what to build?

Discussion in 'The Caboose' started by King Bonk, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. King Bonk

    King Bonk New Member

    hi. im a newbie to this hobby and to this forum. but so far everyones been really helpful and freindly, thanks! i inherited a lot of HO and Lionel trains & acceessories from my dad which, like Citizen Kane searching for his sled, I found in storage and became obsessed with getting them up and running again.

    im an architect so model-building is 2nd nature to me and i have resolved to build from scatch many buildings, just for fun/challenge. that said, i purchased a walther HO set to jump start things on the HO end. Its a freight engine type train -CSX - with contemprary engine (i.e. not a steam one) and a freight / boxcar / coal etc set of cars.

    And thats when it struck me - i know where passenger trains stop -- a "train station" if you will, but i dont really know where those big freight engines stop. Given I have a freight engine, it would seem logical to build SOMETHING that a freight engine might stop at, like to let the engineer check-in or do a pit stop - but what do these things look like? What would be a logical "first building" for me to build to run this CSX frieght train - and if anyone has any prototype photos showing such a train stopped at a building, id appreciate it!!!

    Thanks, kb
  2. AndyWS

    AndyWS Member

    Well, a freight engine could stop at any of a number of places. An engine/maintenance house would work, as would some type of industry for it to make delieveries to. That could be a lumberyard, coaling depot, stockyard, oil tank, grain elevator and more.

    By the way, what type of "freight engine" is it? Carbody cab unit or hood unit?

    Former looks like this:


    Latter looks like this:

  3. King Bonk

    King Bonk New Member

    thanks! i have a hood unit, CSX, in one of the current walther HO sets. what is the history/reason behind the name "carbody" and "hood unit"?

    yeah, i guess i was thinking of a "engine/maintainance house". id love to see some suggestions of what this looks like (ie. one to use as a prototype for modeling)
  4. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Here's a good example of a modern engine house:

    Here's a larger version!


    And here's another for warmer climates, and leave a nice amount of room for detailing!


    You might also need to purchase some switches to make a spur track going off to the engine house. The second enigne house leaves alot of open space for detailing. Hope this helps! :)
  5. King Bonk

    King Bonk New Member

    just the ticket, thanks MilesWestern. i do like the last one the best. ill have something to work with now...


    of course, more good examples would be most welcome...
  6. AndyWS

    AndyWS Member

    Copied from Wikipedia:

    A hood unit, in railroad terminology, is a body style for diesel and electric locomotives. On a hood unit, the body of the locomotive is less than full-width for most of the locomotive's length, with walkways on the outside of the locomotive. In contrast, a cab unit has a full-width carbody for the length of the locomotive. A hood unit has sufficient visibility to be operated in both directions from a single cab. Also, the underframe is the main load-bearing member, allowing the hood to be non-structural and easily opened or even removed for maintenance.

    A cab unit and a carbody unit are body styles of locomotives in railroad terminology. While closely related, they are not exactly the same. With both body styles, a bridge-truss design framework is used to make the body a structural element of the locomotive. The body rises above the locomotive frame, and extends the full width of the locomotive and along its length. The service walkways are inside of the body. This gives a cab unit poor rear visibility compared to a hood unit. For this reason, cab units are mostly used in situations where rear visibility is not important, such as power for through freight and passenger trains. Cab units are also more aerodynamic than hood units, and pulled many of the streamliner trains.

    Cab units are carbody A units. In other words, a "cab unit" refers only to A units, while a "carbody unit" refers to both A units and B units. Therefore, a cab unit has to have a driving cab, or crew compartment. A carbody unit does not.

    END copying from Wikipedia.

    There is a third style, the "cowl unit" that is sort of a hybrid between the two. They were used mostly by Amtrak and AT&SF. The vast majority of locomotives you will see in ordinary service today are hood units. Most look somewhat like the one I pictured above, the EMD GP9M (modified to have a low front hood). The EMD SD series has six axles instead of four. Older hood units (such as the GP9 when it came out) have a high front hood, meaning the short part of the hood that extends forward of the cab is as tall as the long hood behind the cab, and there is no center window across the front of the cab.

