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Modelling the Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac

McKeever's Models

I have long been interested in the RF&P. My first attempts were in 1987, but I was well too young to persue it as I do now. I actively began to model the RF&P in HO scale in 1993. It was easy, as I didn't have to supply the layout, being a member of the Penn State Model Railroad Club. It started by painting two modern RF&P diesels, GP-40 #123 and GP-40-2 #147 in late 1993.

In 1994, I aquired the IHC/Rivarossi smoothside passenger cars painted for the RF&P, as well as the matching E8 diesels. 1994 also brought the painting of GP-40-2 #144 and SW-1500 #91, as well as the purchase of a brass caboose made by Overland Models/J.P. Models, a 1950s era car.

While at home during the summer of 1994, I was busy photographing around Alexandria on the former RF&P mainline, catching what was left of the former blue and gray.

In 1995, I created the beginnings of these RF&P pages, with them jumping from site to site before finding this permanent home in May of 1997.

1996 was largely dead, with the major projects being to add details to my existing models. During the summer, I obtained the parts to construct two ex-Southern high-hood diesels. Unfortunately, these are still raw parts, as the 1996-1997 school year left no time for much modelling.

1997 found increased interest in Rail Photography, and once again, in restoring the RF&P web pages I had lost in August 1996. These pages have already surpassed the old ones, and are rapidly becoming a useful resource to railfans and modelers alike.

I will probably sell my previous efforts (123, 144, 147) once I start some more. There is much in the world of modelling that I have learned over the last few years, and there are several details I would like on my existing painted locos, but there are just too many to bother ruining the nice paint jobs.

If nothing else, I need to find the two horns forward for the long hoods of 123, 144 & 147, as well as the OMI 9007 horn used on the cab of 144 for the other two. Also, I have yet to put the train control equipment on 144 & 147 (Is on 123 & 91), and to enclose the Athearn pilot around the coupler pockets.

Looking to acquire a few Athearn GP35 powered chassis san shells. (RPP makes the non-dynamic GP35 shell, but athearn's brake is molded on, unlike the 38 & 40.)

Summer of 1997 found the acquisition of OMI's recent release of wide-vision RF&P cabooses 901-903, painted in blue. It looks sweet.

In December of 1997, I acquired an older Atlas attempt at RF&P GP40 #125. The gray's about the only good thing on this Atlas-- the blue is more like Rock Island blue, and the darn thing has a dynamic brake. Time to write them...

I bought one of the Proto 2000 E8As from the first run, then 3 of the GP7s when they came out, to renumber the 2nd 104 into a 101, but now I think I will have it repainted into the late 70s scheme with the white frame stripes, to match 2 GP40-2s and a 91 painted for that era that I acquired in 2001.

I spent most of 2000 and 2001 converting my original power to DCC, and buying the base system for Digitrax, the same system that the Prince William Club uses on their modular layout.

In 2002, Atlas atoned for their error of the earlier run, and did the RF&P GP40s with non-dynamic in both HO and N. All told I bought 6 of them, 3 #124s, one #122, and 2 unnumbered. I still have not renumbered the unnumbered ones, but they are addressed as odd numbers, to be 121 and 127. I plan to at least renumber, and perhaps even repaint to an earlier scheme, the extra two #124s.

2003 saw me get my first steam, when Bachmann Spectrum decided to do a 4-8-2, the 517. Had to get sound with it, and it was well worth it. 2003 also saw Proto 2000's run doing E8A/B combos, and I picked up one pair (didn't order in time to get both). Another aquisition was a pair of GP40-2s and an SW1500 painted in the late scheme with the gold herald, and a custom painted Kato GP35 as #131.

2004 saw me break down and buy one of Overland's 1999-2000 statesman run, factory painted for the 617, the John Marshall. I came to the conclusion that I could not have just one steam engine for an operating session. And it was a hell of a deal. It looks marvelous, and runs well. Now the fun part of trying to figure out how to convert it to DCC...

The manufacturers leave no rest for the weary, having already placed my orders for Atlas' S2 run, Intermountian's boxcar run, and Walthers bulkhead flat run. I've learned the hard way that you have to order when they announce, or you might not get them!

