View Full Version : Are GG-1's still being made by Rivarossi?? How about FL-9's?

1st Feb 2005, 09:33 PM
Rivarossi went belly up a few years back. Taking with it Arnold and Lima. The assets are now owned/controlled by Hornby who is moving the production from Italy to China. No announcements of what will be produced. Hornby has no real USA sales channels nor experience with N-Scale.

So, finding a Rivarossi GG1 means locating unsold stock or going for a used piece.

2nd Feb 2005, 01:02 AM

If you're interested in electrics, a guy named "Father nature" manufactures shells for n scale elctrics that fit on n scale mechanisms. He shows one New haven model on his website, not an FL9 but an EP5. His website is http://www.Fathernaturetrees.com.

2nd Feb 2005, 01:12 AM

Thanks for that link...i found a couple things i need to have a better look at.! :?


2nd Feb 2005, 01:36 AM
You're welcome Siderod. I've never pruchased any of Father Nature's products mostly because I've never had a need although I was thinking of getting one of his Trainmaster shells and then Atlas came out with them. My impression is that his stuff takes a bit of work to look right, but for a lot of things he's the only game in town.

I'm toying with the idea of getting one of his electrics to go with my boxcab.

http://www.nscale.net/index.php?module=photoshare&func=viewimage&amp ;iid=1443&viewkey[/url]

2nd Feb 2005, 04:10 PM
There's one GG-1 on ebay right now.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=19120&item =5953826187&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW


6th Mar 2010, 12:05 AM
Rivarossi FL9s?

No such thing at

6th Mar 2010, 12:36 AM
This thread sure goes back a while!!!

I don't think anyone ever made an FL-9 in brass, either... I'm sure Mark (Spookshow) would have got wind of it. Would be nice but, it's so railroad specific, I doubt if there ever will be one. However, there are big boys and AC-12's, not to mention the up-coming Hiawatha 4-4-2, so..........???

landscaping wiz 808
6th Mar 2010, 01:01 AM
Oh man, I'd LOVE to have an FL-9...or three! Maybe someday. That would be a cool kitbash though...hmm. :D


6th Mar 2010, 01:05 AM
I would like two, both in New Haven paint, and a set of 7 modern Metro North Bombardier cars. Second only to the darn dual mode Gennies, I've inhaled the fumes of the FL9 many many many times and listened to the EMD chug-chug-chug as we left the Bronx for Yonkers. I rode in the cab of 2006 along the mid-Hudson valley one night.

Of course, #3 on the inhaled fume list is the MNR FP10...

BryanC (RIP)
6th Mar 2010, 08:51 AM
This thread sure goes back a while!!! ...I'll say, over five years! Wow! :surprised:

6th Mar 2010, 11:54 AM
I just noticed this thread somewhere, so I hoped that maybe there was a FL9 somewhere...oh well. I think that goes to the top of my list again. Rio Grande SD40T-2s from Intermountain were there but now that I've scratched that itch recently. I bet will wait impatiently and for a long time for a FL9...

In 5 more years, expect me to resurrect this thread again.

6th Mar 2010, 12:09 PM
In 5 more years, expect me to resurrect this thread again.

I hope so.... a good thread should never die! >:-}

I have often wondered if some clever soul could take a couple of FP shells, Atlas 4 and 6 wheel flexicoil trucks, and perhaps an Atlas mechanism and bash an FL-9. I think it's beyond my skills but, surely, there's someone out there who might try it someday, if not already!

BryanC (RIP)
6th Mar 2010, 12:16 PM
OK, for the ignorant, could someone please post a picture of an FL-9? You all have piqued my curiosity!

6th Mar 2010, 12:25 PM
.....the FL-9:


6th Mar 2010, 12:34 PM
Bryan, the FL-9 was designed for and sold only to the New Haven. It could run on diesel power until it reached New York where it switched to third rail electrification for running into the city which, apparently, prohibited anything but electric locos into Grand Central.

6th Mar 2010, 04:17 PM
Here's my page on the Metro North and CDOT ones. Oddballs with 2 axles up front and 3 in the back. I wonder what effect that would have with gearing the model too, based on what you can get commercially. They are all gone now. Sigh.



6th Mar 2010, 04:59 PM
Didnt they switch over to electric for ventilation reasons? The passengers and workers sucking in diesel fumes and steam had thick black smoke, which caused one of the worst rail disasters near the grand central i do believe. Thick black smoke caused the tunnel to just be completely black, and one train ran the signal and BOOOOM! hit another. I do believe thats why they went electric. Ill look and find out!

