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Prototype to Model Ration

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  • Member since
    May 2002
  • 223 posts
Prototype to Model Ration
Posted by tomnoy3 on Sunday, September 14, 2003 11:17 PM
How many cars do you run on your layout compaired to a typical prototype train of the same freight? Because too little doesnt look right and too many talk up half my track. lol. Thanks to anyone who replys.

-Tom
  • Member since
    May 2002
  • 223 posts
Prototype to Model Ration
Posted by tomnoy3 on Sunday, September 14, 2003 11:17 PM
How many cars do you run on your layout compaired to a typical prototype train of the same freight? Because too little doesnt look right and too many talk up half my track. lol. Thanks to anyone who replys.

-Tom
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 1,300 posts
Posted by Sperandeo on Monday, September 15, 2003 9:37 AM
Hello Tom,

A lot depends on your scale and the size of your layout. I designed my layout for freight trains consisting of three cab-diesel units, 22 40-foot freght cars, a 2-10-2 steam pusher (I'm modeling operations on a mountain grade), and a caboose. In HO scale, anything more than 18 or 20 cars starts to give the impression a long train, especially when winding through sceney that blocks your view of part of the train. I'd like to run even longer trains, but practical questions like the length of passing sidings and staging tracks have an influence too. When you visit layouts, try counting the cars in any train that seems long to you, and that will give you a good answer for how long your trains should be.

By the way, thanks for signing your name.

Good luck,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 1,300 posts
Posted by Sperandeo on Monday, September 15, 2003 9:37 AM
Hello Tom,

A lot depends on your scale and the size of your layout. I designed my layout for freight trains consisting of three cab-diesel units, 22 40-foot freght cars, a 2-10-2 steam pusher (I'm modeling operations on a mountain grade), and a caboose. In HO scale, anything more than 18 or 20 cars starts to give the impression a long train, especially when winding through sceney that blocks your view of part of the train. I'd like to run even longer trains, but practical questions like the length of passing sidings and staging tracks have an influence too. When you visit layouts, try counting the cars in any train that seems long to you, and that will give you a good answer for how long your trains should be.

By the way, thanks for signing your name.

Good luck,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 15, 2003 12:51 PM
My layouts are small and i must run short trains accordingly, generally no more than 10 cars. A train longer than the layout looks funny and won't fit the yards. I try to disguise the short trains by using tunnels and other viewblock scenery - if you can't see the end of the approaching train, it can be any length you imagine. -Glen
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 15, 2003 12:51 PM
My layouts are small and i must run short trains accordingly, generally no more than 10 cars. A train longer than the layout looks funny and won't fit the yards. I try to disguise the short trains by using tunnels and other viewblock scenery - if you can't see the end of the approaching train, it can be any length you imagine. -Glen
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: US
  • 1,522 posts
Posted by AltonFan on Monday, September 15, 2003 4:45 PM
There was an article in Model Railroader back in the 1970s on formulating tonnage ratings for use on model railroads.

Dan

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: US
  • 1,522 posts
Posted by AltonFan on Monday, September 15, 2003 4:45 PM
There was an article in Model Railroader back in the 1970s on formulating tonnage ratings for use on model railroads.

Dan

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: indiana
  • 792 posts
Posted by joseph2 on Monday, September 15, 2003 8:15 PM
The real Erie Lackawanna used to run 80 car trains,but because of short passing sidings,I run 10 car trains. Joe
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: indiana
  • 792 posts
Posted by joseph2 on Monday, September 15, 2003 8:15 PM
The real Erie Lackawanna used to run 80 car trains,but because of short passing sidings,I run 10 car trains. Joe
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, September 18, 2003 11:22 AM
Tomnoy3,

I am working on a small shelf layout related to the Domino's Sugar of Baltimore Md. And it will have a small fiddle yard and a few associated industries. I find that I can easily keep about 36 cars of different types very busy feeding this refinery.

I thought about way frieghts that will need to deliver supplies, empties to the complex and discovered that I will need about 3 trains of 10-12 cars in and a similar number out.

Suddenly the magnitude of the traffic required to properly model a compressed version of a harbor city and the associated logistics like food, oil, lumber etc hit me. I would need several trains of 30-50 cars a day and I dont have the room.

I offer to you a train of about 12 to 14 cars, it is a decent size and you can carry a bit on this train without having the engine's headlight shining into the caboose and keeping the conductor sleepless.

You can always run more trains and if you have the room make up a super train with as many cars and your biggest power. Have fun with it. My personal record was about 67 cars behind a old AHM 2-8-8-2 it took alot of track and some delicate throttle work to start the whole thing without too much driver slip.

Good Luck with your trains.

Lee
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, September 18, 2003 11:22 AM
Tomnoy3,

I am working on a small shelf layout related to the Domino's Sugar of Baltimore Md. And it will have a small fiddle yard and a few associated industries. I find that I can easily keep about 36 cars of different types very busy feeding this refinery.

I thought about way frieghts that will need to deliver supplies, empties to the complex and discovered that I will need about 3 trains of 10-12 cars in and a similar number out.

