 (and an SD45T-2 I have in progress) - first problem solved.
I also moved the SD45 dynamic brakes forward, bringing them in line with my SD40 drawings. They're a half-inch ahead of what the EMD diagrams say, but for some reason on both the GP35 and SD45, lining the dynamic brakes up with the diagrams puts them 0.5" too far to the rear compared to the hood doors. In any case, the consistency issue in my own drawings (SD40 vs SD45) is resolved - second problem solved.
Well, two items of good news: First, the realigned fuel tanks on the GP38 and GP40 drawings have brought three of the four smaller fuel tank positions (two 2,600 gallon variations and one 3,200 gallon) to the same place as on Dash-2 units (either exactly or within 1 pixel) as well as perfectly matching the location of the fuel cut-off switch. The series therefore now match where they didn't before.
Second, a cursory glance at the GP/SD50 and 60 series reveals much smaller dimensional errors than on Dash-2 and earlier units, mostly involving small shifts of 1 or 2 pixels to match shared parts. As these drawings were later than my 38 and 40 series (which were the first 1:18 drawings) they benefitted from more thorough dimension-checking.
I think these EMD revisions are going to drive me insane - but progress is being made! All was well today until I got to the SD38-2 - at which point I realized that the dynamic brakes in the SD38 and SD40 series (which I had just relocated based on SD45 mechanical drawings) were 0.5" too far rearward compared to the rest of the hood. A half-inch doesn't sound like much (and normally I would accept it) but the dynamic brakes are supposed to be centered with the hood doors, and it resulted in an obvious misalignment. After re-checking all possible hood dimensions I'm unable to account for the discrepancy - so my SD38 and 40 series drawings will simply be 0.5" different from my SD45 drawings.
In the process, I also discovered a more time-consuming correction - the middle handrail stanchions in my GP38 and GP40 drawings (along with the air reservoirs and fuel tank) were too close to the front by 1" to 1.5". At least, I think that's how far off they were - because I've found variations of up to 1" in those dimensions on the prototype from unit to unit. I realize I'm splitting hairs at this point, so I'm simply lining the stanchions and fuel tank up with average measurements and calling it a day.
Thank goodness for templates! By copying images containing revised parts surrounded by transparent areas, I'm able to update many drawings relatively quickly - and as a result, almost 400 drawings of second-generation EMD hood units have received revisions in the last 2 days (out of roughly 900 that are affected by the hood seam issue I discovered yesterday). I'm also making a few other corrections I've come across, affecting the walkway blower duct, the bottoms of the hood doors, the radiator intakes, the rooftop fan plate and the bottom corners of the long hood. One of the "templates" for these revisions is now illustrated in the Creating the Drawings page under "Revisions".
Well, that's annoying. I had known for several years that there was a small inaccuracy in my second-generation EMD drawings: The seam between the front and middle hood sections (right behind the inertial air intakes) was slightly too close to the cab. I thought the difference was 0.5", which was small enough for me to live with. However, after finding a new SDP45 mechanical diagram (along with reviewing the diagrams I already had for other models) I discovered the error was actually 1". Accordingly, on the pre Dash-2 35 to 45 series, the blower duct was 0.75" too narrow, the dustbin hatch was 1.5" too short, and the exhaust stack was 2" too far forward.
These errors are too high, so I've started the (tedious) task of correcting them. All EMD hood units from the 30 series to the 60 series are affected to varying degrees. Over the years, I ran into several minor issues when sharing parts across EMD models - dynamic brakes didn't fit perfectly between the SD40 and SD45, the blower duct didn't line up perfectly with handrail stanchions on the SD60 - and it's likely that they were all caused by this error. It likely stemmed from insufficient dimension-checking when I made the first 1:18 GP40 drawing in 2012, at which point I had significantly fewer reference photos and mechanical diagrams than I do now.
I have already made corrections to one model - the SD45, which was possibly the most affected by the error. I had scaled my SD45 drawings using EMD mechanical drawings that had hood dimensions starting from that seam, so the whole middle section of the hood needed to be moved rearward by 1", with a 1" reduction in the rear hood section. EMD 38, 39 and 40 series models are not as significantly affected, since the rest of the hood was mostly correct (within 0.25") and the forward seam simply left an over-large gap (0.75" too high) between the seam and first hood door. I haven't yet confirmed what changes will be necessary in the 50 and 60 series.
How much difference can a half-inch make? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Last summer, when I measured a preserved MLW RSC-14, the measurements suggested a walkway height 0.5" higher than my existing RS-10 and RS-18 drawings. I initially ignored the discrepancy and drew the RSC-14 at the same height as other drawings.
However, doing so reduced the clearance between the frame and the brake cylinders compared to what I measured, and the brake chain pulleys didn't line up correctly. On other RS-10 and RS-18 drawings, I had also had problems with the fuel tank not adequately clearing the trucks, and the late-phase pilot being too close to the rail - despite reviewing the dimensions of all these components.
Solution: Increase the underframe height by 0.5" on all RS-10, RS-18, RSC-14 and ALCO RS-11 drawings to the correct height. A bit tedious, but it fixed all the problems.
Happy New Year! In the end, 2018 was a slightly unusual year for drawings. I reached my goal of 300 drawings for the year even though I hardly made any drawings from April to October. Here is the final tally:
- 8 ALCO Locomotives
- 122 EMD/GMD Locomotives
- 107 GE Locomotives
- 56 MLW Locomotives
- 4 Rolling Stock
- 9 Painted Drawings
- 306 Drawings total
The biggest news for 2018 was probably the addition of two major locomotive series: The MLW RS-18 (and related models, like the RS-10, RSC-14 and ALCO RS-11) and the GE Universal series. Together these account for 37% of last year's total. A few other models made their debut in 1:18: The VIA F40PH-2D (in almost all its variations), ARI 3272 cu-ft hopper cars, and Phase 2 GP35's. In most cases, these new additions represented locomotives models that I hadn't drawn since the early 1:55 series (if at all). The rest of the additions were variations of existing models: second-generation EMD units like the GP38-2 and SD40, GE Dash-7 units and AC44C6M's, and MLW M-420's.
I also added several drawings not included in the final total, illustrating dimensions (usually direct measurements I've made) and phase details. While I don't expect to be able to measure too many more models, I do plan on adding drawings with phase details to most of the rest of the "Locomotive Phases" pages.
While most of the new models (RS-18, F40PH-2D and Phase 2 GP35's) involved finishing drawings that had been in-progress for some time (4 years in the case of the F40PH-2D) I ended up finishing 2018 with more in-progress drawings than I started with. At the moment I have no fewer than 13 new locomotive models (possibly more) that are at various stages of completion, a few of them dating back to 2013. I'm hoping to finish at least some of them in 2019.
My goal for this year is more modest than last year: 200 drawings. The main reason is not that I don't expect to have as much time for drawings, but rather that many of the most common locomotive series are getting filled in - and many of the models I'm hoping to finish won't benefit from dozens of quick and easy variations. As my predictions rarely hold true, we'll see what happens!
It's been almost a year since the MLW RS-18 arrived in 1:18, and I've gradually been adding more RS-10 and RS-18 variations. The next logical step: The ALCO RS-11! As with the MLW models, I hadn't drawn the RS-11 since early in the 1:55 series.
While I had quite a few good RS-11 photos to work from, I don't have the same level of extensive reference material as I did for the RS-18 - so I'm hoping I've caught all the differences between the models. Although the RS-11 and RS-18 are sister locomotives, there are a whole bunch of minor differences involving everything from trucks and sand lines to radiator intakes and fuel tank brackets to drop steps and hood air intakes (in addition to the major differences like hood corner notches and the cab location).
With three days left in the year I reached my 2018 goal of 300 drawings. While several recent additions have been of relatively less common or oddball locomotive models (such as the MLW RSC-14) I had several more common (and quicker-to-draw) locomotives in reserve to bolster the drawing total.
Several more models also now have revision histories, and a handful of various locomotive models have been revised. I've also corrected several glitches in the underlying code of the drawing pages themselves.
I often find errors or omissions in a particular series when I expand it. Case in point: my MLW RS-10 and RS-18 drawings. Thanks to measurements I made of a preserved RSC-14 this past summer, I'm adding late-phase units and versions with a horizontal fuel tank and dynamic brakes in the short hood. In the process, I discovered 5 or 6 minor errors or omissions in the existing drawings - things like a missing rear sand hatch, reversed cab door handles, non-original battery box covers, and a couple of missing fuel tank lines and air pipe fittings. The doors on the short hood have also been slightly revised based on the RSC-14 measurements.
U36B hood + C30-7 underframe + a few additional changes = U36C! Six-axle U-boats have now arrived in 1:18, addressing one of the biggest gaps in the drawings. While the U30C was well represented in both 1:36 and 1:55 (along with a few newer 1:55 U33C drawings) the rest of the series never made it past early 1:55 drawings. Prior to today's additions the only U36C drawings on the site were two (now rather crude) left-side views from 2001, and there are some models (such as the U25C, U28C and later U23C) that I've never drawn at all.
In the past couple of days I've also made additional revisions to four-axle U-boat drawings, involving the seam behind the cab on the right side, addition of fuel cut-off switches, and corrected right front corner handrail. The four-axle Universal drawings have been a perfect illustration of why I generally allow a one-week "debugging" period after introducing a new locomotive model, during which I don't mark revision dates in the drawing - since several of them have been revised almost daily over the past week. At this point I think I have most of the details polished.
Following the arrival of the U18B, I've expanded into the U36B and (today) the U23B. As expected, the first few U-boat drawings have received a host of minor revisions over the last few days as I've been working out the kinks in the series, along with one significant revision affecting the proportions of the radiators and rear end grabirons (which I had neglected to fully change from the Dash-7 version).
New GE U-boat drawings have arrived! The first GE U18B drawings since 2006 have just been added. While they weren't particularly complicated as new drawings go, they were nonetheless a fairly involved undertaking. Part of the reason is that I have neither photographed nor physically measured any GE Universal series units, so I had to rely on photos and diagrams for dimensions and details. But the bigger reason is that GE Universal models have extensive parts in common - which means the components of the U18B not only need to be accurate, but they need to scale properly when applied to the larger models. In previous U-boat drawings, I (incorrectly) carried over a lot of parts from Dash-7 drawings - but this time I wanted to make sure that all the small differences between the series are accurately reflected in the drawings.
As a result, I pored over hundreds of photos of everything from the U18B to the U36C. Although the hood and underframe has the same proportions as Dash-7 units, I drew most of it from scratch - and made sure that any components taken from my Dash-7 drawings were either correct as-is or redrawn accordingly. In the process, I uncovered a few minor production variations that would be of little concern to GE but that would drive a rivet-counter crazy - things like the steps being 1 inch narrower than Dash-7 (and very late Universal) units despite looking the same, or the outer air reservoir supports being constructed of vertical C-channel sections instead of simple plates. (Having said all that, it's likely I still missed a detail here or there - which I'll probably come across while making more U-boat variations).
In the process, I also discovered that air reservoir, fuel tank and traction motor cable details I was drawing in the U18B also applied to Dash-7 production, so all 4-axle Dash-7 units have also been revised. Six-axle units will be receiving the same changes.
After a slow summer, I've resumed work on several in-progress locomotive models. First out of the gate: Phase 2 GP35's. Earlier GP35 variations have been a part of the 1:18 series since 2012, but Phase 2 versions (with a straight frame) were on hold until I could work out all the underframe details.
With summer here (my main work season) drawing work has slowed considerably, but there are still a few things in the works! Today's additions are minor - a couple of MKT GP38-2 variations.
