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Locos & Rolling Stock from 1950's to 1060's

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Locos & Rolling Stock from 1950's to 1060's
Posted by RealGomer on Monday, March 26, 2012 8:37 PM

Since my current HO equipment is now display ready I guess I'll be getting new stuff. Is there a good source to see what locomotives and rolling stock were around from around 1955 to 1965. I found one book at the library but it didn't quite cut it.

Thank you.

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  • From: Northeast OH
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Posted by tstage on Monday, March 26, 2012 9:34 PM

That's quite a wide range, Gomer.  Is there a particular road(s) you were interested in?


Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Monday, March 26, 2012 9:59 PM

Don't think they had any railroads in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings. Just a hunch Smile, Wink & Grin

What you are lookign for would be first generation and early second generation diesels, for that time period. If you mode a specific road or roads, the first step wouldbe to try and locate locomotive rosters for those roads. But commons locos of the time would be GP7's, GP9's, RS3's, AS16's, etc, with the early GP30's and GP35's just being delivered. F units of all types would still be around. It really all depends on your chosen prototype.

 Models of all those are available in 'modern' designs, from Atlas, Proto 200, Athearn, and others.


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's


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Posted by charlie9 on Monday, March 26, 2012 11:24 PM

i think tom had the right idea.  first, what road or roads are you interested in?  once you have that determined, you can research material relating to that particular company during the time frame you are interested in.

actually, you are looking for what would have been around in 1965.  except of steam, pretty much everything that existed in 1955 was still around in 1965. perhaps not in the same quantities but none the less it was still around.   the sixties were a busy period for the railroads. running boards and most high ladders went away.  some really BIG freight cars started to become common. merger fever was spreading throughout the industry.

i worked on the IC for a short while during the early sixties and after a while away from railroading, i went back on the NYC in 1967.   the changes that had happened while i was out of the industry for a while were mind blowing.



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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:03 AM

Many first generation diesels (diesels bought to replace steam engines) didn't last too long compared to later engines, in large part because horsepower and reliability increased a lot between 1940 to 1960.

For example, by the mid-sixties most (but not quite all) owners of 1350-hp FT diesels had traded them in on more powerful second generation diesels (diesels bought to replace diesels). GM was particularly "aggressive" in taking trade-ins of pretty much any kind of diesel regardless of maker. (The Soo Line had some GM GP-30s that rode on Alco trucks from traded in Soo Line FAs for example.)

Also engines form some of the "oddball" makers like Baldwin or Alco that weren't being traded in or sold were being re-powered by EMD.

Keep in mind too that paint schemes changed over time, by the sixties many railroads were going to "simplified" paint schemes so a diesel bought in 1951 might still be wearing it's factory paint in the sixties, or may have been recently repainted into a simpler paint scheme.


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Posted by RealGomer on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 3:36 PM

I don't know, rrinker. Those d---ble Normans railroaded King Harold all right.

Anywho, I have no particular road in mind. My now antiquated set had Pennsylvania, Virginian, UP, Nickel Plate, Eerie Laksadaisical, and Demos. It's the era I'm interested in (mid 1950s to mid 1960's), not any particular road. I grew up in Cincy & Kent. In Cincy, there was Cincinnati & Southern, Norfolk, Southern, & B&O. Kent was B&O and EL.  Although I never stuck to a single prototype, my favorite roads were the B&O, Pennsy, and Santa Fe.


Hope this helps.

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  • From: Westcentral Pennsylvania (Johnstown)
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Posted by tgindy on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 4:51 PM

PDF-download -- Freight cars of the 1950s -- is a good one.  Note the reviews.

See North East Rails -- Site Map --  for diesel - steam - electric (+ B&O + Pennsy).

Conemaugh Road & Traction circa 1956

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 4:53 PM


There were still a lot of steamers in the '50s, with a few roads like the IC carrying them into 1960.   But as indicated, the early diesels - various F and E units, GP & SD 7s and 9s and the like were the mainstay of most RRs.   To get real specific, you need to come up with a "date and RR and perhaps even area" to pin them down.





Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by leighant on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 5:07 PM

I have a very good source for what was around, FREIGHT CAR wise, in April 1954.  It is the April 1954 issue of the Official Railway Equipment Register.  Lists every freight car in North America in interchange service.

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