Re: Rolling stock as scenery

michael bishop <goldrod_1@...>

Back in the late 50's and early 60's ( up to the early 70's) the Santa Fe would fill most of the sidings between  Barstow and Needles, CA with ice reefers with the hatches and doors open to dry out in late spring and summer. I used to repeat this scene on my layout with about 25 SFRD ice reefers. When I would notice the reefers out on the desert, these cars came out their box's for a few months of drying then go back to the shelf (on paper they had been sent else where for use). Then a MOW train of bunk cars, tool cars and supplies would show up on some of the sidings for awhile. Santa Fe also kept several 10 car strings of reefers at Summit on the Cajon Pass to be added to downhill west bounds as braking cars with the retainer valves set.
Michael Bishop

--- On Sat, 6/6/09, Armand Premo <> wrote:

From: Armand Premo <>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Rolling stock as scenery
Date: Saturday, June 6, 2009, 6:29 PM

This may not be as far fetched as it may seem.In Alburgh on the Rutland, foreign hoppers would be stored awaiting unloading in a rather large coal facility.The coal would then be transferred to company wooden hopper bottomed Gons for storage or on line delivery to other on-line coaling facilities.It was not unusual to see long strings of these cars waiting to be loaded.Several ballast gons were also on hand to be loaded with ashes from the ash pit which then would be used elsewhere on the line.Thus these seemingly unglamorous cars could be considered scenery,but were an active part of the daily operations at this terminal.I suspect that this practice was not unique to the Rutland.Armand Premo
----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis Storzek
To: STMFC@yahoogroups. com
Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 8:36 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Rolling stock as scenery

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. com, "Tom Madden" <tgmadden@.. .> wrote:

Maybe that's how to overcome the Better Homes & Gardens effect - put a line of idle gons or box cars on the far track, or at the end of a few sidings. They wouldn't be a factor in an operating session so presumably wouldn't impose themselves on your conscienceness. They'd just be there, as scenery, "present but not voting".

Just some thoughts of a wandering mind.

Tom Madden
The problem with that is most layouts already have a track to scenery ratio that's way out of kilter. However, Tom raises a good point; storage tracks could really be part of the scenery, track along the backdrop, or even behind background buildings, that aren't physically connected to the rest of the layout. Might even represent part of another railroad's yard... we don't know, because we'll never move the cars.

If the layout is large enough, this problem tends to diminish. When I run Defiance Yard on John Swanson's DW&LS, I classify cars for an eight hour trick (four actual hours) and build several outbound trains. But, I have some classifications that only go out on one train every twenty four hours, so some of those cars have been sitting in the yard for three sessions when they finally leave.

Bill Darnaby's Maumee Route is much the same; each session only runs twelve hours, so the locals only switch the towns every other session.

On both layouts there are cars that have been sitting quietly in the background for a while.


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