    Some of the newer hood units such as the GE Dash 9 and the EMD SD80/90MAC resemble cab units from the front, since the short hoods forward of the cabs are full-width and only the long hood behind the cab is narrow with walkways. They are still classified as hood units because the hood is not a primary load-bearing structural element.
  7. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I have the Rix Products Small Engine house. A breeze to put together, makes for nice kitbashing fodder also. I've added some details to mine, such as the vents in the side and a caged ladder.

    Attached Files:

  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    A point of nomenclature: Both a passenger or freight ENGINE would be likely to stop at an enginehouse or maintenance facility. A freight TRAIN, on the other hand, can stop at any number of places:

    * An industry. The main purpose of railroads is to move goods from place to place. Freight cars are spotted at industries, loaded with goods or materials, and sent to other industries. Industries can be just about any size: a mine, a sawmill, a factory, a stockyard, a food processing plant, a power plant, an oil refinery, or even a large retail business.

    * A warehouse. Sometimes these are railroad-owned facilities called "freight stations" and sometimes private storage warehouses. Warehouses might also include sites where carload freight is distributed to local delivery trucks.

    * An interchange. An interchange is where one railroad meets another. If one railroad goes from point A to point B, and another goes from point B to point C, and you want to get something from A to C, the freight car passes from one railroad to another at an interchange at Point B.

    * A team track. This is a siding, sometimes with some sort of loading dock, where trains are loaded or unloaded directly to trucks or local vehicles, for distribution of goods to companies who do not meet the railroad directly. This eliminates the need for a middleman, but sometimes a middleman (the carload/truck terminal mentioned earlier) is useful.

    * A railroad facility. Enginehouses need regular supplies of fuel (coal or diesel) and sand, and repair facilities need regular shipments of supplies, and the railroad goes there anyhow, so it's a convenient way to bring in supplies.
  9. King Bonk

    King Bonk New Member

    all excellent suggestions/clarifications. im taking notes!

    its funny i saw my exact CSX engine running right next to my commuter train today. so these two do have the occaision to be seen together - if not on the same track. there was a service building there that had no apparent windows in the first floor but was lined with windows on the second floor. ill take a picture and perhaps someone can tell me what it is...
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    King Bonk: While there are features that make a locomotive preferred for either freight or passenger use, they have been frequently interchanged. I know that GO Transit (commuter line in Toronto) used to rent its locos out for freight on the weekends, and a freight diesel could be used to supplement power on a passenger train. Usual differences are lower gearing for freight and coach power (steam or electric) for passenger.
  11. King Bonk

    King Bonk New Member

    yeah! i was reading up on the Strasburg Railroad and note that, apparently, short-line railroads often used out-and-out "freight" locomotives to pull passenger cars. #90, from Strasburg, is a giant freight locomotive that proved its worth running giant consists of sugar beets from the heartland. Now it pulls me and my kiddies. Like the book from the railroad itself says: "Only a short line railroad would have the audacity to use a frieght engine like #90 for passenger service"

    i think my layout's definitely gonna be a short line :thumb: . thats the only way to explain my eclectic mix of trains my dad collected.
  12. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Not unusual at all. One thing learned rapidly in the study of model railroading is that there is a prototype for EVERYTHING. The Southern Pacific used freight locomotives to pull passenger cars whenever it made sense, which wasn't all the time but it certainly happened.

    Passenger or commuter trains and freight trains often share the same rails--it is generally not economical to lay separate track for freight and passenger service, unless there is some other factor at play (one is electric and one is not, local restrictions on freight service in towns, etc.)

    While they don't run them any more, there used to be something called a "mixed train" which carried both passengers and freight.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    When I was growing up on the San Francisco peninsula, the SP was running the F-M Trainmasters on the San Jose to San Fran commuter service during the week. On weekends and after hours, they used the Trainmasters for freight service.
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    In steam days, the major fixture that made a passenger locomotive was a steam heating pipe. In warmer weather, they didn't even need that. In the diesel era (maybe earlier?) they developed steam heating cars that eliminated the need for specific passenger diesels. GO Transit once used a combination of freight diesels with old A or B units where the diesel was powering the coach heating and lighting.
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think railroads used that steam pipe year round. The passenger cars had a steam absorbtion ( I think that's what they called it) air conditioning system for use in the summer. Also the steam would be used for some of the cooking equipment in the dining car, even if steam heating wasn't needed, the steam was still needed for other things.

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