Motive Power Suggestions for a Protolanced QA&P

Discussion in 'Freelance' started by drdfarms, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. drdfarms

    drdfarms Member

    Hi folks, I’m considering modeling a protolanced version of the QA&P set in the steam to diesel transition era. I would be modeling the railroad as if it had been built all the way to El Paso, and will serve as a fast moving bridge route as was originally intended.

    I would like some suggestions on what you guys think the QA&P would’ve used if it had grown to this size, especially in terms of steam power. What would they have probably used if they weren’t as closely affiliated with the Frisco? And if the Frisco influence had been the same as was in actual history, what then would they have likely used on this bigger system? What about diesels? I know the real QA&P bought some GP7s, so that would be a for sure thing to model.

    I’m guessing there would be a lot of fast freight operations on the line, as I’ve read it was intended to be a quick cutoff route for traffic between the Pacific Coast and the Midwestern gateways. I also read they had a named passenger train, so I would want to include my own version of that somehow. I’m still learning about the QA&P so I’d love to have any info you could offer.

    Thanks for any help!

    Attached Files:

  2. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Hi Dakota
    You might try the search engine (upper right), type in QA&P, or Quanah Acme & Pacific, I think you will be surprised at the amount of info.

    If you look around on this site, you will see there are a few of us that protolance the QA&P. I elected to stay more contemporary in my modeling efforts.
    I was born in Quanah but grew up along the ROW around Swearingen on a dairy farm. My Grand Father was a Locomotive Engineer on the "Q". The RR would likely only have survived from bridge traffic, of which the vast majority would have (like it did), come from the SL-SF. So, the thought of the Q being more independent is cool, but not likely. But hey its your RR right? You suggestion does raise a possibility though. Consider that if the Q/SLSF built towards El Paso, and the T&P perhaps out of Odessa or Pecos built towards the Q, there would perhaps have been a larger SP/T&P presence/influence. So that may be some additional possibilities. My particular idea was there was a connection at Paducah that went into Lubbock then on towards El Paso, so they still have that westward ATSF connection.
    A few have pondered this very thing, for many years. It never ceases to amaze me, how many people model or think of modeling the QA&P, I mean for such a tiny RR it sure gets its share of attention.
  3. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    The mighty Wizard of QA&P has spoken. You’re certainly asking in the right place and hearing from the right person (among others) on this particular subject!
  4. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Yer killin me Jim, just killin me :D:D:D
  5. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

  6. drdfarms

    drdfarms Member

    Thanks for the useful info! My interest of the QA&P comes from family vacations from my home in Northeast Texas to Colorado when I was a kid. We always took US 287 and Quanah was a familiar name. Later on I came across an article and proposed trackplan for a QA&P layout in a Model Railroader issue. It immediately caught my attention and I’ve been interested ever since. I just ordered a copy of The Quanah Route by Don Hofsommer to hopefully get a more in depth look.

    Just to share some of my thoughts: I’m thinking of modeling the QA&P with Frisco influence sort of in the style of the Cotton Belt/Southern Pacific relationship. The Cotton Belt was distinctive in it’s motive power until diesels started to take over. Their first FT diesels had their own gray and yellow paint scheme, and I think there were some Baldwin switchers with a yellow and black scheme. After that though, things began to show up in SP colors with Cotton Belt lettering.

    This seems to be a good way to portray the QA&P as having some independence, but still least in my mind. The steam locomotives still in service will have their own unique details specific to the Quanah. Diesels will be in the Frisco-styled QA&P sceheme that the prototype had. This will also save me the headache of trying to design a plausible scheme and heralds.

    I’m thinking the final stand of steam on the protolanced Quanah may be either 4-8-4s or even a modified Nickel Plate-style 2-8-4 (though a 2-8-4 just sounds strange west of the Mississippi). Doesn’t seem like there would be all that many secondary lines, so most smaller steam locomotives on these may have been replaced by diesels early on. Maybe a few of the 2-10-0 Russian Decapods might remain like the real QA&P had. These seem to be a good choice for lighter built lines. I may include a handful of modernized 2-8-2s on the mainline for way freights and such. These would have larger tenders than when originally delivered and other details to make them look upgraded. All steam locomotives will be oil burners. Whatever passenger service left by this time may be handled by a loan passenger equipped GP7 or diesel rail car?

