Why not model actual train consists?


Jim Betz
 

Hi,

We keep re-visiting the topic of freight car distribution ...
and discussing how to represent the freight cars for a point
in time or an "era" ... and then, presumably, adjusting the
mix of freight cars on our layouts ...

So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.

Is anyone out there doing this? Thinking seriously about it?
Tried it and found they couldn't field enough models to fill
the bill (how close did you get)? Selectively compress out the
models you don't have as a first cut? No, substitutions allowed
(same number series but different number)? One box car - from
the correct era - is just as good as the next?

You could even preserve the order of the cars in the train
even if you aren't modelling all of them. And 'just' adjust
the waybills for the layout?
- Jim Why Not


Tim O'Connor
 

Jim

Yes, the thought has occurred to me and I'm sure to many others.
I have seen consists for 1950's and 1960's "mixed freights" (not
unit trains) where most of the cars can be modeled in HO scale.
My practical limit on train size is around 50-60 cars (that's the
size of train I can transport in a Proto-Power case with 5 boxes)
and so compression isn't necessarily a problem.

People model whole passenger trains, so why not freight trains?

Also, this way of modeling appeals to me because I like to model
freight cars of railroads other than the SP (my main interest) so
I can model a C&NW or Rock Island or Southern Rwy train too. And
of course SP trains varied a lot depending on the region.

Tim O'Connor

We keep re-visiting the topic of freight car distribution ...
and discussing how to represent the freight cars for a point
in time or an "era" ... and then, presumably, adjusting the
mix of freight cars on our layouts ...

So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.

Is anyone out there doing this? Thinking seriously about it?
Tried it and found they couldn't field enough models to fill
the bill (how close did you get)? Selectively compress out the
models you don't have as a first cut? No, substitutions allowed
(same number series but different number)? One box car - from
the correct era - is just as good as the next?

You could even preserve the order of the cars in the train
even if you aren't modelling all of them. And 'just' adjust
the waybills for the layout?
- Jim Why Not


Bruce Smith
 

Jim Betz <jimbetz@jimbetz.com> 05/23/11 9:55 AM >>>
So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.
Jim,

Lots of folks do this or something similar. I disparagingly call it
"ground hog day" syndrome because you are doomed to repeat the same
thing over and over again. If you are interested in operations, this
really does not work. What operator wants to see the same train and do
the same work every time (hence the ground hog day moniker)?

If you're interested in ops (and to me that is what keeps a model RR
interesting), then you need to work with a fleet and a system that
realistically moves cars on, over and off of the railroad... hence my
interest in the fleet approach, since I am absolutely an operator, and
not a "railfan" modeler.

Regards
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


Armand Premo
 

I do use actual consists when ever possible.Naturally I can not run an entire train but break a single consist to a more manageable number.The rest will be sent in a "Second Section".Because I have records for entire months wheel reports can be much more realistic.The major hitch is that not all cars are available in model form.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: Tim O'Connor
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 11:18 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Why not model actual train consists?



Jim

Yes, the thought has occurred to me and I'm sure to many others.
I have seen consists for 1950's and 1960's "mixed freights" (not
unit trains) where most of the cars can be modeled in HO scale.
My practical limit on train size is around 50-60 cars (that's the
size of train I can transport in a Proto-Power case with 5 boxes)
and so compression isn't necessarily a problem.

People model whole passenger trains, so why not freight trains?

Also, this way of modeling appeals to me because I like to model
freight cars of railroads other than the SP (my main interest) so
I can model a C&NW or Rock Island or Southern Rwy train too. And
of course SP trains varied a lot depending on the region.

Tim O'Connor

> We keep re-visiting the topic of freight car distribution ...
>and discussing how to represent the freight cars for a point
>in time or an "era" ... and then, presumably, adjusting the
>mix of freight cars on our layouts ...
>
> So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
>find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
>compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.
>
> Is anyone out there doing this? Thinking seriously about it?
>Tried it and found they couldn't field enough models to fill
>the bill (how close did you get)? Selectively compress out the
>models you don't have as a first cut? No, substitutions allowed
>(same number series but different number)? One box car - from
>the correct era - is just as good as the next?
>
> You could even preserve the order of the cars in the train
>even if you aren't modelling all of them. And 'just' adjust
>the waybills for the layout?
> - Jim Why Not






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Richard Orr <SUVCWORR@...>
 

Why not? Primarily because they are not available for the road I model.
They were consider to contain information that was valuable to competitors
so the sheets were routinely destroyed by the railroad and second because it
would become very boring switching the same car to the same location every
operating session.

