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General Category => N Gauge Discussion => American N Scale => Topic started by: NGS-PO on July 25, 2018, 12:50:48 PM

Title: Help with North American Cars
Post by: NGS-PO on July 25, 2018, 12:50:48 PM
Hi,

I'm looking fro some help with regards rolling stock for a future North American small shelf layout, inspired in no small part by the first one of these links in particular, but also atmospherically by the second.

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/134803-new-member-and-a-soo-line-switching-shelf/ (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/134803-new-member-and-a-soo-line-switching-shelf/)

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/134197-lakemont-freelance-us-switching-layout/ (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/134197-lakemont-freelance-us-switching-layout/)

The layout will serve as a lounge/sitting room diorama to show off some lovely locomotives and also, of course, as a small switching layout. I'll be very pleased if I can get somewhere approaching the SOO-Line layout above.


The impetus for the project stems from my pre-ordering of the newly announced Rapido Dash 8-40CM, one in CN colours and another in BC Rail. I'm aware that these locomotives can be found over a large swathe of the US as well is in Canadia.

Can any of you kind souls advise on cars that would be suitable for the age of these machines? The layout will have a small Cement spur, either distribution or storage (a la the "Medusa Cement" kit) and a small local warehouse with loading platform. I'd like a tank car or two, but I'm not sure what small industry, etc. would be rail served in that respect. I'm not very "up" (no pun intended) with the North American model scene.

I know these are main line locomotives, rather than switchers, but it's my railroad...and I'll justify it somehow.

Best regards

Scott
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Lawrence on July 25, 2018, 03:16:28 PM
Hi Scott

One of the great aspects of modelling the US is the flexibility it gives you when it comes to rolling stock and this is down to the way stock is moved around this massive country.  It is not unusual to see cars from the North West turning up in the deep South for example.  Perhaps less so nowadays it is true and as your modelling era will begin in the early 90s I would suspect you are already into the realms of some pretty large freight cars. Steel boxcars, centrebeams, hoppers and conflats would likely be your stable diet here.  Some nice general pictures at http://www.dawlishtrains.com/us-freight-cars.html (http://www.dawlishtrains.com/us-freight-cars.html)  also worth a look is https://www.american-rails.com/freight-cars.html (https://www.american-rails.com/freight-cars.html)
There are several good suppliers out there Red Caboose who are now Fox Valley Models http://foxvalleymodels.com/ (http://foxvalleymodels.com/) produce some finely detailed pieces, they can be found in the UK but ordering from the US is straight forward enough, just watch the shipping charges (and Tax when it lands here).
Take your time, do your research and treat yourself to a few good quality pieces  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Simon D. on July 25, 2018, 05:16:03 PM
The go to site for anything related to US locos and stock is Spookshow:

http://www.spookshow.net/index.html (http://www.spookshow.net/index.html)

The US equivalent of the N Gauge Forum is Nscale.net:

http://www.nscale.net/forums/forum.php (http://www.nscale.net/forums/forum.php)

UK suppliers include: N Scale American Trains (very good service):

http://www.nscaleamericantrains.co.uk/en/ (http://www.nscaleamericantrains.co.uk/en/)

Gaugemaster is expensive.

Absolutely echo Lawrence's advice about doing the research!

Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Newportnobby on July 25, 2018, 05:40:52 PM
In the UK 'Plus Daughters' are very good for US and Canadian stuff but useless at putting pics to their items ::)
I generally find there is plenty to get at a decent price at Toy & Train Fairs if you have one local
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: NGS-PO on July 25, 2018, 08:19:07 PM
Hi Scott

One of the great aspects of modelling the US is the flexibility it gives you when it comes to rolling stock and this is down to the way stock is moved around this massive country.  It is not unusual to see cars from the North West turning up in the deep South for example.  Perhaps less so nowadays it is true and as your modelling era will begin in the early 90s I would suspect you are already into the realms of some pretty large freight cars. Steel boxcars, centrebeams, hoppers and conflats would likely be your stable diet here.  Some nice general pictures at [url]http://www.dawlishtrains.com/us-freight-cars.html[/url] ([url]http://www.dawlishtrains.com/us-freight-cars.html[/url])  also worth a look is [url]https://www.american-rails.com/freight-cars.html[/url] ([url]https://www.american-rails.com/freight-cars.html[/url])
There are several good suppliers out there Red Caboose who are now Fox Valley Models [url]http://foxvalleymodels.com/[/url] ([url]http://foxvalleymodels.com/[/url]) produce some finely detailed pieces, they can be found in the UK but ordering from the US is straight forward enough, just watch the shipping charges (and Tax when it lands here).
Take your time, do your research and treat yourself to a few good quality pieces  :thumbsup:


Lawrence,

Thanks for the reply. You have hit the nail on the head with your last sentence. I'd prefer to gather a number of wagons to compliment the standard of the Rapido locomotives