It's been a long time coming, but the first 1:18 full-cowl passenger locomotive has now arrived! It wasn't from lack of initiative - I started four different passenger cowl/carbody models back in 2013-2014 - but after almost 4 years sitting at 40% completion, the GMD F40PH-2D is now the first to be finished.
The most time-consuming part was the relatively complex layers of pipes and cables in the underframe. But with those details now done - along with standard components of EMD's full-width carbody - these units will pave the way for other models in the F40PH and F59PH series. I've also added a painted version of VIA #6438 in Renaissance paint.
Other than the FP45, I didn't make any of EMD's freight-based full-cowl units in 1:36, and I haven't drawn the F40PH-2D since a very early 1:55 rendition in 2002.
Another project that's seen sporadic progress for a couple of years has been completed: ARI 3272 cu-ft hopper cars. In the process I've started looking up variations of other modern ARI covered hopper cars. I've also added a painted version representing SHPX 432930 - the first 1:18 painted rolling stock drawing.
The MLW RS-18 has arrived in 1:18 - the fourth model to benefit from locomotive measurements I made a couple of years ago (after the MLW M-636, C-424 and M-420). In the process of drawing the RS-18, I also established dimensions and details for the MLW RS-10 and ALCO RS-11, which will be derived from the RS-18. CN 3684 was my main source of reference images and measurements, so the first RS-18 drawings represent early CN versions - which I've never drawn in previous scales.
Happy New Year! The 1:18 drawing series is now just over 5 years old - and what a year 2017 was for drawings. With 526 new drawings added, it was my most productive year since 2006 and the fourth-highest yearly drawing total ever. Among 1:18 locomotives, 31% of EMD/GMD and 42% of GE drawings were from 2017.
Here's the 2017 drawing breakdown:
- 8 ALCO Locomotives
- 317 EMD/GMD Locomotives
- 183 GE Locomotives
- 6 MLW Locomotives
- 2 Rolling Stock
- 10 Painted Drawings
The large drawing total in 2017 was largely due to filling out common locomotive models, such as the many variations of the EMD SD40-2 and GE AC4400CW and Dash-9 series. As a result, the 1:18 drawing series reached several milestones in 2017, surpassing the 1:36 series in total number of drawings in addition to surpassing it in EMD/GMD and GE locomotives.
For several years, I've been saying at the start of every new year that I hoped to make ALCO drawings in 1:18 - and in 2017 that finally became a reality with the first C-425 and C-430 drawings. Unfortunately, several more in-progress models never made it to completion before the end of the year. With new C-425 drawings and revisions to existing ALCO drawings arriving at the very end of 2017, I hope to carry the ALCO momentum into 2018.
A few other interesting models also made their debut in 1:18 in 2017. These included late-model EMD units such as the SD50, SD60M and SD60I, as well as early units such as the GP20 and high-hood first-generation "Geeps". GMD versions of the SD40 also arrived, thanks in large part to recent photos I had taken on the CBNS. Among GE units, the AC4400CW and ES44C4 arrived in 1:18, along with rebuilds like the AC44C4M and AC44C6M. All told, however, there were relatively few unique additions in 2017.
I made a point of making more painted drawings in 2017, which resulted in the second-highest number of 1:18 painted drawings (after 2014). However, with a total of only 40 painted drawings in the 1:18 series (out of over 1500 drawings) there's a lot of room for growth.
For 2018, I hope to continue making measurements of preserved locomotives for use in the drawings. In the fall of 2017, I significantly added to locomotive measurements I first started taking in 2013, and one model I measured (the MLW M-420) made it to completion in the drawings in 2017. There are several more models in progress using those measurements (largely MLW locomotives) that I hope to finish in 2018. Other in-progress drawings I would like to complete in 2018 include both early cab/carbody units from several builders and present-day Tier 4 models.
At the start of 2017, I set my yearly goal at 200 drawings - after four years of aiming for 175 drawings. Once I reached that total in February, I doubled my 2017 goal to 400 drawings, and surpassed that new goal in September. But with many major locomotive models now largely complete in 1:18 - and with several interesting but less common models (ie. fewer variations) now in progress - I'm aiming for a less ambitious total in 2018 than 2017's exceptional result, setting this year's goal at 300 drawings.
Thanks to the addition of new EMD SD60M, SD60I and SD70ACe drawings, I've reached two new milestones in the past few days: Over 500 drawings for the year 2017, and over 1000 EMD/GMD locomotive drawings in 1:18.
With perhaps a dozen different locomotive models in progress in 1:18 (some for a very long time) it's somewhat to my own surprise that I've ended up focusing on first-generation Geeps. We'll see how long that continues - but for now the latest additions are more GP20 drawings and the first 1:18 GP9's.
Another milestone: As of today, the 1:18 series has overtaken the 1:36 series, with 1,511 drawings to date (the 1:36 series ended with 1,509 drawings). Today's additions expand the first-generation "Geep" series to include the GP20. Prior to the latest additions, the last GP18 and GP20 drawings I made were in the 1:55 series 11 years ago.
EMD's iconic high-nosed first-generation "Geep" carbody has arrived in 1:18, starting with LV and RI GP18 variations. Up to now, all early GP units in 1:18 have been either low-nose or rebuilds.
With the addition of a slew of GP38-2 variations, I've reached my updated yearly goal of 400 drawings. This is the first year that I have topped 400 drawings since 2010, when I added 495 drawings. We'll see if I can beat that total! The 1:18 EMD total also now exceeds the 1:36 EMD total, although part of the increase comes from additional railroad variations that were grouped together in 1:36. I have also added some modern GE rebuilds - the AC44C4M and AC44C6M.
EMD SD40-2 + details from Conrail GP40-2 + Flexicoil trucks = Conrail SD40-2's! Together with a slew of Family Lines variations, they account for more than two dozen undecorated SD40-2 drawings added today.
I've also been adding a few painted drawings, with more planned for the coming days; the 1:18 series is still rather devoid of colour.
A few more additions today, filling a few gaps among EMD GP28, GP38 and GP38AC variations. Incidentally, I also realized that the MLW M-420 drawings from last week brought my 1:18 drawing total above last year's count of 316 drawings, setting a new yearly record for the 1:18 series with 4 months still to go in 2017.
After a hiatus of a couple of months, some drawing news to report! The MLW M-420 (above) has now made it into 1:18 - thanks in large part to measurements I made of SLQ 3569 preserved at Exporail. It was one of several models that had been sitting in-progress for some time - I started it in early 2016. This is at least my sixth rendition of the CN-type M-420, following previous drawings in pre-website small scales (1999), early 1:55 (2001), revised 1:55 (2005), late 1:55 (2008) and 1:36 (2009).
Today I broke with tradition and updated a couple of 1:36 drawings - the first revisions to the 1:36 series since the start of the 1:18 series in 2012. The error (which also affected 3 1:18 drawings) was significant but an easy fix: I had made ES44AC drawings representing UP 7600-7677 as Phase 2a1 instead of Phase 1f2, so the entire rear hood section was incorrect.
I had decided to stop all work on the 1:36 series (including revisions) in order to focus solely on the 1:18 series. However, now that the 1:18 series is well-established, I may start revising errors in the 1:36 drawings as long as they don't take long to correct.
It's been a while since the first and only 1:18 rolling stock drawings were completed (Trinity 50' boxcars) so I figured it was time to finish some new rolling stock drawings that I started in mid 2016 - NSC 6400 cu-ft gondolas. I've taken a bunch of photos of these newly-built cars over the last few years. I'm starting to build up a collection of railcar component drawings (brake valves and rods, grabirons, trucks, handbrakes etc.) that will eventually speed up additional rolling stock drawings.
We may only be two months into 2017, but today I reached my yearly goal for 2017 of 200 drawings! Needless to say, I've had to increase my goal for the year, which is now doubled to 400 drawings. The fast pace of drawings is mostly due to GE AC4400CW and ES-series drawings, for which phase and railroad variations have taken very little time to complete.
From late 2013 to last year, my yearly drawing goal was fixed at 175 drawings, and in most cases I attained that total near the end of the year.
Work on modern GE units continues with the introduction of the ES44C4 in 1:18. Over the last few weeks I've also made a significant number of minor revisions and corrections to Dash-8 and later GE units - see the New page for details on what's been updated.
With the addition of recent Dash-8, Dash-9 and AC4400CW drawings, the 1:18 GE locomotive total now exceeds the 1:36 GE total. Since most of the drawings of 2017 so far have been variations of existing models, they've been adding up very quickly - and with over 150 drawings completed in just the first 6 weeks of 2017, I will most likely soon be reaching (and changing) my goal for the year of 200 drawings. I don't expect to continue the same drawing pace for the whole year.
I've gradually been working my way backwards through AC4400CW phases and now have KCS and most Mexican and UP versions complete. In the process I've been making revisions to existing AC4400CW drawings over the last few days as I've picked up on a number of minor details that I missed since first completing them a few days ago.
A minor revision has affected the side cab window frame and windows on all GE Dash 8, Dash 9, AC and ES units with the wide-nosed cab. The bottom of the frame is 1 pixel (0.25") higher on all versions, while the top of the frame is 2 pixels (0.5") higher on the 3-window version and 1 pixel lower on the 4-window version - representing a roughly 0.75" difference in height between the two window frame types that I had previously missed. While the change is extremely minor, the difference was enough to throw off my measurements while working on the early inverter cabinet of the AC4400CW.
ES44AC frame and cab + Dash 9-44CW long hood + a few extra details = AC4400CW! As of today, GE's four main modern freight models (Dash-9, AC4400CW, AC and DC ES-series) are now represented in 1:18.
After several occasions of starting a new year and saying "I hope to draw some ALCO units this year" - and then not making any ALCO drawings - the absence of 1:18 ALCO drawings has finally been rectified! I've started with C-425 and C-430 drawings derived from my existing MLW C-424 drawings.
The C-425 has been well represented in drawings. It made it into my earliest 1:55 drawings, was redrawn much more accurately at the end of the 1:55 series, and was as among the very last 1:36 drawings. However, the C-430 had never made it past the early 1:55 series, and the first 1:18 version (the RDG version, with Type B trucks) is a variation I'd never previously drawn at all.
Happy New Year! The eighteenth year of drawings has now past - and it yielded the highest drawing total since 2010 and the best year yet for the 1:18 series. The last drawings of 2016 were a wide assortment of GE Dash-7 models. Here's the breakdown for the year 2016:
- 227 EMD/GMD locomotives
- 77 GE locomotives
- 6 MLW locomotives
- 6 painted locomotives
- 316 drawings total
The number of all-new models introduced in 2016 was more modest than the high drawing total would suggest. They included the EMD SW1001, GP15D/GP20D, GP20C-ECO, SD40-2F and SD70M-2/SD70ACe, and GE six-axle Dash-7 series. There were also some new models that were based on earlier drawings, such as the EMD SD38 and SD38-2, and GE BQ23-7 and ES44AC. The rest were variations of common models. Some new models that were in progress at the start of 2016 have yet to be completed.
I haven't yet capitalized on a huge assortment of locomotive measurements I took of preserved locomotives at Exporail in 2015, mostly of MLW models. For 2017 I hope to finally introduce ALCO as a builder in the 1:18 series, along with continuing the trend of more painted locomotives that started in the last weeks of 2016.
One of the more obscure GE models has now made it into 1:18: The BQ23-7. Previously, I had only ever drawn this locomotive in the early 1:55 series - it never made it into either the redrawn 1:55 drawings or the 1:36 series. But after finishing GE-motor Blomberg trucks yesterday (for use in standard B23-7 drawings) I figured I'd give the Q a shot.
Two noteworthy additions! First, I've added GMD SD40-2F drawings, the first SD40-2F drawings since the 1:55 versions from 2006. Along with undecorated and painted CP versions is a painted version of CMQ 9017 in BAR heritage paint.
