Atlas SLSF RS-1's

Discussion in 'Diesel Locomotives' started by meteor910, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    FYI, I received the two Atlas "Classic" HO Frisco ALCo RS-1's today I
    had on order. Following is a quick initial review:

    o Drive is typical Atlas - silky. They run well with the recent Atlas
    Frisco GP-7, MP-15 and B30-7 models I have.

    o The paint decoration is very well done. The RS-1's look as if just
    out of the shop. The shade of yellow looks about right. The lettering
    font looks fine, though my first impression was that the "FRISCO" was
    a tad small. Maybe, maybe not - but not a major issue.

    o They are set up to run long hood forward.

    o The two units are numbered 101 and 111. They have the AT&N notation
    on the cab side under the number.

    o BUT, and I was upset when I first noticed this, the road number on
    each of the hood ends is NOT surrounded by the coonskin outline I was
    expecting. The number is just there all by itself. However, when I
    checked my RS-1 photos, the shots I have of 101 and 111 in the Frisco
    paint scheme do not show the end numbers inside a coonskin. My other
    pics, of other units, all have the outline. How about that! Atlas
    picked the two numbers that did not require artwork to create a
    coonskin outline. Am I (and Atlas) correct that these two units did
    not use the coonskin outline? Did any others have no outline? (see ps below)

    o The units have roller bearing AAR-B trucks. In AT&N colors, my pics
    show these RS-1's had friction bearing trucks. I suppose Frisco
    switched them to r/b's when they brought them into the fleet? Anybody
    know for sure?

    o Details I'll need to add that I have noticed: brake air hoses,
    marker lamps, move the horn to the cab roof and/or use a multi-chime. (see ps below)

    All in all, right out of the box - I like 'em. I had two undecs
    sitting around here still in the box for several years. When I saw
    that Atlas was going to release the RS-1 in SLSF colors some months
    ago, I eBay'ed the undecs.

    Who else picked up these new Frisco locos, and what are your

    I really appreciate Atlas' recent affection for the Frisco! How about
    the S-2 next? I have two undecs of them on the shelf as well (plus a

    Meteor910 |-|

    ps - I've checked several electronic pics I have of the RS-1's. Several have no coonskin outline, not just 101 and 111. Perhaps this happened after their first return shopping following their set-up and repainting as Frisco units? One of the pics also showed a cab roof beacon.
  2. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Great review, Ken, and very good find on the hood-end numbers!

    Perhaps the Frisco's knack for tiny little idiosyncrancies such as these are frustrating to some, but I for one enjoy them.

    I wouldn't mind having a couple for any whimsical River Division transition-era sessions (see Karl's photo of 110 at Chaffee, sans hood coonskin at and think that Ken McElreath once told me the Chaffee roundhouse crew did some RS-1 servicing. But first I have to build up the steam roster further.

    Thanks again,
  3. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I love that about the Frisco as well! When detailing a Frisco locomotive, I always sit there with a few photos of the unit I am modeling in order to catch all the little "odd" details that give them real fun personality.

  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Here's a follow-up to my earlier comments on the Atlas Classic Frisco ALCo RS-1 models, r/n's 101 and 111.

    After looking over the model more closely, I see it already has the brake air line hoses on each end, so adding that detail is not needed.

    Additional details to be considered:

    - Frisco added more height to the exhaust stack. An extension to a height about twice as high as the existing Atlas stack looks to be about right.

    - I gather these things could m/u with each other (only), short hood end to short hood end. There are some elementary m/u connections evident in my photos that are not on the model. These could be added using some of the commercially available m/u detail parts - close enuf.

  5. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    My RS-1's showed-up at the local hobby shop, and I concur with Ken's assessment.

    RS-1's were one of my favorite first generation locomotives. They sounded great, and I loved that high, arched cab roof, with it's large windows. I saw them run on the Hoxie Sub, the Clinton Sub, and the Current River Br. Photos in the railfan literature show them on the Ft Smith Sub as well. I was fortunate to ride tr 59 between 19th Street Yd and Harrisonville with a RS-1 on point. It was a real delight to listen to it work. When we left Jeffries we had 24 cars, most of which were hoppers of cement. The climb out of the Blue River valley was too much for the single unit, and we had to stop, and cool things down before we finally made the top of the hill.