What I do is use the make-up of trains and train consists not using specific
cars for a specific day. I do follow the blocking instructions in the
make-up of trains. This allows variability in the actual cars in the train
and allows for a system which varies the deliveries of cars.

That being said, I am still left with all those mineral trains which
operated as extras and those scheduled trains with simple make-ups like "all
westward empties indiscriminately."

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jim
Betz
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 10:52 AM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Why not model actual train consists?

Hi,

We keep re-visiting the topic of freight car distribution ...
and discussing how to represent the freight cars for a point
in time or an "era" ... and then, presumably, adjusting the
mix of freight cars on our layouts ...

So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.

Is anyone out there doing this? Thinking seriously about it?
Tried it and found they couldn't field enough models to fill
the bill (how close did you get)? Selectively compress out the
models you don't have as a first cut? No, substitutions allowed
(same number series but different number)? One box car - from
the correct era - is just as good as the next?

You could even preserve the order of the cars in the train
even if you aren't modelling all of them. And 'just' adjust
the waybills for the layout?
- Jim Why Not



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links


james murrie
 

I've done it with passenger trains, but not freight. lack of reference materials on my part mostly as I'd like to do an accurate mixed train sometime.
Jim Murrie

-


William Keene <wakeene@...>
 

Jim and Group,

While I do not model specific trains, I do base my modeling on a somewhat similar bit of information. My operation scheme for my switching layout has its foundation based upon the documentation of freight car traffic into and out of Climax, Kansas, that was complied by a young James Burke and posted on the SFRH&MS website. While I model Gridley and Burlington, Kansas, instead of Climax the towns of Gridley and Climax are not that far apart thus the freight car mix and operations should be somewhat similar.

Burke's documentation was done in 1945 and covers perhaps 85 to 90% of that year. Climax is a small Kansas town somewhat similar to Gridley. While I model 1953 instead of 1945, there is not too much difference. Rolling stock wise, I tend to follow the actual car types and railroads that were seen in Climax. Yes, there are some revisions. Cars that were removed from service prior to 1953 are replaced in the fleet with more modern cars from the same railroad. Burke's list also provides an understanding into the ebb and flow of rail traffic in rural east-central Kansas.

As for operations... the concept is to use Burke's list to create the necessary traffic movements. And each operations secession will be the next day of the year (1953) as the little mixed train operated on a daily except Sunday schedule. This results in 312 operating secessions before the cycle would repeat itself. If the modeled layout operations happened even once a week, then that would be over 6 actual years before the list would repeat itself. And that is only at Gridley.

As for Burlington, Kansas, which is a much larger town of around 2,500 souls, the rail traffic will be interpolated from the Gridley traffic based upon the variance in the industries served in the larger town. Also, the operations will also incorporate some additional acquired data that fills in the gaps. And of course, the operations will be flavored to taste.

As for the size of the fleet, the plan is presently in action to acquire a freight car fleet based upon the mix of cars and railroads on Burke's list. There are a total of around 160 individual freight cars on the list. I presently have about 40 of them. Adding in the cars and operations at Burlington would add at least another 160 freight cars. No, I do not believe I will ever reach a total freight car fleet of 300+ cars. The goal is to have a prototypical overall fleet with a proper mix of home road cars (ATSF in this case) combined with the remaining cars being representative of the national fleet mix. Around 70% of the cars on the layout are boxcars. Stock cars make up the next highest percentage. One item, there is not a single hopper car -- other than MW ballast hoppers -- on the line.

Is this exact train modeling? No. But the concept represents operations based upon actual car movements. I am happy with this concept and am looking forward to the challenge of building a very interesting freight car fleet.

Happy Modeling,
Bill Keene
Irvine, CA

On May 23, 2011, at 7:52 AM, Jim Betz wrote:

Hi,

We keep re-visiting the topic of freight car distribution ...
and discussing how to represent the freight cars for a point
in time or an "era" ... and then, presumably, adjusting the
mix of freight cars on our layouts ...

So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.

Is anyone out there doing this? Thinking seriously about it?
Tried it and found they couldn't field enough models to fill
the bill (how close did you get)? Selectively compress out the
models you don't have as a first cut? No, substitutions allowed
(same number series but different number)? One box car - from
the correct era - is just as good as the next?

