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How many is "too many"?

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, July 14, 2017 12:31 PM

How many is too many? Well, that depends on the context of the purchase. Here are my answers:

- When I can't afford it

- When my wife says we can't afford it

- When my kids complain that I don't buy enough stuff for them

- When I run out of space (layout or shelf)

- When I feel guilty about not doing enough work on the rest of the layout

So this notion of too many is all very relative for me. I have a roster of about 30 locos, and my latest strategy has been to thin the herd by dismantling the lower quality engines for improving others or modifying/detailing loco kits in construction. Of course, I would never wreck a high quality engine, but I do have a few plastic ones that were great for practicing my painting skills, but just don't meet my standards today. Otherwise, my plan is to give away some locos to other members of the club who can't really afford DCC. I haven't tried selling through Ebay, but I might try some day.

Simon

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, July 14, 2017 12:50 PM

snjroy
So this notion of too many is all very relative for me. I have a roster of about 30 locos,

Ah, still wet behind the ears I see!  Stick out tongue

 and my latest strategy has been to thin the herd by dismantling the lower quality engines for improving others or modifying/detailing loco kits in construction.

I've been doing that for the past 20 years.  I already sold off all my Atlas yellow box diesels and most of my Athearn blue box engines, and others.  I've done the same with older passenger and freight cars ...

Of course, I would never wreck a high quality engine, but I do have a few plastic ones that were great for practicing my painting skills, but just don't meet my standards today.

but I'm keeping some to practice weathering on. 

 

 I haven't tried selling through Ebay, but I might try some day.

Simon

I did use Ebay about 12 years ago but found I could avoid the fee's and sell stuff either on my RR yahoo group or HOSwap or HOExchange.  Patience is required but for the most part I've managed to sell everything I wanted to.  I'm shipping a parcel out tomorrow.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, July 14, 2017 2:05 PM

Hello all,

The formula is: N+1≠E

Where:

N = Number of units currently owned

1 = Number of units needed to be added to units currently owned

E = Enough units owned

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, July 14, 2017 2:15 PM

jjdamnit

Hello all,

The formula is: N+1≠E

Where:

N = Number of units currently owned

1 = Number of units needed to be added to units currently owned

E = Enough units owned

Hope this helps.

It's Friday and that hurts my head!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, July 14, 2017 2:51 PM

Hello all,

riogrande5761
It's Friday and that hurts my head!

And the answer is...

≠N (Never Enough!)

Sorry about the headache.WinkCryingWink

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by PRR8259 on Friday, July 14, 2017 3:10 PM

I am forced to give up on sticking to one era.  If I want to run big steam articulateds with 60's to '70's rolling stock, then that will be ok.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, July 14, 2017 3:19 PM

PRR8259

I am forced to give up on sticking to one era.  If I want to run big steam articulateds with 60's to '70's rolling stock, then that will be ok.

UP did some thing like that when it pulled double stacks with it's steam engine.

It's their RR and it's your RR - thats the mantra!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Friday, July 14, 2017 3:38 PM

jjdamnit

Hello all,

The formula is: N+1≠E

Where:

N = Number of units currently owned

1 = Number of units needed to be added to units currently owned

E = Enough units owned

Hope this helps.

 

The answer of course is 42.

Laugh

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by marksrailroad on Friday, July 14, 2017 5:13 PM
I admit I have more than I'll ever use... In fact I was just thinking the other day about selling some of them off this coming fall. It's a waste to have as many in storage as I do.
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Posted by Drumguy on Friday, July 14, 2017 8:25 PM

To crush the economist theory("Economists explain their thoery of diminishing returns. They say each additional item acquired will have less value than the one before it."), and go a bit off topic: I have 7 snare drums. I use one 90% of the time. My most cherished is a Bill Bruford signature series, I use it rarely only because it is the loudest thing on planet earth. But it's the last one I will ever part with. All locos are not created equal, and a cherished loco that spends most of its time on a shelf may be even more valuable than a workhorse. My 2 cents. And heres my 10 cents: if yer budget allows it, the limit is nobody else's business. I'm still a newbie.. been at this for about 4 years, and I've got 18 locos. And there's always a few (a lot) on the radar...

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, July 14, 2017 8:39 PM

Hello all,

LOVE Douglas Adams!

Thanks, this helps.

 

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, July 14, 2017 8:41 PM

Hello all,

IRONROOSTER
The answer of course is 42. Laugh

LOVE Douglas Adams!

Thanks, this helps.

