newer than newbie

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jericho, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. jericho

    jericho New Member

    Hi gang: I need some help please. What loco would be best for modeling the late 50's and early 60's. Also what length should the cars be?? 40', 50' ???
    I would like to model the Rock Island line, so what manufacture should i go with??? Thanks for all your help.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm not familier with the Rock Island, but can give you some general ideas. If your layout is going to be small enough that you have to run 18-22 inch radius curves, stick with 4 axle diesels. In the late fifties and early 60s the railroads still had a lot of f units runnig. The Gp7 had come out in @ 1950 followed by the Gp9 in 1955. I don't know the date of first manufacture, but the Alco Rs11 woiuld have been contemporary with the gp9 and rs1,2,& 3 would still be in use. The low nose gp20, 30, & 35 came out in the late 50s or early 60s. Most freight cars would be 50 feet long, but mill gons would be 60 feet some 40 foot cars would still be in use. Hoppers would vary in length depending on what they haul. Cement hoppers tended to be short because of weight. Coal hoppers would be longer because coal isn't very heavy for it's volumn.
  3. jericho

    jericho New Member

    Thanks Russ for your valuable information. Now to find the loco and cars for the simple (?) 4x8 layout lol.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    For a 4x8 make mill gondolas your longest cars and stick to 4 axle diesels. Also think about what you want to do, running trains in circles can be boring after a while on a 4x8, so put in some switching interest.
  5. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    For the 50's you generally want 40' cars (or 36') with some exceptions, like 50' double door boxcars. Model Railroader has a special issue magazine for the 50's that talks extensively about what the rolling stock consisted of during that period.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The 36 foot cars will be either iced meat reefers, or covered hoppers in cement service or other heavey bulk service. MDC makes a line of 36 foot cars that are wood with truss rods to strengthen the frames. Those types of cars would have been rebuilt or phased out by the late 20's. The meat packers kept buying new 36 foot cars after everybody else had gone to 40 or 50 footers because their loading docks were set up for 36 foot cars.
  7. frisco1519

    frisco1519 New Member

    I have a friend in our Model Railroad Club that models the Rock Island. His engines I think are Proto 2000. These are 6 axle units so if you are running on a 4x8 board these will not look good at all. I think he has some that are four axle possibly Athearn power. Good luck.

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