You could even preserve the order of the cars in the train
even if you aren't modelling all of them. And 'just' adjust
the waybills for the layout?
- Jim Why Not


Richard Hendrickson
 

On May 23, 2011, at 7:52 AM, Jim Betz wrote:

Hi,

We keep re-visiting the topic of freight car distribution ...
and discussing how to represent the freight cars for a point
in time or an "era" ... and then, presumably, adjusting the
mix of freight cars on our layouts ...

So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.

Is anyone out there doing this? Thinking seriously about it?
Tried it and found they couldn't field enough models to fill
the bill (how close did you get)? Selectively compress out the
models you don't have as a first cut? No, substitutions allowed
(same number series but different number)? One box car - from
the correct era - is just as good as the next?

You could even preserve the order of the cars in the train
even if you aren't modelling all of them. And 'just' adjust
the waybills for the layout?
JIm, many years ago the late Terry Metcalfe had found a cache of
wheel reports for the location and date he wanted to model on the
Union Pacific and was well along with the research that would have
enabled him to model specific trains. I helped him with that
research and provided numerous photos of the car series in the wheel
reports. At that time, there were fewer models available of the cars
he would have needed, but today, with the profusion of styrene and
resin freight car models that have been introduced since that time,
it would be much easier to replicate those trains exactly.
Regrettably, Terry's unfortunate and premature death brought that
effort to a halt.

I know a number of other modelers who are doing essentially what you
describe, and I'd be inclined to do it myself if I had the
documentation it would require.

Bruce Smith's objection that modeling specific trains would make it
impossible to do prototypical operation is, of course valid. but
modeling specific trains is a viable alternative for those of us who
don't have the space to build a model railroad that's suitable for
prototypical operation. My diorama is intended to be what Bruce
refers to (I hope not condescendingly) as a "railfan's" model
railroad; sit down on a stool (standing in for a pile of crossties)
and watch the trains run through a scene that is, as accurately as I
can make it, a miniature of a real place at a real point in time. I
find prototypical operation rewarding, too, but when I feel the need
for an operating fix I can get it at the La Mesa club's Tehachapi
Pass layout in San Diego or at Bill Darnaby's in suburban Chicago.
On both of those large model railroads, operations are realistic
enough that it's well worth the air fare to get there occasionally.

Richard Hendrickson


Robert kirkham
 

I'm not doing exactly that - I have no train consists from my modelling area and era to work from (the nearest consists are dated some 25 years later).

However, on the advice of a mathematically minded friend, I do try to model the cars shown in photos taken in my modelled location and eta (a five mile stretch of the CPR's waterfront trackage in Vancouver through 1946). I waiver away from this approach to allow inclusion of cars shown in photos taken from 1944 through 1948, just to beef up the total numbers. That has its risks as the port had different traffic during the war and immediate post war periods, though it is hard to know how much anything changed. O well. (I do know of one shipyard ceasing construction. We stopped shipping supplies to the USSR near the end of the war. That's about all I really know so far.)

With a lot of the photos I've collected being taken at a distance and with variable quality lenses and ability of photographers, I often cannot make out car numbers. Sometimes all I can make out is that a car is steel and the same height as the car next to it. Or steel frame (like a fowler car). Or a gon with 13 panels.

My intent is to document the observable traits of the cars shown in the photos I have collected into a spread Excel sheet. Each photo is a spread sheet. In some cases the observable data about a car will be only one or two traits; in others it is everything you would want for modelling down to the specific car number.

For modelling purposes, I will develop my fleet based on the distributions that can be discerned from the photos. So, for example, of cars where the owner is known, I will develop ratios for car ownership. For basic car types (box, automobile, gon, flat, reefer, etc) I can develop proportions based on the cars that have those traits. For wood, steel and composite construction types, I can again discern ratios from the known cars in the photos. Likewise for home road versus off road cars.

Often the limitations in what one can see in a photo kick in. So I can see that a string of Fowler stock cars sit on a track, but cannot tell what type of roof, or the number of end posts, or door type. In those cases, the method I am using dictates that I can model any fowler stock car to fill that slot in the overall distribution and still be consistent with the observed data. The same approach is applied to modified 1937 steel boxcars, UTLX tank cars, etc., etc.