Folklore among railfans and New York City buffs is that the operation of steam and diesel railroad engines is prohibited in Manhattan. The law regarding Grand Central Terminal and steam locomotives is Chapter 425 of the 1903 legislative session, laws of New York State, titled "An Act to provide for further regulation of the terminals and approaches thereto of the New York and Harlem railroad at and north of Forty-second street in the city of New York. . .". This law was passed and effective May 7, 1903.

Its not a "GCT Rule", its a New York State law. For whatever reason (maybe because "them" (the RR) is now "us" (a city/state agency) the enforcement is now gone, since paying fines from one packet to the other is not useful). The original law was made as regards STEAM engines, which are a LOT worse than an FL9.... (yes, the law COULD be applied to diesels, and was). The restriction is not third rail related, but rather tunnel related.

The law generally provides the powers needed to close and regrade public streets, condemn property, and so on, to make possible the construction of Grand Central Terminal.

Section 3 requires plans for the reconstruction to be submitted within 30 days of the Act (i.e. by June 6, 1903) to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of the city of New York. This board was until recently the legislative body of the city.

Section 4 states that, beginning 5 years after approval of the plans (i.e. by about June 1908 or slightly later), "it shall not be lawful, except only in case of necessity, arising from the temporary failure of such other motive power as may be lawfully adopted, for any railroad corporation to operate trains by steam locomotives in Park avenue in the city of New York south of the Harlem river. If trains shall be operated by steam locomotives in said Park avenue south of the Harlem river for a period of more than three days, the railroad corporation operating such trains shall pay to the city of New York a penalty of five hundred dollars for every day or part of day during which such trains are so operated, unless the mayor of the city of New York shall certify to the necessity for the use of steam locomotives arising from the temporary failure of other motive power." It goes on to detail how the mayor certifies the necessity and how the mayor may revoke the certificate at will.

It then states that the New York and Harlem Railroad, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, and any successor companies using the railroad in Park Avenue, "are hereby authorized to run their trains by electricity, or by compressed air, or by any motive power other than steam and which does not involve combustion in the motors themselves, through the tunnel and over the improvements." The "improvements" refers to the terminal itself and the Park Avenue viaduct.

This law is still effective. The use of any internal combustion engines is clearly outlawed by the last section quoted, so operation of any diesel engines is a violation except in emergencies. The only penalty, however, is $500 dollars a day payable to the city, which, while effective for a for-profit railroad, makes little sense when government agencies are paying the railroad to operate. If that were taken from management personally, it might be different!

Note that the law does not limit steam operation in any other tunnels, and that it is not limited to the Park Avenue tunnel but also applies to the elevated viaduct from the portal at 97th St up to the Harlem River. Its application is not to tunnels as such but to the Grand Central Terminal approach on Manhattan Island.

Nothing here prohibits operation of steam and diesel engines elsewhere in Manhattan. Many railroads operated tracks from their piers to nearby yards along the waterfront using steam and diesel engines until the end of such service in 1975. The New York Central's West Side Freight Line was not electrified until the 1930's. Penn Station (opened 1910) and tunnels has always been electrically operated, but for practical reasons rather than legal requirements.

Some of the questions I have received on the New York City West Side line are:
(1) is the line electrified?
Yes and no

(2) If so, was it always,
Always is a long time. Steam ruled there, once.
Around 1930 or so, the New York Central added third rail
electrification, though not required to by law. (as not
being a tunnel). The bottom tip, having street running, was
steam dummy, then boxcab diesel. It was "derailed", then
"abandoned" in the late 70s.

(3) Was catenary added for the Amtrak connection?
Catenary extends just up out of Penn Station, for a block or
so but not all the way up to the bridge. The third rail also
extends out and would allow proforma compliance with local
law. Catenary is a bit of a puzzle, unless for rescue


also found this link;


in other news..Overland had an N scale FL9 slated to be made... http://www.blwnscale.com/Overland%20Models%20FL-9's.htm Sadly, they scrapped the idea in late 2008. Sorry guys!

landscaping wiz 808
6th Mar 2010, 05:36 PM
As far as the wheelbase/frame an old Atlas C-liner might be a good base for a kitbash. The sideframes would have to be changed or modified as well as the fuel tank area.

http://www.visi.com/~spookshow/fmc.html (http://www.visi.com/%7Espookshow/fmc.html)

A F7 or FP7 would be a good base for the shell. I think it'd be cool to see one of these pulling a commuter train into someone's station on their layout. Now, who's going to do it? >:-}


6th Mar 2010, 06:28 PM
Good thinking but that model is way way old. Many of that generation are on their last legs electrically.