I've often considered forming a historical society dedicated to the RF&P, These pages are a contribution toward that end.

Thanks for visiting the RF&P pages. Hope you enjoyed your stay!


GP40-2 #144
SW1500 #91
GP40 #123
GP40-2 #147
Ashland Station
GP40 #126
SW1500 #4
slug S-1
GP35 #133
GP35 #138
GP35 #136


The first mock-up of the Ashland station is now done, as this photo shows. A card-board mock up to scale, with wall sections with window/door holes cut, is in the works.

Thanks to Herb Insley for his assistance-- the scale drawings were done by him, and published in the January 1970 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.

This is the dry run for the Alexandria station, which is next :)

Motive Power
Base Models/Detail parts used

Note: #s 144, 123, 91, 147 and 126 now have their own pages.

RF&P SW1500 #4 HO On the drawing board
Maker What Model # Scale Price
Athearn SW1500 undecorated shell HO $6
Overland Models, Inc.
RR 12, Box 445
Muncie, IN 47302
Drive system for Athearn SW1000/SW1500 with AAR trucks 5356 HO $75

RF&P slug S-1 HO On the drawing board
Maker What Model # Scale Price
Overland Models, Inc.
RR 12, Box 445
Muncie, IN 47302
Drive system for Athearn SW1000/SW1500 with AAR trucks 5356 HO $75

RF&P GP35 #133 HO On the drawing board
Maker What Model # Scale Price
Rail Power Products GP35 shell Nondynamic Undecorated HO $16
Detail Associates
PO Box 5357
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403
Drop step 'EMD' - Dash 2 series type DS 1404 HO $1.50/2
Coulper lift bar bracket 102213 HO $2.25/8
Coulper Lift Bar SY 2205 HO $2.75/10
Overland Models, Inc.
RR 12, Box 445
Muncie, IN 47302
Airhorn, 3 forward 9007 HO $3.50
Airhorn, 2 forward HO $3.50
GP35 powered chassis HO
Sheet styrene
Used to create train control stem
Kadee Quality Products Couplers 5 HO
Microscale Industries
PO Box 11950
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
RF&P Hood Units 1970-80s 87-474 HO $4
RF&P Hood Diesels 1989 Scheme 87-608 HO $4

RF&P GP35 #138 HO On the drawing board
Maker What Model # Scale Price

RF&P GP35 #136 HO On the drawing board
Maker What Model # Scale Price

Miscellaneous Equipment

Maker What Model # Scale Price
Rivarossi Smoothside Passenger Cars 6584-6591 HO $20 each
IHC RF&P E-8A (Powered & Dummy) 1944 HO
Overland Models, Inc.
RR 12, Box 445
Muncie, IN 47302
RF&P Intern'l W-V #901 Caboose
OMI 3912 HO $120-150
RF&P 'Steel' Caboose OMI 1132A HO $65
Life Like Proto 2000 E8A #1006 8195 HO $75
Tomar Industries
9520 E. Napier Ave
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Passenger Car Tailsign kit, the "Old Dominion" H-475 HO $10.95
Notes on Miscellaneous Items

What do I recommend? The Overland cabooses are some of the best out there. Once you see them, the custom-painted plastic Athearn just don't do it justice. Atlas' recent runs come close, and they have done the 905, 906 and 907.

The Proto-2000 E8, even though I haven't had a chance to run it, is leaps and bounds above the IHC/Rivarossi E8s. And much easier to install Kadee couplers.

Herald King has several good sets of decals. Each usually does two cars.

One of my upcoming projects include a pair of covered hoppers, leftover from a former Pennrail project. I was going to paint them in various Pennrail schemes, like I did two others. Now that Pennrail is dead, the two remaining cars are free to be painted anything.

I have started detailing the shell for #126. So far, it has the train control device, a drop step on the long hood end, preps for the numberboards, and a filled-in pilot. Next step is the OMI 9007 horn, and (I think) 9005 for the long hood end.

For you O scalers out there, there are some decals but not many. Atlas has done modern cabooses and SW1200 in recent years, so there is hope.

1987-2004, Robert G. McKeever, II Suggestions to
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