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Location of a sleeper car in a consist

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Location of a sleeper car in a consist
Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, February 08, 2019 7:49 AM

I'm aways from getting this on the rails, but I'm just starting to put together a passenger train, something I've always wanted to do, with a custom color design,  for my fictitious short line.

Because I have a small layout, I've decided to use Athearn 72' streamliners.  Since I'm building a fictitious train, why not use fictitious equipment! Smile, Wink & Grin

Power will be a Athearn F7 a/b set, both powered, and I might just take a huge leap and install sound!  Which would be a first for me.

Anyway, I know this is probably a railroad specific thing, but where would a sleeper car be positioned in a passenger train?

My train will have: 1 baggage car, 2 coaches, 2 Vista domes, 1 diner, 1 sleeper, and 1 observation car bringing up the rear.

Thats about as long as I want to go for my layout.  That will fit in my siding.

I'm thinking: baggage car, coach, vista dome, diner, coach, vista dome, sleeper, observation.

Just wondering where would be the best place for the sleeper.  I would think that you would want the sleeper where the traffic pattern of movement through the train would be the least.

Speaking of the sleeper, Athearn never put out a streamline sleeper to go with the rest, so, it will be a kit bash.  That will be another topic, for another thread.

Thanks for all and any ideas!

Mike.

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, February 08, 2019 8:22 AM

Hi, Mike

In very general terms, a passenger train might be made up with express cars right behind the locomotive with the RPO next. Sometimes there was a mail storage car (baggage car essentially) on either side of the RPO. This way un-sorted mail can be brought into the RPO and passed through to the second car after being sorted and bagged unless there was mail to be dropped off en-route. Then a baggage or combine, which would actually be used for the passenger's luggage and smaller packages of railroad mail, which was handled differently than U.S. mail.

Next would be the "local" coaches or ones where the conductor would "work" for the short-haul passengers. Often, at station stops, the engine would be watered, mail and express would be set off or loaded (head-end work) and the short-haul passengers could get on or off as needed with only making one stop. IF the train was long and the platform short, a second, quick stop may be made to pick up or detrain a Pullman passenger from the far end of the train.

Then the longer-distance coaches would be next. These cars might have the lights dimmed at night and there would be less "commotion" at station stops since most of the passengers were in for the "long haul". If there would be a lounge car it might be next. This could be used for Pullman or Coach passengers.

Then the diner would follow sort of acting as the buffer between coach and Pullman passengers. Sleeping cars would be next with an observation-lounge car with that lounge being used exclusively for the Pullman passengers.

This is all pretty generic as, like you say, different trains and operating conditions would warrant different make-ups, often with changes en-route, such as the dining car being cut off in the middle of the night and sent back on a returning train.

 

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/21207.aspx

Good Luck, Ed 

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, February 08, 2019 4:26 PM

As Ed mentions, RPO, Baggage and Express cars would be at the front, which why they were commonly called "head-end cars". Note that it wouldn't be unusual for a railroad to still be using old heavyweight head-end cars on a train with newer streamlined coaches and sleepers.

The make-up of your train might depend on what the Vista-dome cars are. Some Vista-domes were coaches, some were sleepers - a few have even been used as diners. On some railroads, Vista-dome cars were only for first-class (sleeper) passengers, so might be located behind the diner with the sleepers. Some railroads let anyone use the cars.

Stix
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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, February 08, 2019 4:50 PM

Mike, I have seen passenger consist  in the mid to late 60s on the PRR in this manner.

REA Express car(s) These was usually PRR express boxcars assigned to REA service.

Three to four baggage for mail.

Baggage for passengers luggage

Coach

Coach

Coach

Dinner

Coach

Pullman

Sleeper

Neither the sleeper or Pullman was through cars and would be switched out enroute. That's the reason for the odd placement.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Friday, February 08, 2019 5:10 PM

 "My train will have: 1 baggage car, 2 coaches, 2 Vista domes, 1 diner, 1 sleeper, and 1 observation car bringing up the rear. " 

I suggest you run it in that order. Most dome cars were dome/coaches. 

Typical 1950's train : ....

... Head end cars (baggage, mail, express).

... Coaches .

.... Diner.

... Sleepers.

... Observation car. 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, February 08, 2019 5:25 PM

Thanks guys thanks for the input.

I didn't know that the vista domes could also be sleepers or diners.  I guess I thought they were like a fancy coach.

The Athearn vista domes aren't full dome cars, about the middle third is dome.

OK, well like I said, I'm just starting this, this will also be my first try at Alclad paint, so I have collected the cars and locos I need as undecorated,  I have bought new trucks, and some detail parts for the locos.

I'll do some pictures as I get things going.  I'm not much of a step by step guy, but I will post up dates, as the project gets going.

Mike.

 

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Posted by wojosa31 on Friday, February 08, 2019 7:39 PM

mbinsewi
The Athearn vista domes aren't full dome cars, about the middle third is dome.

Most domes were mid car, rather than full length. It depended on the railroad.

The B&O, Capitol Limited, ran as follows: Baggage, coach, dome coach, coach, diner, dome sleeper, sleeper and sleeper-observation. That's an over simplified consist, but gives you an actual train make-up to consider.

Boris

 

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Posted by OldEngineman on Friday, February 08, 2019 10:47 PM

To minimize traffic through the sleeper, it should be behind the baggage car.

Diner can go either behind the sleeper, or perhaps mid-train.

It was some years back, but when I ran the Montrealer from New Haven to Palmer (MA), east to New London and then north on the Central Vermont, I believe it was engine, baggage, sleepers, lounge, Amfleet II coaches.

