To paraphrase Vane Jones, "Knowledge is of little value until shared with others."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Tale of Two Fives

In 1946 the Aurora Elgin & Fox River Electric Company pulled down the trolley wire and dieselized. The Elgin State Hospital and the Kerber Packing Company were customers of the electric line and still required railroad service.

A General Electric 45-ton diesel locomotive was purchased to serve these remaining freight customers. The locomotive was numbered No. 5. A diamond shaped logo was painted on the side of the locomotive along with the railway's name and the locomotive's roster number.

Over the years small diesel locomotives were made and imported in brass for the O scale market. There were 44-ton and 70-ton models. Then, a few years ago Rich Yoder imported a 45-ton model in brass.

This was it! Rich Yoder had made and imported other freight cars which I owned. They are extremely fine models for the cost. The new 45-ton locomotive was also a star! It runs well plus the detail is all there.

This is the model, when just like the AEFRE, my trolley wire comes down, and a small layout with a few freight cars can be made to keep me occupied.
My model is painted and lettered for the 1946 era.
No. 5 pulling one of Rich Yoder's High Walkway Tank Car and a pink Chateau Martin express car.
Don Bruno also purchased a 45-ton model. He wanted his painted and lettered for the time when the AEFRE stopped freight service and became a Trolley museum.
No. 5 is pulling a Rich Yoder Mathieson Dry Ice Car.

Some comments about the 2 models are warranted. The decal used on the 1946 version of No. 5 was available from Walthers in both HO and O scale.  Years ago Walthers had many interurban decals available. Some were small runs. The small run decals were packaged with hand-written labels while others were packaged in typed labels.

For the newer era No. 5 Paul Mayer of Shore Line Decals made the decals. A link to  Shore Line Decals appears at the bottom of this page.

Paul has a drawing of the 1946 era AEFRE decals and potentially can make these decals upon request. I believe Paul can make both of the diesel era AEFRE decals in HO scale also.

If you scrutinize the under bodies of both No. 5's you may notice they do not match. In assembling the models, one has the under body reversed. 

The models run smooth and without any problems when operated straight out of the box. However, they ran faster than the prototype. For this reason I wired the 2 can motors in the hoods in series. Now both models run smoothly and slow! 

Both models have 2 horns, one on each hood. The prototype probably has only 1 horn. For the O scale models, HO scale horns were used. On the prototype the horns are small!

Finally for Don's model, the newer era, I had problems painting the louvers in the ends of the hoods in the alternating black and orange. Don instructed me to paint the louvers all black.

To give you an idea of Rich Yoder's attention to detail here is the interior floor with the operator's controls and seat. There is only 1 operator position next to the side window of the cab even though the locomotive can be operated in both directions and where the operator may have to move from one side of the cab to another to see the trainmen on the ground assisting in the operation.

Here is the operator "glued" in his seat using a generic "DAP Kwik Seal" adhesive. The adhesive is white now but will cure to a clear which is hard to see.

Rich Yoder has sold out of the O scale 45-ton locomotive. They will show up on EBay or train meets.

If you desire to see the actual prototype No. 5, visit the Fox Valley Trolley Museum  . After enjoying your visit and perhaps a ride you can become a member.



  1. Thanks for the tip on where to get the decals.

  2. Also, if you would be so kind, what orange did you use for 5? Some folks have an eye for color, mine is not so great..... I'm doing number 5 in HO. Shoreline decals has my HO decals, thank you for this post.

    Ben Rohling

  3. Ben, if using model paints, you cannot go wrong by using a refer (refrigerator) orange for almost any trolley related model. If you do not desire to use model paints, a medium orange in either Krylon or Rust-Oleum spray paints will also work.

    Cheers, Ed

  4. Replies
    1. You're welcome! Within the past couple the tints used to color almost all paints have changed. The newer orange is just unbelievable and chokingly, if there is such a word, bad!

      I've switched to True Color paint which still has a refrigerator orange which is a medium orange.