M&KB> SCENARIO: A unit train appears onto a layout from hidden staging. It's
M&KB> being hauled by a three engine consist of roadnames foreign to the
M&KB> layout. The train yard which hosts hidden staging arrivals is a large
M&KB> interchange whose purpose is to accept individual cars from distant
M&KB> railroads/locations and then redistribute these cars throughout the layout.
M&KB> QUESTION: Would the host railroad also assume the responsibility of
M&KB> assembling its own three engine consist and then haul the unit train to
M&KB> its final location as it does with individual freight cars via the yard
Yes and No.
It could be a 'run through' train -- the crew changes, but NOT the
engines. The 'local' crew (supplied by the host railroad) takes over
the 'foreign' engines and operates it over the host railroad.
(This is how such strange things like UP engines end up in places like
New England or CSX engines end up in California.)
In the case of your model RR, I expect what is going to happen is you
have another staging yard for some other foreign RR which is accepting
the unit train. In this case the train, complete with foreign power,
just 'passes' through your layout from one staging yard to another.
Then passes back hauling a unit train of empties (not always the same
cars, but since coal gons tend to get real grimy, it is really hard to
If the unit train is being delivered ON your model RR, the engines
themselves might get 'confiscated' for some other train heading (more or
less) back to the yard that interchanges with the RR they came from. At
some point a unit train of empties will get hauled (with your host RR's
engines) off into the staging yard and 'vanish' from your layout for
awhile and the foreign engines will be around for a while (same
while)... Basically, your RR is paying for the use of a foreign RR's
engines by trading an equal number of its own engines. Eventually,
another unit train arrives with *your*
engines and eventually, you send
off a string of empties with the foreign engines heads off into the
staging yard. This all happens for much the same reason rolling stock
(from foreign RRs) in general ends up on your RR: it is more cost
effective to use your resources *productively*
rather than spending time,
effort, manpower, and fuel moving non-productive cars (empties) and/or
making 'light engine moves' -- eg if the engines are going that way,
they might as well haul some cars while they are about it.
Robert Heller ||InterNet: email@example.com