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Chris UK

I am in the process of planning a small HO switching layout based on the UP. I am in need of information regarding small urban rail served areas. I am thinking of a railroad that will enable me to switch about 6 cars at a time to various small industries. My initial thoughts ( and bear in mind I am English and know very little about US practices ) are a steel company, Household heating oil co, and perhaps 2 industries that would move freight in reefers, such as a food processing company and perhaps a removal firm. Thoughts please.


Mmmm, turbos
What kind of cars are you wanting to use, and in what era? That'll have a big impact on what industries you choose.

Chris UK

I think I want to model current day if my choice of locomotives fit and of that I am not sure. I also wish to run 50' box and reefer vans etc. I hope this is specific enough as I am learning about what goes with what. The loco I have is, I think, a GP38 in Union Pacific livery. I have placed an order for 7 assorted box cars so I will see what comes in the packet. Secondhand selection. I could be flexible on timescale but want to be all diesel and not too archaic. Perhaps 1960 on? What locomotives would you recommend and what sort of cars do I need to be looking at. Also what is the best track system. We use a flexible system here in the UK, is there one I should look out for?
regards Chris :) :) :)


Coal Shoveler
Well, the first GP38 was built in 1966, with the -2 in 1972. I'd say 40-50' cars would be the ticket. Type of cars depends on what kind of industries you are trying to serve, and whether you are going to do a protoypical location (like, recreating El Segundo or whatever). If you're doing just any old urban-type area, then you have more choices and range.

Besides the GP38, you could have endcab switchers and first gen Geeps. in fact, for an urban switching area, you're probably more likely to run into the endcab switchers because the GP38s were new, and would probably not be assigned to this level of local switching. Won't say it never happened, but you'd be more likely to find the endcabs.



Stay off the tracks!
Sounds a lot like what shortline railroads do now... although it does sound like he's aiming more for a "terminal railroad" - which would probably have an SW1500 or MP15 doing a lot of the work. The GP38 could be used as the interchange railroad power. Cars have to come from somewhere after all.

Chris UK

Many thanks Chaps, it appears that I can really run what I like if I base the layout in the current timeframe. I am looking at 50' cars and really any type of diesel except really new main line locomotives. I still have a lot to learn but I understand the concept of a terminal railroad serving industries in an area of a large town or city not a prototype yard. I will post a copy of the proposed track plan as soon as I have scanned it in. Not sure what to call it yet.

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