Custom HO Norfolk Southern Operation Lifesaver DASH-9 – Inc. Inc. Articles Decaling Custom HO Norfolk Southern Operation Lifesaver DASH-9

Custom HO Norfolk Southern Operation Lifesaver DASH-9

We love seeing modelers customize our locomotives and freight cars. In this week’s Time to Model™ highlight, we’re taking a closer look at a custom Rivet Counter HO Scale DASH-9.

Ed Lewis recently received his Norfolk Southern “Thoroughbred” DASH-9s from our latest run and decided to convert one of them to an Operation Lifesaver DASH-9. Popular among railfans for their unique paint scheme and the bold safety slogan of “Look, Listen… and Live!” these “OLS” units serve as a great reminder to safely cross railroad grade crossings.

Here’s the base model that Ed started out with – a Rivet Counter “Thoroughbred” DASH-9 from our latest run.

After removing the handrails, he then carefully removed the logos from the side of the locomotive, the road number from the cab, and from the boards. To do this, Ed used Solvaset and Orange Sticks, a beauty product, which is commonly used by nail professionals.

He then re-numbered the locomotive to 9252, based on a real-world prototype from the early 2000s.

After applying the decals carefully, Ed prepared the locomotive for weathering.

The finished product turned out great. We were thrilled to see the results of Ed’s marvelous decal and weathering work.

“I wanted to create the OLS locomotive because this one is able to fit in both eras that I currently model, predominantly Conrail from 1994-1999, as well as modern-day Norfolk Southern thanks to my three lovely boys,” Lewis said. He continued, “I was able to capture 9252 in 1998 in Conrail’s Oak Island Yard on a train returning to Norfolk Southern’s Yard. Throughout the years, I’ve seen this unit multiple times. It just stood out.”

Bill Christian captured the locomotive in action, along with three other NS Rivet Counter DASH-9s, on the Lehigh and Keystone Valley Model Railroad Club and Museum.

We’d like to thank Ed Lewis for submitting these fantastic images for this week’s Time to Model spotlight. For more stories like these, make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter.