Rock Island Model Rosters

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by rockislandmike, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Wolv: I of course have set up a somewhat complex spreadsheet to figure out my "target roster". I started by trying to figure out the requirements for each railroad, based on the following.

    Road engines: I figured out how many consists a particular railroad could run at the maximum (given spacing, average length of train, sort of a gut feel more than anything), and multiplied that by 2.8 (again, a rough figure based on locomotives in a consist and allowing for some variety and replacements in case of maintenance).

    Switchers: there are going to be five yards on my layout, rather small in nature, the biggest of which will be MOPAC in Wichita. I rated these either as 1.0, 0.8, or 0.6. I then multiplied this by 4 (i.e., the Wichita yard would have four switchers), and then added large-scale industrial clients (i.e., those clients that would have dedicated switchers, like a refinery, my potash facility, etc.). The sum of this I multiplied by 1.20 (to again allow for variety and maintenance replacements).

    Both methods seemed to come out with results I'm happy with, a total of 115 locomotives (80 road, 35 switchers). Oh yeh, I also multiplied the "maximum consists" by 1.3 to arrive at the number of cabooses I'll need. The only place I see a fallacy in this system is for MOPAC switchers - where it says I need *SIXTEEN*. But, again, these are all targets, and I don't expect to get to these figures for quite a few years.

    So then I'm left with a "target" for switchers, road engines, and cabooses. I take each railroad's actual motive roster in 1980 (or as near as I can get), and do some quick multiplication, and arrive at which locomotives I need. I also compensate for a few locos I already have which don't figure into this system (i.e., I have a Cotton Belt SD35 and they never owned one, but I kinda like it so too bad).

    To cap it all off, I've plunked these down into my final "purchase" spreadsheet, which indicates locomotive models, who makes models for 'em, road numbers available, etc., etc.

    If anyone would like to see it I'm more than happy to share it, but I think it's probably a "Michael" sort of thing, and most other people would just laugh at the complexity of the thing. Course, I'm the same guy who had an incredibly intricate and complicated economic system for my Dungeons & Dragons world, complete with a banking system, bonds and stock market.
  2. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member


    Would you have any available time to create one of those for me?

    I know, I am more complex because of the amount of roads and leasing units I have.

    Ummm, think it is better if you email me privately. Don't want to discuss biz in here.

  3. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Wolv -

    USUALLY I DO buy from a cheaper source - Tony's Train Exchange (TTX),or AHobbyCircle, for example. In this case, Walthers was the only one to list the new P2K GP18 last March, so I went with them despite the cost (which, you will note is about what I would pay at my LHS).

    The THEORY was that the new GP18 would be much improved over that of the older model (which is what is for sale at the Trainworld site).

    In a couple of respects, say the recessed numberboards and the "DCC ready" circuit board, it IS better. I'm just disappointed by the paint job and the incorrect fans. So much for LL's "research"!

    Yes I could repaint the model, and I may, but for what I paid (or even if I had got it at a more discounted price) why should I have to ??!!

    The undec P2K GP7 is no good for my era because of the steam generators. So I will convert an undec GP9 to a late era blue CRP GP7. I will give Trainworld, among others, a call when I get a round tuit. I note that they have listed "assorted roads" for their models, which means they MAY have the one I want, or they may NOT. I will probably call several dealers when the time comes for "in stock" availability and the best price.

    My other "pre-orders" are both Atlas Master locos (so I have little worry about quality - already discussed the H15-44 paint and features with the folk at Atlas on the forum!), and both are on order with discount dealers - so I should get two top quality locos at good prices!

    The total number of locos I need on the layout is determined by the number of trains I will run (which in turn depends on the industries - on or off of the layout - that those trains support).

    The trains are modeled on real prototype consists in this area. I determine the motive power I need for a train by figuring the total weight to be pulled (car weight and max load weight, both of which are on the rolling stock), and then calculate the HP I need to pull it.

    I want to get the "look" of the RIL for a given year (base year 1980). I have researched what locomotives and paint schemes were in use, and in what numbers, and in what regions - not all locos were used everywhere on the RIL. Dividing by the total number of locos owned that year gives me the percent of each loco. If my loco numbers for each type are held to that percent, my RIL should look "real to life" because the same probability exists of seeing a given loco model/paint scheme on my layout as you would have seen in that year on the real RIL.

    Actually, I throw in another calculation due to the fact I model in 1996! Starting with what the RI had in 1980, what would have changed by 1996 for the RIL as a regional road? How many locos would the RIL need for my regional line? What RI loco models would have been sold or scraped? What new ones would have been bought? I have looked at the motive power of the real regional roads in this area (IMRL and IAIS) for that year, and put a "RI" twist on the types (RI SD40-2s instead of IMRL SD40s, for example). If you model earlier than 1980, you don't have to worry about this!

