It's my railroad, and I chose that to be the Atlantic & Yadkin in 1934. I don't have a wheel report for the A&Y so I got the next best thing--nearly a year of wheel reports from my shortline's owning railroad on the division that shares a yard and interchanges most with the line I model.
I recently took those reports and selected any road name contributing more than 50 car instances (i.e., recorded on a train) out of the 7000 instances recorded. That gave me about 20 roads with local names dominating and most big regional or national fleets also represented.
Then I reduced the numbers proportionally to fit my expected layout capacity of 250 revenue cars. I can scale that up or down as needed.
I now have that list of cars as my buying and building list. Those railroads without enough in the wheel reports to "make the cut" (pun intended) can be found in the miscellaneous cars, so long as there is no more than two at one time on the layout. This is my wiggle room for that must have kit.
Interestingly, I need about 100 home road box cars in the 250 cars. A function of time and geography, but clearly not unprototypical.
Sent from Dave Bott' iPhone