    Thanks again!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  7. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    As Tom said earlier, it's your railroad!!!

    My mom is from Quanah, her father was a career Frisco lineman--most of it on the QA&P. I was born and reared in Dallas (where all of my family members still live), and my wife and I lived in Colorado Springs for 25 years. So we drove 287 countless times. We're back in Texas as of March, and I plan to build a west central Texas layout that features the QA&P, Orient Line and some connections to a few others. Santa Fe and FW&D will definitely have presence on my layout.

    As far as motive power, do what you want. Most Texas railroads ran oil. There's not as much coal in this area as Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, etc. But that doesn't mean you can't run coal fired steamers if you want to. My 2-10-0 is coal fired. There was a nicely painted, remotored one Ebay several years ago and I bought it. After looking up the number on Frisco records, it never ran anywhere near Texas. But it will on my layout.

    A friend and I collaborated on a fictitious locomotive which I posted here a couple of years ago. It turned out that Karl Brand and Don Wirth had already done a similar thing for Frisco and not QA&P. You can do anything you want. Here's a link to the thread with photos of the locomotive, if you want to see it:

    Have fun!!! It will be fun to see what you come up with. The QA&P is definitely my favorite railroad and my connection to the Frisco.

    Paul Moore
    Rule, TX
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  8. skyraider

    skyraider Member

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  9. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    How you gonna make them mesquite trees LOL.
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  10. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    I thought you were making those as a house warming gift for us moving back to TX?!?!?! HA!!!!!!!!!! Looks like I'll be making lots of little bright green trees!!!! Or painting them on the backdrop...

    Tom, my wife and I are going to do a drive sometime in the next couple of weeks and look for some of the QA&P right of way in the Paducah area. Several of the men I have met in the area are fairly serious ranchers, including one who used to manage the Tongue River Ranch. His brother used to manage the Four Sixes (6666 is the brand). Several miles of right of way are on the Tongue River. When the time is right, I'm going to see if they will let me do some snooping along the right of way, with the guarantee that I will only take photos and not remove anything. We'll see what happens.

    Talk to you soon. If you ever vacation down this way, let me know. We've got a spare bedroom.

  11. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    My brother cowboyed on the Swensons and a few other ranches down along the ROW he told there was a dry river bed that only had water after a big rain. He also said there was quick sand around there and if you get off the Road bed to only go where the cow trails are. We had a 6666 pasture across from our dairy barn that went from that highway between Kirkland and Paducah all the way to that highway between Quanah and Crowell that's a LOT of ground for 1 pasture.
    He also remembers the cattle pens and a bit of the now ghost town of Narcisso. That country is alive with snakes.
  12. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    That is huge!! 6666 sold a big chunk of land that goes towards Knox City from Guthrie, but that doesn't go as far north as you are talking about. The first house we looked at was in Kirkland.

    I concur with the snakes. Where we live is mostly farmland and not so many rattlesnakes. About four miles west of us, and north of Knox City where it gets hilly, it ceases to be farmland and is all ranchland. The ranch areas are full of snakes!! A few shots of Western Diamondbacks I've seen on bicycle rides north of Old Glory.

    p.s. sorry about the thread drift--my fault completely.
    IMG_20190624_094918887.jpg IMG_20190624_094504594.jpg Crotalus atrox on Brazos Bridge.jpg Crotalus atrox on Brazos Bridge.jpg 4.jpg
  13. magistrate

    magistrate Member

    Sounds like a good place NOT to live. I hate snakes. I'm glad we've never seen one here on the mountain but when I'm out in the woods on my place I carry a .45 revolver loaded with number 9 shot shells.

  14. You can keep those!
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  15. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Back in the spring and early summer, every bicycle ride I went on there were Bullsnakes, Great Plains Rat snakes, Western Coachwhips or Western Diamondbacks crossing the road. So far all I've seen on our property are Checkered Garter Snakes. If I start seeing much more than that, I will also walk around with a loaded handgun.

