Newbie wanting some info on trains.

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Pentastar, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Pentastar

    Pentastar New Member


    You'll have to forgive me, as I am a complete novice when it comes to trains and railroads. I just received my grandfather's HO train set, and I hope to build it this winter. I have a lot of experience building model car kits, so I think I have the skills to do this hobby as well. However, I'd like to do it right, and so I need to learn what some of these trains and accessories are and what they were used for.

    First, I have some small structures and accessories. I was hoping someone could tell me what these structures and accessories are, what function they serve on a railroad, and what era they generally originated from (I'd like to have the railroad scene depict the 50's to early 60's).

    Second, I have a Union Pacific deisel engine. I was wondering what year this train (not the model, but the real thing) was first built, and what purpose did it serve (I'm assuming it is was generally used for pulling large freight).

    Third, I have an unmarked steam engine. I was wondering what year this train was first built and what purpose it served. Also, was this a coal engine?

    Finally, I have a coal powered steam engine with Omaha markings. What year was this train first built and what purpose did it serve?

    Thanks everyone for your help. I can't wait to put my grandfather's old train set to good use.

    Attached Files:

  2. Pentastar

    Pentastar New Member


    I did some reasearch online, and I came up with some information to answer my own question about a couple of the trains.

    The yellow diesel appears to be a GP30 diesel puller used for major cargo lines in the mid to late 60's.

    The black engine and silver engines look like they could be Alco or Baldwin 0-6-0s from the late 30's to early 40's.

    If anybody has any additional info for me, please let me know.

  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The first structure is a signal tower or gateman's cabin. Used for controlling signals and switches or crossing gates. From the way it is elevated, it looks as if it's designed to go in between tracks, and is probably for controlling railway crossings. Sometimes one tower would control the lights and gates at 3 or 4 crossings in a row.
    The second one looks like a shed.
    The third one is a relay box or electrical equipment box. The last few look like small electrical boxes that would contain the wiring, relays or batteries at signals or crossings.
  4. Pentastar

    Pentastar New Member

    Hey 60103,

    Thanks for the information, that will help a lot when I start setting up the track and scenery!

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