Rolling Stock Road Name Composition

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by TomPM, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    As I am going through my rolling stock and kits to be built I am trying to organize things. One thing I discovered is that I have acquired a good bit of rolling stock from Midwestern, and western railroads such as Northern Pacific, Great Northern, and CNW. My model railroad is located in the mid-Atlantic. My question is what is a good percentage of off road rolling stock to have? Also how likely would a car from a western road such as GN, NP, or SP appear in the mid-Atlantic?

    From growing up near the B&O I can remember certain railroads from outside the mid-Atlantic where common. I can remember seeing quite a bit of Santa Fe and Union Pacific cars rolling by the house.
  2. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Tom, good question. I guess the first thing to think about is the era you are modeling. What I like to do is go to the books that Don Ball Jr. put out. He has a good selection of freight trains that show cars in them. He also breaks the pictures down into sections of the country. Anyway, certain cars like box cars ran all over the country. Some cars like coal hoppers would be more localized and some cars like wood chip cars off the GN wouldn't stray very far at all. Some roads had a lot of bridge traffic and the trains would have a lot of foreign cars. I guess to, it depends on what you plan doing with your layout. If you have an industry that receives cars from the west coast, then west coast railroads would be fairly well represented.

    Greg Elems
  3. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    Greg thanks for your reply. I guess I need to elaborate on my mad little world.:D

    Due to a comprise on building the layout I am modeling from the late 1950s to early 1980s. My equipment is broken down into four categories for that purpose. They are late 1950s, mid 1960s, mid 1970s, and early 1980s. The era that I seemed to have the most of the “long distance travelers” is the mid 1970s, but I am interested in opinions regarding the other eras.

    The industries that are planned (kits are either built, being built, or are unopened on the workbench) are a power plant, grain elevator, and cannery. In addition I plan to have a coal dealer and a least one “team track” located in the town. I still have a few industries to settle on once I begin rebuilding the layout.

    I guess boxcars are the type of car I am mainly asking about. My hopper fleet is pretty localized all of them are railroads found in Pennsylvania. My gondola fleet is pretty much the same. My covered grain hoppers are mostly from the Midwest and could be considered a special case. Right now the majority of them are pink. They were picked out by daughter and they are the cars that she primarily runs when she operates the layout.

    I am not looking for any mathematical or statistically answer. I am just looking for a reasonable mix.
  4. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Tom, grain trains were started in the 70's, as unit trains that is. As far as your cannery is concerned, most of the cars would logically be from the home road. That way the home road makes the most money for the haulage. Your team track would see the foreign cars mainly. As for coal, sounds like you have that pretty well set. And like I said, if you have any bridge traffic, those trains will have just about anything. I guess the mix would best be dictated by your switching your train is going to do. If it has only one car for the team track, then less foreign cars probably but if you have several for the team track, then up to 45% of your train could be off road. I know that on my operating plan, I will have more local cars for shipping out lumber and foreign cars with the grain and chemical traffic. I will also have a train that runs through from staging, setting out cars for the local and continuing on to staging with cars that won't be needed for my modeled portion of the layout. That way I can justify all those cars I like and really don't need for my branch line operation. Just my take, on my own little world. :D

    Greg Elems
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    In southern Ontario, we see a lot of foreign road cars, from all over, although Mexican cars are very rare. I saw a UP loco (as a load) a few weeks ago.
    There are some cases where railroads pool cars. Automobile business is a local example -- the amount of traffic is predictable (!) and the various railroads provide a proportionate share of the cars. I've seen trains go by with almost no home road cars.
    I expect that Pennsy never had many grain cars.
    You will be shipping most of the coal from on-line mines in home road cars, especially if it goes to on-line industries. There might be an agreement with another RR if it has a high demand industry, say a steel mill in Omaha. ;)
    Was the boxcar shortage in the 70s? That was when they started to use anything they could find for transporting, and all the little short lines sent their cars all over. (some of them were like model RRs, more boxcars than track to put them on.)

Share This Page