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L.A.P.T. Fan
I was trying to figure out a numbering system for my Locomotive Roster when i came apon the thought I don't know what lococmotives I should have in my Freelanced road. So I need help in this area what Locomotives should I get to help complete this Roster my Era is 1985 - Present I want to have a nice mix of Locomotives also my pike is primeraly mainline service with some yard and local switching so Plz help me find some proper locomotives to add to this Roster, so i don't go buying every I see

Yard Service:

Local Switchers:GP40-2(x1), U30B (x1)

Road Diesles: AC4400(x2), SD40-2(x1),

I was thinking of adding a -9 some -8's and some SD's and GP's locos but I need help, I have a problem when I see I buy and it tends to be things I don't need


Lazy Daydreamer
I'm not a numbering 'expert' by any means, but I do remember this from the pre-Chessie B&O:

2nd-generation road diesels were numbered in the 'hundreds' for their model number. For example: GP35's were numbered 3500-3599, gp38's were 3800-3899. If there were more than 100 units, they just went to the next hundred series; for exmaple gp40's were 4000-4299.

(I'm just guessing off the top of my head, the exact roster numbers may have been slightly different...)

In general, for a moderate-sized RR, even if your AC4400CW number series doesn't begin '44xx', each distinct loco model should have its own series of numbers.

To see how CSX does their numbering, go to this link:

...then click on Photos -> By Model and you'll see whole lists of numbers for each loco model.

Hope this helps...


Diesel Detail Freak
Well, Dash 9's & Dash 8's and SD70M's are "intermodal" units mostly, SD40-2's more common for locals now. I'd suggest getting at least one Dash 9-44CW and a Dash 8-40C & Dash 8-40B. One or two SD70M Maybe an SD50 or SD60 and another SD40-2, and an SD45? Then you're on track with a balanced 6 axle fleet. Add a few GP38-2's, GP30, GP35, maybe a GP50 or GP60. One or two small switchers, (SW1200 or SW1500) for yard duty?

Usual numbering scheme's are 1,2,3,4 for very small rr's, by HP (the Dash 9-44CW & AC4400's would be in the 44xx range), or "escalating". I'll refer to escalating here, because it works out well, the lower HP, switchers first, then low HP road units, then high HP units... This would leave your roster (with the units I suggested) like this:

1xx SW1200/SW1500
5xx GP30
10xx GP35
15xx GP38-2
16xx GP40-2
17xx U30B
20xx GP50
25xx GP60
26xx Dash 8-40B

30xx SD40-2
35xx SD45
36xx SD50
37xx SD60
40xx SD70M
41xx Dash 8-40C
43xx Dash 9-44CW
44xx AC4400

With that you haven't even hit #5000, so you have plenty of room... But this is just general, to get a good feel, you need to know what kind of trains you'll be running, and what kind of terrain. AC units are more suited for long drags, like coal trains. The DC units then end up on the Intermodal trains. GP's & Smaller SD's are suited for more local type trains. Hilly terrain means more units to get them over the hills. flat land, you can run long trains with SD40-2's...

Oh, along with Ken's post, this forums sister forum, has a section that links to a number of rosters.
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L.A.P.T. Fan
I guess i should of given you more info, my goal is to get a freelanced version of the L.A. Sub of the UP with the foothills, City, and desert area, like Pelle Soeborg's, the major rolling stock will be Intermodal and Petrolium


Heres my C&HV roster.

#100 SW1000

#150 SW1500

#380-385 GP38-2

#400-405 GP40-2

#500. GP50

We have the following lease units

GATX 2617 and 2720 GP38-2

Helm 3805 AND 3806 GP38-2

HELM 6000 and 6225 SD40-2

MPI 9001 and 9015 SD40.


Active Member
When it came time for this decision on my Minnesota & International, I decided to go with only 4 axle GE's and number them by their horsepower.

18xx - U18B's
23xx - U23B's and B23-7's
25xx - U25B's
28xx - U28B's
30xx - U30B's and B30-7's



Dan,I thought about using the horse power as the first 2 digits however,I decided to go with model number as you can see simply because I wanted to use a 3 digit numbering system..:D
My Huron Valley uses a 2 number system because the HR units are the last of the first generation locomotive owned by CDB Industries which is the parent company of 8 short lines and 4 plant switching services..

I see that your M&I stayed with one locomotive manufacturer as did CDBI for their short lines..IMHO that only makes good mechanical sense because of keeping a parts inventory.

I thought I would share my thoughts with you and the others since your roster and mine are basically the same as far as one builder type and numbering...


Coal Shoveler
I number by horsepower, 2xxx for the GP38-2s and 3xxx for the GP40-2s. Any other locos that the pike uses are leasers that are numbered however the leasing company numbers them (which is usually the road number of the previous owners).



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