 

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, July 14, 2017 9:03 PM

"Moores Law" - some is good, more is better, too much is still not enough.....

For me, the current number is about 135 powered units, but that is only locos for about 30 trains, a few spares, and a few self propelled passenger units.

The layout plan holds 25 staged trains, so I have just about the right amount.....

Sheldon

    

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Friday, July 14, 2017 9:04 PM

Well... if we're talking diesels, one is "too many!!" Big Smile

Ok, kidding aside...  I try to scale my loco roster to the number of train assignments my operating plan supports.  So when I add up all the needed switchers, helpers and through, local, passenger, logging, loaded & empty coal, etc., trains that will be in service at about the same time - then that's the number and type of locos I need.

It does take some will power!Crying

Jim

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Posted by Drumguy on Friday, July 14, 2017 9:04 PM

Maybe there should be a poll of who has exactly 42 locos, or when they hit that milestone. Or maybe I should develop a logo for Vogon and Grebulon Line.  Or Steve should shut this one down before the absurdity obfuscates further...Indifferent

 

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Posted by selector on Friday, July 14, 2017 9:06 PM

Obfuscates?  Maybe escalates.  Inundates...extrapolates...elucidates...inculcates...excoriates.  How about placates?  Yeah, placates.  I like placation.

Oh boy!!  I need another 20 locomotives if we go by the Law.  Stick out tongue

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Friday, July 14, 2017 9:24 PM

I'm still working on expanding my locomotive fleet and roster, I'm registered on Pacific Western Rail Systems and browsing through the reservation section full of new stuff coming out next year.

I've already reserved three Articulated Athearn Maxi III Well cars in the TTX Original Scheme for February/March 2018 delivery.

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Posted by jk10 on Friday, July 14, 2017 9:59 PM

Paul3

 

The collecting is part of the fun for me.  Just like when I was a kid with baseball cards, I collected Eddie Murray cards because I had found his rookie card which was worth some money at the time.  So to have something to do, I collected any Eddie Murray card I could find.  I still have them...somewhere...  But it was harmless fun.

 

 
I've invested a small fortune collecting various football and baseball players' cards and specific teams or numbered cards. It's the thrill of the chase that keeps the interest. Now, with trains, I'm getting the same thrill with chasing the next item to add to my collection or the next book about my favorite railroads. 
 
As as far as locomotives go, I have about 5-7, I think. I need to start upgrading them to DCC, but that's on the back burner until I even get a DCC system and layout to install it on. I'd like to purchase a few more locomotives in Wisconsin Central or Chicago & North Western livery if the right deal comes along. Ideally, I'd like enough so that it looks like I have a theme or focus to my layout. In a dream world, I'd have a fleet that matched the prototype, but my wife would likely reconsider her decision to marry me. 
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Posted by RobertSchuknecht on Saturday, July 15, 2017 4:41 PM

Jimmy_Braum

    ...how many locomotives is too many for you?

 

On my layout every engine and car that goes to staging or an interchange gets rotated off the layout. Therefore I can never have "too many" locomotives. The number on the layout at any one time is self regulating.

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, July 15, 2017 5:04 PM

Drumguy

Maybe there should be a poll of who has exactly 42 locos, or when they hit that milestone. Or maybe I should develop a logo for Vogon and Grebulon Line.  Or Steve should shut this one down before the absurdity obfuscates further...Indifferent

 

 

 I'm still on the Bill Bruford part, such an incredible drummer.

                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Saturday, July 15, 2017 7:48 PM

RobertSchuknecht
Jimmy_Braum

    ...how many locomotives is too many for you?

  

On my layout every engine and car that goes to staging or an interchange gets rotated off the layout. Therefore I can never have "too many" locomotives. The number on the layout at any one time is self regulating. 

How many are too many?  If counting locomotives, what are the requirements?

Like Brother Shuknecht, I send entire trains to staging - a LOT of trains, each with one or more locomotives.  Between the Netherworld and cassette staging I can easily have thirty trains invisible to the modeled scene, each with one or more locomotives or power cars (EMU and DMU) assigned.

Then, my main focus of activity is a station where the catenary ends.  Thus, each train passing through needs at least two locomotives, one a juice jack and the other a coal- or diesel-burner.  Sometimes that's two coal- or diesel- burners.  Since there are several different classes of trains, and locomotives of varying capacities, Tomikawa has ready tracks, temporary holding space for locomotives awaiting their specific assignments.

Locomotives sometimes require maintenance.  Thus, I have several 'spares' which are rotated into the slots of units pulled for servicing or repairs.  This might cause a steam-plus-electric schedule to run with a through-running diesel for a few days.  Fortunately, my scheme is flexible enough to allow that.

