Realistic Shortline Numbers???

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chrismoore93

Central Phoenix Railroad
Hi guys,
I have aquired the NARy's first engine, an Undecorated GP35. I am going to paint it and decal it soon, but I have no idea what it's number should be??? Remember this is a shortline. I was thinking about number 10 but I am doubting. I was also wondering if anyone could tell me how I could come up with a picture of my paint scheme?
Thanks,
Chris
 

phatpony

Member
A friend of mine has an extensive shortline layout, point to point switching galore. All of his engines are 2 digit numbers in the 70's. So yeah, I think 10 is fine. It is, after all, your railroad.

Oh yeah, we need pics, don't just tease us with news of new equipment.

Glenn
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi Chris, as Glenn says it's your road so it's also your choice. Double numbers sounds good, but another piece of info to use is New Locomotives are very expensive and are not within the capital cost budget of most short lines.
Most short lines buy surplus locos from the major roads and retain the original numbers so again your choice wouldn't be wrong in choosing a three or four digit number. To sum it up it's hard to go wrong :D
A GP35 when compared to a GP9 is relatively new so a 4 digit number would look ok it. Just my opinion
Cheers
Willis
 
D

dthurman

Guest
I would agree with Willis, is there a history to how the railroad aquired the engine? Is it leased, loaned to them from the parent road? Man is this not the fun part?
 

chrismoore93

Central Phoenix Railroad
I shouldn't really say it is a shortline. It is a railroad by itself. It is not from any parent roads at all. It was made to serve two cities basically.
Chris
 

lginc

That FM guy
chrismoore93, seems to me smaller roads would start out with numbers like 100 or 1000, to make it seem like the are bigger than they are. i know alot of trucking company's do this. just a thought.;):D -Dean
 
D

dthurman

Guest
I think it's in the Kalmbach book from Tony Koester, Realistic Railroad Operations, he describes how to number your fleet, it's one of those series of books. He gets pretty indepth over the philosophy (sp).
 

DanRaitz

Member
Chris,
There are a lot of railroads (real & modeled) that number their locomotives based upon the horse-power of that unit. So your GP35 (2500 hp) could be numbered in the 250 or 2500 series. i.e. 258 or 2508.
As for a working on a paint scheme, go to http://paintshop.railfan.net and download a drawing of the GP35 take it into MS paint and start painting.
Dan
 
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HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
My shortline generally follows the 4-digit HP rating numbering system. As in, the first two numbers is the first two numbers of the HP rating of the loco. These are the locos the shortline owns. The leasers that's a different story. Those are whatever their previous owners had numbered them.

I think there is also a paperwork issue with locos as well. You just can't paint out a number and put your own on it. You have to fill out paperwork, and recode the loco's system so it matches what's on the side of it. Which is another reason why short-term leasers don't get renumbered. Long-term leases, sure. But, for a shortline, that's not necessarily the case.

Most of my leasers are 'system roamers' like LTEX or NREX, they're just visiting the layout!

Kennedy
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
I agree with what people have said. Except I've never heard of numbering based on HP, year purchased, etc.
To add from personal experience, somewhat unfairly generalizing and stereotyping.

Most shortlines have 4digit numbers, often from Class I's, without changing them.

Ex: CP 8016 & 8018 became GWWD 8016 & 8018. Often this is the case when the new owner couldn't care less what the engine looks like, i.e. they don't bother with the paint, patch over the former reporting marks and add their own initials. Thus CP Rail becomes WHRS Rail. I don't complain as there aren't that many ex-CP RS23's running around!

If a locomotive got repainted (this includes leassing from large leassing firms such as LLPX or CEFX), it probably received its own numbers (then again NREX ussually keeps former CP/SOO/CN/GTW numbers on its rent-a-wrecks).

ex: CN 4122 became CEMR 4001. (don't quote me on the numbers, I'm going by memore here), and received a nice new coat of paint.

Lastly it's important to note that there really is no 100% pattern, mostly going by common sence. Referring to GWWD again. They bought Devco 200 & 202, renaming and repainting them GWWD 200 & 202. So when they bought a S-13 (4digit number) from BC Hydro, they renumbered and repainted it to GWWD 201 so that it would fit in.

A tendency I find is that most numbers aren't spread out, they're kind of close together.
Ex: WAMX 9600-9620series, ex-CN 9600-9620series GP40-2LW's in CN colors
CEMR 4000-4003, ex-CN 4000-4199 series, now in CEMR colors!
GWWD keeps its numbers in the 200-205 range, except for the 8000's, which are for parts anyway.

Then again if you're modelling a Railink/RailAmerica based shortline, then you got numbers all over the place! CBNS has SD45-2's in the 907-914 series, GP9-4's (ex-SP GP9's!) in the 4000-4003 series and LLPX 226* GP38-2's (ex-IC GP40's!). Not to mention all kind of odd Geeps in the shops all of whom have different number series.

