Foreign Rolling Stock

By "Foreign Rolling Stock", I am referring to items from other RR's that do not often make their way into the region of your layout.
I am curious how you handle such rolling stock on your layout [especially if you are using a car card/waybill system]. For example, I am guilty of buying some rolling stock from RR's that are in a different time zone from the RR that I am planning to model [operate]. I am a sucker for a great paint job ;-)
[a] Should I mix these "foreign" cars into every day consists? [b] Should I create a fictitious, 'named' train that has all of these "foreign" cars together? [c] Either way, should I purposely limit their appearances from hidden staging or is it common for a "foreign" car to be seen for an extended period of time? or multiple times?
What do you do on your layout?
Thanks! Matt
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Treat all freight cars as freight cars.
Look to the prototype for inspiration, not other model railways otherwise you fall into the trap many modellers do of modelling other peoples models, not the real thing.
If you go watch a few freight trains, or study, not look at, photographs, you'll see cars from all over the country in almost any general freight freight train.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
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mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Yes.
No.
No, or rather, it all depends on the kinds of industries on your railroad.

Run whatever I want. :-)

You're welcome. Now read on....
Freight trains may have a majority of cars from the home road most of the time, but there are always foreign cars in the consist. (In the 1950s/60s, most cars in a train were foreign cars most of the time.) The only exception to this that I am aware of are unit trains that run in dedicated service from point A (a mine, say) to point B (a power plant, say). But even these over time may include foreign cars, as the operating railroad leases cars to make up shortfalls. Or else, the cars are marked for the mining or power company, not the railroad.
In the heyday of passenger train operation, trains usually consisted entirely of home road cars, but there were exceptions. Trains that connected with the trains of other railroads (eg, the Key West Limited), and trains operated in conjunction with other railroads (eg, the California Zephyr) frequently or always carried foreign passenger cars, especially sleepers. Some name trains (Broadway Limited, or The Canadian, for example) that ran entirely on the home road would have only home road cars, but it's surprising how many trains included foreign cars.
I recommend you borrow or buy John Armstrong's Track Planning for Realistic Operation. While many of its details are outdated, it gives you a good idea of how to operate a railroad. Your questions recently indicate that you are becoming attracted to prototypical train running, so this (and other books) will prove very valuable to you. There is a Yahoo interest group on model railroad operations IIRC, so you could look for that, too.
Good hunting.
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Kinda depends upon the cars and the railroad. Roads like the Virignian and other such coal roads tended to have home cars for the coal trade and foreign cars tended not to exist for such movements. For general freight, there usually more foreign cars than home cars in any particular movement of cars as most of the freight comes from somewhere off the road. Besides coal, other things like ore and grain from the farmers also tended to be home road cars. I'll also note that with passenger cars, some foreign road cars were regularly pulled in trains as some roads had agreements to take other cars to a destination. These cars would be seen in each train tho rather than being random. Finally, even foreign passenger trains will occasionally appear on a road if there had been an accident on the other road which has a parallel route with local power on the head end. The other road's powe may or may not also appear on the train as a second loco depending upon the length of the move.
-- Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?
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Bob May wrote:

Regarding the coal roads like Virginian, there cetainly were 'non-home road' coal hoppers and gons in their consists. Coal going to their own coal piers, for shippment elesewhere, normally moved in home-road cars. But many industries, or other railroads, ordered coal from mines in their (VGN) territory, and would send empty cars to be loaded. Some of this was prvate owner cars, and some just regular railroad cars from the area of the delivery. For instance, even Great Northern coal hoppers moved on the Virginian.
Yes, such moves were a small fraction of the total, but were quite apparent in their trains since the cars looked different.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Think about it in terms of the industries on your layout. For example, if you were modelling a furniture distributor in Omaha, you'd probably see NS hi-cube boxcars from the North Carolina manufacturers. A printer in that same town might see WC (or other CN road) paper-lading only box cars. And so on...
Stevert
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[a] you should do what makes you happy. If that means being really prototypical then you might want to get rid of those cars. If you're more flexible they you can use your imagination + judgement to come up with your favorite solution. [b] doesn't sound like a good idea, doesn't sound too realistic. [c] depends. A customer on the line could be getting shipments from a special supplier thus a foreign car may re-appear a number of times. Or it could be a special shipment and you'll only run the car once on your layout and then never again. Or the car could be in a through freight and might cross the layout once and possible back again.
If you model an 'end point' on a railroad the probablility will be low that foreign cars will be often and varied. Unless of course it's a major terminal city or a harbor city... oh... Then if you model a small town it's most likely that there will be few foreign cars. Er.. unless it's a small town with a high traffic mainline through it... Hmmm I guess it depends on what you model. I doubt very much you'll see sulphur gondolas going to Thompson Manitoba.
I used to model Winnipeg Manitoba. Mainline CN and CP rail. Plenty of trains going from eastern Canada to west and vice versa. Lots of different cars and plenty of foreign roads. Every now and again some 'extremely foreign' cars would go trough. Even in Thunder Bay Ontario, a CP Rail mainline through town, sees a variety of foreign cars. Some real obsucre railroads as well. Now cars that have been sold to other railroads and have not been repainted do make their rounds... However you probably only see the car go through town once, ever. Same with unusual flat car loads. See them once and never again ie http://jbrail.railfan.net/FreightCars/FlatCars/CP317033.html or http://jbrail.railfan.net/FreightCars/FlatCars/HTTX93124.html or http://jbrail.railfan.net/FreightCars/FlatCars/OTTX90839.html ) still would be nifty to model these loads and run them more than once.
My approach is to include foreign cars but try to keep it within reason. I use a computer program to generate freight car movements and I can set it so some cars stay 'off layout' for a longer period of time. Then again if it comes down to it and I want to see the car run, I might sneak the car in for my pleasure. On my next layout I'll have a shelf over the staging yard for swapping seldom run cars on/ off the layout. I also mix eras so include high nosed geeps and SD70s (but not in the same train). I also mix CN and CP (but not in the same train). I allow myself a lot of leeway but I try to keep it within reason. Basically whatever I'm comfortable with.
Have fun Jb