    The locomotive looks great and runs well straight from the box. The lettering is a good color match, and is sharp down to the "BE CAREFUL" warnings on the unit's steps. With the exception of the four pilot grab irons, which are cast onto the shell, all other grab irons are separate castings. Not much improvement was made to the underframe, and the bell casting and piping detail are a bit crude, but easily disguised. These items are not enough to detract from the overall appearance of the model.

    I would consider adding the follow details.

    MU Recepticles... Even though some of the literature states that the units would MU only back to back, every picture that I've seen, shows a MU recepticle on the front. It is true that they would only mate with each other. During the last days of the Hoxie Sub., the Frisco handled large shipments of pipe to Poplar Bluff for a pipline project. It was common for the Hoxie Sub train to leave Chaffee with 30-40 cars of pipe in the charge of two RS-1's. Also, I have a photo taken at Grandview during 1969 of the 103 MU'd to another RS-1, number unknown.

    Stack Extension....I have seen two varieties. In one case the stack lengthened, and the other variety is a conical collar. It looks very much like the smoke deflectors that were applied to the 4200's, 4300's, 4400's and 4500's.

    Pyle Classification Lamps on the front
    Nathan Whistle
    Cab Beacon Lamp
    Windshield Wipers
    Cab Window Visors/Shades
    Builders' Plate Decals

    I'd also consider replacing the split-shank type knuckle coupler with KADEE's

    Based on the locomotive diagram, the friction bearing wheels had been replaced with Fafnir-Waugh roller bearings by at least Sept 1950.

    I don't ever remember seeing a RS-1 or a photgraph of one in which the locomotive needed to be cleaned or painted. The units seemingly were well cared for, so perhaps the model will need just the lightest touch of weathering.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2007
  6. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Pardon my repeated postings on this topic, but I wanted to note that Karl is correct, the SLSF RS-1's could m/u from either end.

    Note the following details on a pic of SLSF 102 that I found:

    - the m/u stand on the long hood end deck (short hood had one also)
    - no coonskin outline around the number on the hood end
    - the roller bearing caps on the AAR-B trucks
    - the class lights on the hood end
    - long hood forward, note the "F"
    - the stack extension
    - the Nathan multi-chime horn mounted on the roof (painted silver - cool!)
    - the flashing beacon mounted on the cab roof


    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2007
  7. I received two Atlas RS-1's (same #'s 101 and 111) on 8/24 in my scale (N). Ken's review is almost equally appropriate for them. I got two Walthers/Lifelike RS-2's (# 550 & 551) today and they are every bit as terriffic. They correctly do have the coonskin on the ends. The prototype modeled doesn't have the large number boards on each corner of the hoods, but I can live with that, considering I have an undec that has been waiting to be painted since 1990. With the two Atlas VO 1000's (#218 & 219) I got in April, this would have to be one of the best years ever to be a Frisco Modeler.
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  8. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

  9. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    I'll second that.

    The only problem I have with the RS-1s in N-scale is that the walkways are yellow. I asked Atlas about this at the NTS in Detroit, and was told this is due to the walkways and handrails being a single piece... so you get either handrails or walkways that are the wrong color. They chose to do the piece in yellow because they believe the walkways are easier to repaint than the handrails

  10. Some got coonskins, some did not. A roster would be interesting.

    AT&N units had solid bearings but SL-SF changed them very early on. I have a photo of AT&N 105 with solid bearings, but I do not have a photo of any SL-SF RS-1 with them I do have a shot of an RS-1 dated 1949 with roller bearing trucks.

    I have the Atlas model and I am pleased with it. I do intend to extend the stack and add louver actuators along with some painting modifications.
  11. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Demetre, Welcome to the Frisco website!!! If you will go to forum and click on the "New Member Introduction". Please tell us about yourself and if you have a layout tell us about what your goals are. We also like photos. These are just a suggestion, please don't think you are under pressure or required to do so.


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