The Geologically Improbable Railroad

Equipment Roster

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The GIRR relies on the Santa Fe to provide most of the motive power. Equipment that was supplied with different road names has been repainted and relettered to Santa Fe.

Much of the rolling stock is lettered for the Santa Fe also, although there is quite a collection of foreign road stock as well. The GIRR purchases much of its equipment second hand but most was originally manufactured by AristoCraft with a fair number of cars from Bachmann, USA Trains and MDC. LGB has provided only the cars from an industrial starter set and one 2 bay hopper.

Motive Power

new pacificDuring October 2008, an upgraded Aristo Pacific was delivered to the GIRR. It got DCC immediately and now does what I had hoped that the original one would do. Read more about it at New Aristo Pacific Tips.

gp-9An addition to the GIRR motive power roster is a USA Trains GP-9. Read more about it at GP-7/9 Tips. It's got DCC and sound.

FA-1An ABA set of Alco FA-1 units is assigned to heavy freight service. Two of these are early production units which have been tuned up and provide excellent service. This locomotive set will pull 45 cars on the 1.6% ruling grade of the GIRR. They would pull more, but the trains straighten in the curves. Use these links to find information on Tuning and Lubricating Aristo Diesels or FA Tips. One of these locos has been lowered, converted to battery power and has DCC as a multimode loco. The other two have been converted to DCC. The two oldest ones use MRC AD322 DCC decoders with sound, but there is no speaker in the B unit. The "newer" (black box) FA has a Digitrax DG583S and a Dallee sound system.

Warbonnet FA-1An FA/FB Warbonnet set has been added to the roster to pull a set of streamliners. As described in FA Tips, these engines have been modified to reduce the unit spacing so that the diaphragms nearly touch. These two units are also early production units and work fine after a tuneup. Both have been converted to DCC and have been lowered to match the lowered streamliner set. The FA unit also has Sierra sound.

Aristo PacificAn Aristo fast Pacific is dedicated to passenger service pulling a string of four Aristo Heavyweight passenger cars. The Pacific Tips Page contains some information you might want to see if you own or are considering buying an older Aristo Pacific. The Pacific has also been converted to DCC and has PH Hobbies sound.

Lionel AtlanticA Lionel Atlantic is by far the most heavily modified engine on the GIRR. Even though this kind of engine rarely pulled freight in 1:1 scale service, on the GIRR, it pulls whatever consist fits the chief engineer's fancy. The most common consist is a local passenger and mail consist consisting of an RPO and a Standard Heavyweight coach. The Atlantic has been converted to DCC. It also has a PH Hobbies sound system.

Aristo RS-3An Aristo RS-3 provides much of the day to day way freight service. A second RS-3 has also been added to the roster. Both have been converted to DCC. One RS3 has a PH Hobbies diesel sound system, the other has an older Dallee sound system.

Aristo 0-4-0An Aristo 0-4-0 works as a yard goat and does some industrial switching on the shorter sidings. This loco has also been converted to DCC and has an older Dallee steam sound system.

Bachmann ShayA Bachmann Shay is completely out of character and time for this mid-20th century railroad. It is also completely out of scale as most of the equipment is either 1:29 or 1:32 scale. The Shay is 1:20.3 scale and therefore 50% too big but it runs so damn well that it is used for a lot of switching service. The loco has been converted to DCC and has a Sierra steam sound system.

Since the couplers are truck mounted in a completely un-prototypical fashion, the engine works well in switching service in tight places as the couplers tend to line up and couple on curves.

weathered LGB industrial switcherMy lone LGB engine is an LGB 2060 which is a holdover from a starter set. Its seen hard service as a yard goat but most often it pulls the Aristo Track Cleaning Car. This loco has recently been converted to battery power.

center cab industrial switcherAn AristoCraft Center Cab industrial switcher has appeared on the property. This engine is usually used for making up trains, but it has been seen on the main heading up a freight to two. Even though it ran well on track power, it got converted to battery power as an experiment with the newer 75 MHz TE equipment and then got a DCC decoder and Dallee sound system too. IT will run on DCC, DC (with the decoder analog converted), radio control with DCC or DC on the track for power or straight up battery/RC. The Dallee sound system works in all modes.

bachmann climaxA Bachmann Climax was originally intended to run on the GIRR Mountain Division, but it got a DCC conversion so that it now runs on the GIRR, usually doubleheaded with a DCC converted Shay. The Climax also has a Sierra steam sound system.

aristo doodlebugOn light traffic days, an Aristo Doodlebug handles the passenger requirements of the GIRR. The Doodlebug has also been converted to DCC and has a Phoenix P5 sound system.

sd45The SD45 has been added for heavy drags. This loco has been converted to DCC and Sierra Soundraxx sound.

RDCAn RDC has appeared for local passenger traffic to augument the Doodlebug. It also has DCC and a Dallee sound system.

ThomasAn Thomas The Tank Engine also appeared long ago when I had little kids. Thomas was never a very good runner on track power, it's brass wheels would crud up too quickly so it got converted to battery/RC control. I added an old Bachmann analog sound system as well.

Big HaulerAn Bachmann Big Hauler is also on the roster. Actually, this engine belongs to one of my sons but he's lost interest in trains. This Pennsy version is pretty much box stock except for the DCC converstion.

../tips/tips11/090606_girr_usat_speeder_7159.jpgA USAT Speeder followed me home from the 2009 Big Train Show. It got converted to DCC almost immediately. This one has no sound.... yet.

../tips/tips10/081225_girr_davenport_6086.jpgA Bachmann Davenport is also on the roster now. This one has also been converted to DCC with an ESU LokSound decoder.

../tips/tips11/100506_girr_bachmann_handcar_brand_new_8591.jpgA Bachmann Handcar is also on the roster now. DCC conversion is pending acquisition of a suitable N scale decoder, an HO decoder did not fit.

Rolling Stock

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© 1997-2010 George Schreyer
Last Updated May 10, 2010