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South Jersey S Scale Modelers

Conrail GP30 2233


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E M Bell Photo


 This is a Greenbrier Models GP30 #1000 with dynamic brakes imported in 1997 and sold exclusively by Bills Train Shop (BTS) Other projects were discussed later but this is the only S Scale piece made by Greenbrier Models. I also previously have a PRR version and High Hood Southern version. Then in summer 2022 my GP30 obsession hit big time. A number of GP30 came up for sale on eBay and collection liquidation sales. I decided to make a group of 4) GP30 that still exist as already restored or are planned to be restored. The advantage to this is you may be able to take your own research photos or there will likely be a lot of easily found internet photos. Also you can run the loco in era correct trains or current day excursion service. The GP30 I chose are, B&O 6944 at the B&O Museum in Baltimore, B&O Chessie 6955 at the Cincinnati Scenic Railway, Conrail 2233 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, and Reading 5513 at the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society Museum.


B&O 6944 was completed first on 1-26-23. Conrail 2233 was completed next. Chessie 6955 was completed 10-29-23. Reading 5513 has not been started yet.



These are my photos taken 3-31-19.

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As previously mentioned this is the correct version with dynamic brakes. B&O 6944 is “sort of” correct with the dynamic brake fan only that I added.

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This loco was going to be B&O Chessie 6955 but I did not like the Scalecoat Chessie Blue I painted the frame, fuel tank and sideframes. That is when I bought 2 more GP30 to allow me to strip the Chessie Blue and paint it black to become Conrail.

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Ready For Paint

For the electrical and mechanical upgrades I do to the GP30 as well as how to add headlights to the low hood version that is all here on the B&O 6944 page. Adding headlights to a low hood GP30 is a significant job. I did not repeat myself here.


I added a few details like a MU receptacle on the deck right above the pilot, and the “Conrail” signal equipment box in front of the engineer. It was nothing too elaborate.


For the first time I partially cut off the pilot footboards that would have been gone by the time it was painted Conrail Blue. Unlike the real 2233 I did leave the air hose boxes in place because I like them but also the casting did not allow for it to be cut to be completely flush. I do not always feel the need to replicate every minute detail in my projects. Other GP30 were modified this was and were still painted Conrail Blue. Good enough….

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Battle Of The Conrail Blue Paint

At the time of this writing (2-18-23) Scalecoat paint which by far is my favorite paint very quietly closed and all but vanished. I hope it reopens again soon. Everything I have ever painted Conrail Blue was with Scalecoat. I have older and partially used bottles of Scalecoat Conrail Blue but the results are usually not as good. Tru Color is very available to me at Yankee Dabbler 4 miles away so I got 2 bottles. It went on extremely well - a perfect paint job. But it was too light blue for me. I held it next to all the other Conrail models. It was too different to be in an acceptable color range so after 1 day I stripped it. The Tru Color paint literally dissolves into nothing in my lacquer thinner. The Scalecoat is darker but turned out to be a glossier finish which since I am gloss coating is better for decaling and the final gloss finish. This is Scalecoat that turned out pretty well for an opened bottle.

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I would call this my version of Conrail 2233. It is not perfect to any Conrail GP30. As I was finishing the decals I noticed I could have and should have removed the cab arm rests. Oh well I did not notice that earlier. My current mood is “get it done” - don’t wallow in the minutia. This is 3 brass GP completed this by mid February while fiddling with various other things in between.


Completed 2-19-23

When decaling 2233 I was looking at various photos I found to see that there is some variation in lettering placement. Further, I learned of the story of painting the real 2233 for Conrail. Since most of the other locos at RRMPA are PRR most wanted the GP30 to be repainted for PRR. The bases for the TrainPhone antenna stanchions are still in place, so making it a full on PRR restoration with the TrainPhone recreated would have been great. But the Conrail scheme was chosen to better represent the all railroads that ran in Pennsylvania. The former PRR and Conrail locomotive shops in Altoona PA, then operating as Norfolk Southern was doing contract locomotive paint jobs for various restorations. The lettering in some places on 2233 is too small and not in the correct placement. Norfolk Southern and RRMPA had a bit of a standoff for a while but the loco was eventually accepted as is and was not repainted.  So I could not use the real 2233 as a guide for my decaling!


My decals were made by Circus City which I highly recommend. Matt will make exactly what you want and is very easy to work with. The printing quality is opaque, sharp and does not color shift when applied.


I am calling this completed but somehow missed a HUGE detail that the steps and pilot are black. I hate masking. The pilot is a very difficult area to mask. I just might brush paint it - but for now this is done.

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Updated 2-19-23

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