Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Going Modern

One of the things that I looked at during the show in West Springfield was the rolling stock other people were using on the layout. The vast majority of rolling stock in use was from the modern era. Aside from Stuart's NYC Passenger set, I saw no other rolling stock of my vintage (mid 50s). Pretty much everything was late 60s on up to today. 

So, I started thinking, maybe I should acquire some modern rolling stock so that when I interchange with others (at the National Train Show?) I'll be more in line with what other people are using.

My plan, long-term is to acquire 32 specific freight cars, in eight categories for very specific industry service, eventually building a small layout/modules with these industries.

The industries/car categories: 
  1. Food processing plant/warehouse (box cars, vegetable oil tank cars, corn syrup tank cars, reefers)
  2. Propane Distributor (propane tank cars)
  3. Plastic Factory (covered hoppers)
  4. Shipping Company (well cars)
  5. Scrap yard (gondolas)

I bought a few pieces of rolling stock at the West Springfield show. Another couple of pieces came from eBay and Trainworld. Rather than doing what I've always done (just buying whatever was marked for the New Haven and was the correct vintage), I have specific plans for which cars to look for and I'm constantly looking for sales and underpriced cars on eBay to keep costs down. Tim Moran was a huge help in narrowing down what to focus on. I don't plan on having all 32 cars by the National Train Show (or even afterwards, as I'll buy a few there) but it's kind of fun to review some of the better car makers modern offerings. I can spend a little more on quality-per-car as I won't need quantity.

And of course, there's one more thing. My locomotives are all mid-50s era New Haven. That won't do for trains running in 2016 (and 2017 and 2018...) so I thought about which modern locomotives made sense. I want to do some switching and Lance Mindheim has covered that topic pretty well with his "Downtown Spur" layout. I'd love to build an industrial park layout set somewhere in the tri-state (NY, NJ, & CT) area. A four-axle EMD loco makes a lot of sense. The road? Well, CSX is the current successor to much of the New Haven's territory and there are a lot of affordable choices in that road's colors. A GP-38-2 or GP-40-2 seem ideal. Atlas makes the former and Athearn makes the latter, so that makes that easy. A single GP38-2 or GP-40-2 with DCC (and sound, if I can scrape together the extra cash) will be all that I need to run something modern at the N.T.S.

More as plans (and purchases) come together.

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