Top Two Industries to Model 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.


BN Modeller
Hello All,
I don't get on here as often as I'd like, thought I'd make up for it.
Friends and I were discussing what the best / busiest industry to model would be. One that recieves the greatest variety of cars and loads.

At the top of our list was a pulp and paper mill which recieves: pulp wood on flats and gondolas (machinery too), coal in open hoppers, chemical in tank cars and covered hoppers, recycled paper in boxcars, and wood chips in, well... woodchip cars. Loads of paper out in boxcars of course

Second would be a sugar refinery which recieves: sugar beets in gondolas, coal in open hoppers, limestone also in open hoppers, chemicals in tankcars, machinery on flats.
Sugar is shipped out in covered hoppers and airslides, syrup in tankcars, mash in gondolas.

Third was a mixture of undecided industries.
I'm sure I'm missing something on the inbound / outbound list...
Any thoughts?


Lazy Daydreamer
Hello Rico,

Those two industries you mentioned sound like excellent candidates. During my active days with the RRISIG, I toured a paper mill in northwest PA [April 1998] and a Dominoes sugar factory in Baltimore [May 2000] - and they DO handle a large variety of freight car types (didn't have a digital camera yet back then, wish I could find the photos I snapped...:( )

As for those smaller industries, there is a sub-forum here called Rail-Dependent Industries that might help you get some ideas. Good luck!


Wyoming native
The most flexible industry to model is the simple team track. Anything can arrive or leave from there.

Generally leaves a little to be desired in the way of traffic density, though.....


Diesel Detail Freak
Walthers has that new open air transload building, looks like an interesting idea there, for the warmer climates at least.

  • Coal - Powerplant
  • Logging - Lumbermill/papermill
  • Iron Ore mine - Dock
  • Steel Mill (Ken...)
  • Oil refinery
  • Intermodal (ports or inland)
  • Auto plant - Autorack loading/unloading

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