Newbie: Does it really matter which car to buy?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cheetah20, May 22, 2007.

  1. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    OK boys>>>
    heres what I am thinking of buying.....
    does the 'engine' at least CLOSELY match the rolling stock?

    DCC installed engine=Atlas N B30-7 CSX
    1- Canadian National #290941Atlas: 40' Plug Door Boxcar
    2- Rock Island #17883 Atlas: Cupola Caboose
    3- "Undecorated" Atlas: Coalveyor Bathtub Gondola
    4- Frisco #88611 Atlas: 90-Ton Hopper w/ Load
    5- GATX #35690 Atlas: 17,360 Gallon Tankcar
    6- Great Northern #55934 Atlas: 40' Stockcar

    Thanx Gang
    Me :)
  2. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    Rats, I thought I had replied to this... my bad.

    Please note: these are just my opinions... it's your railroad...

    I would skip the Undecorated Bathtub Gondola... you'll get a car with no paint and no lettering, in either shiny black or gray plastic.

    I'd also try to get a CSX caboose to go with the locomotive instead of the Rock Island roadname.

    Didn't I see someone post that the GN stockcar would probably have been out of service by the time that CSX came about (mid-1980's?).

    The CN plug door boxcar might be OK, but probably a bit old. Most if not all boxcars would have had their roofwalks removed by this time.

    The Frisco and GATX cars would be fine.

    As a general statement, you want to focus on the more modern freight cars, those starting from about 1985 on. Some of these would be modern tank cars and boxcars, 50 foot and longer gondolas, enclosed autoracks, and "double stack" container flat cars. Question is: Does this fit in with what you have in mind for your layout?
  3. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    1) No - Would be banned from interchange service with friction bearing trucks and roof running boards. Also, very little cross-border traffic would've used 40' cars by the time CSX was formed.
    2) No - Rock Island was liquidated by the time CSX was formed and the caboose was mostly gone from railroading, too.
    3) No - Undecorated means just plain plastic.
    4) Possibly - Frisco was merged into BN in 1980, just before the creation of CSX, but their cars are still rolling around today. You'd just need to come up with a reason for a single load of coal to be routed onto CSX.
    5) Yes - Modern car for a modern railroad.
    6) No - The transport of livestock by rail was completely finished by time CSX was formed. The same comments about the trucks and running boards from the CN car apply here, too.
  4. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I thought friction bearings were acceptable until the early 90s? Anyway, the roofwalk still qualifies it as anachronistic.
    Not entirely; UP and Conrail ran stock cars until around 1990. However, their stock cars wouldn't have been seen on CSX.
  5. guyvanwettering

    guyvanwettering New Member

    Cheetah20 don't forget that you said you were using Atlas code 55 track on your layout. That means make sure that the cars you buy have the low profile wheelsets on them or the wheel flanges will ride on the inside spikes on the track! Then you will have to replace the wheel sets or modify them like I did. Good list on the rolling stock though. I agree about the undec. car and the caboose. But if you like the way they look then get them. The final result is that you are satisfied with them.
  6. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    There are still cars with friction bearing trucks on the rails today, they're just banned from interchange service.

    Certainly not 40' wooden cars, either!

  7. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Let's look at this with a little more useful information this time if you're looking to keep it mostly accurate. In 1992 CSX rostered eighty-one GE B30-7 diesels, built from 1978-81; they were originally purchased by Seaboard Coast Line and Chesapeake & Ohio. Atlas has offered them in two paint schemes, blue and gray and "YN2". According to rosters on Bullsheet most were repainted to YN2 by 1995. You didn't specify which paint scheme your unit sports, however.

    If you want to be accurate you'll want to find cars that were common for the era you're trying to portray. By the time CSX was created, however, railroads had changed drastically from deregulation. The majority of freight moved in 50' or larger freight cars. Railroads had begun the shift to shipper-owned rolling stock for many commodities. The exact mix of cars you choose should be dictated by what industries you intend to see on your layout, the era its set it, and its geographic location. (From memory CSX's four axle GE fleet was mostly used in the South, probably on intermodal trains early in their life and on mixed freights later.)

    What would go best with a CSX B30-7? Kaolin tank cars, for sure, and boxcars to handle forest products. From the economy Trainman line there are a number of appropriate choices including the ACF boxcar, ACF covered hopper, and 90-ton hopper. A modern CSX caboose would also be appropriate.

    If the south isn't your thing, the B30s did wander north on occasion so there's no reason you couldn't model any portion of the CSX system with it. In which case just about any modern freight car can be used, just try to avoid cars with 1) roofwalks, 2) friction-bearing trucks, and 3) railroads that were gone before the 1980s. Have fun shopping!

  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Didn't you post a photo of a blue and gray B30-7 recently, or was that someone else? It had AAR trucks, so it represented an ex-Chessie unit. The paint scheme is appropriate for late 80s-early 90s.
  9. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    yes..good memory...

    whats wrong with it?...what am I missing? sign1

    Attached Files:

    • CSX.jpg
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  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    There's nothing... wait a minute, it has no number on the cab.
  11. nscaler711

    nscaler711 Member

    this may be a bit late but ok
    Metal wheel sets are better b/c
    1. easier to maintain(i.e. clean)
    2. makes that sweet clickety clack sound.
    3. they look more realistic (bachmann has beautiful wheels and they are not pizza cutter wheels they do excellent on code 55 track)
    4. ummm........i........uhhh.........forgot.........well.........
    5.THEY ARE AWESOME!!!! heheheh

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