After reading all the later comments, I find myself agreeing with Brian Carlson, very strongly.
Or here: I kept seeing the very same Erie Lackawanna gondola being switched into a steel fabricating plant next door, week after week after week.
Can I rephrase that into: On this big railroad in this big country, I saw this same car week after week. I ask - What are the odds?
Or somewhat like when Rick Blain stated “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
See the dichotomy? And that is real life, because of the extreme odds, we notice it.
And Tony states this can be fully prototypical. And I concur with all of that. I do. I have read AFE’s for a handful of cars to be purchased to serve in captive service.
OK, here is part two. Folks in a small town will run into people they know more often than folks in a large town will. It is simple mathematics.
And it does not happen because it is a big world, which it is, it more over happens because the odds in the small town overwhelm the odds of the world at large.*
So: A large layout you will eventually see the same car and maybe you will have forgotten, however the third time it happens? We do not have an empty supermarket of space in which to model.
Are you trying to portray your railroad as a part of a larger world?
On a smaller railroad, the odds of seeing the same car become apparent sooner than later. However on a larger layout, and Schuyler noted this “with that spacing out of the sessions and I can think right now of about five cars that show up randomly, every four or five months, when they show up in the yard, I don’t have to look at the waybill – I know what train I should put it in.”
The moment of awareness that suddenly – the layout is smaller because of these same cars appear – never goes away, the odds of it are just delayed.
Again - Are you trying to portray your railroad as a part of a larger world? Then after a lot of research, and taking the time to model interchanges, and place distant names on waybills, why do actions* to oppose that?
What got me thinking about all this? Schuyler's comment: Much more engaging of brain and pleasure. That is what we all hope would be said about our layout, either built or dreamed.
And the way there follows with what Brian has been espousing. Jim Dick – Roseville, MN