Re: Box cars on your layout

Bruce Smith


Haven't you been paying attention?<VBG> Didn't we just hash this out a couple of weeks ago?

"I used the Nelson Gilbert theory to distribute the boxcars as the basis for
my fleet."

Can someone enlighten me on this? I looked in the files section for
something along this line and didn't come up with anything.

On another topic, the discussion about box cars on the layout seems to
center on what was on the mainline of major railroads. I take it that a branch
line or short line would have a very different makeup.
Not necessarily. The N-G model predicts that the non-home road cars will be in proportion to the national fleet, with the exception of assigned service cars. Some folks insist on adjusting that with "nearest neighbor cars" but the data on that is mixed. So, for general service, the branch is simply a microcosm for the larger road. And if you understand car utilization, this makes sense.

For instance cars on
the Missouri Pacific Southern Illinois coal field area I model would be mainly
hoppers (obviously), and a lot of repeat cars for on-line customers.
Right and the N-G model is for boxcars, not hoppers so you cannot use it to predict these.

there is very little bridge traffic, it seems to me that the roster of all
cars would be much narrower in scope, and could be skewed significantly toward
just a few types. The catch is to find some information on local businesses
and than make assumptions on what types of cars they would require. Since no
wheel reports exist that I have been able to find, and photos of anything but
locomotives (and hoppers) are rare, freight cars occurring on this line are
going to be a guess.
So go with the national percentages, plus of course home road cars.


Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
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