Tony (and all),
Yesterday you said "you can do the same thing for your layout ... I'm
going to present what my thinking process was for my SP 1953 layout"
(sic - but essentially what you said ... ???).
The parts I didn't hear from you yesterday were comments about
how those national averages (percentages) of the freight car fleet
should be modified due to regional aspects (such as a West
Coast theme). Would you expand on that a bit here please?
I have heard many, many times and from many different guys
that the number of home road cars, on any RR and on any one
day, is usually between 40% and 60% of the total cars on the
RR that day. Do you like those numbers for our layouts?
Additionally - we need to also consider the industries on our
layouts. For instance if you don't have any receivers of
tank cars (such as an oil dealer or another industry) then
the use and/or number of tank cars changes ... compared
to when you do have a particular industry.
Some quick examples of industries that affect the freight
car fleet are lumber mills, mines, power plants, fishing
canneries, food canneries, oil and gas dealers, warehouses,
cement plants, quarries, manufacturing, steel mills, etc., etc.,
To my way of thinking you want to first plan for the car types
you will need to serve on layout industries - then you start to
apply the percentages of home road cars (paying attention
to particular car types dictated by these same industries),
and finally you need to "fill out your layout roster" with the
cars based upon both national percentages -and- regional
Do you agree with these concepts? (I think you do - but
you didn't talk about it yesterday during your clinic).
And, for some car types, you also have to consider
the empties in/loads out thing ... mines, mills, cement
plants, etc. come quickly to mind.
PLEASE don't read the above as a criticism of your
Excellent clinic. These are "additional ideas that
came to my mind -because of- your clinic". And my
own spin on how they should/can be handled.
- Jim B.