Second, the 1:18 series has reached its first major milestone, with a total of 1,000 drawings. The 1,000th drawing is nothing out of the ordinary, except for being my childhood favourite locomotive (a CN GP40-2L(W), in this case #9511).
Well, they've been a long time coming - but after almost 3 years of sporadic work between other drawings, the first 1:18 SD70M-2 drawings have finally been added! In the process I made a few minor additions to the SD70M-2 and SD70ACe phases. I already have AC versions of the HTCR truck completed, so the SD70ACe may soon follow.
After being away on a trip for much of March I'm now getting back into drawings again. Today saw the addition and revision of a few GP50 drawings.
Well, today marks the end of the most productive month for drawings in recent years - and certainly the most productive month ever for the 1:18 series in terms of both new drawing additions and updates to existing drawings. I've added the first new EMD GP18 drawings in 10 years, which incidentally were the catalyst for all the most recent revisions; it was in making the GP18 that I discovered a host of minor errors or omissions in existing 1:18 GP8, GP10, GP11, GP28 and GP30 drawings.
Well, today I did one of the biggest drawing revisions in a while. Not in terms of time - the whole update took less than an hour - but in terms of numbers: All existing Dash-9 and DC evolution-series drawings were updated (in short, all 1:18 GE locomotives with Hi-Ad trucks). The reason: If gap above the trucks previously looked a bit empty, it was because the traction pin was missing. GE Hi-Ad trucks (and the EMD version as well, for that matter) have a large pin that extends down into the truck frame just outboard of the middle axle, which replaces the bolster and center plate used on older truck designs.
So far, February 2016 has turned into one of my most productive drawing months in a long time. In addition to adding new 1:18 locomotive models such as the GP20C-ECO, C39-8E and ES44AC, I've been working on filling out the drawing roster of existing common models, such as the SD40-2. It's still early - but if the pattern continues I'm well on track to complete more 1:18 drawings this year than in any previous year.
I've entered in the realm of 21st-Century rebuilds with the addition of GP20C-ECO drawings, representing CP's foray into new, 710-powered EMD units. I think calling these units "rebuilds" is a bit of a stretch - they're almost entirely new from the ground up (except for the trucks). I've nonetheless listed them under "EMD (Rebuild)" as this will eventually group them together with the similar SD30C-ECO units, which do reuse many components from former CP SD40-2's.
As it happens, 2016 has started with a bang! Already the second new model that was underway in 2015 has been completed - the first 1:18 6-axle Dash-7 drawings (starting with the C30-7).
Well, another year has come and gone! 2015 was a bit of a strange year for drawings. I reached my yearly goal of 175 drawings quite early - at the beginning of September - but I only did 10 more drawings over the remainder of the year. The reason: I started a number of new locomotive models and made progress on all of them, but didn't finish any before year-end.
Here is the final total for 2015:
- 116 EMD locomotives
- 62 GE locomotives
- 8 painted locomotives
Diversity for 2015 was limited - no locomotives from minor builders (not even ALCO) and no rolling stock. However, some of my railfanning outings from 2015 promise to change that, as I was able to get detailed real-world measurements from a host of ALCO/MLW locomotives.
For 2016, I hope to put those ALCO/MLW measurements to use in the drawings, as well as complete the various EMD and GE locomotives that are in progress (including some rare or unusual models). Already one of the models that was in progress for a couple of months in 2015 is now completed - the EMD SW1001, the first drawing of 2016 and the first switcher model to make it to 1:18.
With recent additions of 1:18 GE Dash-9 and ES-series drawings, I've met my drawing goal for the year (175 drawings) almost 4 months early. I now hope to top last year's total of 250.
A whole series of revisions have been completed in the last week or so, all affecting second- and third-generation EMD units. The corrections are all very minor—air reservoir piping, anticlimber end handrails and a couple of hood door latches.
The 1:18 series continues to broaden, with several recent additions depicting models that I haven't drawn in 8 years (since the 1:55 series): EMD GP15-1 and GE Dash 8-40BW and Dash 8-32BWH. I also plan on adding more painted 1:18 drawings now that there is an increasing variety of undecorated models.
After a long hiatus with only minor drawing revisions, new drawings have finally been added! The latest additions are Dash 9-44CWL drawings, representing CN's first order of Dash-9's with the 4-window cab. I started work on these in the beginning of 2014, but they sat for a long time partly completed. The main hold-up (aside from working on other drawing projects) was the underframe - the 3.5" lower walkway height required a substantial re-working of the underframe detail.
I have also made a few minor corrections and revisions to almost all Dash-8 and later GE drawings.
The last couple of weeks haven't seen many additions, but I've been steadily working on several new locomotive models that will soon be uploaded. However, recently I changed gears and turned my attention to painted drawings. Using a new method of colour-matching, I've revised the colours in most of the 1:18 painted locomotives to better match the prototype. I've posted samples of all the new colours and a description of my colour-matching methods in the "Colours" page listed below.
Bridging the gap between the GE Dash-7 and Dash-8 series are the oddball "early Dash-8" units, of which relatively few were produced (save a bunch of C39-8's for NS). These units have arrived in 1:18, starting with the C39-8.
The last few days have been extremely tedious - but all is well that ends well! Unlike on later Dash-8 units, which have a completely different central air intake area between the 4- and 6-axle units, the hood on the early B39-8 is identical to the C39-8 except for one panel near the front, which accounts for the length difference. So, shortly after initially completing the first 1:18 C39-8 drawings, I tried fitting the hood on the B39-8 frame. And it didn't fit - it was off by 1.25 scale inches. While not a lot, it was too much for me to "stretch" the components to make the hood fit on both units. I didn't have GE hood specs to work from (only the major dimensions) so based on the overall length and truck centers, I measured, and re-measured, and re-re-re-measured photos of all Dash-8 variations for hours until I could finally track down the error. The result: I've got the discrepancy between the two models down to 0.25 scale inches (1 pixel) which I can live with. Despite recent revisions, there are still a couple of minor nagging errors or inconsistencies across the Dash-8 series, but they involve minor details and are too small (0.25 to 0.5 scale inches, or 1 to 2 pixels) for me to try to find and correct them.
Happy New Year! Another year has come and gone - and with 250 drawings completed, 2014 ended up being the best year for drawings since 2010. The last drawing update of 2014 affected the six existing 1:18 EMD SD45 drawings (which, incidentally, were the last drawings to be added in 2012). They have finally received the minor detail and dimension upgrades that I made to all other EMD drawings back in the fall.
Here's the final tally of new drawings added in 2014:
- 126 EMD locomotives
- 80 GE locomotives
- 18 MLW locomotives
- 14 freight cars
- 12 painted locomotives
Last year saw the introduction of the first rolling stock drawings as well as several new GE locomotive models, some of which (the 4-axle Dash-8 series) I hadn't drawn since the 1:55 versions from 8 years ago. It also was the first year since 2010 that I didn't lower my yearly goal partway through the year, instead surpassing it by 43%. I will be keeping the same goal (175 drawings) for 2015.
GE drawings now include Dash 8-40C drawings, with more Dash 8 variations on the way. In looking up spotting features I discovered a glaring mistake in many of my GE Dash-8 and later phase descriptions: I got the dynamic brake intake and outlet vents mixed up, incorrectly labelling the left-side vents as intakes - so I've corrected the affected pages.
Over the last few days I've been adding more 1:18 B23-7 and B36-7 drawings while making a host of minor tweaks to existing versions, with the latest change being a very slight shortening (a scale 1/2") of the center hood section. This correction ensures that the doors and hood line up exactly with the changes in hood length relative to 16-cylinder models (2' 9" shorter for 12-cylinder models, 5' 6" shorter for the U18B).
GE B-boats have arrived! Well, I guess that doesn't work quite as well as "U-boats" - but in any case, the first 1:18 GE Dash-7 drawings have been added, starting with the B23-7.
Following several requests recently for 1:18 painted BN and BNSF SD40-2's, I've added a bunch of undecorated SD40-2 drawings representing most of BN (and CS) production, with the couple of remaining variations hopefully to come soon. Along the way I discovered a few additional small detail changes that happened midway through SD40-2 production. The combination of BN's numbering (and renumbering) system along with all the incremental phase details is incredibly complicated, so I hope I've accurately listed them all. Painted versions are to follow!
I'm now most of the way through a large update that affects almost all EMD/GMD 1:18 drawings. I'm adding foundry-specific trucks (with casting logos) to any drawings that are still missing them. I also discovered small inconsistencies in the rooftop fans when making SD40-2(W) drawings, so all radiator/dynamic brake fans are receiving revisions to the lower edge, roof bolts and rim clips. GMD wide-nose cab units have received some additional small corrections. The changes are all very minor, but I'd like all the drawings to be consistent - and it's much easier to correct them now than to wait until I have a much larger number of 1:18 drawings to sort through!
The 1:18 series has finally expanded to include rolling stock! The first such drawings are of Trinity 50' 6" 6200 and 6235 cu-ft boxcars. Along the way, I started what will become an extensive series of separately drawn freight car components (which I'll be uploading soon).
Separate parts include trucks (complete with foundry, suspension and casting lettering variations), handbrakes (representing several manufacturers) and brake control valves, cylinders and pistons (based on Wabtec and NYAB diagrams). These parts will form the building blocks for all 1:18 freight car drawings and will provide a level of accuracy far beyond the 1:55 and 1:36 freight car drawings.
The new boxcar drawings are listed alongside the other rolling stock drawings, under "Undecorated - By Type -> Boxcars, exterior-post" (or "Undecorated - By Railroad" for boxcars representing a specific number series).
The 1:18 GE series has been expanded to include the B39-8 - the first new 4-axle Dash-8 drawings in more than 7 years! Despite having taken many B39-8 photos, I only drew 1:55 versions (which are somewhat lacking) and never drew any 4-axle Dash-8 units in 1:36 in later years. In the process of making these drawings, I discovered a series of photos from 2005-2006 (including many MMA B39-8 photos) that I never scanned, so I added them too in the photos section.
Well, I've finally made another update—and there's a lot to report! First, I've created a new section in which I'll be outlining some of my research into locomotive components, beginning with the EMD GP (Blomberg) truck. Second, I've added a new page illustrating many of the methods I use to actually create the drawings. Third, I've expanded the 1:18 GE series into the Dash 8 series, with a series of Dash 8-40CW drawings representing CR/LMSX versions.
I've gradually been adding more 1:55 drawings to the drawing search and removing them from the old-style list pages, with all ALCO/MLW units now complete.
Also, as I currently have some more GMD locomotives in progress, I've decided to add casting logos to 1:18 locomotive truck sideframes - in addition to the slight casting differences that I was already including. The first units to benefit are all current 1:18 GMD locomotives, which came with GP (Blomberg) trucks cast by Dofasco in Canada.
Lettering and logos are now online! I had a previous page titled "1:36 Logos" that hadn't received any updates for a couple of years, so I've created a new, thumbnail-based page of lettering and logos.
More IC Paducah rebuilds are on the way! After adding the first GP10 drawings in recent weeks, I've now compiled phases and rosters for all of GP8 and GP10 production. See the Locomotive Phases and Rosters section.
New Email Address
More MLW C-424 drawings have been added, along with drawings illustrating the measurements I took from the prototype in the Locomotive Dimensions section.
Another year has come and gone! The year 2013 saw the addition of 188 new drawings: 132 EMD/GMD locomotives, 31 GE locomotives, 22 MLW locomotives and 3 painted locomotives. For 2014, I hope to expand into other locomotive builders as well as rolling stock, plus more painted locomotives. The first drawings of the new year are MLW C-424 variations.
By request, Paducah rebuilds have entered the 1:18 fleet! Over the past few days I've added drawings representing almost all GP11 variations.
