Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Bachmann S-4 Arrives at Harlem Station

A new locomotive arrived at the PoNY Railroad's Erie Harlem Station with little fanfare but much appreciation today. With the 44 tonners down until a suitable decoder and sound system is found (I finally gave up on the LokSound I've been messing with for over a year now!), no. 514 (an Alco S-2) has been shouldering all of the duties by itself. The shiny new sound-equipped Alco S-4 no.529 is a welcomed site to the crews, and at under $100, the general accounting office couldn't complain.

I had already assumed I was going to have to change out the headlight since the double configuration seemed unusual, but again, another nice surprise that it is consistent with prototype. (Maybe all S-4s came this way?) Not sure how much closer I'm going to look, but I'm impressed with the out-of-the-box experience so far. Didn't even hesitate when I started him up. The crews should be happy.

Some prototype photos I've acquired lately of 529. Notice how close the first two photos were taken!

1970 at Jamestown, New York
A few milliseconds later in 1970 at Jamestown, New York
Post merger sometime/where

5 October 1971 at Croxton Yard, NJ

Delivered in October of 1952, no.529 was one of only 4 Alco S-4s (nos. 526-529) on the Erie who was a pretty good customer for Alco. I'm pretty sure they weren't bought because of the characteristic galopty-lop sound of the engines, but that is one reason why I like them.

Bonus material
An outtake from the 2 minute film session today. Even the simplest filming needs more than one take! The office crew got a laugh when no.529 moved in reverse instead of forward on the first take...


  1. Hi Riley,

    Soundtraxx has a Cummings diesel micro-tsunami decoader that was made specifically for GE's small switchers like the 44 tonner and 70 tonner. I actually bought one to use in my Gas Electric because it had a sound closest to what I've heard for a Gas Electric. Check out this sample from their sound sample library on their website:

  2. Ordered one! Local sentiment agrees with you that Soundtraxx is really always the best bet. The new sounds have gotten rave reviews from railroad veterans who experienced the sounds first hand, too.

    The LokSound I have sounded great, but it kept resetting itself in any locomotive it was installed in (even an N scale loco) and no one could figure out why. I should have sent it back right away, but I though it was my locomotive and spent several months taking it apart and reassembling, re-lubricating, rewiring, re-everything-ing. Bah.

    Looking forward to getting my 44s in action!