Freight trains were and are always a mixture of cars from different
roads. So you can purchase just about any freight car from any railroad
and be prototypical. If you have a yen for locomotives from a number of
different railroads, you can model a major rail center like Chicago
which used to be served by a lot of different roads. Or, you can model
railroading as of the year 2006 where the few surviving roads have "run
thru power" agreements. Here in Boston MA you can see Denver and Rio
Grande Western locomotives running into town on ex Conrail (now CSX)
tracks. A little modeler's license will allow you to operate just about
any locomotive that strikes your fancy, just say they have a run thru
power arrangement with the foreign road.
Since about 1975 all passenger equipment is Amtrak. Before that,
passenger trains had "home road" power and some home road cars, but also
had Pullman company sleepers and foreign road baggage and sleepers as
well. Metropolitan railroad stations in big cities always passenger
trains from several different railroads coming and going.
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