Roster shot of my Conrail Reading Paint-Out MP15 9627

The MP15 was a minority in Conrail’s switcher fleet, but since they’re available as models, I’ve added a couple to my fleet.

They were all originally manufactured by EMD for Reading in the mid 1970s. They only had a few years to serve their original owner before becoming members of the Conrail fleet.

They were generally confined to the “Reading Cluster”, a group of branchlines near Reading PA. I figure that the Northern Central was close enough to Reading that one or two might have gotten sent to Enola for servicing, and sent on down the NC.

My model is one of Atlas’s new MP15s that came factory painted for the Reading. I removed some of the Reading lettering and replaced it with decals from Microscale. The locomotive was then weathered with my Vodka based washes to make it look nice and used, just as a painted out locomotive would in 1985.

To see my other MP15 (in blue) see it’s article here.

Sadly, this locomotive has seemed to be cursed. I think it’s the gods of railroading exacting vengance for painting out the Reading diamonds. This unit’s Atlas Lenz decoder blew up in spectacular fashion a few months back. One of the components on its board exploded while the unit was running, letting the “magic smoke” out (ironically, through one of the exhaust stacks). I replaced the decoder with a TCS MP15N with which I am very happy. However, a few weeks later one of the drive shafts started slipping, taking the unit out of service, again. I realigned the drive shaft parts and it all works well now, but I’m still waiting for what will break next.

Photos from a Visit to Lee Weldon’s WM Layout

9627 is one of my favorite locomotives. As such, whenever I get a chance to run somewhere else, it usually comes along. 9627 was working on my friend Lee’s layout last year, and here are some photos from the trip.
Learn more about Lee’s layout. ยป

Here the switcher works the 84 Lumber before heading to the paper mill
Here the switcher works the 84 Lumber before heading to the paper mill
First the crew grabbed the loaded box cars from warehouse.
First the crew grabbed the loaded box cars from warehouse.

Conrail MP15 9627 on Lee Weldon's WM Layout

Next the chip track had to be emptied of two now empty N&W wood chip hoppers.
Next the chip track had to be emptied of two now empty N&W wood chip hoppers.
A westbound coal extra (note they're emtpy) headed up the Thomas sub while the local crew waited in the clear
A westbound coal extra (note they’re emtpy) headed up the Thomas sub while the local crew waited in the clear
While the extra cleared, the crew left the locomotive sitting and posed perfectly inside the mill.
While the extra cleared, the crew left the locomotive sitting and posed perfectly inside the mill.
he WM's "west local" came to town and added to the "MY" tower traffic jam. Here the tail end of the train is left on the main while the power exchanges blocks of cars with the mill switcher.
he WM’s “west local” came to town and added to the “MY” tower traffic jam. Here the tail end of the train is left on the main while the power exchanges blocks of cars with the mill switcher.
After the local got out of town, the mill job went back to work. Here the MP15  is fetching the block of cars just dropped by the local.
After the local got out of town, the mill job went back to work. Here the MP15 is fetching the block of cars just dropped by the local.
The crew had to do some dancing with the blocks of cars destined for the east local (which was going to be swinging through town after the mill job's crew went off the clock). That's the west local's power over on the right returning from spotting a few covered hoppers at a nearby quarry.
The crew had to do some dancing with the blocks of cars destined for the east local (which was going to be swinging through town after the mill job’s crew went off the clock). That’s the west local’s power over on the right returning from spotting a few covered hoppers at a nearby quarry.
A quick jog caught the crew pulling back up past the warehouse with some empties.
A quick jog caught the crew pulling back up past the warehouse with some empties.