Re: New member checking in

Dave Nelson

Walking down a well worn path from long ago;


In the late steam era, 1940-late 50’s there is a general rule you can consider for both box and flat cars; set aside a percentage for home road cars, more if the economy is not so good, less for robust years, more for out of the way locations, less for urban areas or mainline routes. 20% is a good number to start with.  The remainder, foreign road cars, will closely hew to the percentage road has relative to the total population of those cars,   meaning that if the PRR has 12% of all US boxcars, plan on seeing 12% of boxcars on your layout as PRR cars.  Not every train, not every day, but what will occur over a period of time.  NYC has 8-9% and so on.  Easy to do if you have space for 100 foreign road cars, much harder if the space allows only 25.

The reason for this is that ordinary boxcars and flatcars were free rolling, dispersing evenly across the country, appearing on all roadroads.  There was an ad about a brand new PS-1 boxcar that wandered for over 4 years before returning to home rails.


That said the above is a guide, not the law.


Dave Nelson


From: <> On Behalf Of Jim Pattison

Hi Phil, I don’t have any of the conductor’s train books, but that work has already been done for the SP Coast Line by Tony Thompson.  The questions I imagine asking are along the line of, is the Bowser model of a Wabash round top box car correct, sort of correct, or totally wrong?

Jim Pattison

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