Time Periods

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Old_Bob, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

    I have some vague feel for which type and style of cars and locos were used when and where, but is there an economical and brief book on the subject?
  2. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    ask us about cars, engines, autos and industries, and we'll try to match the timeframe, got a list?

    Quick rundown:

    First Steam:1830
    Interurban Era: 1905-1960
    Modern Steam Era :1950-1955
    First Large scale diesel order: 1939 (For EMD's FT's)
    Transition Periods between steam/Diesel 1939-1960
    First Genreation Diesel (EMD FT through EMD GP9) 1939-'59
    Second Generation Diesel (EMD GP20-GP30) 1960-'72
    Thrid Generation (EMD GP35-GP60) 1972-1996
    Fourth (Present) Generation (SD70-??) 1997-??

    *Just using EMD as a yardstick, because it's easy for me to reall build dates.

    Freight Cars ( * have roofwalks)
    Wood w/ Trussrods and wood underframe* 1800-1930
    Wood w/Steel underframe* 1915-1965
    All Steel* 1937-1970
    Hy-cubes Center Beams and All door Boxcars 1970-1995
    Modern All Steel 1970-??

    Passenger Cars

    All wood 1830-1917
    Heavywieght All steek 1917-1965
    Streamline Stainless Steel "Heritage" 1937-1990
    Modern Hi-level double deck commuter cars (1955-??) Superliners (1980?)
    Era of the Dome (1952-1979)

    Hope this helps! This took alot of work!
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Miles has provided a good overview of railroading timeframes, but the short answer to your question is really "no". It very much depends on what location, railroad, and time you are looking at. Some rr's were very "progressive" and went to diesel pre-WW2. Others did not scrap the majority of their steamers until the late 1950s or early 1960s (at least in certain areas).

    There were some major industry-wide decisions/regulations, like the removal of roofwalks, or the banning of "billboard" advertising on refrigerator cars.

    Hope that helps.

  4. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

    Thanks for the guidance, guys. Miles, that is a great list and I appreciate your effort.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Old Bob

    Are you looking for pre-WW1 or WW1 and after information? WW1 or 1910 is a dividing line that is commonly used to separate early rail from the standard practices that prevailed after that. Pre-1910 is a fascinating time of development, engineering, and learning - and is obviously my favorite. Ways of life that we take for granted were just not known then. Over 10% of the labor force worked for the railroads or their direct suppliers in 1900. Cities were choking on pollution (dust and waste) from horses. The new-fangled automobile held the promise of cleaning up the cities.

    The American or 4-4-0 became a standard about 1860, but was further refined for about the next 50 years. I can't think of any common carrier railroad - standard or narrow gauge - that did not have at least one 4-4-0 during the second half of the 19th century. They proved to be a little too small and light for Western mountain railroading (and Eastern coal hauling), though.

    The 2-6-0, 2-8-0, and 4-6-0 all became mainstay upgrades, depending on the biases of a given railroad's engineering department.

    In the very early 1900s, trailing wheels to support larger fireboxes were engineered. Thus started the development of 20th century steam power - the 4-4-2, 4-6-2, 4-6-4, 2-8-2, and so on.

    Geared locomotives (Shays, Climaxes, Dunkirks, Heislers, etc) were developed in the late 1880s for logging railroads; their use became widespread in places with steep grades, sharp curves, poor track, and heavy loads. Geared loco production peaked just before WW1.

    Janney knuckle couplers and Westinghouse air brake systems were invented, and were finally required in interchange by 1903. Grab iron, steps, and ladder placement were also somewhat standardized by the same act.

    The use of air brakes and knuckle couplers, combined with the growing size of locomotives, allowed control of much longer trains. Wood frames and truss rods were no longer up to the task; steel underframes were used for almost all new construction after 1910, and were eventually required for interchange use.

    Narrow gauge was incredibly popular in the 1870s and 1880s. However, by 1910 most of the profitable narrow gauge routes had been widened to standard gauge. Narrow gauge had become an economic failure due to the growth in efficiency of standard gauge, and the necessity for economic interchange. The rest of the narrow gauge lines that hadn't already failed would do so in the 1930s and/or 50s.

    my thoughts, your choices
  7. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

    Fred, fascinating rundown! I enjoy history.
    My model RR interest starts around 1930 (my birthday!) and on from there, but primarily steamers. My grandad was an engineer on MoPac lines and an uncle was a fireman on MoPac after WWII.
  8. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Yeah man! Another MoPac guy!

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