I think my biggest issue is making sure what I get is suitable era-wise.
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: NGS-PO on July 25, 2018, 08:19:39 PM
Thanks everyone for their recommendations and advice.
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: NGS-PO on July 25, 2018, 08:24:53 PM
The go to site for anything related to US locos and stock is Spookshow:

[url]http://www.spookshow.net/index.html[/url] ([url]http://www.spookshow.net/index.html[/url])

The US equivalent of the N Gauge Forum is Nscale.net:

[url]http://www.nscale.net/forums/forum.php[/url] ([url]http://www.nscale.net/forums/forum.php[/url])

UK suppliers include: N Scale American Trains (very good service):

[url]http://www.nscaleamericantrains.co.uk/en/[/url] ([url]http://www.nscaleamericantrains.co.uk/en/[/url])

Gaugemaster is expensive.

Absolutely echo Lawrence's advice about doing the research!


Simon that first link is a Godsend. Thank you!
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Lawrence on July 25, 2018, 09:27:03 PM
Hi Scott

One of the great aspects of modelling the US is the flexibility it gives you when it comes to rolling stock and this is down to the way stock is moved around this massive country.  It is not unusual to see cars from the North West turning up in the deep South for example.  Perhaps less so nowadays it is true and as your modelling era will begin in the early 90s I would suspect you are already into the realms of some pretty large freight cars. Steel boxcars, centrebeams, hoppers and conflats would likely be your stable diet here.  Some nice general pictures at [url]http://www.dawlishtrains.com/us-freight-cars.html[/url] ([url]http://www.dawlishtrains.com/us-freight-cars.html[/url])  also worth a look is [url]https://www.american-rails.com/freight-cars.html[/url] ([url]https://www.american-rails.com/freight-cars.html[/url])
There are several good suppliers out there Red Caboose who are now Fox Valley Models [url]http://foxvalleymodels.com/[/url] ([url]http://foxvalleymodels.com/[/url]) produce some finely detailed pieces, they can be found in the UK but ordering from the US is straight forward enough, just watch the shipping charges (and Tax when it lands here).
Take your time, do your research and treat yourself to a few good quality pieces  :thumbsup:


Lawrence,

Thanks for the reply. You have hit the nail on the head with your last sentence. I'd prefer to gather a number of wagons to compliment the standard of the Rapido locomotives

I think my biggest issue is making sure what I get is suitable era-wise.


Fortunately, each US wagon has it's date of birth on the side  :D or it will have a rebuild date if it is an older car.  Some cars have been in use for 30+ years (and more) but certainly container flats and centrebeam cars would look good and add a fair bit of interest to the scene you do have to remember that these modern wagons are, in some cases, more than twice the length of the old wooden boxcars and early gondolas. Also worth searching for SOO line on http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php (http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php)
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Webbo on July 26, 2018, 02:38:43 AM
Hi Scott

I too have an order in for the upcoming Rapido Dash 8 and am very much looking forward to what these guys can do. Mine will be a BC Rail loco though I'm seriously considering getting a second one. As has been pointed out, these locos are seen pulling rolling stock from all over North America. The CN network extends right across Canada and runs down to New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico. Also, their locos can be seen on the lines of the other main railroads as well. Where CN locos go so the BC Rail locos go too as CN subsumed BC Rail a number of years ago. The location of your diorama has a wide scope. The time needs to be 1990s to the present, but if you have the CN web address printed on the sides of the loco then your railway needs to be a bit more recent. 

As for rolling stock given the time period, the 40' equipment of earlier eras (box cars and tank cars) was pretty much gone. Nowadays the most common type of rolling stock is the covered hopper followed by the tank car and then the gondola. Still quite a few box cars around though. With your cement works you'll be needing a cement hopper or two I expect.

Manufacturers of quality model rolling stock include MicroTrains, Athearn, Atlas, Intermountain, BLMA, Rapido, and Fox Valley. The recent offerings (last decade at least) of all of these are excellent with great paint jobs and detail. Another outfit that you might want to consider is the North American Railcar Corporation:

https://www.pwrs.ca/n_scale.php (https://www.pwrs.ca/n_scale.php)

I have some NARC hoppers and gondolas and a few British Columbia Railway box cars on order from Pacific Western Rail Systems as well. Compared to British outline rolling stock, the number and variety of rolling stock available to the North American modeller is huge. This situation may or may not be helpful.

Good luck with it all, Scott. We both hope that the yet to be released Rapido locos live up to expectations.

