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Cars for Maintenance Train

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  • Member since
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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Cars for Maintenance Train
Posted by FRRYKid on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 1:24 PM

OK Forum friends, I am in need of some assistance. What cars would I need for a reasonable maintenance train for a 70s era layout? I have a rail crane, tender/caboose car, tool car (baggage car), crew car (coach car) and ballast hoppers. I feel like I'm still missing a car or two for the train. As usual, any ideas/help would be most appreciated.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 1:49 PM

My work train consists of Walthers #1 & #2 worktrain sets plus an Athearn 200 ton crane all in SP livery.  I added more flats with rail loads.
 
The only other MoW I have is the Athearn Snow Blower.   
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by Attuvian on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 2:24 PM

Kinda depends on what you want to express.  If you're satisfied with a consist that is simply out to maintain/replace rail, you may be good to go (as not a prototype railroader I'm a bit unsure).  However, if you want to augment your equipment to reflect what might be found at even a small maintenance hub, you'd want to add things like a gon or two, flats, maybe a wheel car, a tanker (for water or diesel), a couple of Difco dumpers, utility/materials box cars, and perhaps a Jordan spreader.  I'd also consider an additional crane of 120-200 ton capacity if the one you have is a lightweight.  It may also depend on the geographic area you cover (thinking Montana), that's why Mel has a rotary plow, too.

If you are modeling even a small MoW staging area, don't forget to include stacks and piles of stored and discarded materials.  Modifying and weathering is certainly in order if you're into that sort of thing as shop creativity and deferrment of maintenance reigns in this area.

Frankly, MoW can get pretty fascinating.  There may a few modelers out there that have acquired a disproportionate amount of equipment.  I know I have! Wink

John

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 2:57 PM

Hello All,

Is this MOW for general maintenance or does it have a specific purpose?

On my pike I have a snow clearing MOW train.

On the head end is a rotary snowplow followed by an F7-B, a steam generator car, a water tanker, an RS-11 helper, a transfer caboose, a flat car carrying a wheeled front end loader and a tracked backhoe, a BL-2 and finally a rear-facing, smaller rotary snowplow with tender.

To this consist I will probably add a beer can shorty tanker for diesel fuel.

For your MOW train a few flatcars with loads of ties and rails makes sense along with a flatcar hauling some sort of construction vehicles- -bulldozers, front end loader, backhoe, etc.

You might also consider a track inspection car too.

Unless this MOW train is working in extremely isolated areas a crew car would probably not be necessary in the 1970s.

Most crews would probably be housed in local accommodations, close to the line, or go home after a day's work.

If a crew car is used that probably means that the train would need a siding to park at overnight. Then the length of the siding would determine what cars could be left on the siding.

Hope this helps.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 3:31 PM

Accomodations for workers.  Example 2-man bunk car 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 3:57 PM

The maintenance trains I was called for on the PRR consisted of several gons,supply/tool boxcars and open hoppers of ballast..

The wreck train had a 200 ton crane,boom flat,gons,supply boxcars,coaches,a dinning car,bunk cars and a baggage car. 

I never was called for wreck train duty-a gravy job for the train crew since there was little work to do.. 

Just for a fun fact the bunk cars was dubb "bedbug hotel".. 

Larry

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Posted by caldreamer on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 8:54 PM

You might want to add a flat car loaded with rail, a gondola or flat with ties.  You already have a hopper with ballast, so you are good to go on track maintenance.  For snow removal you a flanger to keep the tracks clear. You will need a russell snow plow when the snow starts to get deep (from Walthers).  When it really gets bad the railroads call out the rotary plow.  Athearn made one in HO.  Do not forget the track geometry car modified from an old passenger car to make sure that your track is in good shape.

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Posted by FRRYKid on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 10:10 PM

I do have a Difco car that I forgot to mention. I'm looking at a general maintenance train. The crew car is a car I had on hand. The tool car is a $5 baggage car. If anyone has any pics of the mentioned geometry car that would be helpful as I've never seen one in person.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 10:34 PM

[quote user="FRRYKid"] If anyone has any pics of the mentioned geometry car that would be helpful as I've never seen one in person. [/quot

 

Just Google "track geometry car", go to "images", and you'll get all kinds of pics.

Mike.

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Posted by caldreamer on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 8:23 AM

Here is a link to pictures of  track geometry cars

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/mow22.html

     Ira

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 9:02 AM

Quick terminology point.  A MofW or "maintenence" train is operated by the engineering department, they take care of the track.  A wrecker, that rerails cars is operated by the mechanical department, they take car of cars and locomotives.

The engineering department has cranes, but they are smaller and have a lower capacity (25-100) tons and are used for handling track material and bridge building.  They are NOT equipped to rerail cars or engines.  The mechanical department has the bigger cranes, 75-250 ton capacity, and are designed and equipped to rerail, pick up cars and locomotives.  A wrecker crane isn't equipped to operate a pile driver and engineering crane isn't equipped to pick up cars.

There is some crossover in that a wrecker outfit will commonly have a couple carloads of ballast and a couple car loads of track panels or track material to rebuild track at a derailement.  Occaisionally the engineering department will use wrecker cranes to lift really heavy things (like a plate girder bridge section).

Most of the maintenance trains I worked between 1980 and 2015 were single purpose trains.  There were ballast trains that were just ballast cars, tie trains that were just gons of ties (with the unoader crane/backhoe on one gon), rail trains that just carried welded rail.  The gang trains were probably the most mixed trains.  They would have a dozen or so flats with containerized/modular living quarters on them, a couple boxcars of parts and lubricants and a dozen or so flatcars of track machines (regulators, tampers, tie inserters, tie cranes, spike pullers, spikers, adzers, etc.) suited to the type of gang it was.  These trains almost never ran as a "work extra", they ran as a freight train from A to B, then parked for a month or two while the gang did its theng, then loaded up and ran to the next project.  That train never did any "work", it only moved the gang from project to project.

Another type of train I had was a material pick up train.  It was a Burro Crane mounted on a flatcar equipped with rails and a half dozen gons.  It would travel behind a gang and pick up old spikes, tie plates, scrap, sometimes bundled used ties, or scrap switch material. One train ran across an entire subdivision picking up scrap metal (couplers, knuckles, drawbars, etc).

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Posted by dstarr on Friday, May 1, 2020 9:47 AM

A wreck train ought to have a flat car loaded with trucks to get wrecked freight cars back on the track and out of way.  Another flat loaded with wheel sets to fix busted trucks. A gondola loaded with rail to repair whatever track the wreck broke.  Likewise a flat loaded with ties both for track repair and to put under the jacks on the big crane.  An old diner to keep the wreck crew fed.  A wreck train needs a big 200 ton capacity crane strong enough to lift a locomotive.  A track maintenance train needs a smaller crane, 50-75 tons capacity to handle bundles of rail or ties. 

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, May 1, 2020 10:19 AM

Another consideration is that by the 1970's much of the maintenance was done by track equipment and the "MoW train" really didn't exist on class 1 railroads, except on a wreck train.

Most "MOW trains" were single commodity trains (rail train, tie train, ballast train) or were trains to move large gangs from location, an entire train of flat cars with all the work equipment and the gang living quarters.

There were work trains called to pick up or distribute rail, scrap or OTM (other track material, spikes, tie plates, etc) or to dump ballast if it was many cars.  If they were dumping just a car or two, they would have the local do it.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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