How much rolling stock is too much?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by kokoracer, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. kokoracer

    kokoracer Member

    Right now on the mighty SSR, there is enough rolling stock to fill about 50% of the spur and yard space. I am comfortable with that since I am on DC with no blocks and run one train at a time. I was wondering if there were any guidelines as to how much should be on the layout at any time?

    I would also like suggestions as to additonal rolling stock. My current roster is a mix of Penn Central and Conrail, with some B&M, Leigh Valley, EL, and NH tossed in. My time frame is 1970-85 and it is New England based. With some 18" curves, I am keeping everything under 60'. Anything over 50" requires reduced speeds.

  2. Depends on the state of the railroad you're running - the more efficiently things are running, the emptier the yards should be; trains come in, cars are sorted, trains go out as quickly as possible. There needs to be plenty of 'breathing room' - the yardmaster is probably happiest when the yard is empty. In my observation, sometimes I see the UP classification yards in the Colton CA area sometimes at 25% capacity, sometimes at 75%, but it's always changing. This is very different than a 'storage yard', one of which is a little further down the line in Fontana, and generally seems to be about two thirds full.
    Now I started my response by saying 'the state of the railroad' and a few years ago, when the UP had their traffic meltdown, every foot of yard track seemed full, and trains were backed up and tightly spaced on the main and passing track for a 14 mile stretch, and stayed that way for days.

    BTW, I just checked out those yards on GoogleEarth, and on the day the photo was taken, the main yard is about 75% full, and the arrival & departure yards both at about 90%.

    - Chris
  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That is the guideline.
  4. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    Rolling stock ideas for the layout

    As to suggestions for rolling stock...

    A great deal depends on what you enjoy with the hobby. There is no standard.

    You mentioned some interchange traffic, so except for a rare car from further afield you have already provided for a source or variety. It is sometimes fun to run specials of equipment that would not be a part of everyday operations. A work-train for instance. If in the modern era, perhaps a tourist excursion in older passenger equipment from the steam era would be fun.

    Some have tried to make some industries removable and switchable if the the layout is not a strict model of a specific stretch of road. This would allow for both a change of rolling stock and also a change in pick up and delivery patterns. The same switching can allow for more than one era to be modeled by 'back dating' the layout so that the same rails can be used to represent modern era and steam.

    And though some will find this a bit off: if you have kids, grand kids, or neighbor kids, let them bring rolling stock over to run on the "adult" layout. Great way to get the little ones interested!

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