• Buffalo, Attica & Arcade coaches

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by Mountcastle
I could kick myself for giving up Ed Lewis's book, although it may not have been of any use, at any rate, with respect to this particular question...

Do any of you good A&A enthusiasts here 'present' have any idea what color the coaches of the Buffalo, Attica & Arcade trains were painted? I'm assuming some dark shade of green, but I thought I'd ask before I simply proceed along the lines of a mere assumption.

Also, what of the lettering on the letter board? White? Gold? Cream? Dare I say orange? :wink:

The reason I ask is that I have a couple of Victorian-era HO scale coaches at home, one a Pennsylvania RR coach and the other a Western & Atlantic RR combine and I want to paint and letter them both as B. A. & A.

I don't know why it matters that I get it precisely correct, because, in truth, it's probable that nobody has any idea how they looked, exactly (in color, that is). My OCD, however (which prefers to be called 'CDO' as the letters are in alphabetical order that way), will not permit me to simply go to the local hobby shop paint section and just wing it. I tried to, in fact; unsuccessfully. I actually drove there, looked at the shades of green paint, then the dry transfers...and then I nearly had an aneurism before surrendering to the CDO. "Alright, I'll post to the board and ask first." *Sigh*

So if anyone amongst you has knowledge of this railroad so astonishingly esoteric that you are able to offer guidance with respect to this question...you need to get your ass out of the house and go dancing at a nightclub one of these weekends, for one thing. :wink:

No, don't look at me, I was out last night making an ass of myself at karaoke until 2 am. And, yes, I danced.

  by Benjamin Maggi
Just so you know, Ed Lewis' books are online on EBay all the time. A first edition sold within the last month, and over the last 6 months I bet half a dozen copies of the 1st and 2nd editions combined have sold. I have several copies of each, but if I needed another it wouldn't be tough to find there. So, you might want to pick up a copy yourself.

Regarding your question... the pictures are black and white, so I am not sure how helpful the book would be. If you are concerned about the proper shade of green, make sure to take your lightbulbs to the hobby store to check the colors of the paint under them, as different bulbs change how we view colors.

  by Mountcastle

Thank you; that's helpful to know. I'll look for one of the books. I'm surprised to hear there are so many copies floating about.

As far as the coaches, I think I'm just going to go ahead and paint them a shade of green that suits my tastes, and then letter them using white dry transfer letters in the closest possible font available.

I have that 'Comin' on Strong' book (what an odd slogan and title; it makes me think of some drunken greaseball at a singles bar), and it shows an 'up-close' image of a BA&A coach, so at least I know what font to go for (if I can find it).

Another question for anyone who might have a clue: any idea what the pre-excursion era Arcade & Attica coaches looked like? Were they lettered "Arcade & Attica" on the letter board or "A. & A. R. R." or "Arcade & Attica Railroad" or just not at all?

Inquiring minds want to know.
  by BSOR Patarak
It is only a guess on the color. Isn't everything pre color pictures a grey shade? :D The dark green is probably as good as any. As for the lettering, it was either a white or gold. The BA&A marked their coaches "BUFFALO, ATTICA AND ARCADE". There was no "railroad" mentioned, probably due to the length. The locomotives were not always marked. I've seen several of them with only the initials on the tender.

As for the A&A, these were marked several different ways over the years. I've seen the older ones marked "A & A R. R." at one point as well as "ARCADE & ATTICA R. R. CORP."
  by Mountcastle
Thank you, Pat. If you don't know, nobody knows, so now that I know that you don't know, I can wing it without fear of being further impugned by my OCD.

One other thing, Pat (et all); I know that the Lewis book featured images of many of the locomotives used on the pre-excursion era Arcade & Attica. Does anyone know if there are images of the A&A's locos available on some website or other? I haven't found anything, thus far, via Google search. But then, I haven't been looking very hard.

I haven't got a layout, but I want to start developing a nice collection of HO scale locomotives and rolling stock appropriate to the A&A (and other RRs that ran on that line). I have a 14 and an 18 and the orange coaches and the gondola to complete the excursion train, but I want to dabble in A&A 'antiquity', too. I don't need precise replicas of the A&As locomotives and rolling stock; reasonable approximations suit me just fine. Nevertheless it would be helpful to see pictures of them to know just what commercially available engines reasonably approximate them.

I recall that a few of the A&A's steam engines were a bit odd-looking, with boilers that transitioned from cylindrical in front to almost square near the cab. Others, like A&A #6, were just beautiful.

Well, my 14 and my 18 are both a couple of dandies, all painted up like good tourist line engines. Now I want a team of filthy, unkempt, weathered, graying 'workhorses', typical of a small, struggling shortline, as well as coaches and other rolling stock appropriate to the 1917-1935 period.