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I can never say thanks enough for the thoughtful, in-depth replies that come from these threads. Your suggestions and prototype observations are amazing. Thank You All!!!
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J Barnstorf wrote: [...] I also mix CN and CP (but

Why not in the same train? I see CP and CN cars in the same train frequently (Sault Ste Marie - Sudbury e-CP line, Sudbury CN, Parry Sound CP, Toronto, Hamilton, etc.) True, a double-stack container train tends to have more CN or CP cars depending on the road, but even so, there are many foreign double-stack cars in any such train.
And I've occasionally seen both CN and CP locos on a train, not to mention various leased units from Helm etc. Last summer I saw three CP units on a westbound grain train in Jasper, Alberta. I asked the engineer about it, he said it was a CN train, not a rerouted CP train. I didn't inquire further, but IMO it was simply a case of pooled power.
A couple years ago I saw three different units coupled together in the CP yards in Calgary: CPRail, Union Pacific, and Soo Line. I saw a light grey St Lawrence and Hudson, too, it was a partly repainted foreign loco (possibly KCS?)
Keep in mind that since the demurrage rules changed, there is now much less incentive to send cars back to their home road than there used to be, so a car may spend months away from home. And in the 1950s, when railroads still moved well over half the total freight tonnage, foreign roadname cars often outnumbered home road cars on a freight train.
HTH
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Well, yes, I do mix some CN and CP cars. I rarely mix CP and CN locos but leased units or 'allied railroads' (CN/KCS or CP/SOO) are fair game. I might toss in a US road loco every now and again (except UP). I treat CN as foreign cars on CP and vice versa. Auto racks are exempt from this rule and get mixed freely. I will also have a number of industries that are served equally by CN and CP (intermodal terminal, sulfur terminal, LPG terminal, autorack terminal...). I don't mix CN and CP intermodal as it's something I don't see when I'm railfanning even though on my layout they will go to the same terminal. I take my inspiration from what I see railfanning but will pseudo-freelance to taste. For example, my next layout will be loosely based on Thunder Bay. The city doesn't have much of an intermodal terminal but on my layout there will be a terminal served by both CN & CP. Also there is no molten sulphur terminal here but my layout will include one. In the end though, there are no absolute rules. It's very unlikely you'll see Percy and Gordon double heading an intermodal train on my layout... but if my son wants to lash that up, I won't stop him. :-)

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[...]It's very unlikely you'll see Percy and

Thomas and Friends Can Do No Wrong!
:-)
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Hi
wrote:
*snip*

Why not in the same train, was just thinking the GP could be on a transfer run to a museum somewhere and running as a dead unit, (as freight). Done this when I've run a steamer with a moden diesel on my layout on a frieght train!! :)
My Website: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~jenniew/anwn/index.htm
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Sometimes I will mix road and switcher locomotives in the same train. Sometimes I'll mix different roads. But I try to make this an exception rather than rule. I might be shifting motive power between towns so a SW12RS might be tacked to the end of a road loco consist. I will usually be running CN intermodal trains with GP40-2w's but might swap in an SD40-2 or something else every now and then. I like to set up a standard usage for locomotives and then sometimes throw in an unusual locomotive for fun. While watching CN & CP trains I've seen locomotives from BC Rail C424's, Contrail, SOO, Chicago & Northwester, Helm, BN so I can include foreign road locos as well. It's just not something you see on every train. But I realy don't see CN and CP mixing locos very often. More often I've seen CN or CP using leased or an american railroad's locomotive.
Jb

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Hello :)
Some ideas I had not thought of before. Will think about them next time I'm have a things going. :)
wrote:

My Website: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~jenniew/anwn/index.htm
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On 21 Oct 2005 10:33:12 -0700, mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

