Compressing Passenger Car consists

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by stdguage, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    I am trying to figure out how to reduce a typical passenger car train from western railroads (about 1900) into a five car train (with steamloco and tender, this fits my planned passing sidings)

    The typical train was:

    one or more first class cars
    two or more second class cars
    at least one express car
    at least one baggage car
    mail service
    pullman sleeper service
    a club car/observation car
    temporary add on - a diner or cafe car

    My thoughts were to use a combine express/mail, baggage, first class, second class, pullman sleeper.

    This omits diner service. Any better ideas or suggestions?

  2. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    How long are your sidings? Also, what type of cars are you considering?
  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    It also depends on the train which you wish to run: lots of locals might be only coaches, and not all trains carried diners and/or Pullmans. A mail train often had a postal car plus express cars, and only a single rider coach. In remote areas, a coach or combine was often used in place of a caboose, providing not only crew space, but also room for lcl express and passenger accommodation, too.

    Many modellers overlook the fact that passenger trains often gained or lost cars as they travelled their route, setting out Pullmans for connecting roads, dropping a diner for use on another train, or dropping or lifting express cars as the train progressed.

  4. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    No offense, but I believe the Golden Rule applies. It's your gold, so you make the rules. You can run any length or consist you wish. On a daytime run, I would imagine a baggage car, two coaches, possibly a mail car and a caboose would do quite nicely. :thumb:

    That's why I like old stream - short trains. :cool:
  5. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    More details on Compressing

    I guess some more information is needed. The layout is small - room sized. This means there is room for one "city", one siding and then hidden staging and then back to the town. The out of town siding is called Summit and this is also the start of a branch to another very small town. I will have room at Summit for a small spur for a cafe car pick up and drop off to the city. Since Summit is the end of the grade up from the town, this is also where a helper engine will be cut off.

    I have already figured mixed freight and passenger service to the branch town from the city. My period has mainly 50-55' loco/tenders from front to rear axle. Passenger cars are about 56' with or without diaphrams. Freight cars are up to 37'. coupler lengths are adding to all so a rule of thumb I have been using is passenger and locos at 60' and freight at 40'.

    I can have meets at the summit by meeting the 5 passenger car and one loco limit of the siding. I need the same limit if the train is then able to go into staging. I am assuming all cars an locos are under 60 feet.

    Without a meet, I can still use the siding to cut a cafe car off and have the loco run around to place in the diner spur. Pick up is easier since the train need to only back into the spur and make connections. Then the cafe car can be in addition to the 5 car limit.

    I do not have "room" in the city to really store any passenger equipment or even much freight. A caboose track off the turntable and a spur for the cafe car is about it. Freight cars are dropped on a "long industrial siding" and then a switcher takes over. The station is a longer two track "yard/main/siding" that has a crossover about half way with a total siding length of maybe 11 feet in the clear and each "1/2" about 4.5 feet or my five passenger car and a loco length.

    I hope this helps, but it may be TMI!

  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Well, as Mountain Man says, it's your railroad. ;) I am just a bit curious, though, as to why the cafe car gets dropped at Summit - it's unlikely that the small town on the branch would merit anything more luxurious than a coach or two, and most dining cars would usually be re-stocked, cleaned, etc. at a fairly major terminal. Unless you're modelling a section of a longer and busier line, I'd do away with the diner/cafe (even though they make for an interesting model) and probably the Pullmans, too. A combine with a postal section would take car of the mail contract, straight baggage cars would carry the express, and ordinary coaches for the riders. Usually the difference between first and second class coaches was in the seating and interior finishes of the cars - externally they could look quite similar. I'd also skip the observation car - only the premier trains had them, although if you're using the MDC cars, they all have open platforms.
    My combine, shown in the photo above, was originally a dining car, and was converted when I realised that my road didn't have a run long enough to support diner service. However, the road that controls my road does have a longer run and a lot more passenger business, so they offer dining car service.


    But the Pullmans have all been converted to coaches:

    The older, shorter cars have all been downgraded to work service:

    Depending on your trackplan, you may be able to store your passenger trains on a "cassette", freeing siding space for other tasks. My "coach yard" is off-layout, in boxes under the staging yards.

  7. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    Wayne - your photos are always inspiring.

    My "city" is a bit compressed, but it works as a division point. I wish to bring trains onstage from a traverser and into the division point. Change engines and crews and then move on. The trains would then proceed on up the high line to summit with helper service and then into the staging. I hope to have EB coal train, passenger, general freight. The WB would be an empty coal train, passenger, and freight. EB trains always will be EB on the loop and WB trains will always be WB. No room to turn trains. The freight can only be 7 cars plus caboose and motive power. The passenger consist can only be 5 cars. This is the limit of the traverser. I am in construction and perhaps I should rethink towards a cassette as you suggest. There are limits to a bedroom space and I am building as sections so abandonment does not occur upon moving.

    Dining serevice would be for the staged passenger service between Summit and division so both EB and WB trains would get the diner service. You are right though, the line is not really big enough. I was thinking more of the car movements and not transit time. My little people need to be very fast eaters!

    The sleeper service may be too much for my small space. I can see that even a layout as large as Dr Wayne's has compromised diner and sleeper service.

    Again, thanks for the pics and how you are using your equipment! Much to think about!

  8. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    I'm running with Mountain Man- golden.

  9. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Oh, and as your thread suggests, no diner cars- good reason to open Harvey Houses and employ the Harvey Girls in any station or what would have been the start of 'em. Your passenger trains might demand a station stop for hot food!


  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If you're using a traverser, is there any way that you could split the train, storing and staging the trains from two tracks? This would allow you to put a diner on both EB and WB trains. And if you assume that the line extends many miles (via the traverser), there's certainly no reason that you can't use diners and even Pullmans.
    I assume my modelled line to be under 200 miles long: long enough at the speeds run (30 mph or less) to warrant a diner, based on the time patrons would spend on the train if travelling the entire line. However, as a secondary line serving a mostly rural area, and set in the late '30s, not too many people are riding from end to end, and most folks just bring a few sandwiches for themselves. With non-air conditioned cars, the railroad provides cinders as a side dish. ;):-D
    After putting those limits on my passenger train needs, I still built a train of air conditioned heavyweights, including a diner, and a train of air conditioned lightweight cars, again with a diner, plus quite a few head-end cars. The head-end cars and the simple coaches get the most mileage, the heavyweights languish in their boxes, and I'm hoping to get rid of the lightweights.

  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I would look for a mail-baggage combine, and maybe a car with some dining facilities and some seating. I might go for 2 coaches, and the other car either a club/lounge/first-class or another head-end. You could vary the head end by alternating a baggage car with an express reefer.
    Possibly the diner is exchanged between EB and WB trains at one station.

    Does anyone make Harvey girls?
  12. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    Hey - how do you recognize a Harvey girl? Uniforms? The pics that I have seen seem to just show young women dress in wait staff attaire and street clothes of the period. So a small two story restaurant near the depot and then no diner. Hmmm.
  13. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Rumor has it, a Harvey girl haunts the Fray Marcos hotel in Williams, Arizona. :shock: My Brother lives across the street from the hotel. I'll ask him if he has seen her, and I will report back :mrgreen:

    BTW - I have gotten a "private" tour of the old hotel once. It is now used mostly for storage by the Grand Canyon Railway. It's a fascinating building. A fascinating town, actually.


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