How to distinguish 2 similar locos

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Bigboy57

Active Member
I have two UP GP7’s with different numbers but they are easy to confuse when operating. What is the best prototypical way to identify them from operating distance? Roof numbers or other ideas?
 

dave1905

Well-Known Member
A prototype UP engine has the engine number written on it 8-10 times, If the model follows the prototype and they can't read that, I don't see how adding one more number is going to help.
 

Bigboy57

Active Member
Well the numbers are there but when I’m operating the train I’m not close enough to read the little numbers on my ho scale locomotive. I was just trying to do something to tell which is which during operation .
 

Bigboy57

Active Member
Keep a slip of paper handy with the numbers on them. Lead is X, secondary is Y...
That’s a good idea but last night I was using the GP’s separately, not in an MU. One was delivering coal and the other running freight cars and it wasn’t so clear which was which at times. I have seen somewhere modelers putting large “helicopter” cab numbers on the roof to help with the id but I wasn’t sure I liked that and thought maybe someone might have a different idea.
 

Bob T

Member
I get what you're saying. Hard to read those small numbers all the way across the layout.
Maybe just change something enough to notice the difference.
An open door or panel? Extra crewman on the running board?
 

Topherisme

Chris wants more hobby time!!!
How about adding a bit of weathering to one that looks natural but is a noticeable difference…
 

Smudge617

Well-Known Member
Well the numbers are there but when I’m operating the train I’m not close enough to read the little numbers on my ho scale locomotive. I was just trying to do something to tell which is which during operation .
Put them together in a consist, problem solved, or add a small flag on the roof or sides of one of them, or do both, one Confederate other Union.
I'm joking people. 🤣 🤣
 
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Rico

BN Modeller
I had a whiteboard above my previous layout that showed loco numbers, train ID, and where they were in staging.
A quick glance up and we knew what locos had what train on what track going what direction.
Other ideas would be graffiti, colored flags, cotton “smoke”, and as mentioned weathering, figures, etc.
 

DanRaitz

Member
I get what you're saying. Hard to read those small numbers all the way across the layout.
Maybe just change something enough to notice the difference.
An open door or panel? Extra crewman on the running board?
On one of them, paint one or two hood doors light gray to replicate replaced doors.

Dan
 

Bigboy57

Active Member
Just out of interest, post a photo when you've decided.
This is my temporary fix but not sure of the long term solution yet. I may like this better after weathering.
 

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NH Mike

CEO & Wheel Cleaner
Paint the air horns a different color on one. Maybe silver and the other unit horns are black or roof color?
 

Bigboy57

Active Member
That’s a good idea. I haven’t installed the window awnings yet and was thinking of doing something similar. The red stripe is just temporary.
 

Rico

BN Modeller
Never thought of this til now but if you look at the proto pics are there any differences you can play on?
I like the temp fix you came up with for now!
 




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