Webbo
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Bealman on July 26, 2018, 03:37:03 AM
If is going to be a switching layout, and you've made it clear that it is, you'd better look seriously at the couplings!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: NGS-PO on July 26, 2018, 09:21:08 AM
If is going to be a switching layout, and you've made it clear that it is, you'd better look seriously at the couplings!  :thumbsup:

Which brings me to the next question. Do modern (in terms of model manufacture) all have pockets for changing couplings? I had initially thought on using kaydees with electromagnets, but I understand there are a few manufacturers' variations on teh same knuckle theme.
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Bealman on July 26, 2018, 09:39:07 AM

Not an expert here, but I know getting Rapido couplings to do your switching job will be problematic.

I'm under the impression that American stock can be bought with Kadees already fitted?

I'm sure someone much more knowledgable than me will be along soon.
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: NGS-PO on July 26, 2018, 09:43:13 AM
Thanks @Webbo (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4229)

There are some interesting vehicles on that page you linked. I particularly like the National Steel Box  car. The splurge says they continued in service with CN from 2004 so would appear ideal. Perhaps one each in CN and BCR colours.

I've been having a look at hopper cars, but I can't seem to find anything specifically for cement. Is cement carried in generic bulk powder/grain cars, or am I just missing it?

Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Webbo on July 26, 2018, 11:32:28 AM
Hi Scott

To answer some of your questions. No North American rolling stock does not have coupler pockets so you can easily exchange couplers. However, virtually all NA stock runs with knuckle couplers which are approximately compatible with one another. Atlas fits their stuff with Accumates, Athearn with McHenrys, and most of the rest are fitted with MicroTrains couplers (N scale Kadees). Any freight car can be converted to MT by changing the trucks. Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about the different coupler designs unless you wanted to do shunting in which case having all couplers of the same type would be best.

Regarding cement cars, they tend to be of smaller capacity (i.e. shorter 2-Bay centerflow) than your more common covered hopper types. Have a look on EBay with the search 'cement hoppers N scale' and you will see a few examples. These hoppers are not just specific to cement. Also have a look on the PWRS website search and enter the keywords N for scale and cement for commodity and you will see a few results that will give you a good idea on what sort of cars would be suitable.

I've ordered 6 of the National Steel box cars. These will be British Columbia Railway which is the precursor to BC Rail and later CN. PGE came before the British Columbia Railway. For a post 2004 layout, I think a mixture of CN and BCR would be fine in whichever proportions you like.

Hope this helps
Webbo

Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: NGS-PO on July 26, 2018, 12:17:23 PM
Thanks Webbo, that's a very big help.

I will be shunting so will have to factor in remote uncoupling.

Will do as you suggest re cement cars.
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Rich_S on August 03, 2018, 03:12:25 AM
Hi Scott, Not sure if this answers your question but an excellent source of North American rolling stock video is on YouTube.

Here you'll find a typical "Grain Train" being pulled by a BCOL (British Columbia Railway) Dash 8 C40-8M.



If you've not already purchased the Walthers Medusa Cement plant, you may want to consider changing your purchase to a Walthers ADM Grain Elevator Kit. 
https://www.ebay.com/p/N-Walthers-933-3225-ADM-Grain-Elevator-Kit/2254301337 (https://www.ebay.com/p/N-Walthers-933-3225-ADM-Grain-Elevator-Kit/2254301337)

CN handles a lot of grain because of the territory they operate through in the Western provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

If you want to continue with the Medusa cement plant, then yes you'll need 2 bay covered hoppers.

As Webbo mentioned, just about all N scale locomotives and rolling stock manufactured today has a Micro-trains or Micro-trains compatible coupler. Here in North America we do not have NEM pockets. Switching all cars to Micro-Trains couplers is fairly simply accomplished by switching out the trucks (bogies) with the appropriate Micro-Trains truck. Personally I do not use automatic uncoupling, I prefer to use Rix Products N scale uncoupling tool. So for me, it does not matter if the rolling stock has Accumate, McHENRY or Micro-Trains couplers, the Rix Uncoupling tool works on all of them. Now my personal favorite is the Micro-Trains coupler.

https://rixproducts.com/product/rix-pick-uncoupling-tool-n-scale/ (https://rixproducts.com/product/rix-pick-uncoupling-tool-n-scale/)


   
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: grumbeast on October 19, 2018, 11:34:30 PM
Well I'm late to this party I'm afraid

  this sounds like a fun project but just so you know the Dash 8 40CMs are not the most common things (athough they are pretty darn sweet!)  You *might* get to see one down south on CN's US lines but more likely up here.

BCRail had 26 or so, but they were subsumed by CN in 2004, that said I've seen BCRail cars in Vancouver this year, just give them a good weather :)

One of the nice things about North American railroads from a model railroading perspective is that they really "sweat the assets" so you can see almost anything anywhere
(I remember seeing Santa Fe loco's in Halifax Nova Scotia in 2011! and even a Rock Island boxcar in what was my local yard in Dartmouth 30 years after it went under!)