Even Spook says :"Frankly, this is a pretty terrible locomotive. Pickup comes solely from the rear truck, while propulsion is limited to the forward truck. The motor is a cheap 3-pole job. Current is ferried around via wires. And, well, basically it sucks. It's fairly loud, it looks and sounds like a toy, pick-up is iffy, the traction tires on two of the four driving wheels make for a very wobbly ride, and despite the giganto-huge chassis, it's really not much of a puller. Yeah, it can make it around my layout without tripping over itself, so no "D" or "F" here. But honestly, it's a pretty crappy locomotive."

We'd likely have to remotor, rewire it etc...and that doesn't look like a easy frame to work with. Hmmmmm....

landscaping wiz 808
3rd Apr 2010, 10:05 PM
I'm dragging this thread out of retirement...AGAIN!!! >:-} Question for some of you New Haven guys: Suppose someone got a great deal on an Atlas C-Liner on the 'bay, what would be the best F-unit shell to use if one were to try this conversion? Right now Kato has F3 & F7 shells available. I don't know if Model Power sells the FP7 by itself, I'll have to check. Does anyone know where I can find a drawing w/ measurements of the FL-9? I have plenty of pictures so I should be ok there.

Any help is very much appreciated!


3rd Apr 2010, 10:19 PM
More importantly, you should measure the distances of the model's frames.

3rd Apr 2010, 10:58 PM

There are several drawings on this page that may be of help.... unfortunately, no measurements.


However, if you want to do a little math work, you can probably come up with some fairly accurate measurements using thes known measurements:

The two axle flexicoil truck used on the front had a wheel base of 108 inches, slightly longer than the more common 96 inch version.

The three axle truck used on the FL-9 was a modified flexicoil truck, had a wheel base of 163 inches, and was actually an A-1-A truck.

Approximating the measurements can be done.... I scratch-built an acceptable Schnabel car from a nice drawing and basically used the wheel bases of the trucks to get my measurements.

The "Second Diesel Spotters Guide" says the FP-9 was 4 feet longer than the F-9. Just looking at photos, my guess is the FL-9 is a little longer than that. I'll peruse my few NH books and see what I can come up with.

Good luck.

3rd Apr 2010, 11:11 PM
Curiously enough, the last post here:

claims that FL9 didn't have frame but were built on trusses. I know who "Dutchrailnut" is, he is a long time engineer on Metro-North, and so would know.

Of course it doesn't answer how long a FL9 is. I think, for modeling purposes, it is whatever we can make fit.

3rd Apr 2010, 11:40 PM
The FL-9 appears to share the same constuction methods as the preceeding F-units in that the entire body was load sharing. Structurally, the locomotive was a carbody unit with the body as the main load-bearing structure, of a bridge-truss like design, and covered with cosmetic panels. When the ATSF built their CF-7s, they had to build a supporting frame under them to take the place of the trusses. If you look at a "chicken wire" F-3, you can easily see these trusses. I still have not found a measurement! :-(

4th Apr 2010, 12:02 AM
Ah here we go:
"FL9s were 4 feet longer than the FP7 and 8 feet longer than the standard F."


4th Apr 2010, 12:07 AM
I knew it looked a little longer than an FP-7/9 but, four more feet is significant. I'm thinking it might be easier to start with an E-8 shell.

4th Apr 2010, 12:18 AM
Took a look at a side view I shot of MNR 2031. I dunno, a E8 would seem long but maybe if you could splice a F7 front half with the E back half? And get the trucks right? Short fuel tanks too...wow, quite a challenge!

4th Apr 2010, 12:33 AM
I only suggested an E-8 so that there could be enough cutting material in one shell. Basically the nose is the same on the E-8 as on the F's. Whatever he uses for a starting point, there's going to be an awful lot of cutting and splicing to get an accurate look. This project would in all likelihood require several shells. However, Bob has shown he has the talent, patience, intestinal fortitude, and perseverance to tackle this kind of job so, I look forward to his efforts. :D

Jimmi (RIP)
4th Apr 2010, 02:08 AM
Here's a link that gives some basic dimensions:

landscaping wiz 808
4th Apr 2010, 08:32 PM
WOW!!! :eek: Thanks for all the great information guys! Once the C-Liner gets here I'll measure it to see how close or far it's wheelbase/frame measurements are to the FL-9. I might ditch the C-liner idea altogether and get one of the old Life-Like plastic frame E8s as a base for this project. That way I could disconnect the front truck, cut the frame to length and install an EMD 2 axle truck (LL, Atlas or Kato) at the appropriate location in front. I'd probably just use the rear truck for drive, but would utilize the front truck for electrical pick-up. I agree with you absnut that a cut down E8 shell will be the best option for the car body, besides, if I go the Life-Like route I'll already have one on hand! :D What do you guys think about this plan?

