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Author Topic: Help with North American Cars  (Read 1603 times)

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Offline Rich_S

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #15 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. 

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.


Rich S.

Offline grumbeast

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #16 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.


Offline Tom Edwards

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #17 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)

Good luck and have fun!
Tom Edwards
C&NW "Alco Line" and M&StL in N scale

Offline anaes20

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #18 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 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:

I will second having a look at 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.

Offline Jeff_W

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #19 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.
CSX P921-05, Glendale,KY 12/5/2016 by Jeff  Wagoner, on Flickr
On an ethanol train in western Kentucky in 2012:
CSX K445, Mannington,KY 6/4/2012 by Jeff  Wagoner, 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  I have posted the link to the CN page, but there's a wealth of information for Class 1 railroads and others!

Offline NGS-PO

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Re: Help with North American Cars
« Reply #20 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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