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Building Up Your Railroad's Roster

Building the Hazard County Short Line

2: Building Up Your Railroad's Roster

By George Riley/photos by the author

When planning and building a layout it is almost as important to determine an equipment list or roster as designing the track plan. The rolling stock chosen will greatly impact such considerations as minimum radius, turnout size, passing siding and yard track length. Choosing locomotives and cars is a matter of personal preference to a great extent; however, one needs to keep in mind the limitations of the overall layout and pay attention to the operating scheme of the prototype that is being used as a guide.

One of the most commonly made mistakes made when building a layout is that of over populating it. This will render a well thought out track plan into an unworkable one with locomotives and rolling stock bottle necking the operations. The Hazard County Short Line has been designed to run efficiently with just a couple of locomotives and eight to ten cars.We looked to the prototype CSX as a guide when selecting locomotives and extra cars for our layout.

Building Up Your Railroad's Roster

While today’s mainlines seem to be almost entirely populated by GE’s AC 4400 and AC6000 or EMD’s SD70 high horse power locomotives, many of the older four axle units still remain in service doing duty in the yards and delivering local set outs to the various line side industries. As a rule GP40-2, GP38-2 as well as older Geeps still fills these roles. When selecting locomotives for your model railroad, think about the roles they will fulfill. Your selections will depend not only on your pesonal taste but the era you model and the kinds of freight traffic you wish to simulate on your model railroad.

Building Up Your Railroad's Roster

The caboose has been down graded as well. While no longer used in main line service having been replaced by automated flashing lights and transponders, this car is still used in many local moves. This is particularly the case when long backing moves are required in the course of switching out customers. The caboose provides a safe place for the conductot to stand while protecting a long shove move. Most cabooses serving in this capacity are long in the tooth, having had little or no maintenance performed on them, they still are road worthy. Not only does this give you an excuse to have a car with an older paint scheme, you can have fun distressing and weathering the model to reflect the current day.

Building Up Your Railroad's Roster

Modern industrial and short line roads operate a variety of both the old and new. Some lines use modern high horsepower locomotives that are usually obtained second hand from the larger railroads or through leases. Most short lines soldier on with rebuilt first generation equipment that often has seen a number of previous owners. It is not uncommon to for locomotives that were initially built in the 1940s and 1950s for larger Class 1 roads to be in use on smaller short line operations. Older locomotives can perform reliably in an environment where skilled mechanics can concentrate on keeping one or two locomotives roadworthy.

Building Up Your Railroad's Roster

The Hazard County equipment roster is broken down into two categories. "Phase One" consists of the original equipment that was provided by our Atlas Trainman® train set. The set provided the CSX locomotive, three cars and a caboose. In addition a power pack and some of the track that we will be using is included. We used the power pack alone initially for the layout until we added the second locomotive.

Building Up Your Railroad's Roster

The second locomotive, a Bachmann General Electric 70-ton engine is added in "Phase Two" along with additional freight cars. This locomotive is one of three decoder equipped locomotive models available from this manufacturer. In addition to the GE 70 tonner, also available in this line is a GE 44-ton model as well as a GE 45-ton locomotive. Any of these three engines are suitable to be used on the Hazard County or for that matter any industrial or short line layout. During Phase Two we also added a Bachmann E-Z Command® DCC system to the layout. This unit allowed us to operate two trains with out additional complex wiring.

Once you get started building and operating the Hazard County Short Line add the additional rolling stock as your time, interest and budget allows. The equipment roster is a suggested guideline and lists the items that were used on this project. Feel free to substitute items that more closely match your interests and develop a model railroad that is truly unique and yours.

Phase One Suggested Equipent List:

Manufacturer

Item #

Description

MSRP

Atlas
751-33
Trainman Diesel
Freight Set (CSX)
$175.00
Atlas
n/a
50' Gondola
incl.
Atlas
n/a
ACF 2-bay Covered Hopper
incl.
Atlas
n/a
50' Plug Door Boxcar
incl.
Atlas
n/a
Center cupola cabosse
incl.

Phase Two Suggested Equipent List:

Manufacturer

Item #

Description

MSRP

Walthers
CSX 40' Ortner 100-Ton Open Aggregate Car (3-pack)
$44.98
Walthers
n/a
2-bay Covered Hopper
$10.98
Athearn
n/a
ACF 2-bay Covered Hopper
$17.98
Athearn
n/a
Bay Window Caboose
$18.98
Bachmann
GE 70-ton Locomotive
$69.00

Control System

Manufacturer

Item #

Description

MSRP

Bachmann
E-Z Command Control System
$127.00
AK
2 Function Decoder
$19.95

 

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