MILW 776

Fairbanks Morse switchers have always been a favorite of mine.  The early 10-44 (1,000 horsepower/four-wheel x 2) model had a number unique Raymond Loewy styling touches like the steam loco cab roof.  This particular model was not widely purchased by railroads so you need to like roads such as the Milwaukee Road.  Fairbanks Morse was an online customer of the Milwaukee Road in Beloit, WI.  This classic switcher shown above was the work of Lee Turner.   It started life as a MTH 3-rail tinplate model.  Lee had to build new pilots, steps and add to the side sill with an 18″ strip.  The cab front was redone as was the classic roof overhang.  The Milwaukee paint was blended to provide faded colors reflecting many years of neglect the road.  Lee added many highlights like rust, chipped paint, dirt and such.  The end result is spectacular.


We have mentioned that the Irish Tracklayer was working on a new train order signal (TOS).  John Houlihan has been working on a 3D CAD model of the Railway Signal Associates upper quadrant TOS.   It has been a slow process of trial and error to get the thinnest cross section parts yet capable of being cast in brass.  I received an update from John today and I am happy to report that he has just about there.

TOS NPAn example of a prototype RSA TOS is shown on the right.  The Northern Pacific was a big user of this style.  The Erie and Soo were fond of these machines.

RSA was composed of many railroads who developed a set of designs that were widely used by member railways.  The actual signal assemblies came from companies like Chicago Signal.

Here are a series of JPEGS that show the level of detail that John has incorporated in the parts.   This is a signal that needs to be put in a  prominent place on your layout.



The drawings show only one of the semaphore blades to allow one to see all of the details.   We will keep you informed of the progress Irish Tracklayer makes.

Happy Trails,


One thought on “MODELING: Mixed Bag

  1. Lee’s loco work is great. Definitely a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

    Hope the home sale is progressing — losing the laout is tough but I think you will enjoy AZ.

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