Recent content by RCH is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

  1. R

    Coupler Height

    I totally agree. Our models (with rare exceptions) don't have working suspension in the trucks, which really makes a difference when our models travel over rough track or uneven joints. While the prototype can absorb some of the vertical motion caused by bad track or spongy subgrade our models...
  2. R

    Coupler Height

    This is very common. The difference between loads and empties is not much less than seen here. What's worse is when the bearing plate underneath a long drawbar is extremely worn or missing completely. Cars with these couplers would be modern reefers, centerbeams, 60' double plug door boxcars...
  3. R

    DPU on Long Intermodal

    Re: counting intermodal cars I see two ways multi-unit cars are counted on the operations side of the railroad. First, each individual road number is considered a separate car as far as the train list is concerned and as far as hazmat rules are concerned. So, if you have a certain type of...
  4. R

    Need some insight from people who have driven locomotives

    The throttle of a diesel locomotive controls the output of the alternator/generator by varying engine RPM (for the most part - the RPM can be the same for adjacent throttle notches). Speed and acceleration of the train has more to do with track grade and train load than throttle position...
  5. R

    stand in for a GE 9-40C

    You could use a cab/nose assembly from a C40-8 and mount it to a C44-9W and that will get you close.
  6. R

    Would like Info from Real-World Railroaders

    The same campus is where they train everyone from signal maintainers to engineers to yardmasters. My classes were in the BNSF only portion of the building when I was in engine school, but the NARS classrooms are basically right there. I think NARS probably helped quite a few people get jobs up...
  7. R

    Would like Info from Real-World Railroaders

    I agree with what's been posted so far. I wouldn't waste your money on Choo-choo U, either. NARS new hires and new hires off the streets go through the same training program at the railroad and there's no advantage given for the prior training. You still have to work your way over time through...
  8. R

    anybody use these or heard of them

    I switched over about two years ago from Kadee couplers. They couple, but not very easily, to Kadee regular and scale head couplers. For some reason they couple better to some of the Kadee clones than to Kadees. Maybe since the clones I have are plastic and they can give a bit compared to the...
  9. R

    BNSF, UP train wreck in MO

    To explain how an automatic interlocking works, let's imagine two routes cross each other. One is a north-south route and the other is an east-west route. There are signals on all four sides of the diamond and a signal in each direction (usually no more than 2 miles) away from the diamond. The...
  10. R

    BNSF, UP train wreck in MO

    This particular crossing is an Automatic interlocking, which means there is no operator. Automatic train stop or Positive Train Control is already the law of the land for US railroads. The system is extremely expensive and relies on equipment installed in both the locomotives and the signal...
  11. R


    I keep two lists, one for locomotives and the other for freight cars. I use an Excel spreadsheet, then I use Google Drive to import it as a Google Document so I can access it online with my phone. This helps me when I'm at the hobby shop and I'm thinking of getting another covered hopper but...
  12. R

    Proper Yard modeling

    I've operated on a few model railroads and very few I've seen operate like the real thing. Almost all are operated as staging yards, which means the trains are placed on the tracks and the trains depart from and return to the yard. There is no switching or classifying of cars at the yard. Most...
  13. R


    Arizona Rock & Mineral is the only way to go. Far better than the crushed walnut shells sold by a competitor. When I get compliments on my Free-mo module ballast, I make it a point to recommend Arizona Rock & Mineral. By the way, the next time I get started on a module, I'll order direct.
  14. R

    railroad terminology

    Sharp shooting is placing a bump on a pool turn or an extra board in a position that is projected to have a good outcome for the person placing the bump. That could be an easy train, a deadhead, or a day or days off.
  15. R

    railroad terminology

    I'm going to steal that "fire one... target destroyed!" line. That is brilliant! :D One time I worked a yard job with a Cajun fella from Louisiana. It took the entire shift to finally figure out what he was saying. Turns out it actually was English. Here's my version of his car counts: "Foe...

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