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  16. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    A sharp tipped shovel works pretty good too. Have their head cut off quick.
  17. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Here we have yet another SD40T-2, ex SP unit, that will be added to the QA&P roster (qty 4 now). The initial cost was cheap enough $8.00 bucks) Prolly $30.00 worth of detail parts in all. The "Q" was smart enough to order these units with the toilet hatches (Cannon 1102) atop the long noses. BTW, you haven lived till you have had to help carry one of those assemblies up and out thru the cab. Cab headlights were blanked, that lovely Leslie 5 chime, details west (DW) 191, whistle, DW 106 rotary beacon (to be installed after paint) detail associates (DA) 2206 eye bolts, DA 1802 antenna, Cannon 1951 exhaust stack, Train Station see thru Dyn fans, that wire grab that is atop F/S rear on the radiators, was bent up and added to finish the top.
    The class lights, cast grabs were removed front, side and rear, the cast on emergency brake activated gyra light on the front was removed and plated over, DA 2202 hand grabs will be painted Yellow and added, DA 2212 pin lifter on the front and a hand bent .010 brass one for the rear, DW 195 buffer plates were added into those giant square holes where those old Athearn blue box couplers were, clearanced to fit KD #5 coupler boxes, KD #43 couplers were used, DW 226 MU hoses, DA 1901, 1902, 1903 vents a DA 3001 sand filler cap were installed on the nose and cab, A line 29210 sun shades were added. I must have drilled a 200 little holes into the cast on tunnel motor radiator intake screens to remove them, filed to get smooth and fit S&S 306 screens glued in place to get that see thru look. Whew I'm tired of typing already! Now the under-frame details added, DW 112 bell, DW127 plow, DW 197 fuel tank supports DA 3101 sight glass DA 3102 fuel tank details, a DW 111 fuel tank vent pipe were all added. The cast on air tanks were removed and DW 204 were drilled out .025 and AC'ed in place DW 226 air dryer/filters were used, drilled out to accommodate the many brass air lines, that were hand bent and installed. The factory shell to frame mount lugs and holes were done away with, filling in the holes with styrene round stock and the sill filed and finished.
    DW 284 speed recorders or axle generators were installed on the E/S #3 axle and F/S #1 axle. A note: it is not at all uncommon to see these all on one side or the other in about any combination, as it all depends on which side of the axle is blind or is splined, very few are splined on both sides, as the generator part is the male part, the splined axle end is the female part of this. I made a jig years ago for bending .010 brass wire for the truck brake cylinders air lines, but it is still a challenge to get them right, not to mention drilling out all them brake cylinders. The most difficult part of this whole think was to grind off one side of the rivets that hold the trucks halves together turn the metal plates around, clearance the plastic for the center axle off set. This has the effect of the rear truck running backwards with the correct axle spacing, moving that rear truck gear tower towards the front, and no you cant use the front truck to do same, a bunch of machine work to do this as well. A side note here too. I have done this over the last 6-8 years to a dozen or more tunnel units, now Athearn RTR is doing the same thing, I mean, I should be on their payroll I think sometimes, LOL. Let me see.....I think that pretty much sums up that part of the build. AMB 203 glazing and DA 2314 wipers will help bring this to a finish after weathering is done, I use my own lighting kits for the ground/headlights and a Richmond Controls beacon as well. I hope I didn't bore you all with the writing on this, now some images. Boy, I need to wash this shell.

    This is all my basic detail package for my BB builds. I hope to have this unit turn out similar to this one.
    Thanks for stopping by.
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  18. Ozarktraveler

    Ozarktraveler Member

    Appreciate the detailed write up.
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  19. Great looking SD Tom and very nice write up. Great info there. The black and yellow scheme really looks good on that body style too. You turned out another great looking unit. Proof those BB units never go out of style.
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  20. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Another work of art!
    TOM -- You certainly have a real talent for this ... amazing detail and worth the effort!
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