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Author Topic: Help with North American Cars  (Read 1053 times)

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Online NGS-PO

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Help with North American Cars
« 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/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
PLEASE NOTE: Unless where obviously posting on behalf of the NGS, all posts and views are my own and not connected/endorsed by the Society.

“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It's the fear of failure, but no urge to be productive. It's wanting friends, but hate socializing. It's wanting to be alone, but not wanting to be lonely. It's feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”

We're not crazy, or insane, we're just people living with a condition.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #1 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  also worth a look is 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/ 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:

Offline Simon D.

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #2 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

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

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

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

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

Gaugemaster is expensive.

Absolutely echo Lawrence's advice about doing the research!


Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #3 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

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #4 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 http://www.dawlishtrains.com/us-freight-cars.html  also worth a look is 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/ 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.
PLEASE NOTE: Unless where obviously posting on behalf of the NGS, all posts and views are my own and not connected/endorsed by the Society.

“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It's the fear of failure, but no urge to be productive. It's wanting friends, but hate socializing. It's wanting to be alone, but not wanting to be lonely. It's feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”

We're not crazy, or insane, we're just people living with a condition.

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2018, 08:19:39 PM »
Thanks everyone for their recommendations and advice.
PLEASE NOTE: Unless where obviously posting on behalf of the NGS, all posts and views are my own and not connected/endorsed by the Society.

“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It's the fear of failure, but no urge to be productive. It's wanting friends, but hate socializing. It's wanting to be alone, but not wanting to be lonely. It's feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”

We're not crazy, or insane, we're just people living with a condition.

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2018, 08:24:53 PM »
The go to site for anything related to US locos and stock is Spookshow:

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

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

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

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

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

Gaugemaster is expensive.

Absolutely echo Lawrence's advice about doing the research!


Simon that first link is a Godsend. Thank you!
PLEASE NOTE: Unless where obviously posting on behalf of the NGS, all posts and views are my own and not connected/endorsed by the Society.

“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It's the fear of failure, but no urge to be productive. It's wanting friends, but hate socializing. It's wanting to be alone, but not wanting to be lonely. It's feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”

We're not crazy, or insane, we're just people living with a condition.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #7 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 http://www.dawlishtrains.com/us-freight-cars.html  also worth a look is 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/ 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

Offline Webbo

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #8 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

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
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 08:36:01 AM by Webbo »

Offline Bealman

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #9 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:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #10 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.
PLEASE NOTE: Unless where obviously posting on behalf of the NGS, all posts and views are my own and not connected/endorsed by the Society.

“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It's the fear of failure, but no urge to be productive. It's wanting friends, but hate socializing. It's wanting to be alone, but not wanting to be lonely. It's feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”

We're not crazy, or insane, we're just people living with a condition.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #11 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.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2018, 09:43:13 AM »
Thanks @Webbo

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?

PLEASE NOTE: Unless where obviously posting on behalf of the NGS, all posts and views are my own and not connected/endorsed by the Society.

“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It's the fear of failure, but no urge to be productive. It's wanting friends, but hate socializing. It's wanting to be alone, but not wanting to be lonely. It's feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”

We're not crazy, or insane, we're just people living with a condition.

Offline Webbo

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #13 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


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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #14 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.
PLEASE NOTE: Unless where obviously posting on behalf of the NGS, all posts and views are my own and not connected/endorsed by the Society.

“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It's the fear of failure, but no urge to be productive. It's wanting friends, but hate socializing. It's wanting to be alone, but not wanting to be lonely. It's feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”

We're not crazy, or insane, we're just people living with a condition.

 

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