At a certain point I have to account for the cars in the photos that I cannot discern much about (usually the basic car type is evident, but even that could be subtly wrong - eg. if all I can see is a roof on a house car, I probably know it isn't a reefer, but it may be a boxcar, automobile car or even a ventilator; usually I can also discern approx. length and height). The unknown cars do form part of the overall car distribution I am trying to model. But when I turn to model that part of the distribution, I am "allowed" to include cars that are chosen from what is available on the market without being too picky. Given that the models available to the hobby tend to be those that were most common, using such cars to represent the unknowns in my roster isn't going to create too many obvious anomalies. I'll save scratch-building and modifying kits for those cars I can clearly identify!

The result should be a fleet that resembles the actual data I have.

Also, to the extent certain combinations of cars are on certain tracks, I can discern some limited things about the use of the yard tracks, and the order of cars on any given track could be used as a basis for making up trains (i.e. since trains were received into yard tracks and pulled from yard tracks, a yard track equals part or all of a past or future train).

The reality is that the amount of information discernable from photos is likely to exceed my model building time as well as my needs. When I eventually start to approach the ratios evident in the photos, the less-filled slots in the roster will be more evident and allow me to focus my work. For now, I can pretty much target anything of interest without fear of distorting the eventual roster.

Rob Kirkham



--------------------------------------------------
From: "Jim Betz" <jimbetz@jimbetz.com>
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 7:52 AM
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Why not model actual train consists?

Hi,

We keep re-visiting the topic of freight car distribution ...
and discussing how to represent the freight cars for a point
in time or an "era" ... and then, presumably, adjusting the
mix of freight cars on our layouts ...

So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.

Is anyone out there doing this? Thinking seriously about it?
Tried it and found they couldn't field enough models to fill
the bill (how close did you get)? Selectively compress out the
models you don't have as a first cut? No, substitutions allowed
(same number series but different number)? One box car - from
the correct era - is just as good as the next?

You could even preserve the order of the cars in the train
even if you aren't modelling all of them. And 'just' adjust
the waybills for the layout?
- Jim Why Not


Tim O'Connor
 

I concur with Richard -- and I do find Bruce's description rather
condescending. Nowadays a home layout can run into 10's of thousands
of dollars, not to mention requiring space in one's home (which costs
a whole lot more). And many operating venues -- clubs and modular
layouts -- are not amenable to traditional "operations" where you can
leave your equipment, and know it won't be tampered with, mistreated
or even stolen. I like realistic operating too, occasionally, but it's
not my main focus. But I do like to run the trains that I build. If
you're lucky enough to find a consist you can model, it can be very
rewarding to model it, and know with certainty that this train really
did exist!

Tim O'Connor

--------------------------------------------------

Bruce Smith's objection that modeling specific trains would make it
impossible to do prototypical operation is, of course valid. but
modeling specific trains is a viable alternative for those of us who
don't have the space to build a model railroad that's suitable for
prototypical operation. My diorama is intended to be what Bruce
refers to (I hope not condescendingly) as a "railfan's" model
railroad; sit down on a stool (standing in for a pile of crossties)
and watch the trains run through a scene that is, as accurately as I
can make it, a miniature of a real place at a real point in time. I
find prototypical operation rewarding, too, but when I feel the need
for an operating fix I can get it at the La Mesa club's Tehachapi
Pass layout in San Diego or at Bill Darnaby's in suburban Chicago.
On both of those large model railroads, operations are realistic
enough that it's well worth the air fare to get there occasionally.

Richard Hendrickson


Armand Premo
 

Well Bruce,one of the confining factors is a layout large enough to meet that goal.If one is restricted by space one might run through consists from one staging yard to another.run locals,mixed , milk trains and extras.If you have a month of data I guarantee you will not get bored.Thirty days of wheel reports and only one or two ops sessions per month...........well I think you know what I mean.Armand Premo----- Original Message -----
From: Bruce Smith
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Why not model actual train consists?



>>> Jim Betz <jimbetz@jimbetz.com> 05/23/11 9:55 AM >>>
> So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
>find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
>compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.

Jim,

Lots of folks do this or something similar. I disparagingly call it
"ground hog day" syndrome because you are doomed to repeat the same
thing over and over again. If you are interested in operations, this
really does not work. What operator wants to see the same train and do
the same work every time (hence the ground hog day moniker)?

