I don't know...

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Xaniel, Jun 23, 2002.

  1. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    Hello again,

    i'm having a kind of problem here:

    I'm sorry about my ignorance... but how is a freight train? I mean, locos, i know...

    But what about freight cars?
    - Is it normal to have freight cars from Burlington Northern and also from ATSF?

    - And can I have ballast hoppers, box cars and gondola cars in the same train?

    - Sorry to ask, but what is a caboose? Should I have one?

    Can you guys show me a site here I can get some info about this? or some examples. I really would like to see, but model websites world be better!!!

    sorry for the dumb questions, but I need to know this.
  2. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Luis the only dumb question is the one you don't ask.

    Yes it is very common to have both a mix of different railroads and different types of cars.

    The caboose is where the conductor rides on a train.Most modern trains except for the local ones no longer use a caboose,but it is your layout and if you like caboose's use them.
  3. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member


    Those are perfectly valid questions!

    Like Catt! said, it is common to see a mix of roadnames in a train. That's partly due to shipments being made from one railroad across another to get to a destination. But it could also be because one railroad bought out another. For example, Burlington Northern merged with the ATSF, forming the BNSF. Union Pacific has bought up a whole bunch of railroads, so you'll see all sorts of roadnames on their lines.

    Some countries call a caboose a "brakevan," from what I understand. In the old days the caboose not only carried the conductor, but sometimes a brakeman. They also carried spare parts and supplies, and were even used to carry armed guards.

    On most trains you'll see a mix of car types, especially on trains that are travelling long distances.
  4. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Freight Cars

    Hi Luis, In the USA the railroads "share" their freight cars. The word for it is called "interchange". The railroads pay each other a daily fee for the use of the cars which is called "per deim" ( Latin for by the day).

    Freight in the USA is not transfered from one railroad's car to another railroad's car as it moves to its destination. It will arrive in the same car that it was orginally shipped in. When the car is unloaded it will then be reloaded with freight and sent out to another destination regardless of what railroad owns it. So in a freight train in the USA you will see cars from many different railroads. A freight car in the USA will travel millions of miles and will cross back and forth across the entire continent hundreds of times during its lifetime.

    Its a very complicated system but it makes for some great train watching:) :) :D :D as every train is different.:) :)
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    While most freight trains will have a mix of railroad cars, probably over half of the cars will be for the home road.
    While we may see a train that's all home road, there are also trains that are all foreign cars -- the railroad is taking all the empties back because they pay rent or them by the day. You put them on the next railroad over and let them pay.
    Depending on where you are, you may get trains that are all one type of car -- in southwest Ontario we get trains of only automobile cars, but the railroads are mixed. Often this is what we call a pool service -- all the railroads invoved in transporting autos from Oshawa to (say) California provide cars for the service in ratio to their share of the business.
    Nearly forgot: We almost never see a railroad tank car -- all owned by shippers or leasers like UTLX and GBTX or the oil companies.
    Cabooses are almost all gone. There are a few used in local freights around her (Toronto area) but all the windows are covered with plywood. Not sure why the need them. They used to have half the train crew in the caboose -- all the paperwork was done there and anything involving the rear of the train:changing switches or setting out flares and warnings.
  6. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member


    That made me think of those commercials with kids and germs...how they spread them from one to the next and before you know it the whole playground is infected! :)


    I've seen CN autoracks all the way down here in Texas!
  7. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    99% of the tank cars we see in this neck of the woods, regardless of whether it's a CP or CN train, are Procor. I also saw a CN train last night that was all home road boxcars - even my wife noticed it was a little out of place though..........
  8. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    this is what I'm talking about:


    one Union Pacific ballast hopper
    one ATSF ballast hopper
    one Santa Fe covered hopper
    one Burlington Northern Covered Hopper

    Attached Files:

  9. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    and this!

    Attached Files:

  10. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    thats fine they all run together on the same train and its your railroad and you run it the way you what it and down the road when you have 100 or so coal cars then you can have a coal drag but most of the time there all mixed up :D rich
  11. Railroads haven't paid each other "per diem" in many, many, years. Around 1970, railroad-marked car compensation, which is now called "car hire" and not "per diem" changed to so much per hour plus so much per mile, with the mileage charge about one tenth of the hourly charge in cents. Depending on the car's value and usefulness, this can run form less the 20 cents an hour and 2 cents a mile to well over a dollar an hour and 15-20 cents per mile.

    Railroads, as a general rule, do NOT furnish tank cars to shippers. These are provided by leasing companies. Non-railroad cars must have reporting marks ending in "X", like GATX, UTLX, PROX, etc. Procor is the Canadian subsidiary of UTLX. Private cars are paid per LOADED mile only with no hourly charge, but may earn as much as a dollar a mile.
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I saw automobile trains yesterday and today and took note of the cars in them.
    They were running on Canadian Pacific, but the first train had one CP car and the other had three. There were cars from UP, BNSF, CSX, TFM, Conrail, ATSF, BN, and CN and probably others.
    (This is an exception to the rules.)

    We have a local railway that was bought from CP. It has locomotives (one or two) and maybe a caboose. ALL its cars come from somewhere else. (It runs once to three times a week .. I haven't seen it yet.)
    You should probably pick a favourite railroad and have a few more cars for that one. Or name your own and letter them for it.

    Luis: Can you tell us how the trains operate in Portugal? I know that Spain has a change of gauge point; does that affect you at all?
  13. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    Well, Portugal as a different gauge from other countries in Europe. Like Spain, our gauge is 1668mm and 1000mm for narrow gauge. Other countries use 1435mm for normal gauge.

    Our trains also travel on the left side of track...

    We also have "mixed" trains. It's usual to have freight trains with our CP cars (CP => Comboios de Portugal) and Spain's Renfe cars...
  14. nmtexman

    nmtexman Member

    In the USA, wether you're "Right-side" running or "Left Side" running mostly depends on the railroad in question. Most US railroads are "Right-side" runners.
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Railroads are here are operated either as two bidirectional tracks or as single track with very long passing sidings. On lines with passenger service, the passenger trains run on the track with the station and platform.

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