B&O Wheeling Freight Terminal operations – Pt 3

 

A look at some of the freight cars used in a recent operating session.

A look at some of the freight cars used in a recent operating session.

Another pre-Depression Era railroad modeler visited recently and operated the Wheeling Freight Terminal. Dave has a focus on the Toledo & Ohio Central line near Bellefontaine, Ohio, circa 1928. He has been building a multi-level HO scale layout in his garage but has had few operating experiences. We have been communicating via email for a few years, so I invited him to sunny El Paso for some throttle time.

 

Dave noticed a couple of things about the freight car fleet within a minute of entering the hobby room. He knows I model 1926 and quickly spotted a few cars from a later era. He gave me a puzzled look and nearly gagged. As with many model railroaders, I have accumulated items over the years that are not relevant to my current focus. I own several later era freight cars that were once used on a club layout in Morgantown, WV. For the 1926 Wheeling Freight Terminal layout, the out-of-era cars are used in order to execute a full operating session. While I’ve built many era appropriate freight cars, there are many more to build so these later era freight cars are used for the current operating fleet. The lead image captures a few of them in the yard.

Note the tags on undecorated and partial freight cars. If it can roll and has working couplers, use them in your operating sessions!

Note the tags on undecorated and partial freight cars. If it can roll and has working couplers, use them in your operating sessions!

Dave also noted several built but unpainted freight cars and a few cars that were under frames only. You can see a few of these in the above image. I tag these cars with a simple letter number combination for operating use. The car above noted as B04 will be a USRA double sheathed box car. The shell is painted and awaiting the decal application. The car just to the left of it is also in the same situation. These are Accurail models. The white gondola is a Funaro & Camerlengo Pennsylvania Railroad GR class gondola carrying a simple tent car tag of G08. A Westerfield car is just beyond the gondola. Eventually these will be painted, decaled, and weathered but for now they are in service.

As many of you know, nothing happens overnight in this hobby. Even a small layout can take years to build. When this layout was designed in 2012, I set a primary goal to operate. Using the available locomotives and freight cars from my stash were major components to achieve regular operating sessions on the Wheeling Freight Terminal. Eventually, the equipment will reflect the B&O and 1926 but until then I am enjoying time with friends on this model railroad. This is a point I cannot stress enough with modelers. Set goals early in your layout build and keep that focus. Building the layout to operate has been satisfying and it’s great to host frequent sessions with friends. Use what you have on hand to make these sessions work and you will enjoy your layout all the more. You will find the operating sessions motivate you to keep pushing forward on other goals.

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