Allen Keller asks Jim Providenza in this video what kind of locomotives he uses on his Santa Cruz Northern model railroad and if he modifies them at all. His diesels are modified either to match specific locomotive like the Western Pacific, or detailed, painted and weathered to match a specific locomotive in a specific timeframe. This has improved his freelance Santa Cruz Northern locomotives since he has researched the different locomotives and can apply that to the Santa Cruz Northern. All the cars on the layout at this point have cut levers and all new brake wheels. Changing out the entire fleet with the brake wheels took him about a month. The locomotives are all detailed up to a certain level and he hopes to continue specific types of cars like the cement fleet and refrigerator fleet which have a lot more work to be done.
Next Jim shows cars that he currently has on the Santa Cruz Northern, a fleet of about 30 cars. He shows the original model die casting kit. There are a number of things that can be done to a car so that it will end up like what he has on the right. The biggest problem with the original die casting cars are the oversized hand holds and grab irons. They are also missing support brackets on the inside, or a solid sheet depending on the manufacturer of the car. He has developed a number of techniques over the years when dealing with a large number of cars to do things efficiently. He goes on to demonstrate his technique. For more videos on rolling stock, or to learn some weathering techniques for rolling stock, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.