Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The New Haven RR's DEY-5 (and the Atlas model)

(Disclaimer - much of this post first appeared 1/5/2018)

Based on its early success with Alco's diesel switchers during the 1930s (the famed "High Hoods"), the New Haven Railroad rostered an impressive number of Alco's successor models - the S-1 & S-2. Deliveries started in 1941 and continued to 1949 for a total of 87 units.

These switchers had essentially the same prime mover as the HH660 (a 660hp McIntosh & Seymour Model 531), but while the engine was mounted above the frame on the High Hood locos (which is why the hoods were "high"), on the S-1 the same engine (now designated Model 539) was mounted down in the frame to lower the hood and increase crew visibility. Other than some cosmetic differences (different exhaust stack, larger radiator louvers), the S-2 was essentially the same as the S-1 but had a turbocharged version of the 539 engine (designated 539T) that increased the horsepower from 660hp to 1000hp. In 1943, the railroad began taking delivery of Alco S-2s and the "DEY" classification started the following year, with delivery of the last of 22 S-2s (#0600-0621). S-1s (class DEY-3) would continue to be delivered until January 1949 for an impressive total of 65 units (#0931-0995).

The DEY-5 is interesting to me for two primary reasons: 1) during my era, this locomotive type was assigned to three of the four locals I model (below is a photo of the Shoreline Local in Essex, road number unknown) . . .

. . . and the DEY-5 actually came in two different radiator louver configurations - vertical (as above) and horizontal (as below, click on the image to enlarge).

The first nine DEY-5s (#0600-0608) were delivered with the horizontal louvers. The photo above shows the Shoreline Local at East Haddam with DEY-5 #0604.

I already have a New Haven DEY-5 - #0615 produced by Atlas with era-appropriate paint scheme & vertical louvers (see photo above), but getting a DEY-5 with horizontal louvers to represent #0604 has proved difficult - until now . . .

Waaay back in January, 2018, I got enough birthday money to cover the purchase from TTX of a fresh-from-the-factory (the container actually just arrived from overseas the previous month!) undecorated Atlas S-2 - with horizontal louvers!

Even though it's unpainted and requires all the details to be applied, it still looks pretty awesome. And it sounds just as great with a factory-installed Loksound decoder. Excuse the quick grab shot above - I'll post more about this model as I go through the build/detailing - but I wanted to show the only "bad" thing about the model (which hopefully is easy to fix): the front headlight.

As you can't help but see, the bright LED is SO bright that it shines right through the body shell!

And the bulb appears to be aimed, not through the headlight, but at the top/front corner of the hood. Ugh!

Fortunately, the rear light is fine in all respects - heh - including retina-burning brightness - but at least it's bright through the headlight lens rather than above it.

So one of the first things I'll be doing to this engine is seeing if I can move that front bulb. And I'll probably have to paint some blackener on it as well to keep light from seeping through where it doesn't belong. If you have any experience with this, I hope you'll share in the comments!

Despite the bulb issue, I'm really excited to have a finely detailed DEY-5 (the older Atlas S-2 #0615 has molded-on details) and especially one that's correct for the first nine units delivered.

Now if somebody would just come up with a correct NHRR DEY-3/5 cab . . . but that's a whole 'nuther story . . . (and this problem, since January 2018, has been solved nicely...)

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