I find that single-two digit numbers were prretty common in the past, up tp 60s I would say, since then shortlines and Class I's have been somewhat avoiding small numbers like that, sticking to the 4digit ones. Then again there are lots of excamples to prove me wrong here too.

Hope I didn't confuse you!
 
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cuyama

Member
Russian said:
I agree with what people have said. Except I've never heard of numbering based on HP, year purchased, etc.
Actually, this is not all that rare on shortlines. Even larger railroads have done something similar and some continue to do so today. The first F units on the D&RGW were numbered in the 540-series to reflect their 5400 hp rating for a four-unit set.
http://ghostdepot.com/rg/rolling stock/locomotive/locos.htm
(toward the bottom of the page)

The Alaska Railroad numbered their SD-70MACs in the 4000-series to reflect each unit's 4000 hp rating.
http://www.alaskarails.org/glance/sd70macs.html

This follows the Alsaka RR's general horsepower-based engine numbering practice. GP-38-2s, for example, are numbered in the 2000s, while GP-35s are numbered in the 2500s, even though the GP-38-2s are much newer.

One exception to this pattern on the Alaska were a handful of ex-US Army 44-tonners and S-2s that kept their former Army numbers in the 7000s when they came on to the Alaska

There are many other examples, these happened to be at hand because of current projects.

Regards,

Byron
 
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DanRaitz

Member
Russian,

The Northern Pacific used HP based engine numbers on the last of their diesels. The U25C's were in the 2500 series, U28C's = 2800, U33C's = 3300, SD45's = 3600.

Dan
 

Rico

BN Modeller
Hi Chris,
Some shortlines use the #'s that are already in the boards fom the original line. The one I used to work for (CEMR) numbered their four GP9's 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. I've seen other lines that used what you are planning on, 10 and up for one series of locos and 100 and up for others.
So pretty much anything goes, you're on the "right track"!
Rico
 

chrismoore93

Central Phoenix Railroad
Hi guys
I found a couple of pics from a local shortline. The Apache Railway. Here are a couple pics of there locos. It seems there diesels are really in no order, the ones I have seen are like 50-100. They have all been bought from other railroads repainted and renumbered. http://alcoworld.railfan.net/apache97.jpg
http://alcoworld.railfan.net/apach82.jpg This one 3 digits http://www.trainweb.org/tomfassett/pics/apa/0900_APA_ALCO_RS36.JPG
And some from other AZ shortlines.
Arizona & California, four digits
http://www.nrhs.com/nrhsconv/2002conv/outbound-day-2/arizona-california-rr.jpg
If I can find other pics I will post them. Sorry to bomb you with pics :D :p
I also wanted to say guys, I am also bringing in the big guys! Meaning Dash 9's, Dash8's AC600's etc. I also plan to have a good amount of SD's and GP's, there will be a yard as well so... :D Well you know the regular engines ya see! Let me tell ya! This is one small railroad, that acts like on big railroad!
Chris
 
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chrismoore93

Central Phoenix Railroad
Well now that I think about it guys. For a smaller railroad those bigger engines wouldn't even be prototypical right? I will still bring in the GP's SD's and what not though. Think I should just stay away from the Dash 9's and 8's?
Is this right?
Chris
 

phatpony

Member
chrismoore93 said:
Think I should just stay away from the Dash 9's and 8's?
Chris
Probably yes, they are big engines, although the dash 8-40B is a 4 axle. I have one painted in Conrail colors patched for NS. You could maybe get away with that. Most shortlines are penny pinchers and couldn't afford to purchase one of their own, but hey...

Glenn
 

chrismoore93

Central Phoenix Railroad
Well one of the reasons I wanted them was power. Why? Because I am using DCC and I don't really want 4 or however many locos hauling a intermodel or mixed freight train. Maybe my shortline can be...well... a little richer than usual! I think I have made up my mind about the number system as well. It will be simple, a type of engine will be assigned a series of numbers. My GP35 will probably something like #50-70, and other engines, like all SD locos are 70-100 or something. I may base it by manufacturer. Or I can just assign them numbers in order???
Oh well I'll think of something!
Chris
 

Russian

Saskatoon railfan
chrismoore93 said:
Well now that I think about it guys. For a smaller railroad those bigger engines wouldn't even be prototypical right? I will still bring in the GP's SD's and what not though. Think I should just stay away from the Dash 9's and 8's?
Is this right?
Chris
What about interchanges? GWWD I mentioned only operates 1000hp MLW switchers, but literally a block away CP AC4400CW's (4400hp), SOO SD60's, CP SD40-2's work in a yard interchanging with them! It's all about planning you see.
 




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