What’s on Your Workbench?

By Tom Fedor

This summer I finally completed detailing and upgrading my Atlas Classic HO scale C-424 Phase 2 Locomotive, modeled after the Livonia Avon & Lakeville’s (LA&L) diesel number 424.

Atlas Model Railroad Company released the model in 2006 with a list price of $109.95 for the DC version. I ordered mine through a local hobby shop with plans to detail and install DCC.

Why did I choose this model from an obscure short line in western New York state? I worked for the LA&L for 3 weekends in the summer of 1990 until my college course workload prevented me from spending my Saturday’s on their track gang. I believe I even had a cab ride in number 424.

Fourteen years later, this locomotive was now unassembled on my workbench. Atlas’s version was a close replica, but due to industry practices at the time the manufacturer created models that generally adhered to the specific “Phase” (in my case phase 2), so not everything was a match. Some minor bodywork and paint were necessary to address a couple of obvious details that stand out on the real locomotive, making it a distinctive piece of LA&L equipment. Additionally, the Classic series was not plumbed for sound. I had to have the rear weight milled, drilled, and filed to fit a speaker.

Is my model an exact duplicate of the prototype? Not quite. There are things that would require extensive bodywork which I didn’t feel I could successfully achieve.

In addition to a SoundTraxx decoder, I used many images sourced from the internet (above) to place the following details.

  • Modified fuel tanks
  • Exhaust stack
  • Rearview mirrors
  • Sun visors
  • Air intake shields
  • Sand hatch
  • Snowplows
  • Windshield wipers
  • Wheel slip detectors
  • Speed recorder
  • Chain/chain guide
  • Radio antenna
  • Bell
  • Fuel filter
  • Air horns
  • Working front/rear ditch lights

Author: smdnmra

South Mountain Division, Mid-Eastern Region, National Model Railroad Association