The 1:18 series has entered the 21st Century! After 11 months of sporadic work, the first 1:18 GE Evolution drawings have been completed: CN ES44DC variations. These were scaled with railroad diagrams and a series of telephoto side views of CN ES44DCs I took over the past few years.
As many of the new series I'm working on take a lot of time to draw from scratch, I'm reducing my drawing goal for 2013 from 250 to 175 drawings.
I'm still here! With work and a recent move from Sherbrooke to Montreal, QC, I've had little time for working on the site. But today sees the addition of new GP40-2(W), GP40-2L(W) and SD45-2 drawings—the latter being the first SD45-2 drawings since 2006.
The first ALCO/MLW 1:18 drawings have been completed! First started at the end of March, the 1:18 MLW M-636 drawings added today may be the most dimensionally accurate drawings to date. Why? Because on March 22, I took a whole slew of measurements from CP 4723, an MLW M-636 on display in Farnham, QC - the first locomotive I have measured directly. I have drawn the version represented by 4723 (a late-model M-636 as modified) but will be adding other M-line variations.
For these and other locomotive measurements, see the Locomotive Dimensions page.
EMD GP60M drawings have been added in 1:18, representing a substantial upgrade over my last GP60M drawings in 1:55. I've also made a series of corrections and revisions to existing GP50, GP59 and GP60 drawings, mostly involving underframe and handrail details.
See drawings from several scales at once! I've revamped the drawing search to display drawings in any of the scales all the same time, eliminating the dozen or so separate pages previously used to display the scales separately. Try out the new search feature below.
The 1:18 series now has another model that has long been absent from recent drawings: The EMD GP60. Unlike all my earlier renditions of the GP60, this version has the correct truck centers and other dimensional variations compared to earlier EMD Geeps.
Yearly wrap-up: Another year has come and gone! The year 2012 will be remembered for transitions between three different scales: It began in 1:36, moved temporarily to 1:24 and concluded with 1:18, which has become the new drawing standard. With the addition of a few new drawings at the end of the year, the 1:18 total has now surpassed 100 drawings. The recent additions include a few more EMD GP40 variations and a perennial railfan favourite, the SD45.
A total of 194 drawings were completed in 2012 that are currently on the site, which is close to my revised autumn goal of 200 drawings. However, this total does not include the 89 1:24 drawings that accounted for the middle half of the year, which were all replaced by 1:18 versions. Considering the time required to "initialize" both the 1:24 and 1:18 series (drawing parts like trucks, couplers, horns etc. for the first time) I'm happy with the progress I made in 2012.
Here is the 2012 drawing breakdown:
- 1:36 series:
- ALCO Locomotives: 16
- EMD/GMD Locomotives: 36
- GE Locomotives: 34
- Painted drawings: 7
- 1:24 series (no longer online):
- EMD/GMD Locomotives: 88
- Painted drawings: 1
- 1:18 series:
- EMD/GMD Locomotives: 100
- Painted drawings: 1
I already have several 1:18 series under development, including the EMD GP50 (never completed in 1:36) and GE ES44DC.
New drawing scale! Over the last three weeks I have been converting all my 1:24 drawings (with minor corrections) into a larger scale of 4 pixels per scale inch, named the 1:18 series. This scale is exactly twice the size of the 1:36 series and allows for a higher level of detail and (perhaps more importantly) smooth, fine lines. The initial batch of 1:18 drawings is an exact copy of the entire 1:24 series (minus the five SD40-2 drawings, which are in progress). I have therefore removed the 1:24 series, since the 1:18 series now fulfills the role of a higher-resolution scale.
The 1:24 series may not yet have a large selection of models, but the first painted version has already been uploaded: A CN GP38-2(W). Look for more 1:24 painted drawings to gradually make an appearance.
Five months have passed since the last update, but there is finally news to report! Several new locomotive models have been introduced in 1:24, all with the highest level of detail of any drawings on the site. These include GP38-2(W) and SD40-2 drawings, which I had already done in 1:36 but that I drew again to establish dimensions.
Bigger news is the addition of 1:24 EMD GP30 drawings—the first GP30 drawings since the 1:55 versions of 2006. These were made with the help of EMD mechanical drawings to establish exact frame and hood dimensions.
How accurate are the drawings? Find that out, along with information about the development of the 1:24 series, in the updated information pages below.
Work continues on the recently introduced 1:24 large-scale drawings, which I am greatly enjoying drawing. The series now includes the first new EMD GP35 drawings since 2005 - despite its similarities to the GP40 (well-represented in 1:36) I never got around to drawing the GP35. My hope is to soon introduce 1:24 drawings of the GP30, a classic locomotive that I also never made it past the 1:55 series.
I've also corrected a number of small errors or omissions in the existing 1:24 GP40 drawings I uploaded in April.
Big news! A new experimental scale has been introduced. In an attempt to create even more detail than what is possible in the 1:36 drawings, I started dabbling in vector images in late February 2012. However, I realized very early on that they would take far, far too much time to complete. As a result, I instead used my tried-and-true bitmap drawing method at 36 pixels per foot, or 1.5 times the size of the 1:36 drawings. To my knowledge, these represent the largest GIF images of train drawings on the Internet.
The first results of this new scale are now listed online as 1:24 drawings—click on the title image above for a sample. As with all of my previous scales, the first drawings are GP40 variations. I may continue drawing in 1:36 for locomotives for which I have less reference material. But for locomotives for which I have many photos and dimensions to work from, the new 1:24 scale represents the last barrier for detail resolution: Foundry casting lettering and hexagonal bolts are among the only things it can't display.
Work is underway to expand the rather limited selection of 1:36 ALCO locomotives - and with the addition of some C-425 drawings today, the 1:36 drawing total has now topped 1500.
Up to now, I've only posted my drawings on the website and not used them for anything else. Not anymore! I've created a Zazzle store featuring modified versions of the drawings displayed on this site, in addition to new railway-related artwork. Click the "Store" link at the top of the page to learn more!
Another year has come and gone! It was a fairly quiet year for drawings, but 2011 still saw the addition of 246 new 1:36 drawings, mostly at the beginning and end of the year. Here is the final breakdown:
- EMD locomotives: 164
- GE locomotives: 53
- Rolling Stock: 16
- Painted drawings: 13
The last drawings of 2011 were early UP versions of the GE ES44AC, and 2012 started off with later versions of the same. Concidentally, ES44AC drawings were also among the first drawings of 2011.
First-generation EMD SD units have made their appearance in 1:36 in the form of SD24 and SD24B drawings. These unusual locomotives paved the way for more conventional (and more successful) turbocharged SD models. Also, the ES44AC series, long only a partial representation of actual production, has been bolstered by drawings of CP variations.
I have Internet once again after being without for two weeks, so a backlog of 40 drawings have been uploaded. In an effort to keep to my goal of 300 drawings for the year, I have added a slew of EMD SD40 and SD45 drawings and have some earlier-generation units underway as well.
It's turning into a slow year for drawings, but fear not - more have just been posted! These include various GP38-2 and GP40 units, DDA40X drawings representing the modifications made to UP 6936, and a bunch of ARI tank car drawings.
Every so often I come across drawings that I drew some time ago but forgot to upload. Well, I just came across a rather extreme case today: GMD GP38-2 drawings that I hadn't yet uploaded after finishing them almost a year ago, in September 2010! They are now online.
Additionally, with much of my time concentrated on photo and recording updates so far this year, I've reduced my 2011 drawing goal in the Statistics and Yearly Progress page from 450 to 300 drawings.
It's been another long hiatus - for drawings at least, since I've been adding a whole slew of this summer's photos and recordings to the site. But drawings are once again underway, with today's additions including Dash 8-40C and Gunderson boxcar drawings I did a while back.
After 2 1/2 months, it's high time for another update! Drawings slowed to a trickle in February and March as I was busy with work outside the site, but there was still a backlog waiting to be uploaded, including some EMD GP38 and GP40-2 variations and the first 1:36 SD60 drawings.
But hot off the press are some more exciting drawings: six versions of the EMD DDA40X, representing as-built and modified versions of three production phases. These are the first new DDA40X drawings since the single 1:55 left-side view from 2002, which never really did this giant locomotive justice.
Loved by railfans but loathed by crews, the C39-8 (above) was the most common of the early "camelback" Dash-8 units - and it is now rendered in 1:36! The C39-8 drawings will form the basis for drawings of other early Dash-8 units: the B32-8, B39-8 and C32-8.
Well, 2010 has come and gone - and it was a productive year for drawings! The final total was 495 drawings, which is a record for the 1:36 series and an increase of more than 60% over 2009. It was also the highest yearly total outside of 2004-2006. Here is the final tally
- 6 ALCO locomotives - a small total that will hopefully expand in 2011
- 254 EMD/GMD locomotives - some new models and many variations of common Dash-2 series units
- 111 GE locomotives - including the introduction of the six-axle Dash-8 series
- 24 MLW locomotives - all M-liners of various sorts
- 8 NRE locomotives - the first NRE drawings on the site in any scale
- 56 rolling stock drawings - the first such drawings after only a handful from 2008-2009
- 36 painted drawings - a modest number that should increase once I have more undecorated drawings to work from
The year is winding down! 2010 has already become one of the most productive years in terms of drawings, and it remains to be seen what the final tally will be. The most recent additions have been late-model GE units, including the Dash 8-40CM and ES44C4.
I've also once again turned my attention to the old 1:55 drawings: another portion of the 1:55 series has now been cropped, renamed and displayed in the new tabular page format, including painted locomotives from A to C.
Finally, an update! The 1:36 series now has an array of undecorated and painted hopper cars and tank cars. I've also re-coded the 1:36 drawing pages—they look pretty much the same as before, but they now update themselves automatically as new drawings are added to the database, which saves me a lot of work.
More 1:55 drawings have been added to the database search: almost the entire GP38-2 series. The ALCO RS series has also been introduced in 1:36, with the addition of RS-32 drawings. The RS-32 (and related RS-36) never made it into the 1:55 series.
Drawing milestone: There are now over 1,000 1:36 drawings! Unfortunately, I reached this number unknowingly over the last week in the midst of a drawing frenzy of several dozen new drawings, so I don't actually know which one is the 1,000th drawing. The year-to-date 1:36 total is now 336 drawings—well past the total for all of 2009. Today's additions include F-units, 4-axle U-boats, a few Dash-8 and SD38 variations and 4 painted drawings.
With GE Universal, Dash-7, Dash-9, AC and Evolution units drawn in 1:36, the last series without any drawings was the Dash-8 line—and that has now been remedied! A bunch of Dash 8-40CW drawings have been added, with other Dash-8 drawings in the works. Some additional GP38-2 and GP40-2 drawings have been added as well, mostly representing late-production units.
The 1:55 series is finally receiving some attention! I will not be adding new 1:55 drawings or changing existing ones (I'm treating them like an archive) but I am giving all of them new labels and filenames, and storing them in a database. This will allow me to present them in the same search-based tabular display as the 1:36 series. As I add new labels to the drawings and store the drawings in the database, I will be removing them from the old 1:55 pages and listing them in new pages.
Ten 1:36 drawings from 2008 and 2009 have been added—it wasn't until now that I realized I had forgotten to add them! They include the last remaining EMD RM-1 variation (GP38 rebuild, QGRY 802 and SLR 803) as well as 8 EMD GP40X drawings.
All existing 1:36 4-axle GE Dash-7 drawings have been revised after I discovered that the walkway height was about 2 scale inches too high. Along with the revisions, Conrail versions of the B23-7 have been added (the first 1:36 "B-boats" with Type B trucks).