    Now that I have calculated both the motive power needed for the trains, and know the individual loco types and numbers I have to use to meet these motive power needs, I can use the HP of the locos to make the mp consists I need to pull the trains. Looking at the HP of my locos, I add locos to the consist until the mp requirements are met. This lets me know how many locos I need in the consist. This is the way it is done in real life! I also use photos of locos that were actually used together on teh RIL to help decide the final mp consists.

    As Mike said, this is the "George" way I do this, and it may not be for everyone!

    Good luck with your layout plans!

    - George
  4. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member

    Ahhh I see George.

    Your idea, as I have mentioned before, is a great one for determining motive power. However, I would think that would come in to play, while your crews, engineers, and dispatchers are figuring that bit of information in the yard office, before setting out on the main.

    Every train is different, except for maybe unit trains. To base my purchasing or as Mike likes to call it, target list, on the idea of HP is a little far-fetched. Though, the idea would also come in handy when knowing what motive power with the right HP mixes to get.

    But, it is like you said, that idea works for you, and may not work for me. I appreciate your description all the same, and the time you took to explain it to me (again). Thank you very much.

    Sorry, I did not realize TW was selling the first phase of GP18 for $70. I was under the impression it was the version LL is advertizing in MRR. I also did not realize the GP7s that TW is offering are steam generators. Oh well.

    For now, with figuring out my locomotive rosters, I am going to go with Mike's idea and math. I will use your idea when building my trains in my yards.

    Have a great morning George.
  5. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Wolf -

    Yes, this my way of computing loco numbers IS backwards, but real railroads grow slowly, they don't spring up within a couple of years (like my layout) to full grown stature (over 7000 miles on the real ROCK, over 2000 just in Iowa). They would slowly add locomotives as the needs arose (new track = new customers = more rolling stock needed = more locos needed) to meet motive power needs. But in my layouts case, the needs are already there!

    And you are right - the HP calculations for mu-consists happens in the yard on a daily basis (according to Brakie and the other real RRers I've talked to). But in my case, the weights (trains) are "fixed" (unless I change them by adding more cars), so one calculaton will do! Also, they would have to decide what mp to use based on what locos they actually have (only so many GP40s at 3000 HP, so many GP7s at 1500 HP). In the Rocks case, they have about twice the number of GP7s as GP40s, so the decisions need to be made based on the relative amounts of loco types owned and the mp needs. They will need to use the GP40s for the heavier trains, the GP7s for the lighter, or even a mix for in-between. Of course, they had other locos than just these two, but I hope you see what I'm getting at. And why I do the "percentage" thing with loco types. If in 1980 the RI had 120 GP7s (or 23% of the total fleet) and 56 GP40s (or 11 % of the total fleet), and my layout has 18 RI locos, then I should have 4 GP7s and 2 GP40s to keep the same ratios that the RI had. So this number of locos becomes my "pool" for mp needs.

    Hope all this can be of some help (and that you are not calling the nice men in the white coats to take me away).

    - George
  6. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    One last GOOD thing ...

    ... about the GP18 that I forgot to say.

    The high air intakes DO have the horizional grid instead of chicken wire as per the prototypes.

    I think someone said the older P2K GP18s had the wrong (chicken wire) one.

    - George
  7. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Sorry Wolv ...

    ... YOU were right!

    I re-checked.

    Trainworld's offering for the GP18 IS the new one!

    When I looked last March, they just had the old one.

    Of course, "various roads" doesn't guarantee them having the RI model, but they probably do.


    - George
  8. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    RIL regional RR map - 1996

    Here is my 1996 RIL region map (so far):

    Attached Files:

  9. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Apprently there's only gonna be 197 spare miles b/w George's layout and mine (me-Wichita to George-Kansas City). Interesting.

    Wolv, if you provide me with the motive rosters of your railroads, and the number of road engines / switchers each railroad needs (or, conversely, you could use the same formulae as me, in which case you only need to figure out maximum road conists, as well as yard requirements and large-scale industry clients), then I will gladly do the calculations for you.

    I found the longest period of time to get where I am was to find motive rosters for my railroads in 1980. You wouldn't have to find Rock Island and MOPAC rosters, as I already have those, but all your others you would.
  10. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    GEORGE, I'm moderator of the ROck Island forum over on Railroad-Line. Would you mind if I copied your review over to there ???
  11. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Mike -

    Maybe I should lay track into Wichita so we can meet up ???

    Wichita is one of my former homes: I was stationed there at McConnell AFB, it's my wife's birthplace, her family live in or around there, plus I have a couple of degrees from Wichita State University!

    So the idea of having track into Wichita is appealing!

    Let me know if this would be invading your turf!

    Sure, you are welcome to copy the "review" - but please add the follow-on remarks about the air intake grid.

