Sunday, June 9, 2024

Part 5 - Proto 2000 Alco S-1 becomes New Haven DEY-3 (Alco S-1) #0967: Water Filler, Bell, Cab Signal Box, Whistle, Fan Grate

I have a confession to make . . . I'm lousy at keeping up with this blog. But I guess it's not much of a confession since you've probably already reached the same conclusion some time ago. Unfortunately (in so many respects), the Valley Local Facebook Group is far easier to update. So often, I'd love to kick FB to the curb (as many of you here have already), but the ability to post quickly - and get feedback just as quickly - makes for a compelling mix.

But you're not here to hear me gripe about FB - you've heard it before - and hopefully your patience isn't worn out and you still look forward to and enjoy reading these blog posts when they come up. FAR too much time passes between posts and things I want to be sure to document (which is the main reason for me to even have a "web log" aka "blog"), so I'm going to try harder to post more regularly.

John Wallace photo of New Haven class DEY-3 switcher #0967 with Valley Local freight southbound at Fernwood Street, Wethersfield, CT - 5/1949.

Case in point: NHRR DEY-3 0967. Some of you already know it's finished - or at least surmised from the Wordless Wednesday pic I posted last week. But I haven't finished documenting the build - and for those of you following along (and also to preserve this effort for future reference), here's where we left off . . .


  • Click here for prototype information for both the DEY-3 (Alco S-1) as well as the DEY-5 (S-2).
  • (Part 1) Click here to see how I made the Proto2000 S-1 model DCC ready, as well as where to put a LokSound PowerPack (capacitor) and Scale Sound Systems speaker (be sure to check out Randy's blog too, which has more detail).
  • (Part 2) Click here for the actual installation of the PowerPack as well as an ESU v5 decoder.
  • (Part 3) Click here for the body modifications I made to the P2k model to make it into an authentic version of DEY-3 #0967.
  • (Part 4) Click here for information on adding the stock details (what came with the undec model), including some helpful hints.
Whew! We left off with the stock details, and with a promise to go over the additional details that convert this S-1 to a DEY-3. So, without further ado . . .

Water Fill Cap

The Proto 2000 S-1 model is VERY detailed and was on the cutting edge when first introduced in the early 2000s. It's the only HO scale Alco S-1 available in plastic that I know of, so thankfully it still holds up very well detail-wise compared to today's models.

But, inexplicably, the fine folks at P2k failed to include a water fill cap on their body casting. You can scratchbuild one like my friend Randy did here, but I decided to improvise using a Details West part I had on-hand...

Modifying a cab vent into a water fill was as easy as flipping it over and sanding/filing until it looks like the prototype photos I had on-hand - though I have to admit, Randy's looks a bit better so be sure to check out how he did it.

You may recall from the the bodywork post that I'm not using the P2k stock bell that would have been mounted on the top of the hood, just ahead of the cab. Instead, again relying on prototype photos, I mounted a bell under the walkway, just ahead of the fuel tank on the engineer's side.

Another DW part I had on-hand

I had to trim the bell mount back to the bracket, and I scraped the paint off the frame where the bell would be attached.
Since the frame is angled in this area, I had to angle the bell bracket in order to get the bell to mount properly. Lots of filing and test fitting give you the best result . . .

. . . as you can see here. Believe it or not, I just mounted this with some thick CA and a quick touch of CA accelerator. This combo creates a VERY strong bond - click here for more info.

Cab Signal Box
The 0967 had Hartford Line cab signals. I know enough to know that the cab signal boxes varied a bit, depending on whether they were Hartford Line, Shoreline, or Dual - but there's only one NH cab signal box in HO that I know of . . .

The Custom Finishes box (B-125) is the one I used on my DEY-5 #0604, but it didn't look quite right for the 0967. 

So, again, I improvised a bit.

I used the exciter from the Custom Finishes part (the exciter is the cylinder mounted on top of the box above), and used a Cal-Scale part I had on-hand for the signal box itself (part #CB252). I did some guesstimating on the conduit, but I think it came out pretty good.

Air Whistle
Other than the low-profile cab, the feature that really distinguishes New Haven RR DEY-3 and DEY-5 switchers from off-the-shelf Alco S-1s and S-2s, is the 3 chime air whistle the railroad used in lieu of the standard Wabco E-2.

For the whistle, I used the same Custom Finishing part I used on my DEY-5 (part #103), but didn't have another pipe elbow in my scrap box. So I cut up one of these instead:

For a much more detailed description of how I made the bracket, be sure to check out my DEY-5 post here . . . But here's a summary:

First, I trimmed and filed the bottom of the whistle casting, then ACC'd the pipe/elbow to it. Unlike last time, I didn't bother drilling holes for a mounting loop - opting instead to just glue the whistle & pipe directly to the bracket (again, using CA and some accelerator for a strong bond). The bracket itself is made up of styrene strips (.011" x .066") glued at a right angle. Credit to Joe Smith for the idea of using a 1-2-3 block and tape to hold everything together during assembly.

Once everything is glued together, I test fit it to the hood (that pipe on the side conveniently held the extra-long strip in place), making sure the horizontal part of the bracket is truly horizontal and that the whistle is perfectly vertical. Then I marked where to trim the bracket by eyeballing it, comparing to a prototype photo.

You can see that mark above, but the bottom of the bracket is about even with the top of the hood doors.

Fan Grate
The P2k model comes with some really gorgeous metal fan grates, complete with walkways. Unfortunately, I can't use them for the 0967 . . .

The early DEY-3s had a grate that was made up of two frames that had a crosswise bar. You can barely make it out in the prototype photo above. And, incidentally, as far as I've been able to determine, the walkways were typically added after my chosen era (1947-49).

Again - and thankfully - Mike Redden over at New England Model Works has us (and our DEY-3 fans) covered with the right replacement part. And it drops right in, in place of the stock part.

And with that, the bell and the rest of the hood details are done. Next time, we'll tackle the MOST distinctive feature of the NHRR DEY-3s & 5s - the Low Profile Cab. And, again thankfully, Mike's come through again - and this time with a one-piece casting!! No more having to put a 5-piece flat kit together (as I had to on my DEY-5).

But first, I needed to do a road test to see make sure all of this was going to work . . . Stay tuned to see how THAT worked out . . . And be sure to check back every day this week since I'm hoping to get through this build asap! :^)


  1. The finished model was displayed at the recent NERPM meet in Springfield, MA. Fabulous modeling!

    Joe Smith

    1. Thanks Joe! Really appreciate your taking the time to stop by and leave a comment - especially such a nice compliment from a fantastic modeler like you!