era reference sites

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by wickman, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. wickman

    wickman Member

    Hiya folks
    I'm wandering if anyone has some links for reference for early 40's too late 60's era.
    I'm looking to match up some diesel and steamers in HO scale. The diesels and steamers will both need to be dcc ready or dcc sound installed already, more than
    likely bachmann spectrum or broadways for steams and the diesels if I go with diesels will be atlas or athern. I would
    imagine the diesels will need to be 4 axle as they will more than likely be used in the industries for sorting cars. The
    steamers will be mostly on the main lines where there's a min radius of 22".
    I'm undecided yet as to whether I will use the diesels or just a small steam switcher like a 0-6-0.
  2. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Don't know what you mean by reference, but I'm guessing that you're looking for pics of prototype locos.
    George Elwoods site might help out.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Let's see if I get this right. ;) Hopefully people will chime in and correct any of my misinformation. In the mean time...

    Early 40s sees "first generation" diesels, including dedicated switchers like the NW's and SW's. Mainline hauling is handled by "E" and "F" type units (and others), often in A-B, A-B-A, or even A-B-B-A configurations. By the 1950s the concept of the road switcher (an engine to handle both jobs) has arisen in such engines as the RS-X's. Also coming to the scene are second generation diesels like the GP's which will remain in a variety of increasingly powerful configurations into the 1960s.

    As for steam, the 1940s sees the biggest mix of steam and diesels. By the 1950s steam is in rapid decline in all but a few roads, and are all gone to the torch by 1960 with a very few rare exceptions (some may still be running in excursion service, or donated to various museums, groups, or municipal parks).

    Towards the end of steam, the concept of dedicated service for a particular class of loco is gone. So you find Pacifics (crack passenger engines from the 1920s) doing way freight runs, for example. Tenders are swapped around, and engines are cannibalized to keep others going.

    Now the specifics of this depend heavily on which road you choose to model, and where. It might also be easier if you narrow your timeframe just a bit, but it is of course entirely up to you.

    Hope that helps.

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think your last statement is the most telling and depending on what railroad is modeled will depend on how late steam ran and what sort of diesel engines replaced the steam. For example, the coal haulers in the Southeast Appalachian area were probably the last to switch over to diesel because they had a vested interest in keeping their customers (coal mines) happy. The Santa Fe was one of the first railroads to dieselize because they had so much bad water in the desert that they had to run whole train loads of nonrevenue water out to the desert to replenish the water towers to keep the steam engines running. U.P. started to deiselize early, but kept a few big boys on the roster until the late fifties or perhaps early sixties for helper service on Sherman Hill. When a railroad deiselized would have a marked effect on what sort of diesels you would find on the roster. The Santa Fe had hundreds of f-units on their roster because they dieselized so early. In fact they got more ft's than any other railroad during ww2 because of their water situation. The railroads that waited until the fifties to dieselize, probably skipped the first generation diesels and their first diesels might have been gp7's or 9's, Alco rs1-3's or Rs11's. Some of the Southeastern coal haulers may have not bought diesels until the second generation road switchers (Emd gp 30's, and Alco Centurys) came out in the late fifties or early sixties. In the West, the last sight of steam would have been in helper service in the mountains.

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