There were additional Amfleet I coaches on the rear of the train out of DC for DC-NYC traffic. They got cut off at Penn Station, and the train went east/North from that point with just the Amfleet II's.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, February 09, 2019 8:16 AM

OldEngineman
To minimize traffic through the sleeper, it should be behind the baggage car.

I was kinda thinking that too, but I wasn't sure if it was done, because of extra noise?  I dunno!  

Would it also be done for a smoother ride?  I've never slept on a train, in a sleeper car.

My goal was to keep it out of the major traffic flow.

Actually my only real experience on riding a train is the Hiawatha from Milw. to Chic. and back.

A bucket list item is a cross coutry train ride, out west to visit wife's family, and back, but that's another topic.

Thanks for the reply Oldengineman.

Mike.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Saturday, February 09, 2019 10:01 AM

mbinsewi

 

 
OldEngineman
To minimize traffic through the sleeper, it should be behind the baggage car.

 

I was kinda thinking that too, but I wasn't sure if it was done, because of extra noise?  I dunno!  

Would it also be done for a smoother ride?  I've never slept on a train, in a sleeper car.

My goal was to keep it out of the major traffic flow.

Actually my only real experience on riding a train is the Hiawatha from Milw. to Chic. and back.

A bucket list item is a cross coutry train ride, out west to visit wife's family, and back, but that's another topic.

Thanks for the reply Oldengineman.

Mike.

 

I'm curious about one thing. You described your layout as a fictitious short line. It would seem odd to me that there would be a sleeper car on a short line passenger train. Maybe there is a prototype for that but I would think it would be unusual. Perhaps a sleeper might be dropped off a long distance passenger train at the short line junction but more commonly sleepers are switched between long distance trains. Typically a short line passenger train isn't going to have a large consist. One or two head end cars and a coach or two would be more typical. 

As the saying goes, it's your railroad so if you want a sleeper, go for it. Just some things to think about before you go to the trouble of kitbashing a sleeper. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, February 09, 2019 10:54 AM

John-NYBW
I'm curious about one thing. You described your layout as a fictitious short line. It would seem odd to me that there would be a sleeper car on a short line passenger train. Maybe there is a prototype for that but I would think it would be unusual.

And I'm sure your right!  What would a shortline freight railroad do with a passenger train? sleeper and all?  OMG! Surprise  the railroads owner must have too much money and time!  What are they thinking?  

BUT, I've always wanted to "build" a passenger train, so I am!

And I chose the Athearn cars because they are 72' long, and get along better with my layout than the 85' cars.

Working on a paint scheme, found a site with some nice drawings that I could print, and "mess around with".  Nice side view drawings.

The main color will be Alclad aluminum or stainless steel, haven decided yet.  Chrome would be too much.

Accent colors will be different shades of blue, with a design trying to depict the train "making a wave" as it moves forward.

It's all for fun John. Smile, Wink & Grin  Just the way I like it.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Mike.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, February 09, 2019 2:39 PM

mbinsewi
What would a shortline freight railroad do with a passenger train? sleeper and all? OMG!

Back in the day some short lines had passenger service consisting of a baggage car and two to three coachs and some of the bigger short line passenger trains had a observation bringing up the markers.

As a side note some of these passenger cars was bought new while others was bought used.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by ndbprr on Sunday, February 10, 2019 1:36 PM

There are other options.  When the railroads offered service.  It was possible to board a sleeping car as early as 7PM and get settled for a train that traveled during the night.  Example a PRR train from New York to Chicago picking up sleeping cars in Philadelphia.  sleeping cars for Pittsburgh would be on the back end so they could be switched out in Pittsburgh and the passengers leave by 9AM the next day.  The same is true about mails cars for different cities.  Don't forget there was no fax, email, teletype or any other electronic means of communication so the paper volume was huge. allowing a local engine to move the car from the main after the train continued on made a lot of sense.  In your case with an observation there would probably not be any switching involved since all cars would be through cars.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, February 11, 2019 5:24 PM

mbinsewi

 

 
John-NYBW
I'm curious about one thing. You described your layout as a fictitious short line. It would seem odd to me that there would be a sleeper car on a short line passenger train. Maybe there is a prototype for that but I would think it would be unusual.

 

And I'm sure your right!  What would a shortline freight railroad do with a passenger train? sleeper and all?  OMG! Surprise  the railroads owner must have too much money and time!  What are they thinking?  

BUT, I've always wanted to "build" a passenger train, so I am!

And I chose the Athearn cars because they are 72' long, and get along better with my layout than the 85' cars.

Working on a paint scheme, found a site with some nice drawings that I could print, and "mess around with".  Nice side view drawings.

The main color will be Alclad aluminum or stainless steel, haven decided yet.  Chrome would be too much.

Accent colors will be different shades of blue, with a design trying to depict the train "making a wave" as it moves forward.

It's all for fun John. Smile, Wink & Grin  Just the way I like it.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Mike.

 

A passenger train on a short line would not be that unusual. Typically these would be short trains but if you want something more substantial, there's no reason not to do it. It's all imagination anyway. 

I have a substantial branchline off my double track mainline that services two towns. The town at the end of the branch is a lakeside resort which runs two commuter trains each way everyday during the summer months. In addition, the midday way freight is a mixed train that carries a combine to handle a few passengers. A branchline is a great excuse to handle a variety of interesting train types. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, February 11, 2019 7:13 PM

That sounds great John, and a lot of fun with different trains!

I didn't include any kind of staging when I built my small layout, so all trains are put on and taken off by the hand of God.

I'll run a variety of freights, and then I'll switch things up, and run passenger trains.

And when it's time change again, I do some switching.

Mike.

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