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South Jersey S Scale Modelers

Norfolk Southern 5235


And now for something completely different for me modeling MODERN, and for the first time ever modeling a loco that is currently running, on the Conrail roster out of Camden NJ. My last “modern” modeling was my Conrail SD40-2 in 1990.


The below photos were taken on 6-29-19 in Paulsboro NJ. What a novel concept it is to be able to take your own research photos especially close to home. Also I have done LOTS of “modern” buying and modeling since starting this project page.


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On 2-9-23, 5235 was parked in Conway yard near Pittsburgh. I do not know if it is running now or not.


My friend John Peters Jr. is running 5235 remotely in Camden NJ.  Note the belt control box. He is the engineer and also uncouples the cars for switching.

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This loco was also bought at the Ted Mauer auction on 6-22-19 with my Norfolk Southern B32-8 and Southern SD40-2 from the collection of the late Dave Bailey. I have recently become slightly obsessed with second generation High Hood diesels, which is very far off track from my main PRR, PRSL and Reading modeling interests.


This loco is Overland/Ajin model 1755 released in 1984. Only 15 were made making it a rather rare model. My choice to make this Norfolk Southern instead of Norfolk & Western was really tough. I like N&W as well. I have a custom high hood GP35 I am making Norfolk & Western.


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This plate should be in the long hood, not where it is here on the deck. Do we have classic the cold Overland solder joints, OR, NO Solder? In this case BOTH!!!  I spent an hour going around the handrail stanchions soldering them back for reinforcing. No Overland GP38-2 or SD40-2 I have ever handled had all the handrails well attached. They all needed repair or better soldering.  I got rid of the rubber tubing motor coupling and installed NWSL cups and a custom brass dogbone shaft.


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Added 4-18-24

This loco suffered great procrastination waiting for almost 5 years for some info for making the size of the remote control equipment shelf on the cab that I never got. I still changed my mind many times about making this as Southern, Norfolk & Western or Norfolk Southern. Since getting this loco I recently got another high hood GP38-2 that was already painted for Southern so that made the decision easy to keep this as Norfolk Southern 5235 but before the remote equipment was added. That would have been a great detail to have but I want to get this loco done.


On 2-4-02 before the remote equipment was added. Location unknown.



This is what a bare brass loco looks like after sitting for 5 years. A quick trip through the blast booth removes the tarnish. I forgot I stopped just short of it being truly ready for paint. There are no horns or bell and a few other small things yet that have to be added here.


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Added 5-27-24

I found a sealed 13 year old bottle of Scalecoat black and said “IT’S TIME” to get this thing painted. I had thoughts of getting the MU details made including the prominent red MU cable. Maybe for another loco but not now – get this thing done. I used ShellScale decals for the first time I bought 5 years ago. They turned out really well and fit perfectly. Even the 13 year old bottle of Scalecoat went on well.


I had everything painted but decided to strip the hoods and remove grab irons that were right in the middle of the end decals. There was NO WAY I was going to get the end decals on with the grab irons in place. Also the marker lights had to be filled in. It was the correct decision.

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All painted again on 5-25-24.

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Completed 6-1-24

At almost exactly 5 years after purchase I am calling it DONE. This is not the best example of a Norfolk Southern GP38-2. There is about 60 hours involved to get this loco done including a few days just to get it running. Other scales have that luxury right out of the box.


I had big plans for this loco adding lots of details but in the end I scaled it back. I will be 62 soon so I am starting to feel the pressure of remaining time left. It is all black so details are tougher to see. I probably should have added a firecracker antenna but they are fragile and easily broken off.


This is my first Norfolk Southern paint job. It went pretty well. There were a lot of smaller decals I was not sure what they were so I left them off – again in the name of getting it done.


This is likely my best running GP38-2. I wished I knew why this one runs so well. I do the same thing to all of them.







Some High Hood Love



Revised 6-1-24

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