If you're interested in ops (and to me that is what keeps a model RR
interesting), then you need to work with a fleet and a system that
realistically moves cars on, over and off of the railroad... hence my
interest in the fleet approach, since I am absolutely an operator, and
not a "railfan" modeler.

Regards
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL





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asychis@...
 

I'd love to do this! Would someone on the list supply me with consists
for Missouri Pacific Trains on the Benton or East-West Subdivisions of the
Illinois Division anytime from 1945-1957?

VVVVBG!

Jerry Michels


tyesac@...
 

I've seen only one example of such a train, at the annual Santa Fe convention held in San Diego years ago. I don't remember who brought it but it was a sight to behold in regards to the level of model building work shown and background documentation & research behind it. As I recall it was around 25 - 30 cars and had only a few "stand ins". Each car was the correct version (rebuilds), appropriately weathered relative to the car age. The train in question was a version of the nightly northbound San Deigo/LA Surf line way freight.

The shorter the train, the likelihood for being modeled in it's entirety increases often because the whole train fit with in the frame of one camera shot. There is a well published set of photos by Stan Kistler of a way freight operating on the El Paso to Belen NM "horny toad" line. It's a nice candidate to be modeled exactly since Stan took a broadside photo of the whole consist of the short train. It's pulled by a 2-10-0 and included at least one MILW ribside box car as well as a PRR X29 & NYC steel side rebuild among other cars.

Accumulating the necessary information and then building the models can be a hobby with a hobby even without trying to get to an exact consist.

In relation to passenger trains, it's rare to have a conductors report for a specific consist on a certain day. Most passenger train modelers are, like freight train modelers, modeling a facsimile of a typical consist.

For example the Super Chief is one of the most documented & photographed trains in the west, yet, to cover daily LA Chicago service, Santa Fe had to have a minimum of six cars of each one/consist type cars (eg diners). For the usual four sleepers drawn from four separate groups (Pine,Regal,Blue, & Palm series) there were more than just six of each available to make up a typical Super Chief. Without a conductor's report, the permutations that are possible become impractical to model short of going into "ground hog day mode".

Tom Casey


I concur with Richard -- and I do find Bruce's description rather
condescending. Nowadays a home layout can run into 10's of thousands
of dollars, not to mention requiring space in one's home (which costs
a whole lot more). And many operating venues -- clubs and modular
layouts -- are not amenable to traditional "operations" where you can
leave your equipment, and know it won't be tampered with, mistreated
or even stolen. I like realistic operating too, occasionally, but it's
not my main focus. But I do like to run the trains that I build. If
you're lucky enough to find a consist you can model, it can be very
rewarding to model it, and know with certainty that this train really
did exist!

Tim O'Connor

--------------------------------------------------

Bruce Smith's objection that modeling specific trains would make it
impossible to do prototypical operation is, of course valid. but
modeling specific trains is a viable alternative for those of us who
don't have the space to build a model railroad that's suitable for
prototypical operation. My diorama is intended to be what Bruce
refers to (I hope not condescendingly) as a "railfan's" model
railroad; sit down on a stool (standing in for a pile of crossties)
and watch the trains run through a scene that is, as accurately as I
can make it, a miniature of a real place at a real point in time. I
find prototypical operation rewarding, too, but when I feel the need
for an operating fix I can get it at the La Mesa club's Tehachapi
Pass layout in San Diego or at Bill Darnaby's in suburban Chicago.
On both of those large model railroads, operations are realistic
enough that it's well worth the air fare to get there occasionally.

Richard Hendrickson






-----Original Message-----
From: Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@comcast.net>
To: STMFC <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Mon, May 23, 2011 12:57 pm
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Why not model actual train consists?





I concur with Richard -- and I do find Bruce's description rather
condescending. Nowadays a home layout can run into 10's of thousands
of dollars, not to mention requiring space in one's home (which costs
a whole lot more). And many operating venues -- clubs and modular
layouts -- are not amenable to traditional "operations" where you can
leave your equipment, and know it won't be tampered with, mistreated
or even stolen. I like realistic operating too, occasionally, but it's
not my main focus. But I do like to run the trains that I build. If
you're lucky enough to find a consist you can model, it can be very
rewarding to model it, and know with certainty that this train really
did exist!