Ever wanted to see all the painted drawings of one locomotive model, or all the undecorated drawings representing one railroad? Now you can! The filenames of 1:36 drawings are now stored in a database, rather than listed directly in HTML files. This allows for more flexibility in organizing the drawings without the hassle of updating dozens of separate pages. The table-based display of the drawings is exactly the same as before.
All four original models of the 1966 SD line have been introduced in 1:36: SD38, SD39, SD40, SD45.
Go ahead - count the rivets! The classic EMD F series has been introduced in 1:36, and it comes complete with the correct number of rivets on seams! These are the first accurate F-unit drawings to be featured on the site: No completely accurate 1:55 F-units exist. All 1:55 F- and E-units can trace their roots back to 2001, and only two were partly revised in 2007.
This also brings the drawing total to over 4000 drawings - which means, of course, that the 4000th drawing is an F-unit! It's a generic Phase 1a1 F7A, to be precise, and it's displayed above.
Why did I choose the F7A for the 4000th drawing? The 1000th drawing was a Royal Hudson 4-6-4 (a Canadian steamer), the 2000th drawing was a GG-1 (an American electric), the 3000th drawing was the TGV V150 (a French high-speed trainset)... But the vast majority of the drawings on this site are North American diesels, which owe their success to the revolutionary first-generation cab units that supplanted steam. The EMD F-series was the most successful line of cab units ever built, and the F7A was the line's most successful model.
A bunch of drawings that I completed in early January have finally been uploaded: Undecorated SD75M, SD75I, SD70ACe and C30-7 drawings and two painted drawings, including the first ATSF "warbonnet" locomotive. I'm fast approaching 4000 drawings... I haven't yet figured out what the 4000th drawing will be.
The first new drawings of 2010 are a slew of SD40-2(W) variations, depicting earlier units (CN 5241-5323).
Also, I've made an accurate count of 1:55 drawings, and it turns out that the previous count was inaccurate for a few sections. The 1:55 drawing total is in fact 23 less than what had been displayed here for the past 2 years.
Happy New Year! Today saw the addition of a new page of logos and text in the 1:36 drawings section.
A recap of the drawings of 2009:
- I started with a goal of 400 drawings, but lowered the goal to 300 after spending a huge amount of time working on the new Photos section.
- The division of drawings was similar to 2008, with EMD locomotives accounting for more than half the total and GE locomotives forming a large chunk of the remainder:
- 8 ALCO Locomotives (all C636)
- 155 EMD Locomotives
- 94 GE Locomotives
- 15 MLW Locomotives (all M420)
- 4 Rolling Stock
- 26 Painted locomotives
- Final total was 302 drawings—the lowest total since 2001, but nonetheless above my goal of 300.
With the major revamp of the photos section mostly out of the way, I expect the 1:36 drawing total for 2010 will be higher. I spent 2009 narrowly focussed on requests and locomotive variations that I never completed in 1:55. For 2010, I hope to simply broaden out the array of drawings under a wider scope.
Merry Christmas! This will likely be the last update of 2009, so the next update will be a recap of the past year's drawings.
The MLW M420 series has been added in 1:36, starting with all CN versions. These drawings bring the 2009 drawing total above my (revised) goal of 300 drawings.
ALCO-haulics rejoice! For the last 8 years or so, one noteworthy ALCO model has received more requests than almost any other locomotive--and that is the C636. Drawings of this unique locomotive have finally been completed!
The C636 drawing has a colourful history. In early 2008, following the completion of 1:55 C630 drawings, I was on the verge of starting a 1:55 C636 when my plans changed completely with the introduction of the 1:36 series. I started a 1:36 version in May 2009, and it reached about 60% completion in a few days. It then sat idle until late October, when a few more days of work brought it to 80% completion. Finally, within the past few days, a few additional photos allowed me to finish the remainder of the drawing.
Today's other additions include more MP15AC drawings to compliment the lone SP version that has been online since mid-2008.
All remaining drawing pages have been converted to the new CSS layout--which is to say almost all pages other than the 1:36 series. In the process, I was thinking to myself, "Wow... That's one heck of a lot of 1:55 drawings!" It has re-motivated me to get into action on the 1:36 series, which has been sitting more or less stagnant since the summer.
I have just finished an extensive redesign of the photo page, which has been a work in progress over the last few months. With that project now mostly complete, I hope to turn my attention back to the drawings fairly soon.
It has been over a month since any of the site has been updated. If drawings have been few and far between, it's because the major work over the last few months has been on the photos section, which will be receiving an extensive makeover in the coming days. Stay tuned!
Drawings are back on track! Today saw the addition of almost 30 drawings: additional SW1500, GP38-2 and GP40 variations, 14 new GP9u drawings and six painted locomotives. This brings the 1:36 total to over 600 drawings.
It's been a really long time since I've added new drawings, but there are some underway. I'm working on GP9u drawings and have several other locomotives planned. However, work on other sections of the site (revamping the photo section and updating the pages to CSS) is taking precedence over drawings at the moment.
See the Trainiax homepage for additional information about the new site layout.
2009-06-25The roster of painted drawings has been expanded with the addition of 6 drawings from various roads. All of these include new logos and I will soon upload high-resolution versions of the logos I used.
Also, I will be making my yearly trip to Ontario from June 26 to July 06, from which I hope to return (as usual) with many train photos.
The EMD SW1500 has made an appearance in 1:36 with the addition of 22 new drawings, with more to come.
After an eternity in a mostly-completed state, 1:36 EMD FP45 drawings have finally been added. Also, the 1:36 drawings page has been revamped and now lists painted 1:36 drawings by railroad.
1:36 ES44AC drawings have arrived, and they include some of the most recently manufactured units. Today's additions bring the 1:36 series to a total of 500 drawings.
GE AC4400CW drawings have been added, paving the way for AC-powered ES-series units.
A few existing 1:36 series have been expanded, with the addition of EMD GP38-2 drawings (EJE, KCS and PLE versions), GE B30-7A drawings (MP versions) and GE C30-7A drawings.
However, the biggest news of today is the addition of IC Paducah rebuilds, in the form of a whole slew of EMD GP11 drawings representing all but one of the GP11 variations. The previous 1:55 GP11 drawings trace their origins back to 2001 and have long been ripe for replacement.
At last, after almost two months, some drawing news! March was a busy month, so I had very little time to do any drawing work.
A long-planned update to 1:36 EMD drawings has been completed. Ever since April 2008, I've been meaning to revise all units in the GP38-39-40 series (including Dash-2 units), and I've finally completed these revisions. Traction motor cables, fuel cutoff switch, air reservoir tilt, radiator intake length, fuel tank height and (on Dash-2 units) rear hood door spacing were all changed.
No new drawings have been added yet. EMD FP45 drawings are in progress.
Late-model GE units continue with the addition of ES40DC drawings. I hope to soon add Dash-9 and ES locomotives from other railroads, as well as AC variations.
Over a month into the new year, and finally another update! Today saw the introduction of the Dash-9 series in 1:36, bringing the 1:36 total to over 400 drawings. The first drawings are Dash 9-44CW's (CN versions) and Dash 9-40CW's.
I've finally figured out the various differences in naming and dimensions. Contrary to popular belief, the "L" in Dash 9-44CWL does not refer to greater length. All CN Dash 9-44CW units (no "L" in the name) ride on a standard 69' 4" Dash-9 frame, but they have modified coupler pockets that increase the length between coupler pulling faces from 73' 2" to 73' 8". The builders plate on these units says Dash 9-44CW.
The first CN order, with the 4-window cab, is also 73' 8" long but has a different frame that lowers the walkway height from about 71" to just under 68" and reduces the weight by about 5000 lb. CN refers to these as Dash 9-44CWL, although the builders plate says C44-9W.
I've also decided to refer to the units by their GE designation, with Dash spelled out in front, even though I think it's gimmicky.
Happy New Year! 2008 has drawn to a close, and the year marked the first transition to a new scale since the switch from 1:110 to 1:55 back in 2000. Here's a drawing wrapup for the year 2008:
- The 1:55 series received 79 new additions in early 2008 before the switch to 1:36. While I had initially planned on continuing the 1:55 series, I ended up converting entirely to 1:36.
- The 1:36 series finished the year with a total of 374 drawings, and as with the early 1:55 drawings in 2000-2001, more than 80% of them were EMD locomotives.
- The last drawing of 2008 was a personal favourite--a CN GP40-2L(W).
- The final total of all drawings for 2008 was 453. For most of the year, based on how many drawings I was finishing, my goal for 2008 was 400.
- The first drawings of 2009 are two GE C30-7 drawings (Conrail version). With these drawings, I've introduced a new dating system that will include the date of any revisions as well as the date of initial completion.
I won't make any grand predictions for 2009, since I hardly ever end up drawing what I plan in advance--but I do hope to broaden into locomotives of other builders. Specifically, I'm planning on drawing late-model GE units (following my recent discovery of new dimensional data) as well as ALCO Century and RS-series locomotives of varying types, some of which never made it into 1:55.
A bunch of odds and ends were added today in 1:36--a few GP9, GP40-2, SD40-2 and B23-7 drawings--along with a painted DRGW SD40T-2. I've added new GP7 and GP9 phase descriptions based on those of locomotive historian Scott Chatfield, and the listing of 1:36 GP9/GP9RM drawings has been modified to reflect the new phases. I've also made some very minor revisions (rear louver placement and exhaust stack shape) to all the GP9 drawings.
Also--today's additions bring the 1:36 EMD total up to 300, in the 10 months since the series was started. By comparison, it took more than 3 years for the 1:55 EMD series to reach 300 drawings in 2000-2003.
(Above) Isn't that the funkiest unrebuilt GP9 you ever saw? It's one of CN's unmistakable units equipped with Flexicoil trucks, a shallow fuel tank, spark arrestors, an as-built cutaway fuel tank skirt and internal air reservoirs. Today saw the addition of more than 60 undecorated and painted drawings of the GP9 series, which got a sudden jump-start over the last week.
Seven 1:36 painted locomotives were added today. Improvements over similar 1:55 units include:
CN, CV and GTW (post-1961)
- Logos and numbers (finally) coloured light grey (CN Grey #17) instead of white
- More accurate representation of CN Orange #11 (hood ends) as well as changes to CV green/yellow and GTW blue
- CN, CV and GTW "noodle" logos redrawn at higher resolution, with correct 8:3 proportion and curvature (based off 40x15 grid)
- More accurate fonts used for numbers (Gothic725 Bd BT Bold, or Swis721 Md BT Bold, depending on era)
Chessie System and Southern Railway:
- New, higher-resolution renditions of logos and numbers (traced from actual lettering rather than modified from fonts)
I hope to add a page displaying the new logos and numbers as used in the 1:36 drawings.
Also--with today's update, the 1:36 series is now more than 10% of the size of the 1:55 series... I have a long way to go yet!
DM30AC drawings have been added, and some minor corrections were made to the DE30AC drawings.
Surprise! I don't think many people were expecting it, but the DE30AC is now part of the 1:36 series--roughly 6 years after it was first requested. I also plan on making DM30AC drawings, plus as-modified and painted versions of both.
The other noteworthy addition: The C425 series has kicked off ALCO drawings in 1:36, and should (eventually) pave the way for the long-awaited C636.
Lots to report today! I've finally caught up on uploading various drawing projects from the last month or so. Here's what's new (all in 1:36):
- After six months of very sporadic work on an SD70M drawing, the series has arrived--with a bang! I've picked out 15--yes, fifteen--different Union Pacific SD70M variations, and 14 of them are complete and online. The most recent UP version and those of other railroads remain to be done. I've revised and expanded the SD70M phase descriptions.
- The SD40-2 and SD70ACe series continue incremental expansion. The SD40-2 additions are a BO version I did in May but that I forgot to upload. I've added SD70ACe phase descriptions.
