1920s Era Freight Car Model Guide

After a few months of discussions with several model railroad friends, I began developing a list of available plastic HO scale freight car models that are suitable for use on a model railroad set in the 1920s. I had several of the models on hand and took pictures to illustrate this freight car guide. I’ve posted the info as a separate page of this blog, so the link will always be in the list at the top of the column to the right.

While all of these models represent prototype freight car designs in-use or introduced in the 1920s, not all of these can be used for the full decade. I am focused on November 1926, which limits my use of a freight car prototype introduced in 1927 or later. I’ve also noticed that some freight car hardware was introduced just after my modeling period. Prototypes equipped with Dreadnaught steel ends or Youngstown corrugated steel doors are often crossed off of my wish list. Some may say I am too picky, but I actually enjoy fine-tuning my purchasing so the freight car fleet “looks right” to my eye.

Again, the link is to the right, or just click here and review a guide to 1920s era HO scale plastic freight cars. Drop a note below if you are so moved. Please follow the directions of the anti-spam program when you leave your comment. All comments are reviewed and approved before they appear here.

Four Months of Progress

team track yard
A view of the four tracks of the Wheeling, WV team yard. A B&O E-24 class 2-8-0 is spotting cars on track four. This location is in the upper right corner of the plan posted below.

I just wrapped up the installation of some feeder wires on a layout section and I wondered exactly when I began this project. A quick review of the time stamps on the photos I’ve taken reveals an August 31st start date for the first two benchwork sections. My wife and I moved to El Paso on July 3rd, and I posted about surveying the new hobby space on August 3rd. A few weeks of design contemplation and the sawdust began to fly August 31st.

And here we are with about 85% of the track installed, buss wires installed on all layout sections, and feeder wires installed on four of the eight sections. In the plan below, all that remains to install are a few tracks at the freight house on the left leg of the layout. Click on the image to review a larger version.

A scale drawing of the B&O freight terminal layout design.

I had a goal to operate by January 1st. A digital command control system is still a few weeks away from installation, so a real session will have to wait. Until then, a nine volt battery provides the power to move a locomotive and a string of cars. I’ve already worked out a few methods to switch seven or eight freight cars in the team track yard and it’s been lots of fun watching the trains glide smoothly along the trackwork. Am I cheating? I’ll leave that up to you, but remember I am pulling and spotting freight cars with a locomotive. The fun I have with a simple nine volt battery encourages more layout progress.

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Happy New Year to all!

November Update

Two tracks installed, from left.

It has been a busy month of work and family visits. One of my step-sons visited at Thanksgiving and enjoyed his El Paso experience. I also began a new job in early November, so a combination of elements has slowed the hobby progress. It is time to offer an update here on the blog, if only to document the forward movement. The lead image offers a view of the first installed trackage on the B&O Wheeling Terminal layout. Click on any image here for a larger view.

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Boomer Operator #4 – A West Virginia visit

FMs on high bridge

I recently visited the Mon Valley Railroad Historical Society in Morgantown, WV and participated in an operating session. This was a homecoming of sorts for me as I have been a member of this group since the start in 1988. I had not seen the layout since I moved away three years ago. I was surprised with scenery progress in several places as well as additional lighting. I took photos along the way with my iPhone. While the quality is not pristine, they documented my fun on that day. Click on any image for a larger view.

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Dave builds some box cars

dave_4done

My friend Dave is modeling a portion of the Toledo & Ohio Central railroad through western Ohio. He has twisted history a bit and is modeling this railroad as a Nickel Plate Road (NKP) division, rather than the New York Central (NYC) division that it was. Dave just likes the Nickel Plate more than the NYC. Additionally, he has focused his modeling on 1928. Recently, Dave has been wrapping up details on several interesting NKP box cars that were pretty common for his era. The cars pictured above are 36-foot, double-sheathed cars with upgraded components. Let’s follow along with prototype details and Dave’s descriptions of the modeling. Most of the images on this post can be reviewed in a larger size by clicking on the image.

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