Tim O'Connor

--------------------------------------------------

Bruce Smith's objection that modeling specific trains would make it
impossible to do prototypical operation is, of course valid. but
modeling specific trains is a viable alternative for those of us who
don't have the space to build a model railroad that's suitable for
prototypical operation. My diorama is intended to be what Bruce
refers to (I hope not condescendingly) as a "railfan's" model
railroad; sit down on a stool (standing in for a pile of crossties)
and watch the trains run through a scene that is, as accurately as I
can make it, a miniature of a real place at a real point in time. I
find prototypical operation rewarding, too, but when I feel the need
for an operating fix I can get it at the La Mesa club's Tehachapi
Pass layout in San Diego or at Bill Darnaby's in suburban Chicago.
On both of those large model railroads, operations are realistic
enough that it's well worth the air fare to get there occasionally.

Richard Hendrickson






[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Bruce Smith
 

On May 23, 2011, at 12:57 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:


I concur with Richard -- and I do find Bruce's description rather
condescending.
Since when is straight talk condescending? ;^) I gave my
preferences, for ME, not you, not Richard, or anyone else on this
list. To ME, as an owner, a railfan layout becomes boring very
quickly, but that's me. And that's not to say I do not enjoy seeing
them as some are spectacular representations and an excellent
mechanism for displaying steam era freight cars. I've opped on a few
and had fun, but also know that if it were my layout, I'd get tired
of it quickly and most idle layouts I have seen are of the railfan
type. I know my preference because I've seen and worked with a lot
of layouts. In fact, my planned layout has a significant "railfan"
section, but I've also added several operational challenges in order
to keep it more interesting to me (e.g. a helper district and
required interchange of cars) and the remainder of the layout will
have LOTS of operational challenges so that hopefully, the whole
package never becomes boring.

Can you run a decent ops session with predetermined trains? Yes, I
guess you can. From my perspective, that would mean that every move
would have to be correographed based on existing switch or consist
lists. Obviously, you would need lots of consists, and as Jim
indicated in his original post, you may need to "adjust" the consist
for a variety of reasons (but then you stray from modeling the
consist to partially modeling the consist...). As Armand says, if
you have a month of work from the railroad, it can take a long time
to cycle through and would avoid the "ground hog day" syndrome.

Interestingly, I have yet to find single consist from my period on my
modeled section of railroad (PRR, COLA tower, June 1944) so I have no
choice anyway.

As for needing a large layout for ops, as a member of the LDSIG, I
say BALDERDASH! ;^) Sure, you need some mileage if you TT&TO, but
that isn't the only way to have ops. Honestly, I could probably be
happy with staging, a modeled yard (or industrial district, or
town...) and that's it. In fact, that's what I hope to start on this
summer so Brianna and I can have somewhere to operate. It will be
the town of Oxford PA on the Octoraro branch of the PRR. Power is a
couple of 2-8-0 H class locos, and a doodlebug (class OEG 350 IIRC)
for passenger service. The branch will run on manual blocks with
clearance cards and yard limits in Oxford, just like the prototype.
Hopefully, Oxford could eventually be integrated into the larger
"dream" layout when I get the space.


Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
__
/ &#92;
__<+--+>________________&#92;__/___ ________________________________
|- ______/ O O &#92;_______ -| | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ |
| / 4999 PENNSYLVANIA 4999 &#92; | ||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||
|/_____________________________&#92;|_|________________________________|
| O--O &#92;0 0 0 0/ O--O | 0-0-0 0-0-0


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Bruce Smith wrote:
To ME, as an owner, a railfan layout becomes boring very quickly, but that's me.
Of course, others may well get more excited about the time- machine railfan experience than you do, Bruce. Personally, though, I agree with you, and my own layout is heavily switching, as you likely realize from my blog.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Ken Roth
 

Jim and Group,
I have been the fortunate recipient of four trains-worth of
conductor's logs for the exact time period and location I model, 1950.
They provide a wealth of information and I have had a lot of fun
researching how to model various cars. My fantasy would be to build a
complete train of correct models with exact car numbers, but I will
probably never achieve it within my life span. In the year or so I have
had the logs I have finished about 12 cars. I have resolved to at least
not buy or build cars that don't appear in these logs or in photos I
have of cars on the line I model. This serves as a useful constraint on
kit purchases, and while 274 cars is still statistically a very small
sample, the variety included is more than sufficient to yield some very
interesting consists containing cars I never dreamed would have shown up
in Southern Oregon. Within these constraints, I have randomly built
what most intrigued me or was an easily-completed kit. I find I'm more
willing to put extra time into super-detailing when I know it represents
a particular car, lading and destination.
As far as operation is concerned, I use the cars in any combination
that results from normal waybill operation. If I ever get a complete
train built, it would only be assembled as represented in the
conductor's log for a special display occasion. Its too bad there
aren't more extant logs. I would dearly love to have more, just to get
a more complete history of my line's operation.

