P&D F Units



I believe P&D lists a Santa Fe style pilot for the F units. You might want to check these out.




I believe P&D lists a Santa Fe style pilot for the F units. You might want to check these out.


Yep - Got 'em!




Hope everyone had a good Christmas.

I have finally been able to do a little more work on my F units. The following two photos show details added to the 1500 gallon fuel tank.

From this next photo you can see that the tank was built by gluing parts around the outside of the original P&D tank. You can also see that I added some styrene in the middle of the tank to widen it because the original P&D tank is actually too narrow. I did the same with the battery boxes (not shown).

There seems to be a limit to the number of photos I can post so I will end here and try to post more in a moment.



Below is shown two photos of the left side of the prototype. I still have to add the pipe with the valve and chain to the model.

It looks like my limit is three pictures so I’ll have to continue in another message.



The final three photos:

The following two pictures show some of the dimensions I used to build the tanks. I lived in Japan for twelve years and as a result I really prefer to work in the metric system so all dimensions are shown in millimeters.

The above photo shows the brackets for hanging the fuel tank. On the prototype, the two styrene parts would be one piece. I had to leave a space between the two parts for the P&D drive shaft to the forward truck. The brass piece is the pattern I use for cutting out the styrene brackets.

The following shows the completed ice breakers. They will be glued in place after the units are painted. This unit is a late model F3 which will have stainless steel side grills. I have one photo of the roof of an Espee F unit which shows small circular plates bolted on to the roof, probably used to cover the holes left when the original air horns were removed.

I’ll post some more photos when I am able to do more work.

Have a happy New Year.



Beautiful work and detailing of a unique SP locomotive!

It appears from the first prototype photo that SP rebuilt this somewhat unique unit with a wider than normal fuel tank. The biggest clue is that some of the original side skirt profile remains, and that’s established by the battery box cover. It curves inward, but the side of the fuel tank extends far outboard. The stock P&D tank is certainly not close for this prototype.

For reference this ex-BAR F3 in Jim Thorpe sports a standard fuel tank.

Here’s D&RGW F9 5771 at the Colorado RR museum. As far as I can tell, a stock P&D tank is dimensionally OK for this prototype, but does lack many details. This is the rear of 5771’s fuel tank. Aluminum paint makes it easier to see the details.

Please keep sharing your progress with us. It is quite inspiring!



Amazing work and thanks for showing close-up photos of your work with dimensional data.

time to get working on my own using yours as a guide. It’s hard to tell what Southern used exactly for the brackets and other tools, but getting close is better than nothing at all.

Also, your roof detailing is amazing. I am assuming those are actual nuts.



Very clean modeling! Your work is awesome and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Dave (DaveJfr0),

Great to see you over here! You should post some of your work too! A couple shots of that Southern power would be nice!


Thanks for your kind comments. The main reason I wanted to join this forum was because of the consistent high quality work I’ve seen here.

Bob: The standard P&D tank is actually a little too narrow. There is a scale 3" gap between each side of the tank and the skirt. This photo shows how I corrected this with the battery boxes.

The large 1500 gallon fuel tanks were actually very common on Epee units, but only two of mine will have them. Many were delivered with large tanks and Espee converted many other units.

Dave: As far as I know, all F units used the same brackets for hanging the fuel tanks and battery boxes so you are safe using them. The bolts are simulated bolts from Scale Hardware (http://www.scalehardware.com/). If you look very closely you might be able to tell that I added washers under the bolts. It may have been wasted effort since you can hardly see them. Scale Hardware also sells very small threaded nuts and bolts.

Happy New Year!



Just beautiful Robin…


Thanks! I’m still working on them but the work is slow. I will post more pictures when I have more to show.



Not meaning to nitpick on the A&O f units. How come the A units don’t have ladders on their noses like WM 233. I know there is a rule that after 1960 locomotives needed a safer way into the nose. Might be something to add to later f units.


Scott -
Welcome to the A&O forums. I was not aware of that requirement.

I copied nose grab placement from ex-BAR ARHS chicken wire F3s I photographed in Jim Thorpe PA back in 2001 and 2002. These had a single grab on each side of the hood, with the “looped” ends hooking on an external ladder.

These units were more recently running at Steamtown and I hope they haven’t been sidelined due to being “run into the ground” like the big steamers.


Here are they f units you are talking about. Still running strong.

As for the grab ladders i am digging through my notes tonight on when and how they were done.


Are they all running? I believe I read that at the Streamliners event only one A was operable. When I photographed them in Jim Thorpe, both of the As ran fine. I notice that during the Lackawanna refurb 664 lost its remaining nose grab iron.

If you find the grab iron info I’d appreciate looking at it. Some roads such as the D&RGW had a toe creep and grabs that started higher on the nose than the WM unit.


This is the spec sheet for CB&Q maintenance steps. I have seen the steps and toe creep you referred to. I think the full ladders lit more distinct.
As a side note the CB&Q sheet shows grabs on the roof radiator fans.



Scott -
Thanks for passing along the drawing!

Is the date 1954? It is hard to make out. If so that would be about the same time as the locomotives were purchased from EMD. Do you have any info for an FRA rule?

Inquiring minds want to know!


I heard/read somewhere that a law or rule had been created
requiring railroads to provide a safer way to climb up onto the noses of F
units. That’s what the extra grabs were for. I don’t remember when this became
a requirement, but my feeling is that it may have been the early sixties. Anyway,
this photo shows the ladder Espee used before the grabs were required.

This one shows that hooks that fit into the “looped” grabs.



Robin nice photos very helpful in detailing a shop.

Bob, this an article that started me trying to find the fra mandate. Anyways page 4 has the list of modifications done.



In fact the Interstate Commerce Commision (ICC) issued a ruling in 1958 requiring that by 1960 all cab diesels (these weren’t “cowl units,” those came later) have some permanent way for railroad workers to reach the windshields for cleaning. These locomotives soon sprouted a variety of steps, grab irons, and ladders to comply with this requirement, and that accounts for what you observed.

So long,

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine