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Tough Choices for My Era

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Tough Choices for My Era
Posted by The Jet Clipper on Saturday, December 02, 2017 2:30 PM

Man, I'm still indecisive...

So, with where my mind is taking me right now, I think I'm going to model the mid 70's - early 80's, with a heavier emphasis on the 70's. My reasoning behind this is that seeing as the California & Pacifc lost passenger service in 1971, they fully commited to freight, buying second-hand units off of the Espee and Santa Fe. In reality, I just want to justify having Geeps, Tunnel Motors, and such in a fleet of my own colors, but I can write the "lore" of my railroad behind it, too. Now, I want to have the 70's in my mind because prototypically, F units were still running at the time (maybe not on the main line, but still...), and the C&P had a lot of them, so modding out the ones that weren't given to Amtrak is on the table. Also, the aforementioned Tunnel Motors (I just got my first one when I went to Toledo) and Geeps. But, if I want to go towards the direction of the 80's, I get the Kodachrome scheme, very dirty locomotives, and the birth of the modern freight locomotives. I'll have to throw out my plans for F units, though. So many advantages and disadvantages!

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Posted by dstarr on Saturday, December 02, 2017 2:50 PM

You don't have to make life so hard.  First off, you can just declare a new era when ever you please.  Moving from the 70's to the 80's, and running some 80's equipment just takes your say-so.

  Me, I just do it.  My railroad is supposed to be set in the early fifties, with '55  my cut off date for cars and trucks.  But I have some favorite rolling stock (Bluebird GP40's, Mopac Alco FA and FB units) which I just run when the mood strikes me.  I might put the anchronistic rolling stock back in the box should have I a rivet counting friend over, but so what? 

  It's a hobby.  Run what you like.  If you like EMD F units, run EMD F units. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, December 02, 2017 2:58 PM

Maybe you should freelance a railroad.

.

Just saying... it worked for me!

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by SouthPenn on Saturday, December 02, 2017 3:18 PM

I'm with DStar. Run what you like. The town that I built is set in the 1950s. But in 2017 or any year in between it looks the same. ( the real town of Neelyton looks about the same now as it did in the 1950s and it can be placed almost anywhere in the US.) You will see PRR 'F' units pulling a long coal drag and 30 minutes later a group of Great Northern 'F' units will come through with a bunch of boxcars. Other railroads that come through Neelyton include BNSF SD40-2, Burlington 'F' units, NYC, Western Maryland, the B&O, and the fictitional South Penn, Tuscarora, and Blacklog RR. Even the East Broad Tops 'F' units show up.

Enjoy yourself, have fun.

South Penn
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Posted by emdmike on Saturday, December 02, 2017 3:21 PM

I suffer the same issue, so many themes I want to model, logging, Sierra RR during the time that big engine #38 was running, CB&Q and traction.   Traction has won out as fitting my little layout's pre exhisting look the best. And I can still run my CB&Q F units and Sierra RR steamers when I get the mood to see them do more than sit in the display case.  While my traction line wont be a model of any particular line, it will take styling cues from the many rural lines that were common place where I live back in the 1920's.  Will probably use the name of one of them, even though models of thier exact Jewet built cars would have to be scratch built(beyond my ablities).  I happen to like the Niles built cars.      Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

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  • From: Huron, SD
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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Saturday, December 02, 2017 5:03 PM

I know somebody whose railroad changes eras from the 50s to the 90s.  Each actual month is about one year, and each year represents a decade.  Equipment, locomotives, and even some buildings swap on and off.

 

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

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Posted by dknelson on Sunday, December 03, 2017 4:54 PM

I suspect the Chicago & North Western might have had more first generation diesels on its roster in the late 1970s than it did in the late 1960s - they went on a sort of second (or third) hand loco buying spree combined with rebuilding due to the high cost of new locomotives.  And I also suspect they were running more freight trains behind F units in the 1970s than they did from 1964 to 1968, as a result of the Chicago Great Western acquisition.  The advent of Amtrak freed up still more of their passenger Fs (ditto for other railroads including the Milwaukee Road, CB&Q and NP) and they also started using F units from the commuter pool on weekend freight service.  And the demise of the Rock Island made even more first generation GPs available.  

So there are genuine prototype examples to have enhanced numbers of first-generation EMD power (GP7s, 9s and Fs) in the mid to late 1970s versus the mid to late 1960s on the very same railroad.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, December 03, 2017 5:23 PM

SeeYou190
Maybe you should freelance a railroad.

 

A fully believable freelance railroad requires a lot of discipline in order to obtain that goal.

OTOH a "paper" railroad requires no disciplines and one could use two or three railroads with each member railroad assigning locomotives and freight cars.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

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Posted by The Jet Clipper on Sunday, December 03, 2017 7:43 PM

This era might actually work in my favor for PASSENGER service.'75 was the first year of the Amfleets, after all, and I see the Phase 1 Amfleets on ebay and other sites all the time. 

Maybe I can kitbash an SDP40T-2H (P for passenger, H for head-end power), for the C&P as a special locomotive to use on the San Diegan. Maybe for like "Southern Specials" or as a rescue/extra.

Damn, that classification, though.

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, December 05, 2017 9:53 AM

For me I found the best idea is to go with what was around at the time of the layout or could have been. Case in point is the S1, the S3 could have been built at the same time as the S1 as the trucks on the S3 were being used on other engines at the time the S1 came out.

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, December 05, 2017 11:52 AM

Having lived through both decades, the 1970's and 1980's weren't really all that different. Once you had the creation of Amtrak and the large mergers (BN, PC) things kinds settled down for a while (except for formation of Conrail I guess, but that wouldn't directly affect a California layout much.) Doing a 1971-89 layout would work fine I'd think.

Soo Line used high-nose GP-s long enough that some were redecorated as CP units in the 1990's. BN used F's in mainline service until about 1980, and some of their old SD-9s are still doing the yard work for BNSF they did under BN during the 70s-80s. Erie Mining Co. in northern Minnesota used F9s into the early 2000's. I have one of the Kalmbach Diesel Roster paperback books from I think 1984, you'd be surprised how many early diesels (Fs, GP-7/9s, RS-3s etc.) were still around.

BTW, if you want to do passenger, F40PHs and Superliners were being delivered to Amtrak in the late seventies.

Stix
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Posted by joe323 on Tuesday, December 05, 2017 12:05 PM

Rule of thumb you can always go backwards in era never forward except in model RR can run what you like Smile

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by PRR8259 on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 10:39 PM

Some will disagree with me and that is perfectly fine:

I say run what you want from what year you want and just simply enjoy it!  Most people will never know the difference.  If you need a UP DDA40X Centennial diesel then by all means go get one, lol.

I have spent far too many years trying to do this era or that era of this or that railroad, became frustrated because I'm not a scratch builder, and when you really delve into it it becomes difficult to limit oneself to just one railroad or brief period of time...there is so much railroad and rolling stock variety...I have tried many many times to limit myself in that way, and it just didn't work.  There is no "perfect" railroad or period of time for me.

Except perhaps:  For Christmas of 1975 I bugged Dad for a Mantua Tyco Illinois Central or ICG orange and white diesel, and he got it for me, and I eventually acquired more, but also had lots of other tastes, too.

Now all these years later the IC/ICG orange and white paint scheme and orange and grey paint scheme are both "readily" available for a brief period of time, along with suitable high quality prototype specific IC/ICG freight cars from Tangent and ExactRail.  Even the neighboring Illinois Terminal rolling stock is available (hot yellow covered hopper from Tangent).

I am basically recreating the railroad that I would have wanted to have in 1975, with the "correct" engines and rolling stock that I would have wanted to have back then, but that are available only finally, now.  I have other Tangent and ExactRail rolling stock from the 1970's up to about 1981, and I'm not switching eras or railroads anymore.  It's kinda like going home for Christmas. 

In some ways my railroad interests never got beyond 1982--the dates of the last Pullman Standard 50' exterior post box cars.  My relatives worked for Pullman Standard in Butler, PA, and my father worked for another division of the company (Pullman Power Products building Power Plants)...

Railroad-wise, I have gone back home, for good this time.  It took me too long to realize that everything I ever really wanted ran back then when I was 7.  The scenery I can adjust.

YMMV.

John

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 10:52 PM

Don't over-think, just model, and play with trains.  You can check out mine, and you'll see anything from the 80's to present.  The prototype is a constant change.  I have yet to get a string of spine cars, the 53' type, that I started to build and detail last winter, on the track yet, and now the prototypes have 57' spines, with a collapsible trailer stand on the tray end, so they can haul two "pup" trailers on a car.

It never ends.

Just do what you want.

Mike.

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Posted by NVSRR on Thursday, December 07, 2017 7:30 AM

F units where in service well into the 80s.  On commuter service.   NS has a n  upgraded set for thier business train.     Up has kept thier set of E units since they turned of passenger service to Amtrak.    Unless your modeling the steam era,   E and F covered wagons are justaffiable right up to today    I have a set of E's for the bussiness train.  And i model current era.    Dont forget the MKT had an f unit set up as a b unit right to the day UP bought them in the 80's

Wolfie

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Posted by caldreamer on Thursday, December 07, 2017 8:19 AM

You do not have to throw out the F unit for the 80' s era.  You can alway say that they were rebuilt in your shops are still in good shape, so we run them.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, December 07, 2017 8:33 AM

I agree Wolfie.  An article by J.David Ingles, July 6, 2006, titled: F7: The Most Famous Face In Railroading, he writes:

"Excluding such curiosities, it's generally accepted that the era of EMD F units in regular everyday freight service for U.S. common carriers ended October 13, 1992, with the B&LE F7's on subsidiary Western Allegheny in Pennsylvania. The qualifying categories are necessary because, until the mines closed, F9's continued to haul iron ore for LTV (formerly Erie Mining) in northern Minnesota."

I think there is a short line in Illinios that still uses one.  That was in a Trains article too, don't remember the dates.

Mike.

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Posted by dknelson on Thursday, December 07, 2017 10:06 AM

The Keokuk Jct Railroad in IL, running on former TP&W tracks west of Peoria, uses F units, ex-Algoma Central I think.  They even have a B unit and A-B-A consists are not unheard of, although it seems to be worked on alot.  Even if the Fs are not on the head of the train a GP20 often is.  Having said that I am not sure the railroad runs a train every day.  

 That development happened after JDI wrote the article for Trains quoted above.

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, December 07, 2017 10:07 AM

I think re F-units, it's not so much whether you could run them in a certain time period but more the number of engines involved...I mean, if you're modelling 1955, you would be correct in having a lot of F-units on your roster. If you're modelling 1980, you might still have F-units but maybe only a couple, maybe even just one A-B set. By 1982 most trains would be pulled by GPs, SDs, or similar GE or Alco products. But an F-unit could be used now and then.

Stix
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Posted by caldreamer on Thursday, December 07, 2017 1:19 PM

On my railroad, I will be running an ABA set of F3's to power my Officer Special train and 2 F3B's assigned to snow service.  These will be dedicated locomotives barring any need to have them assigned to other temproary duties.

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