Good luck with the project, There are plenty of shorter trains that you can use for shunting and even large loco's are used for this, although it'd be a good idea to pick up some GP38-2's as they seem to be pretty ubiquitous switchers, often in pairs.

Graham
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Tom Edwards on October 29, 2018, 04:19:26 AM
Hi Scott! Greetings from Minnesota, which isn't quite in Canada, but we are neighbors.

I live about 250m from a Canadian Pacific line that runs east-west through southern Minnesota and it hauls mostly corn, soybeans, ethanol made from corn, diesel fuel made from soybeans, cement, and bentonite which is a type of clay used in industrial manufacturing. All of these products, with the exception of ethanol and bio-diesel in tank cars, are moved in covered hopper cars. The more dense the material, the shorter the car.

As far a locomotives go, some days it is hard to determine who owns the railroad in front of my house. There is a steady mixture of Canadian Pacific, Canadian National, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSX, and Lord know what other kinds of motive power rolling through town every day.

When it comes to couplers, I have had a few non-Micro Trains couplers that wouldn't couple to Micro Trains cars, correctly, but as several of the prior posts have mentioned, it's not difficult to change out the trucks/bogies. I do it on a case-by-case basis, but I probably will standardize on Micro Trains one of these years. I also found magnetic uncoupling to be problematic on my railroad, which is primarily a switching setup so I also do manual uncoupling using those wooden BBQ skewers. (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bamboo-Skewers-Barbecue-Sticks-Wooden/dp/B00ARAQEKS (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bamboo-Skewers-Barbecue-Sticks-Wooden/dp/B00ARAQEKS))

Good luck and have fun!
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: anaes20 on January 14, 2019, 09:53:14 AM
Hi Scott

One of the great aspects of modelling the US is the flexibility it gives you when it comes to rolling stock and this is down to the way stock is moved around this massive country.  It is not unusual to see cars from the North West turning up in the deep South for example.  Perhaps less so nowadays it is true and as your modelling era will begin in the early 90s I would suspect you are already into the realms of some pretty large freight cars. Steel boxcars, centrebeams, hoppers and conflats would likely be your stable diet here.  Some nice general pictures at [url]http://www.dawlishtrains.com/us-freight-cars.html[/url] ([url]http://www.dawlishtrains.com/us-freight-cars.html[/url])  also worth a look is [url]https://www.american-rails.com/freight-cars.html[/url] ([url]https://www.american-rails.com/freight-cars.html[/url])
There are several good suppliers out there Red Caboose who are now Fox Valley Models [url]http://foxvalleymodels.com/[/url] ([url]http://foxvalleymodels.com/[/url]) produce some finely detailed pieces, they can be found in the UK but ordering from the US is straight forward enough, just watch the shipping charges (and Tax when it lands here).
Take your time, do your research and treat yourself to a few good quality pieces  :thumbsup:


I will second having a look at www.american-rails.com (http://www.american-rails.com).  It is virtually an online encyclopaedia on American railroading with lots of information about locomotives, rolling stock, structures and the railroad companies themselves.  It is essential reading for anyone wishing to get into North American railroad modelling.

Omar / anaes20.
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: Jeff_W on June 15, 2019, 05:08:02 PM
Sorry if I'm late to the thread (I realize it's at least a year old now!), but I live in the U.S. and have seen several C40-M's pulling trains here in Kentucky on both CSX and Norfolk Southern. They're not terribly common, but my fellow railfans and I refer to them as "barns".

Pulling the last run of the circus train home to Florida, 2016.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/5812/31409493546_856c7393b6_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/PRxS9b)CSX P921-05, Glendale,KY 12/5/2016 (https://flic.kr/p/PRxS9b) by Jeff  Wagoner (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bluegrassrailfan/), on Flickr
On an ethanol train in western Kentucky in 2012:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/7093/7155092141_78e0027127_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/bUgHBB)CSX K445, Mannington,KY 6/4/2012 (https://flic.kr/p/bUgHBB) by Jeff  Wagoner (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bluegrassrailfan/), on Flickr

I believe the C40-Ms were all built around 1990-1992. As previously mentioned, if you have one with a web URL on the side you would probably be dating your layout a bit later than that. I'm not sure when they got the web address added but if I was to guess I would say late 90s  into early 2000s.

This site may be a helpful reference for North American diesels: https://www.thedieselshop.us/CN.HTML (https://www.thedieselshop.us/CN.HTML)  I have posted the link to the CN page, but there's a wealth of information for Class 1 railroads and others!
Title: Re: Help with North American Cars
Post by: NGS-PO on June 15, 2019, 09:29:04 PM
Thanks Jeff, interesting reading.

I've altered my order slightly. A Dash 8 and a GMD-1 both in striped CN livery. These will both be heavily weathered. And both with sound, as an experiment.

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