It depends on a lot of things. The prototype I model typically had about 30% home road cars on line and 70% foreign road cars. The railroad I worked on typically had a preponderance of home road cars in the area where I worked, but I don't know about system wide. You just have to decide for yourself what "looks right" on your road.
Freight car forwarding is almost a hobby unto itself and is enjoyed by a small group of prototype-oriented modelers. There are lotsa rules regarding car handling and routing; far to many to go into on this board. I will ask around and see if there is a freight car forwarding group on the internet where this subject is discussed in greater detail.
Froggy,
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I model back in the 50's. Back then, as I understand it, a RR made more money if it loaded the out-going shipment from an on-line industry into it's own freight car instead of a foreign road car. A RR also paid foreign roads a daily fee ("per-diem") for all of that foreign road's freight cars on the home road's property. (Back when I was growing up in Chicago and an avid traction fan, I remember the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend ran a train each night that the crews called the "per diem" whose job it was to collect foreign road empties and move them off the CSS&SB property to minimize per diem charges.)
I try to apply this in operating my RR in that I choose a home road empty from the yard (unless none of the proper type home road cars are available) to send to an on-line industry originating a shipment. Since foreign roads do the same thing, I try to use foreign road cars for shipments arriving via my interchanges that are bound for industries on my line. I have the yardmaster to fill out freights with foreign road empties "going back home" via my interchanges. I also simulate "bridge traffic" with a through freight that runs from staging to staging - this train is all foreign road cars.
I'm not sure how this changes with the advent of Rail-Box - do RRs not pay per diem for Rail-Box cars? I also don't understand how this worked back in the 70's when short lines seemed to flood the class-1's with their 50' box cars - I can't imagine these small RR's originated enough out-going shipments to use so many cars. Made for interesting and varied trains though. Geezer.

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On Sat, 22 Oct 2005 02:32:14 -0400, "Geezer"

The short lines did that to make money out of the per diem charges, only works if the cars are in short supply and don't get sent home. Some of those lines probably had more cars than they could fit on the property.
Keith
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Geezer, I haved a few of questions based on this paragraph:

[a] do you [keep track of] match each "foreign" arrival to your interchange with a "home road" departure from your interchange? and vice versa?
[b] is their a maximum number of on-line moves that a "foreign" car is allowed to make before it must exit the layout via your interchange?
[c] regarding the "bridge traffic", through freight hauling all "foreign" road cars, what RR's engines are pulling this consist? In other words, do you have a consist of "foreign" engines whose only purpose is to make this scheduled, staging to staging run? Is this how some people slip a passenger train into their layout planning [as "bridge traffic"]?
[d] are you using car cards and waybills for your operations?
Last but not least, I am most interested in reading more about the location of your interchange within the flow of your on-line RR and how you make use of it. I own two of Tony Koester's books that discuss designing and operating a model railroad. I re-visit both books quite often because I am fascinated by the combined possibilities created with an interchange and hidden staging. Not yet having a model RR, I have to rely solely on my paper drawings. It makes it difficult to fully grasp car movements via interchanges and hidden staging.
Many Thanks! Matt
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interchange
No. It is random based on the advancing of the destinations on the way bill lading cards.

No. A typical sequence of destinations on the card for a foreign car might be #1 on line receiving industry, #2 classification yard, and #3 interchange to foreign road. But, if during the period the car is at stop #2 and new demand is received for an empty at an on-line industry, and there are no home road cars available, the yardmaster can pull the old lading card from the car waybill and assign the car to the new load. So the number of moves can vary.

passenger
In my era, home road power would be used on almost all trains. I have accumulated enough PRR, B&O, C&O, and UP power that I change what line is my "home road" to provide variety. When I get around to installing signals, I plan to follow PRR practice on the down grade and B&O on the up, but I don't plan on that dictating what power I use.

I use a two part paper waybill consisting of a car card and a lading/destination card with a sequence of 3 or 4 stops.

location
use
paper
My RR is/will be (only partially complete with no scenery) a two lap, two level, double track loop on 2' wide shelves around the three walls and partition bar at one end of my basement rec room. On the upper level flat, level modules with what will be an urban industrial area along the right wall of the room and freight yard on the room divider bar form an "L" on the upper level. On the lower level "L" under these modules is a double ended staging yard. The opposite two sides of the room (left wall and back wall) have a double track uphill and a double track downhill; one connects one end of the staging yard to the end of the city module, and the other connects the other end of the staging to the freight yard. One track on the grade modules on the left wall has a station with passing / run-around siding and some industrial spurs, as does a different track on the grade module along the rear wall. There are two interchanges, one in the corner between the city and the freight yard, and one in the opposite corner on the grade portion of the line. These interchanges are not long enough for a complete train and so are operated just like another industry spur. Because of the very low overhead clearance this design leaves in my staging yard (to minimize the grades on the uphill and downhill sections), I do not use it as a destination for individual cars but rather only to hold complete trains set up and run in before an operating session. For variety, I can "lock out" all the crossovers between the double track mains, and using a double crossover at one end of the staging yard, operate the RR as a four lap single track line. Geezer
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Excellent description. Thank you!
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