- A few more Dash-7s have arrived, depicting some of the more interesting variations: high-hood SOU units and the first of BN's two B30-7AB variations.
- A new section of road vehicles has been introduced. The first to be drawn: 1995-1997 Subaru Legacy variations (there's bias here, since that's what I drive!) I've already received requests for additional 1:36 cars and will develop the series as a (secondary) compliment to the train drawings.
As a result of the SD70M and SD70ACe additions, I've revised the way I describe locomotive phases. Individual locomotive models (or series) will now get their own page with detailed phase descriptions, and a link to the phase descriptions will be placed directly on the series' respective drawing section. These changes will be phased in gradually as I complete more locomotive models. Note: Older phase descriptions in the 1:55 drawing pages may not coincide with the current phase escriptions, which are more detailed.
GE units are the order of the day! The first 1:36 B23-7 and U30C drawings have been added. These new drawings revealed some dimensional inaccuracies in the existing 1:36 C30-7 drawings, which have been corrected.
I've also created a new section of "parts" from the 1:36 drawings.
Well, where do I begin? It's been an eternity since the last update and there's a fair amount to report!
One reason for the absence of updates was that I was in BC for the first half of August. I have a lot of photos to post from that trip.
Today's additions include the first 1:36 rolling stock drawings (NSC 5140 cu-ft boxcar and Greenbrier 53' well car) and the first 1:36 MP15-series drawings (SP-style MP15AC). I've also added a bunch of GP38-2(W) and GP40-2L(W) drawings. I unknowingly reached 3500 drawings with these additions--no milestone drawing was selected.
I have a lot planned for the immediate future and I'm not quite sure what's going to appear first. I have a bunch of 1:36 "parts" as separate images--trucks, couplers, speedometer cables, traction motors, air dryers, horns... Once they receive labels and filenames they'll be ready to be incorporated into a yet-to-be-created 1:36 Parts section.
U30C and SD70M drawings have been underway for a long time, but I haven't worked on them recently. I do hope to expand the currently limited selection of 1:36 GE locomotives and to start a 1:36 ALCO/MLW section.
I have a number of planned and requested painted locomotives, but I can't paint them unless the undecorated versions are done! These include SD70ACe and SD40-2 drawings. As a result, the SD40-2 series is now receiving some attention, with a total of 26 SD40-2 and SD40-2S drawings added today.
I'm back again, and there's a lot underway! The first 1:36 rolling stock drawing is nearing completion, and new MP15AC and SD70M drawings are underway.
Today's additions include SD70ACe drawings, undecorated and painted. They will eventually include top and end views. These are the first locomotive drawings for which detailed dimensions were obtained from EMD general arrangement drawings.
I've also added 2 GP39-2 and 10 SD38-2 drawings that I completed a while back but didn't get around to uploading.
Well, it's been almost a month since the last update, and today over 30 drawings have been added.
The 1:36 series has been expanded to include GP40-2(W), SD38-2, SD40-2 and SD40T-2 drawings. Among these, a number of variations were not done in 1:55--such as railroad-specific SD38-2's.
Did you know that the air reservoirs on EMD units are not horizontal? I didn't know until I started work on the SD40-2. They slope rearward slightly, towards the drain valves. I've incorporated this detail into today's additions and will (eventually) correct the earlier 1:36 drawings.
Some EMD models that are much more rare and interesting are also in the works.
1:36 drawings now number more than 100, and total drawings have topped 3400. This comes with the addition of still more GP38 and GP40 series drawings, including late-model (Phase 2c and 2d) BO/CO units. I've been focusing on Chessie System units, because they are common, generic and cover many phases, so they form the basis for other models. However, I've also been focusing on models that were never drawn in 1:55--hence the addition of GMO, LV, VTR and SOU GP38-series units.
I will soon be updating the section on locomotive phases to reflect the greater number of phase distinctions made in the new drawings.
As a result of rapid drawing progress so far this year (193 drawings in the first three months) I have raised this year's goal from 400 to 500 drawings (1:55 and 1:36 combined).
The 1:36 Geeps just keep on coming! I will soon be branching into more varied models--the MP15 series is likely not too far off. For now, a series of GP38-2, GP39-2 and GP40-2 drawings have been added. This includes no fewer than FIVE Chessie System Phase 2a GP40-2 variations (yes, all the differences are pretty small). Of note as well are SOU GP38-2's with wide-platform steps.
Today's additions all involve the 1:36 series. First, the Drawing History page has been updated with a behind-the-scenes look at the creation and development of the 1:36 series.
All existing 1:36 GP38 through GP40-2 drawings have received some revisions. The cab and nose on the initial drawings were too short, so both inaccuracies have been corrected. This pushes the back of the cab (and hence the long hood, handrail stanchions, fuel tank and air reservoir) rearward by 2 pixels, moves the front of the cab forward by 1 pixel and the front of the nose forward by 2 pixels. Why a correction to a 2-inch discrepancy? It was throwing off proportions and would have done so for future models, such as the SD40-2, and it's easier to correct now than after hundreds of drawings have been done.
BO GP40-2 drawings have received additional corrections--an equipment box has been added behind the cab, the correct sloping rear pilot has been added and a second Phase 1 version has been added, with the later "mailbox slot" battery box covers.
Also, TOE GP40-2 drawings have been added, as well as three painted GP40-2's (AWP and GA).
More GP39 and GP40 drawings have been added, and GP40-2's have been introduced--along with M-type Blomberg trucks. Visually, the GP40-2 is a much bigger change from a late GP40 than first meets the eye. Almost everything is slightly different between the two models--blower duct, dustbin hatch, pipes and cables, stanchion spacing, air reservoir location, handbrake, cab, rear hood doors, sand lines and battery boxes.
Most of today's drawings are of railroad variations that were never drawn in 1:55--small (or single-unit) orders from small railroads.
Step lights have also been removed from existing GP38-GP40 drawings on units that didn't have any.
From GP40's to C30-7's and everything in between--whether GP38's or GP39's! OK, the 1:36 series is still small, but the model range is incrementally growing. Drawings are being done chronologically (or in reverse), going from GP40M-3 to GP40 to GP38 to GP39, and soon to other units--like the GP40-2 and GP35.
Some more crossbuck drawings have also been added, depicting a couple of US variations.
Another new section has been added for the 1:36 series: GE Dash-7 locomotives, the first drawings of which are C30-7's.
I've also introduced a new layout for classifying the 1:36 drawings, which should eliminate the hard-to-decipher strings of text characterising the 1:55 drawings. The 1:36 drawings are now classified in tables, which has allowed for additional information to be added (such as build dates). The descriptions of locomotive phases are also being entered into tables, as the models are drawn.
...What? Crossing signals? Yep, the 1:36 series has been expanded to include a section that was never present in any previous drawing series: Lineside structures and equipment. It's started with Canadian crossing signals but will expand to include US versions as well as other things--perhaps switch stands or trackside equipment boxes.
For anyone who's more interested in actual trains, the first painted 1:36 drawing has been added: SLR GP40M-3 3804. This was out of personal preference, but once I get the series going, requests will pick up from where they left off on the 1:55 series.
Work is ongoing with the 1:36 series, which will likely expand as rapidly as the 1:55 series once well underway. Check the Drawing Status page for more info. I've also made some very minor revisions to the existing 1:36 GP40M-3 and RM-1 drawings, concerning grabiron placement, MU hoses, speed recorder cables (absent on TM units), coupler outlines and presence of numberboards (incorrectly included on the rear of TM units).
As I do more work on the 1:36 series, it looks more and more like the 1:55 series will see few--if any--future additions. Between my own picture-taking and the 11,600 or so images I've found from other sources, I have enough material to accurately draw a vast array of locomotives and cars in 1:36. Once I complete a few initial drawings, I will be able to concentrate on whatever was absent (or outdated) in the 1:55 series.
It's a supersized 1:55 drawing!... No, it's a downsized 1:30 drawing!... No, it's a new series! Say hello to the 1:36 series of drawings.
What is it? It's a new series that's been started from scratch, beginning with rebuilt GP40-series units (GP40M-3 and RM-1). An RM-1 was the first to be completed. Why? Because I had just taken detail photos of several RM-1's and they logically lead up to the rest of the GP40 series. Also, I can't break from tradition--the previous 1:110, 1:30 (now renamed 1:28) and 1:55 drawings were all started with a GP40.
What is the scale? It's easy to descibe in terms of pixels--they fit midway between the 1:55 series and former 1:30 series. Where the 1:55 series was a strange and unusual 16.2 pixels per foot and the 1:30 series an equally odd 31.5 pixels per foot, the new drawings are exactly 24 pixels per foot, or 2 pixels per inch. The actual printing scale requires some explanation. Back when I started the 1:55s, I had based the scale off other images that were at a 72 DPI resolution (in which case I now know it to actually be 72 / 16.2 * 12 = 1:53). However, all my images are by default 96 DPI, which means the 1:55s are actually 1:71 and the new drawings 1:48. But for the sake of simplicity (and consistency with the rest of the drawings) I'm calling them 1:36, which corresponds exactly to printing at 72 DPI.
Why a new series? In simple terms, I was outgrowing the 1:55 series. In other words, the quality of online reference material has greatly improved in recent years, with several sites (including this one) hosting multi-megapixel images. These images were revealing details that just couldn't be drawn with the pixels of a 1:55 drawing. I had received requests for certain railroad-specific (or general) details that I couldn't include because of lack of resolution. Why didn't I just do more 1:30 drawings? They were too ponderous both for drawing and for viewing, and their size made the single-pixel outlines look a little wispy.
How long has it been in the works? The actual work on the 1:36 drawings has only been underway since February 21. I had photographed several GP40, GP40M-3 and RM-1 units on February 20-21 which served as reference material. However, the concept behind the 1:36 series goes back much farther--I was thinking of a series drawn to 20 or 24 pixels per foot as long as three years ago. What ultimately led to the introduction of the series was a combination of factors--increasing requests for finer details along with my own increasing detail standards.
Is this the end of the 1:55 series? No. Contrary to previous redrawn and revised drawings, the 1:36 drawings will not replace old drawings. The 1:55 drawings will remain online and I will likely be making more whenever reference material is insufficient for the 1:36 series. However, the 1:36 series will now become my primary focus and will likely be the main source of new drawings.
What about the 1:30 series? They're now called 1:28 drawings to reflect their actual scale and to differentiate them from the new drawings. I had planned back in 2005 for the 1:30 series to become a small, specialized series, but the 1:36 drawings are a compromise between the two previous sizes, so there will likely be no more new 1:30 (1:28) drawings.
Various ALCO and GE drawings that were underway are on hold for the moment, since I've started something else. It's new, and a tad ambitious, but not exotic--a variation of a common EMD locomotive. What is it? I can't say much for the moment, but it will probably be online in the fairly near future.
I started bringing the C30-7 series up to current detail standards in mid-2007, but never got beyond BN versions. The CR and UP versions are now also up-to-date, and NW units (with triple-clasp brakes) have been added.
More C630 drawings have been added, including C&O and RDG variations equipped with Hi-Ad trucks. These are new--Alco's 6-wheel Hi-Ad truck never made it into the old (2002) Century drawings.
There have been many requests over the years for an ALCO C636, and I'm finally on my way towards drawing it! C630 drawings will come first, however, and the first such units (with Trimount trucks) have been done today. Once I draw the Hi-Ad truck, I'll be applying it to the C630, followed by the C636.
All the C628 drawings from the past few days have received a few minor revisions, involving the fuel filler/gauge (there are three different types) the position of the front air reservoir (moved rearward slightly) and the trucks (which now have more inner detail near the locomotive frame).