Suddenly the magnitude of the traffic required to properly model a compressed version of a harbor city and the associated logistics like food, oil, lumber etc hit me. I would need several trains of 30-50 cars a day and I dont have the room.

I offer to you a train of about 12 to 14 cars, it is a decent size and you can carry a bit on this train without having the engine's headlight shining into the caboose and keeping the conductor sleepless.

You can always run more trains and if you have the room make up a super train with as many cars and your biggest power. Have fun with it. My personal record was about 67 cars behind a old AHM 2-8-8-2 it took alot of track and some delicate throttle work to start the whole thing without too much driver slip.

Good Luck with your trains.

Lee
  • Member since
    October 2012
  • 527 posts
Posted by eastcoast on Sunday, October 26, 2003 10:59 AM
I have a bedroom sized layout and run 3 mainlines. Mostly what I run are passenger but do find that freight is of interest also. I would say to stick with what looks right with the size of your mainline.
ken_ecr
  • Member since
    October 2012
  • 527 posts
Posted by eastcoast on Sunday, October 26, 2003 10:59 AM
I have a bedroom sized layout and run 3 mainlines. Mostly what I run are passenger but do find that freight is of interest also. I would say to stick with what looks right with the size of your mainline.
ken_ecr
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: California - moved to North Carolina 2018
  • 4,387 posts
Posted by DSchmitt on Monday, October 27, 2003 8:45 PM
When I was a child I determined that to my perception a model train about 6 feet ln length and run at a reasonably slow speed looked about right (this ia approx 6 caes + loco + caboose in HO}. My perception hasn't changed. In N scale I like trains of 20-24 cars.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: California - moved to North Carolina 2018
  • 4,387 posts
Posted by DSchmitt on Monday, October 27, 2003 8:45 PM
When I was a child I determined that to my perception a model train about 6 feet ln length and run at a reasonably slow speed looked about right (this ia approx 6 caes + loco + caboose in HO}. My perception hasn't changed. In N scale I like trains of 20-24 cars.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    June 2003
  • 1,009 posts
Posted by GDRMCo on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 12:54 AM
I run 100 car mineral trains with 3-4 locomotives on the head and 2 pushers.

ML

  • Member since
    June 2003
  • 1,009 posts
Posted by GDRMCo on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 12:54 AM
I run 100 car mineral trains with 3-4 locomotives on the head and 2 pushers.

ML

  • Member since
    August 2002
  • From: Corpus Christi, Texas
  • 2,377 posts
Posted by leighant on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 10:41 PM
On my existing little layout, N scale 3' x 7' table, I am limited by my passing sidings to 8 cars or so plus engine and caboose. Looks just fine for a local peddler freight. My through ore train uses short 30' two-bay hopper so I can get away with 9 or 10 cars. Through freights look pretty skimpy--but then so is my mainline running length. Once through the scene and gone to staging. Logging company trains run 4 or 5 cars plus loco and caboose. I want them to look short. I like passenger trains but they don't work on my sharp curves and I am short of staging sidings. The prototype I model ran a doodlebug, and that's what I use for passenger service. A VERY short train.

When I have a bigger train room, I would like to run longer trains. At least 16 cars in a freight train. Twenty to twenty-four would be even nicer, but that is just about as much as I care for.

However, if I have the room, the determining factor for passing sidings, etc will be passenger. I want to run models of specific passenger trains with the particular cars and type they ran. One streamlined passenger train I want to model ran with an RPO and full length baggage car, two regular coaches and a divided coach (segregation era), diner, lounge and two sleepers. Pulled by ABBA F-units. That makes for a train 6 feet long in N scale. The passenger trains are so important to me that I will probably make them the ruling factor in determining passing siding and staging track length.

Kenneth Anthony, Santa Vaca & Santa Fe Rwy.
  • Member since
    August 2002
  • From: Corpus Christi, Texas
  • 2,377 posts
Posted by leighant on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 10:41 PM
On my existing little layout, N scale 3' x 7' table, I am limited by my passing sidings to 8 cars or so plus engine and caboose. Looks just fine for a local peddler freight. My through ore train uses short 30' two-bay hopper so I can get away with 9 or 10 cars. Through freights look pretty skimpy--but then so is my mainline running length. Once through the scene and gone to staging. Logging company trains run 4 or 5 cars plus loco and caboose. I want them to look short. I like passenger trains but they don't work on my sharp curves and I am short of staging sidings. The prototype I model ran a doodlebug, and that's what I use for passenger service. A VERY short train.

When I have a bigger train room, I would like to run longer trains. At least 16 cars in a freight train. Twenty to twenty-four would be even nicer, but that is just about as much as I care for.

However, if I have the room, the determining factor for passing sidings, etc will be passenger. I want to run models of specific passenger trains with the particular cars and type they ran. One streamlined passenger train I want to model ran with an RPO and full length baggage car, two regular coaches and a divided coach (segregation era), diner, lounge and two sleepers. Pulled by ABBA F-units. That makes for a train 6 feet long in N scale. The passenger trains are so important to me that I will probably make them the ruling factor in determining passing siding and staging track length.

Kenneth Anthony, Santa Vaca & Santa Fe Rwy.

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