Ken Roth


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:


Interestingly, I have yet to find single consist from my period on my
modeled section of railroad (PRR, COLA tower, June 1944) so I have no
choice anyway.
I tend to agree with Bruce. If one is trying to model the operation, unless one has access to the train consists across the territory for the entire time modeled, or preferably multiples of that time period, you have no assurance you have all the cars you need. Even having a year's worth of time book consists won't assure you all the cars; depending on where the owner of the time book stood on the seniority roster, he likely wasn't working ALL the possible jobs. If he was too far down the list, he didn't catch the prize manifest jobs, whereas, if he was near the top, he didn't catch the dog-breath locals and empty car haulers. Either way, he missed recording either the reefers running non stop clear across the division, or the stinky Mty stockcars.

If you are going to model the entire day's action across the territory, rather than just one train, you need both, and everything else in between.

Dennis


robertm
 

For me modeling actual train consists is always the goal.

Bob Moeller

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote:

Hi,

We keep re-visiting the topic of freight car distribution ...
and discussing how to represent the freight cars for a point
in time or an "era" ... and then, presumably, adjusting the
mix of freight cars on our layouts ...

So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.

Is anyone out there doing this? Thinking seriously about it?
Tried it and found they couldn't field enough models to fill
the bill (how close did you get)? Selectively compress out the
models you don't have as a first cut? No, substitutions allowed
(same number series but different number)? One box car - from
the correct era - is just as good as the next?

You could even preserve the order of the cars in the train
even if you aren't modelling all of them. And 'just' adjust
the waybills for the layout?
- Jim Why Not


Armand Premo
 

Even with all that information it would still be difficult because many (most) of the cars are still unavailable.The selection process is ongoing.Too often one has to rely on "stand ins".Rosters are constantly changing as more and better models become available..Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: soolinehistory
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 7:02 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Why not model actual train consists?





--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:

>
> Interestingly, I have yet to find single consist from my period on my
> modeled section of railroad (PRR, COLA tower, June 1944) so I have no
> choice anyway.

I tend to agree with Bruce. If one is trying to model the operation, unless one has access to the train consists across the territory for the entire time modeled, or preferably multiples of that time period, you have no assurance you have all the cars you need. Even having a year's worth of time book consists won't assure you all the cars; depending on where the owner of the time book stood on the seniority roster, he likely wasn't working ALL the possible jobs. If he was too far down the list, he didn't catch the prize manifest jobs, whereas, if he was near the top, he didn't catch the dog-breath locals and empty car haulers. Either way, he missed recording either the reefers running non stop clear across the division, or the stinky Mty stockcars.

If you are going to model the entire day's action across the territory, rather than just one train, you need both, and everything else in between.

Dennis






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Schuyler Larrabee
 

Just now (8:43 EDT) seeing this and know that there is a lengthy thread
attached to this, but this is something I've wanted to do for years. I have
been seeking an ERIE consist, preferably EB, preferably pulled by a ERIE
Berkshire (not to ask too terribly much) but as yet, I have had no luck.

SGL



From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jim
Betz
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 10:52 AM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Why not model actual train consists?





Hi,

We keep re-visiting the topic of freight car distribution ...
and discussing how to represent the freight cars for a point
in time or an "era" ... and then, presumably, adjusting the
mix of freight cars on our layouts ...

So I'm prompted to ask "Why not model actual trains?" As in
find a train sheet you like and go for it - with selective
compression - of course. And then extend it to several trains.

Is anyone out there doing this? Thinking seriously about it?
Tried it and found they couldn't field enough models to fill
the bill (how close did you get)? Selectively compress out the
models you don't have as a first cut? No, substitutions allowed
(same number series but different number)? One box car - from
the correct era - is just as good as the next?

You could even preserve the order of the cars in the train
even if you aren't modelling all of them. And 'just' adjust
the waybills for the layout?
- Jim Why Not








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