I own a half-dozen 'nostalgia' locomotives, U. S. prototypes run on the layouts of clubs of which I was once a member.  I have threatened to build a diorama for them to occupy.  For now, they live in boxes - the only part of my operational locomotive fleet that doesn't reside on powerable rails.  (Trains move on to, and off, cassettes under their own power.  Once detached from the layout end-of-track, the cassette rails are dead.)

And then there are the assortment of 'things' available for kitbashing - which currently includes nine N-scale mechanisms that will become HOn762 motive power for the Kashimoto Forest Railway and the Harukawa Electric Railway.  No rush to bring them to the workbench, since the routes in question won't have any track to run on until I build out a currently undeveloped peninsula.

So, do I have too many?  Consider that one minor change in my master plan could DOUBLE my requirements.  If I were to alternate between two months two decades apart I could justify a roster of much older steam, and some wooden DMU, that were scrapped before 1964.  In 1944 the Imperial Government Railways were moving massive amounts of war traffic with anything that could develop tractive effort.  Since my protolanced route is a relatively insignificant one, it wouldn't have gotten the latest and greatest in motive power.  I could see it soldiering on with fifty year old British-built tank locomotives and superannuated Alcos and Baldwins - rather more than needed to move traffic in September, 1964.

I actually have a few of those - assigned to the Tomikawa Tani Tetsudo, purchased from the JNR at scrap prices.  The TTT is my freelance junk collector, home to ancient steam and improbable 16.5mm gauge kitbashes.

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - more or less)

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Posted by tatans on Sunday, July 16, 2017 1:42 PM

The obvious answer is: if you have too many, you have too many, and don't try to convince yourself or others that you don't, you KNOW you have too many.

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Posted by Jimmy_Braum on Monday, July 17, 2017 5:50 AM

without  doubt some very interesting responses here.   Like I said before, Im trying to have at least two from each class the Wheeling has, so I'd need at least 8 units, but since the Wheeling runs triple headed consists, I'd need at least 9 or 12. All variables

(My Model Railroad, My Rules) 

These are the opinions of a 25 year old, from the east end of, and modeling, the same section of the Wheeling and Lake Erie railway.  As well as a freelanced road (Austinville and Dynamite City railroad).

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Posted by LensCapOn on Monday, July 17, 2017 10:51 AM
When you are not modeling/running trains because you are too busy buying/modeling space is filled with trains so you can't. This excludes the "out of money$$" factor.
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Posted by oldline1 on Monday, July 17, 2017 11:11 AM

And they say there are no dumb questions!!!!!

oldline1

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Posted by angelob6660 on Monday, July 17, 2017 11:27 AM

tatans

The obvious answer is: if you have too many, you have too many, and don't try to convince yourself or others that you don't, you KNOW you have too many.

I know I have too many and again I don't.

It's hard modeling 30 years of railroading when locomotives easy and hard to get. 

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, July 17, 2017 4:18 PM

I have 23 "locomotives" in service.  3 are dummies, but they have sound decoders.  2 are trolleys.  2 are powered subway cars.

I sort-of have a dual-era layout, so I have both steam and diesel rosters, plus a GG-1.  I've got an SD-9 that has trouble on some of my tighter curves, and no decoder yet, so that's "not in service" and may never be.

I wouldn't get rid of any of them.  If I had a bigger layout, I might get a few more, but for now, I'm happy with what I've got.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Monday, July 17, 2017 4:42 PM

When you notice you're starting to run out of room to store your railroad stuff.

Then you know it's time to move some of it from your bedroom to that spare room down the hall.

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Posted by joe323 on Monday, July 17, 2017 5:46 PM

ATSFGuy

When you notice you're starting to run out of room to store your railroad stuff.

Then you know it's time to move some of it from your bedroom to that spare room down the hall.

 

i suspect many of us have passed that mark 

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Monday, July 17, 2017 6:47 PM

Drumguy

. My most cherished is a Bill Bruford signature series, I use it rarely only because it is the loudest thing on planet earth. But it's the last one I will ever part with.

Off topic - hands down favorite drummer - I had a Bengal cat named Bruford - at least I know that some of you would know how to pronounce his name (kept getting bewford and other abominations from guests)

 

I have guitar my brother made  me - rarely play it - wouldn't ever part with it...

 

As for locos - I try to buy ones that fit my OPs scheme and era - I do have a few "Brufords" though..

 

Guy

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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