Hopefully, I'll one day have a layout on which to run them or find someone else who has one. I don't suppose there exists a club comprised of A&A enthusiasts who model the railroad.
  by jgallaway81
The engines that had that strange transition you refer to are actually equipped with a belpaire firebox, which was a staple of Pennsy engines.

There are a couple on the net, but I don't consider them much better then what is in Lewis's book.
  by BSOR Patarak
Here is a link to two pictures of A&A #7:


There are two views. Notice that there is a different tender in each picture. The larger tender made it's way behind a couple of the steamers. Most likely due to the larger water capacity. I believe that this tender is from loco #5 originally.
  by Mountcastle
Thanks, Pat. Great shots.

Is anyone aware if anything that looks like this is available in HO scale?
  by jgallaway81
A quick search of the net found nothing that looks exactly.

The closest I could find was this: http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/product_p/rnd-84781.htm, which will still require you to kitbash the belpaire firebox.
  by Mountcastle

Thanks so much for taking the time to look! Interestingly, I have that very same locomotive and tender, but with a 2-8-0 wheel configuration, and it serves as my A&A #18.

The most frustrating thing I find about commercially available locomotives of this general type and period is that they all seem to have the same dome-bell-dome arrangement atop the boiler rather than the bell-dome-dome arrangement I prefer and which seems to predominate with respect to locomotives of the Arcade & Attica Railroad. Even more impossible to find are bell-dome-dome-dome arrangements, ala No. 14 and No. 18. I wonder why that's so.

As far as 'kitbashing' goes, I'm afraid that type of thing is well beyond my scope of competence, so I must content myself with what's available as-is. Then I can paint, letter, number, and weather available products to my heart's content to make them look as nearly like the prototype as I'm able, in that respect.

Thanks, again!

  by jgallaway81
As to your question regarding dome positioning, its mainly a factor of statistics...

Only light branch & shortline engines would be equipped with double domes. And maybe yard goats. Anything that would expect a turntable or wye would only be equipped with token sanding for reverse.

Shortlines like the A&A would order/select their engines knowing that they needed to be able to pull as much in reverse as going forward.
  by Mountcastle
Well, you can't have everything, I suppose. Where would you put it?

I've gone to get paint and brushes and thinner and dry transfers for my transformation of a Western & Atlantic combine into a B, A. & A. combine; wish me luck.

After looking at the various shades of green that were available, including 'coach' green and 'Pullman green', I opted simply for 'dark green' which seemed a nicer shade than 'coach green'; the very dark 'Pullman green' just didn't seem right at all to me.

I also managed to find on Ebay an old late 19c. era 2-6-0 that resembles something one might have seen in the A&A yard in it's pre-WWII era. Painted in appropriate shades of gray with a proper weathering treatment, I think it will turn out to be a very passable A&A workhorse.

Why on earth I've even begun this project is entirely beyond me, but there it is.
  by Mountcastle
Well, a success, I think, with my Buffalo, Attica & Arcade combine, now complete.

I have to say, working with dry transfers quite so small as to fit on an HO scale passenger car's letterboard is a real pain in the...caboose. Crimony.

In the end, I decided to give the combine a very weathered treatment; a 'what if?' look, if you will, as in 'what if the railroad still had a B. A. & A. car in it's possession today and left it out in the yard to deteriorate, the way it does all of its other equipment?' I think what I've done with this combine represents a reasonable answer to that question.

In addition to painting, lettering and weathering the car, I've added a few Woodland Scenics HO scale persons as curious tourists milling about inside of it. And should I ever want to add the combine to an operating train, I've weighted it, as well.

It's fun to take something that starts out looking more or less like a toy and then go about transfoming it into a more or less realistic-looking miniature of a prototype; or, even if you're not precisely replicating a prototype, to draw inspiration from one. It's particularly satisfying, for me, to be able to recreate, in miniature, elements (and there are so many) of the Arcade & Attica RR (and of the other railroads that once existed on the line) that have, sadly, long since vanished, and thereby, in a certain sense, compel a ghost from the past to take on corporeal form, anew...only much, much smaller.

Next up: a 'What if they still had a Tonawanda Valley RR coach?' model, which I'm looking forward to. Finally, a 'What if they had kept one of the old locomotives instead of selling or scrapping them all?' engine or two.

I'll take pictures once I'm finished.
  by Mountcastle
Naturally. After paying $35 for a copy via Amazon, the book was bound to appear on Ebay for a pittance only days later. M&%#@ !&%#*R!