Thanks again for all the great input! That's why this site is so great, everybody helps out and there's always a TON of information available.


4th Apr 2010, 09:14 PM
I think you'll end up using the E8 frame and shell. I dunno how easy it will be to mesh gears with a two axle truck. Maybe a Life Like truck from the same era would work best. I am not sure how strong the frame will be after cutting and splicing too. And finally there is the issue of drive train length to match the new frame length.

OK, so that's three major issues. I am all in for supplying help and parts for this project though.

4th Apr 2010, 09:52 PM
I have been giving thought to powering it, too. In a similar train of thought (pun intended), I once tried to take the Atlas C-liner shell and power it with a bash of a LL Pa-1 and LL FA-2 (old ones) frames and motor. I hade real difficulties trying to bash the two frames halves together and would have had trucks movinf at different speeds to boot. I eventually gave up and, using two LL dummies (PA and FB) bashed a somewhat better dummy CPA24-5. If I had, stuck to it, maybe I could have succeeded. But, I didn't....

However, I am wondering if a LL SD-7/9 (plastic frame) and a LL F-7 (plastic frame) might be a good place to start. The SD=7 has "close enough" flexicoil trucks and would work for the rear one. The F-7 has the normal Blomberg type for an F. While most of the FL-9's had modified flexicoil two-axle lead trucks, the very first FL-9 did not but, rather, had an LFM truck, whatever that was. Perhaps it looked like a Blomberg or, maybe, an AAR or C-liner truck. More research required but, both of those are available, too. Adding the proper third rail pickup equipment should be no problem for you.

4th Apr 2010, 10:08 PM
One advantage of the LL SD7/9 is that it is a really good runner. I dunno about the LL F7s but the Spook thinks it runs pretty well. The mechanisms are pretty different, despite being only 6 years apart (1996 versus 1990) but may have some way to link the mechanisms. Another idea would be to see if the gears could be switched out. Both should be fairly inexpensive as no one values LifeLike, despite 90s switch to decent production

4th Apr 2010, 10:20 PM
I agree.... both of those units were decent runners. The F-7 was a little chunky and seemed over-sized but it ran whisper quiet and good slow speed, like the SD-7. I wish I still had them to make the frames comparison but, I either sold or gave them away several years ago. But, as stated above, they can both be had rather cheaply at shows and on the bay.

Gee whiz, Bob..... NH2006 and I are going to have this all planned out for you if you wait long enough! LOL>:-}

Edit: Actually, the trucks on the LL F-40 look better.... same type of mechanism.

4th Apr 2010, 10:27 PM
Gee whiz, Bob..... NH2006 and I are going to have this all planned out for you if you wait long enough! LOL>:-}

I am 100% in on this project. If there is any way we could figure out how to do it, it would be awesome.

My NScale.net nickname is from the only cabride I ever got (in "New Haven" CDOT FL9 2006) you can be darn sure I want to see one work.

landscaping wiz 808
6th Apr 2010, 12:36 AM
Thanks again guys! I think you're right about the Life-Like SD7/9 as apposed to the E8, the SD's trucks match the rear on the FL-9 much better. Instead of the LL F7 or F40 I'm leaning more toward one of Life-Likes GP18/20s to supply the front truck. The sideframe doesn't match the FL frame exactly, but with light modification (remove the center leaf spring, add 3rd rail pick-up, etc.) it would be hard to tell. If I can get one of the plastic framed version of each of these locos I think the frame would splice together fairly easily. Since they were released around the same time I may get lucky in that they could be geared the same.


I still plan on using an E8 shell, they're currently available from Kato.

Dick, those New Haven FM units look terrific! One of the things I'm most worried about is applying the McGinnis (sp?) scheme! :eek: Keep that feedback coming guys, with enough heads in the game we'll figure it out! :D


6th Apr 2010, 01:02 AM
Yah, McGinnis isn't going to be easy, but it is *mostly* a series of tape jobs.

What we need is one of each of the Lifelike models to take apart and look at the gearing.

landscaping wiz 808
6th Apr 2010, 11:49 PM
Yah, McGinnis isn't going to be easy, but it is *mostly* a series of tape jobs.

What we need is one of each of the Lifelike models to take apart and look at the gearing.

Alright, I found one of each on ebay that are priced right so I think I'm going to give this conversion a shot. :D I'll start a new thread for it whenever I get to it. (currently behind a K4 shell swap and MP54 M.U. car set)

Thanks again for all the great info!