Various components are made in different places and overhead cranes are used to lift big pieces/assemblies from where they are made and move them to the track where the assembly of the locomotive takes place. These are called erection shops. If you google images with "locomotive erecting", you'll get some pictures.
yohner wrote:Hi,I teach fifth grade. During a lesson on the transcontinental railroad, a student asked how trains get on the tracks. I searched and searched. I googled until I my eyes bugged. But, I can't find the answer. Can anyone here at trains.com help? Regards,Yohner
Most railroad equipment built after the pioneering 1845-1850 era was indeed built on rails that were tied into the national system of standard gauge rail lines. Rogers in Patterson NJ had an interesting quirk in it's history. It was over a mile from any trackage tied into the rest of the country's network. So, Rogers had their locomotives, some as large as 120 ton Pacifics, hauled through the streets of Patterson by draft horses pulling wagons or dollies. What a sight that must have been!
Non-standard gauge (wide or narrow) equipment was loaded on flatcars for moves to where they were transferred to their owners rails, or a same-gauge connection's rails.
I can't wait to get back to school now with these answers. Thank you all. I will also check out the links you supplied.
I love when a student asks a question and I can go back with such a solid answer.