More C628 drawings have been added, including the first high-nose version (built for NW). As well, units in the GP40, GP40M-3, GP40-2LW and GP40-2W series are being revised simultaneously, incorporating improvements that will gradually spread to most other second-generation EMD locomotives.
The new ALCO Century drawings have been expanded to include the C628. There was only one old C628 drawing, an approximate representation of a Lehigh Valley version, but there are now six different C628 versions from four railroads, with more to come. The C628 drawings are now divided into phases.
As with the old C424 and C425 drawings, there were many discrepancies and errors in the old C628 drawing. The new C628's have been redrawn based on parts from C425 drawings.
More C424 and C425 drawings have been added, and--as is always the case with a new series--the first C425 drawings added on January 14 have since received some very minor revisions and corrections.
Well, 2008 is here, and it has arrived with a bang--for me at least! Where do I begin? Perhaps with the most important stuff:
New email address: If emails have been bouncing back over the last little while, it's because I have been without Internet or email since late December. I have moved, and in doing so changed Internet servers. I did not expect to be cut off the previous server so early, hence the lack of any notification on this site. My new email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
2007 drawing wrapup: The drawing total for 2007 was 408, above my revised goal of 400. I had lowered my drawing goal for 2007 from 500 to 400 drawings, as a result of the slow buildup of many freight car variations.
My prediction had been that 2007 would be an ALCO year--but it didn't turn out that way! Not a single ALCO, MLW or BBD drawing was added or revised in 2007. On the contrary, 2007 was a huge year for rolling stock. From 90 new rolling stock drawings in 2004 (the previous record) to 10 drawings in 2005 and 35 drawings in 2006, 2007 saw the addition of 148 new rolling stock drawings. In combination with redrawn drawings, this makes the rolling stock drawings by far the most up-to-date overall. As has been the case for the last few years, the largest percentage of new drawings has been for EMD locomotives, although reduced in number compared to the last few years as a result of the concentration on freight car drawings.
Last drawings of 2007: I took advantage of the situation at the end of the year (lack of Internet) to work on drawings that didn't require additional photos or rosters beyond what I already had. The result: More SD70ACe and SD70M-2 variations, redrawn Trentonworks 6269 cu-ft boxcars, an NSC 5380 cu-ft boxcar and a whole slew of hopper cars: ACF 2700, 2971, 2980, 3200 and 3560 cu-ft, and PS 3002, 4427, 4650 and 4750 cu-ft cars.
First new drawings of 2008: The first drawing of 2008 was completed on New Year's Day, a Trinity 3621 cu-ft aluminium hopper. The real news for 2008, however, is the arrival of new ALCO Centuries! These are the first ALCO-built locomotives to be redrawn to post-2005 detail standards. The EL C425 variation tops the list, with more new Centuries to follow.
My first Century drawings were introduced back at the beginning of 2002, and they were (in my opinion) my best drawings of the time. However, the new Centuries are being 100% redrawn from the rails up, retaining only the circular outline of the wheels. The reason: chances are that if you look up "inaccurate" in a dictionary, one of my old Century drawings would be the illustration! Here are a few of the corrections made on the C425 over the old drawing:
Length over couplers: Increased 10 scale inches
Length over pilots: Decreased 3 scale inches
Length of hood: Decreased 11 scale inches
Truck centers: Shortened 18 scale inches (the largest discrepancy I've yet found in my pre-2005 drawings)
Walkway: Raised 7 scale inches
Front cab windows: Shortened 6 scale inches
Height over cab: Increased 2 scale inches
Additional revisions: During my time without Internet, I also worked on improving some units I'd already revised--the M420W and GP40-2LW series. The latest revisions only add some detail enhancements and correct some minor dimensional inaccuracies. The M420W's are online, with the GMD Geeps to follow.
With the addition of four more freight car drawings, the rolling stock drawing total has now reached 300. Of these, 125 were added in 2007--when combined with the freight car drawings revised in 2007, this makes the rolling stock section the most up-to-date of all the drawing pages.
As for the 300th rolling stock drawing, it wasn't just any old freight car--it was a 5-unit drawbar-connected well car built by Canadian National's Transcona shops. These are a distinctive car type in CN's 677000 series, similar to cars built for CN by Trentonworks. I've wanted to draw these cars for years but never had sufficient photos until I photographed a set a month ago. These cars are unique in that they are not simply a set of connected stand-alone cars--the A and B units are asymmetrical and the trucks extend beyond the underframe on the drawbar ends.
The runners-up are a unique car type as well. They are three variations of a 2785 cu-ft pressure-differential hopper built by NACC (North American Car Co.) that paved the way for larger-capacity cars of the same design from NACC, Thrall and Trinity.
ACF 3500 cu-ft pressurized hopper cars have been added--one of NYC's "Flexiflow" designs from the 1960s. Many of these cars are still in use under new owners. I've made a new section for "Pressure-differential Hoppers" in the rolling stock page.
SD70ACe top views have been added! These are the fist top views drawn since 2004. Unlike earlier top views, they aren't drawn with a left-side view in the same image, and they are listed together with side view drawings.
The top views revealed some minor inaccuracies in the SD70ACe side views about fan size and placement of ditch lights, bolts and grabirons--so all the recent SD70ACe side views have been corrected.
Finally--some drawing news! I've received lots of requests for SD70ACe and SD70M-2 drawings (from different angles and in different paint schemes) so I'm working on bringing them up to 2007 detail standards before expanding the series. The vintage-2005 drawings were fairly accurate in terms of dimensions, but they were riddled with mistakes when it came to railroad-specific features and phase differences--even down to such major details as the truck type.
Besides railroad-specific details, there are actually at least seven production "phase" variations, including pre-production EMD and CSX units. The detail differences go from the obvious (cutaway vs. solid sideframe under the cab) to the obscure (presence of underframe cable shroud, handrail stanchion spacing, recessed vs. flush inverter cabinet grills, etc). I'm refraining from applying phase numbers because the units are still in production and evolving.
The first new SD70ACe drawings are MRL and early UP versions. Although they look similar to the 2005 drawings, they were actually completely redrawn, mostly from scratch and with parts from new SD70M and SD80MAC drawings. Only a few parts (such as the front anticlimber support, louvers under the dynamic brake fan, radiator fan outlines) were retained from the 2005 drawings.
Also added: A Trinity 23,589-gallon tank car, a relatively recent funnel-flow design.
Drawings are on hold for the moment as I bring the Photos section of the site up-to-date, where various missing images and broken links have been lingering for several years.
Also, if anyone's interested, I've just started tracking Site Stats.
I'm on the move! Due to my family moving and building a new house, updates may be a little less frequent until 2008. Also, I've tallied my request list and it works out to a total of about 850 requests--so forgive me if requests aren't filled out right away!
My goal for 2007 was initially 500 drawings, but I have changed it to 400. There have been more locomotive and rolling stock models introduced this year than last year, but fewer drawings overall: Last year I was churning out SD40-2's and AC4400CW's like there was no tomorrow, but this year has been focused on freight cars, which have only a few variations of each model.
Two unusual hopper car types of the 1970s and 80s have been added: Ingalls 5750 cu-ft (above) and Richmond Tank Car 5800 cu-ft cars. A more classic hopper has also been added: RTC 4750 cu-ft ribside cars (a similar design to the PS 4750).
Twelve versions of a 2893 cu-ft hopper design built by Pullman-standard and Greenville Steel Car have been added, along with 4 PS 2003 cu-ft cars (identical to the 2893 cars except in length). These cars were built in the 1950s and were quite common in the past. The GSC 2893 car is often mistaken for the much more common PS version, but it differs in a number of minor details. These drawings (requested) bring the yearly rolling stock total to over 100 for the first time.
These hopper cars feature new trucks. Existing roller bearing trucks have been redrawn with new bearings and more accurately shaped sideframes, representing a number of different types and foundries. Several new truck types have been introduced, with both plain and roller bearings. Many of these truck types have not yet been incorporated into freight car drawings. All these trucks are in a single image in the Drawings Parts section, totalling 15 different types (with more to come).
Also in the parts section: a new image of locomotive plows. New plows have been incorporated into the drawings since last year, but the Parts image wasn't updated.
Nine more variations of ACF 4460 and 4650 cu-ft hoppers have been added, eight of which are Phase 1 cars. This makes 2007 the best-ever year for rolling stock drawings since they were started in 2002.
More hoppers! Another Procor pressurized hopper has been added, a 3800 cu-ft version (which, contrary to popular belief, has a bay over each truck for a total of six bays). An NSC 3800 cu-ft cylindrical hopper has also been added, a much more common car. NAHX #320089 has been added, a painted version of the recently drawn Thrall 3230 cu-ft pressure-differential hopper.
Marine Industries 51' 6" bulkead flatcars have been added, a design from the late 1960s commonly seen on CN.
As Canadian as they get! Procor 3300 cu-ft pressurized hoppers have been added (above). These unique cars are relatively rare and were initially operated by PGE (later BC Rail) and CN. NSC 2430 cu-ft gondolas, a new design, have also been added.
Thrall/Trinity 3230 cu-ft pressure-differential and Evans 4780 cu-ft hopper cars have been added.
It's been a while, but I haven't been entirely idle--see the drawings status page for info on what's in progress and what's planned.
Today's drawing additions include a fifth UTLX 13,600-gallon tank car variation, along with two UTLX painted versions. Three Trinity 5161 cu-ft hopper variations (above) have also been added.
Anyone who's visited the photos section of this site may have noticed that I take a lot of detail photos. These include a dozen detail shots of two fairly new MMA 73' Centerbeam cars built by NSC. Well, those photos have served to make a new series of NSC 73' Centerbeam drawings. At least five different versions of the NSC cars will be added.
Aside from improvements made to brake system and piping detail, the following has been added:
-Tie-down cables, winches and cable corner brackets
-Unevenly spaced beam posts, curved at the bottom and/or tapered, per the prototype
-Riser-equipped or riserless decks, with corresponding difference in overall length and brake line routing
Differences exist between later-production NSC cars and those built by Trentonworks/Gunderson, and these will also be included in the drawings.
Ten painted 20' container drawings have been added. They are listed under a new classification style that includes the ISO size/type code.
Eight GP9 drawings (C&O and FEC versions) and two hopper car drawings (ACF 4650 cu-ft Phase 1a) have been added, along with four new shipping container drawings. Containers? Yep, the first since 2004. The shipping containers are now listed under a new category below (under "International / Intermodal") because many are not of North American origin. The drawings are being reclassified to include ISO size/type code.
Long requested and finally underway: New GP9 drawings! They are based off parts introduced in the new GP9RM drawings. Four B&O drawings lead the way, and the series will eventually include a large number of as-built and modified versions. GP9 Phase descriptions have also been added.
Lots of news today! A total of 32 redrawn SD40-2 drawings (MKT, MP, NW, SLSF and SOU versions) have been added, as well as 2 redrawn SD38-2 drawings (CNW version).
A whole bunch of new drawings have also been added. The GP9RM series has been revised, and there are now a total of 18--yes, eighteen--different versions of these distinct CN rebuilds. Six painted GP9RM drawings have been added as well, including one to replace the existing version (formerly CN 4021) that was done in 2002.
Wait, new drawings? That means the 3000th drawing has been completed! It's not as spectacular as I had planned--there was a change of plans, and the 3000th drawing was initially supposed to be the "runner-up". What is it? Click here to find out.
The AC4400CW drawings revised earlier this year had a dimensional flaw that was carried over from previous years and that I only just discovered: A truck wheelbase of 13' 7" when the actual wheelbase is 13' 2". These newer AC4400CW drawings have had the wheelbase corrected as well as modified springs and grabirons added.
