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Modelling the U.S.scene – musings and questions
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twilight



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 91
Location: Heading back 'oop North' somewhere

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:18 am    Post subject: Modelling the U.S.scene – musings and questions Reply with quote

Ever-willing to consider new directions and stirred by many excellent offerings in MTI and on the forum, a few cogitations from a “USA rookie” which I hope some of you may like to comment on in any way you choose (even to blowing me out of the water!) As a certain Manuel from Barcelona said, “I know no-thing!” Embarassed My musings are more in terms of standard rather than narrow gauge and with (lack of) available space as a big factor. One way is to do it in N gauge but diminishing faculties Shocked can perhaps take the fun out of that so it really has to be H0 _ modelling 19th Century U.S.A. might be one answer to that possibly.

Most modern freight stock would be 50ft / 60ft+ I imagine, and even 40ft+ going back some way. Stock however wasn’t always quite so big and I have found photo examples / diagrams of 30ft – 35 ft flats and reefers and even sub-30ft boxcars, stockcars and gondolas. Allied to small motive power (steam switchers / boxcab / very early diesel etc.) it could well mean being able to be “reasonably (?) prototypical” and get good operations in a small(er) area. My thoughts would be more in terms of a general-carrier RR as opposed to a specific mining/logging line, for example, although these have much appeal.

So, given, for example, a fictitious short line approach, at what point would such early smaller stock have gone out of use? Just how late could one push the time boundary for it _ post-WWII for example? Perhaps just as important, even if one can postulate a credible scenario, is any of this kit available commercially or are we heading down the kitbash / scratchbuild road (again!!) Evil or Very Mad
As I say, just some musings and I would be interested in any observations from those more ‘in the know’.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure this sort of enquiry has been covered in MTI in the past; if I can find the reference, I'll post it.

On a purely personal note, and I'm no expert - with a short line I suspect you could push the timescale up to WW2 for internal traffic, though there would be more modern stuff coming in with off-line loads. Into the 1950s.....well, I have seen layouts of this period with older cars from c.1910, but suspect they're modelling logging or mining concerns where cash was tight, and as long as the wheels still turned - who cared.

In general, it all comes down to legislation relating to truck (bogie) design and continuous brakes. I don't think cars with only their own brake wheel to slow them down were much used after the 1930s, at least on class 1 RRs.

Hope this helps. Others, more knowledgeable, will probably shoot me down or amplify these comments.

Giles
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twilight



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
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Location: Heading back 'oop North' somewhere

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks Giles. I did wonder about legislation. Economic pressures would also no doubt reinforce the move up to larger sized cars. For modelling, there just seems such a huge difference in mass between 34ft and 40ft boxcars - with micro layouts in mind particularly. I will keep searching all my back numbers and the Net for further inspiration. Wink
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shortliner2001



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure how much standard gauge there is still available in the shorter stock nowadays - there were certainly some"shortie" passenger coaches, G&D, D&S, roadnames to think of two.
Many years ago I did a simple chop-job with one of the oldie coaches into a drovers caboose, and there are 4-wheel bobber cabooses about. There were also some short boxes, tanks, flats and gondolas, with dis-connect logging trucks. There will be plenty of NG stuff about, but that may also mean going up into a larger gauge. There is about, on the exhibituion circuit a layout that appeared in RM set in the 1800's using a lot of hacking and scratching. You might need to keep an eye on ebay.
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of those 'Old Time' or 'Wild West' train sets by Bachmann or Model Power might be useful for the sort of locos & stock required???
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twilight



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
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Location: Heading back 'oop North' somewhere

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks, all, for those suggestions.
Not quite sure where "the Muse" is taking me with this yet but plenty to think about and research. Cheers. Wink
Of course, the more one looks, the more one finds that is fascinating - several lifetimes' worth of modelling I should think!! Laughing Laughing
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Ken



Joined: 19 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atlas do 36' reefers and Roundhouse do 36' reefers and box cars, appropriate for early 1900's. The billboard style was being phased out by end of 1920's.

Athearn do the old Roundhouse 30' flat car but you have to buy it with tractors and thn remove a moulding that they have stuck on for the tractors.

BTS do some interesting box cars about 25' based on stock from the Civil War era (1860's), they also on their website indicate which of their building kits would work for this period.

My approach to ths challenge is Cushing Glass. I am using the Roundhouse EMD Model 40 switcher, short PS-2 covered hoppers to deliver the silica sand, 34' open hoppers to deliver the coal, a tractorless 30' flat car to deliver the milled lumber so they can make packing crates and a 40' box car to take away the finished products. Working on an ingle-nook plan I am able to save a lot of space yet still set my layout in late 1950's early 1960's.

For ingle-nook purposes the hoppers are one car-length and the box car is one and a half.

Good luck with the muse.
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shortliner2001



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The coaches I refered to bottom left corner
http://www.trainworld.com/TW2_08MRRPAGE2_TW1_08MRRPAGE2.pdf
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Broadoak



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any chance of any pictures of your little inglenook Ken? it sounds fascinating.
Peter
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twilight



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear oh dear. Im getting hooked Laughing Laughing
Thanks for the link Shortliner.More great leads to follow up and so many possible interesting avenues.
Cold shower time Exclamation Shocked
Cushing Glass sounds fascinating Ken. How big is it overall?
Would also love to see any photos / diagrams.
Regards and thanks to all.
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shortliner2001



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Julian - just to push you gently a little further _ I had the new Micro-Mark catalogue today - www.micromark.com On page 95 there are 22' HO wooden ore cars at $12.95 for 2, and a tiny bobber caboose - it may be worth a look - they also have quite a selection of On30 stock and locos for those who want to go thataway

Last edited by shortliner2001 on Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ken



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some picture of prototype EMD Model 40's

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/diesel117.html
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Ken



Joined: 19 May 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cushing Glass is 39" x 17" and is a 3-2-2 inglenook design, with a curved switching lead. I'm currently operating on a bare board so no pics yet. Apart from shorter spurs, where it differs is I use a L/H then Y rather than L/H and R/H, which gives me space between the two spurs for part of the glass factory.

When I get to scenery the switching lead will be in a low embankment to create illusion of line going somewhere and with the wider board i have more space for a bit of landscaping.

I rave about the Atlas hoppers, but suggets you look at these from Bowser. They are kits but easy to make and the roof-walks are see-through yet made from plastic. The open sided ones give useful variety when you are running mainly hoppers!

http://www.bowser-trains.com/hocars/2baychop/2baychop.htm

http://www.bowser-trains.com/hocars/2baychop/2baychop_closed.htm

Grandt line produce a kit for a box cab diesel switcher, might be a good bet if you are making an old timey layout

http://www.modeljunction.info/estore/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=38&products_id=726
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shortliner2001



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....and one just been put together
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14215&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=25
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twilight



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 91
Location: Heading back 'oop North' somewhere

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for delay. Intermittently 'incommunicado' at the moment Rolling Eyes

Thanks for the further links - all very helpful. Those Bowser kits look good and the choice of roadnames/numbers is staggering.
If one can work a way of justifying short hoppers or the very short ore cars the perceived UK - USA space differential is much reduced. Needs careful thinking through but I feel a small layout coming on - eventually Smile

I am very taken with the smaller motive power - had no idea of the amazing variety sub- 44T. The boxcab variety might be a good starting point either kit or scratchbuilt. I have a much-hacked Roco 4w Kleinlok chassis which runs superbly and might well fit something like that. Or perhaps a steam dummy( for a dummy!) Hmmmmm .......Laughing Laughing
Thanks all.
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