    Was comparing the P2K GP18 with the Athearn SD40-2 (old model). The GP18's red is a shade darker, and to me the Athearn is a shade darker than the original. The yellow is more intense than the Athearn model - "richer" may be a better word than "darker" in this case.

    You might add this remark, too!

    Let me know about Wichita (either way is ok with me).


    - George
  12. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Feel free to include Wichita to your heart's content; on my layout, it's only going to include 3-4 industries, as well as a yard for Missouri Pacific (it's also my east staging point for trains to loop around out of sight).

    Actually, it would be neat if we "met" there.
  13. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Better get those track crews busy!

    Wichita, here we come!

    How does Wolv's "area" merge into ours ???

    Where is that plan .............

    - G
  14. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Wolv -

    How do Mike's and my trackage compare to yours?

    Is that St. Louis to K.C. route I show on "your" track?

    It can be erased if so - just seemed logical at the time (and the RI did own such a route).

    Let me (us) know!


    Do Shane and Andy want to claim an area ???

    I think it would be neat if we all had areas that merged together at specific points (like Mike and I at Wichita) !

    - George
  15. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member

    Sorry guys,

    Been busy over the weekend. Had intended to set it aside for trains, but could not do hardly anything, since it RAINED all weekend. So, I have been working on other things.


    Just stopped in to check the posts.

    I went over to RR-Line and left my good morning message. Is it me, or is there like a small family like click over there? I mean, I just get the feeling since I do not use my real name over there, that some of those people do not want to associate with me. I dunno, I might just be paranoid. LOL!

    I DO NOT like my real name being posted in forums for the simple reason that you truly do NOT know who you are talking to, and once you start giving out the wrong kinds of information, people start to screw with your life.

    I don't mean you guys.

    Anyhow, enough of my rant. I will get back to you guys on where my trackage runs and ends. The MWDLRR has a HUGE amount of track, because of the 8 major railroads.

    The BN/BNSF/CB&Q/GN/ATSF are the largest, followed by the ROCK and then MOPAC. Amtrak pretty much as trackage rights all over the U.S.....

    Remember, the MWDLRR-the layout I mean, it does NOT follow any prototypical area. If I had to though, I would model the Missouri-Arkansas-Illinois area, with some areas into Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

    See ya later in the day. (Back to bed for now)
  16. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member

    After considerable more sleep,

    Well I am back. I think our lines would meet somewhere in Rock Island, George. Unless your lines go up to Blue Island and into Silvis. I think I have most of Missouri covered, all the way to the edge next to Kansas. Unless any of your lines run into Kansas City, MO...

    I am not sure where Shane and Andy are at though. I was thinking of branching into Arkansas too, since it borders Missouri.

    I would have to hear where Shane and Andy's lines are though.


    I have the roster for the BN and BNSF, but not a complete one for ATSF. I can probably get my hands on the CB&Qs too. Not sure about Amtrak though. I think I am just going to have 12 of their engines.

    I figure 2 P40/P42 per train, plus four switchers, 2 freight (auto train and roadrailer), 2 FP40I units in reserve.

    Later guys.
  17. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Wolv -

    I don't think you saw my last map ??!??

    I go from the QCA to Chicago (as per the IAIS - thru Silvis and Blue Island), and to KC (as per IMRL). That was already a given.

    Mike says to build to Wichita from KC, to meet up with him.

    I go down to St. Louis (along the Mississippi) and have drawn track from St. Louis to KC (which the RI had).

    This last sounds like one of your main "track" regions, so I will erase it!

    Please look at my "RIL in 1996" map for more details of where I am. It's on page 14 of this "web book" we have going!

    - George
  18. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member


    Actually, that is very cool with me. I do not like going up to Chicago more than I have to. I HAVE to because of Amtrak and BN/BNSF, but they are widening the yard at Galesburg on the Aurora Main, so all traffic will be coming to Galesburg now, so I should only have to go up to Chicago with Amtrak from now on.

    My ROCK Intermodal units are going to have trackage rights on the Aurora main, and they can interface with your lines at Blue Island.

    That's all for now. Back to work.
  19. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    2 years too late!

    Sorry everyone:

    You are 2 years to late. The track is already laid! :) or :( I would have love to do along the backs of the Mississippi River in Moline. That's what I remember the most. However, I had no pictures to go by. At the time I started, none of you where here to help. :eek: I was the lonely Rock fan. :rolleyes:

    Jessica says if I rip apart the entire layout. It stays apart until we move. I am going to post my track layout pictures here. Maybe some of you can help me! ;)

    You will notice 2 things. I have ALL 4 seasons on here. PLus I love mountains. I free lanced everything!:cool:

  20. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Seasons of the year!

    Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring......


    Attached Files:

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