First of all, the list of people (below) to whom I've given permission to post drawings was terribly outdated, and many people were not on the list. I've updated it and if I've missed anyone let me know.
Secondly, a number of redrawn painted drawings have been added. Of note is UP "Desert Storm" SD40-2 #3593, which prior to today was displayed in its original (and inaccurate) form, dating from 2002. There were actually two different camouflage paint variations on this unit--the first had Arial text, while the second version had UP-style "Jinx" text and revised paint patterns around the lettering. The drawing has been changed to reflect the second paint style. Also redone were BN 7800 and UP 3537, 3699 and 4049.
Painted drawings will henceforth be classified by number (rather than model) under a new file-naming system along the lines of railroad-number-builder-model.gif (as in up-3537-emd-sd40-2.gif)
I'm back after a 10-day trip to Ontario, with dozens of roster and detail photos on film to be developed. The 3000th drawing is on hold, and until it's completed no new drawings will be done, but many older drawings are being revised.
Currently the SD40 and SD40-2 series is being brought up to 2007 detail standards, with a large number of improvements over 2005-era versions. More than 100 updated drawings have been uploaded, the majority of which are EMD-built SD40-2s (a distinction is being made between EMD and GMD units). The SD40 and SD40-2 series were first revised and expanded in 2005, and some SD40-2 drawings were upgraded in 2006.
A redrawn Bombardier LRC is also underway, but I plan on taking more photos of a preserved LRC at Exporail before I complete the drawing.
New CNW and SLSF GP15-1 variations as well as a painted MP GP15-1 have brought the drawing total up to 2998. The remainder of the GP15-1 series has also received a large number of small detail revisions--grabirons, sunshades, headlights, radiators, pilots, louvers, door hinges, hood corners and brake cylinders.
The 2999th drawing has been completed and will be posted at the same time as the 3000th drawing. The 3000th drawing is underway and is the most ambitious drawing project to date.
It wasn't until recently that I realized how close I was to the 3000th drawing. The 3000th drawing is already underway, about 15% complete. It will fit into one of the existing drawing sections but is likely something unexpected... In the meantime, 5 more drawings remain to be added.
Home near an MMA train yard = lots of C30-7 detail photos, and lots of C30-7 detail photos = updated C30-7 drawings, a project I've been wanting to tackle since first taking C30-7 detail photos in 2006. A single C30-7 left-side view (early BN version, above) has been updated from 2005 to 2007 detail standards; more will likely follow soon. No dimensions were changed except for a couple of 1-pixel alterations to some of the doors, but a number of missing details were added and all the existing details were upgraded--door latches, hinges, grills, steps, bearings, handrails, fuel fillers, etc.
Also, the first painted version of the recently updated ACF hopper cars has been added, BNSF #403367.
In other drawing news, the Drawing History page has been updated, with more details about the different stages of the drawings and revisions from 2000 to the present.
ACF Centerflow cars continue with the addition of 5 new 2970 cu-ft variations.
New ACF 4650 cu-ft hopper cars are underway! The old drawings were close to accurate in almost every dimension--but not a single dimension was exact. So the new ones are being drawn from scratch.
These cars are incorporating more detail variations than any previous freight car series. Details include:
--5 phase variations spanning all production
--4 roofwalk styles
--At least 5 outlet styles (gravity slide-gate, gravity-pneumatic and pneumatic outlet variations)
--At least 5 hatch styles (trough, 20" circular and 30" circular hatch variations)
These 4650 cu-ft car drawings will form the basis for a wide range of (requested) new and redrawn ACF Centerflow hoppers.
Also of note: without my realizing it, the ACF hopper car drawings brought the Rolling Stock drawing total up to 200.
Railroads haul a lot of coal... but until now there were no drawings of coal hoppers. That's changed with the addition of a Trinity 4207 cu-ft coal hopper--the first in a very large series of planned coal hoppers and rotary gondolas.
Opposite extremes: two flat cars have been added to the Rolling Stock section--a Trinity heavy-duty 8-axle flat and a TTX 2-axle Front Runner. TTUX 130362 and UNPX 120765 have also been added in the Painted RS section.
New drawings have finally been added! Today's 7 additions (6 new drawings and one replacement for an old drawing) all consist of small hopper cars: NSC 2900 cu-ft, Procor 2900 and 3000 cu-ft and Thrall 3250 cu-ft cars.
The SD80MAC and SD90MAC are finally getting the attention they deserve! The first new drawing is an SD80MAC left-side view (above). The original SD80MAC drawing from 5 years ago was one of the most detailed of its time--but its time had definitely passed.
The new SD80MAC shares exactly zero parts with the original, and was drawn from scratch over the last few days with a small number of parts (couplers, 2/3 of the cab and a few parts of the trucks) taken from recent SD70M drawings. Compared to the old drawing, the walkway was raised by no less than 7 scale inches, and the wheels are 5 scale inches larger in diameter, depicting the massive appearance of the prototype which the old drawing (to my eyes) failed to capture.
Despite a similar appearance, neither the cab nor the trucks are the same as on the SD70M. The cab is shorter in length, and the trucks have a different wheelbase, different traction motors, different brake gear and larger wheels (HTCR-II vs. HTCR-I).
It's been a while, but there are finally new additions! New GP15-1 drawings have been added, and I plan on revising and expanding the GP15-1, GP15AC and GP15T series over the next little while to include all production and modified variations.
Important message for contributors: You've probably noticed that the contributed drawings page hasn't been updated since mid-2006. Due to the fact that so many other areas of the website are in dire need of updating and I'm currently not able to keep up, I've ceased updates on the contributed drawings page until further notice. Restarting the updates after so long, and working out lingering bugs relating to the hard drive failure last summer, is simply beyond what I am able to do at the present.
My sincere apologies to anyone who has sent in drawings during the last few months. It is a decision I've had to make out of necessity and which I've struggled with for more than a year, and it in no way reflects a lack of interest in contributions on my part.
I haven't done much in the last little while--but the GP40-2LW and SD40-2W series are being brought up to 2007 standards. The additions to GP40-2LW's are minor since they have already been revised twice, but the SD40-2W's have not, so they are receiving more substantial corrections. So far, left-side views of the SD40-2W series have been done, and as-built versions of all SD40-2W variations have been added.
I must confess that the reason the Dash-2W series is receiving extra attention is because they're my favourite locomotives!
Johnstown America 5400 cu-ft hoppers are the order of the day--three days after I told myself I'd likely not be able to do them.
Several varied additions have been made today:
--A single AC4400CW variation (UP Phase 2a version) has been brought up to the current level of detail (left / right views). It features the same improvements as Phase 1c UP SD70M's--which means many minor details (couplers, handrail stanchions, cab windows, etc) are new. Transparent radiator intakes have been added. Underframe detail is 80% new and the trucks are about 70% new. A number of proportions (rear grills, inverter cabinet, dynamic brake intakes) have been corrected.
--The first new hopper car in two years has been drawn: a Trinity 3281 cu-ft hopper. It is more detailed and dimensionally accurate than previous hopper car drawings and features AAR Type E bottom shelf couplers.
--New coupler variations (now totalling six different coupler types) have been added in the Drawing Parts section.
White air hoses and a new shade for the blue background are among the minor changes made to these drawings that will be applied to future drawings.
An elaborate history of the 1:55 series and previous drawings has been uploaded here. It's based loosely off a section I made in 2003, which hasn't been online for a couple of years.
Yes, the SD70M's were already revised. However, they were redone in 2005 (early in the long-term drawing update) and detail has progressed since then. So, they are being revised again, starting with Phase 1c UP versions--not only up to the standards of the SD50-SD60 series (the previous benchmark) but past them.
A thorough revision requires a thorough review of what's been changed. This time around, I looked over the smaller details to see what could be improved. The result: almost every minor detail is new--door hinges, fuel gauge, cab windows, numberboards, couplers, handrail stanchions, lights, fans, steps etc. I used to avoid changing generic details (such as plows, couplers and handrail stanchions) in order to keep all the drawings consistent, but there are no such carry-overs in the new SD70M's.
The underframe piping and cables are entirely new and the trucks are about 80% new (save the wheels and truck frame). There were no major changes in dimensions except for a 2-pixel shortening of the center hood section (with the 2 pixels added behind the cab). Click here for a comparison of the old vs. first revision vs. new.
There were a couple of changes that I experimented with but decided against. For instance, I tried making handrails using two black lines with white gap in between (not for the first time) but in the end I opted to keep the single-pixel lines, which are actually slightly closer to scale (a 2-pixel thick solid black line is not an option).
I feel I should give credit to the photos that served as reference, which are among the best detail shots I've come across. They are here, at the RailARC Photo Archive. I've used similar photos from that site in drawing various GE units as well as the SD50 series. I may not be able to bring all models to this level of detail--it will depend on what photos I can find and what I can photograph myself.
All recent SD45 drawings have been revised, with corrected handrail stanchion spacing.
A single SD40 variation (PRR version) received upgraded details along the same lines as the GP40-2W and SD40-2 upgrades. The reason: to form a basis for SD45 drawings. This is the only new SD45 variation so far, but all variations throughout SD45 production are planned.
Following yesterday's revision of GP40-2LW's, GP40-2W drawings have been revised, and GOT and HCRY versions have been added.
The first additions of 2007 are revised GP40-2LW's. This is the second major revision to the series. In addition to the improvements introduced with the SD50/SD60 and added to some of the SD40-2 series (new grabirons, trucks, handrail stanchions, hood proportions, etc.) the GP40-2LW's also have:
--All-new underframe detail, resulting from a 4-pixel thicker main frame (GP40-2LW's have substantially taller main frames than GP40-2's or GP40-2W's, and this distinction has been added to the drawings)
--New central and radiator intakes--A distinction will henceforth be made between chickenwire radiator intakes, which were used up to Phase 2a GP40 production, and wire mesh intakes, which were introduced with Phase 2b GP40's and carried through to early Dash-2 units.
--Revised headlights, cab detail, snow shields, pilots and plow
--Distinction between rounded and chamfered step wells (early vs. late Dash-2W units)
Units built in Canada prior to the transfer of GM locomotive production to London, Ontario in 1989 (GP40-2W's, SD40-2F's etc) will be designated as GMD units.
Happy New Year!
The last drawings of 2006 have been uploaded. Although I was away during the last two weeks, with a bit of fancy tranferring, the goal of 800 drawings for 2006 was reached. The additions are solely upgraded and painted SD40-2's.
With much of the 2006 total consisting of major locomotive series (such as the hundreds of second-generation EMD drawings) the goal for 2007 will be more modest. Many of the less common and older models remain to be revised and expanded, such as almost the entire ALCO/MLW/BBD section.
Here's a review of 2006 drawings.
EMD: 451 (56.4%). New and revised second-generation EMD units arrived in 2006 "en masse".
GE: 255 (31.9%). Many U-boats, Dash-7's and Dash-8's. The GE total for 2006 was more than in all previous years combined.
ALCO/MLW/BBD: 2 (0.3%). The quiet ahead of the planned ALCO storm of 2007.
FM/CLC: 12 (1.5%). Small expansion of existing C-liner and H-liner series.
Rolling Stock: 35 (4.4%). More than in 2005 but less than the rolling stock frenzy of 2004.
Painted Locomotives: 40 (5.0%). Up from 2005 as more revised undecorated drawings made painting them more appealing.
Painted Rolling Stock: 2 (0.3%). Awaiting further revisions and additions to the undecorated versions.
1:14 Air Horns: 3 (0.4%). A small section that started rapidly but has been pushed back among higher-priority locomotive drawings.
New: 800, up from 539 in 2005 and from 553 in the previous best year, 2004.
Revised: 230, down from 315 in 2005, the first year of the long-term update.
Total: 1030, up from 846 in 2005.