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I've had a number of keen railroad friends (no one from our g-scale club) comment on the "era" of my layout and say that I shouldn't mix rolling stock from different time periods. Now, frankly, I don't care one way or the other - it's my railroad, I'll run what I like.

However, as a newbee, I am curious as to when certain locos/cars were in service. Admittedly, my list (below) is long, but I would appreciate feed back from all of you experts on when (approximate years) the following locos/cars were introduced into and retired from service.

Thanks in advance for your help! :)

Diesel Locos:
NW-2 Switcher -
Alco S4 Switcher -
F-3 -
GP 7/9 -
GP 30 -
GP 38-2 -
SD 40-2 -
SD 70 MAC -

Rolling Stock:
40' Box Car -
40' Refer -
50' Box Car
50' Refer -
10,000 Tank Car -
70 ton coal hopper -
4-bay center flow hopper -

Cabooses
Baywindow caboose -
Extended vision caboose -
 

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Diesel Locos:
NW-2 Switcher - not too sure on that one
Alco S4 Switcher - 1950's to 1980s, some are still in existance and running today on short lines, and switching private grain elevators
F-3 - 1950's to the 80's
GP 7/9 -1950's to today
GP 30 -1960's to today
GP 30-2 -same
SD 40-2 -1970's to today
SD 70 MAC -90's to now

Rolling Stock:
40' Box Car -1930's to 1980's
40' Refer -1930's to the 60's roughly
50' Box Car 1940's to the 80's
50' Refer - 1960's to today
10,000 Tank Car - not sure
70 ton coal hopper - 1960;s? to today in ballast service
4-bay center flow hopper - 1970's to today

Cabooses
Baywindow caboose -same as below, though not quite as common as the acf extended vision caboose
Extended vision caboose -1950's to the 80's (though BNSF still has a handfull)

hope this helps you find more trains to buy for your railroad Ed! sorry i missed the meeting today, had to work ..........
 

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This is a great topic actually and should be interesting as others weigh in... I can't help with car dates too much but locos are easier (for me anyway) to start you off with...I have put the dates next to each loco listed...
NW-2 Switcher - 1939-1949
Alco S4 Switcher - 1950-1961
F-3 - 1943-1949
GP 7/9 - GP 7-1949-1954 GP 9- 1954-1963
GP 30 - 1961-1963
GP 38-2 - 1972-present
SD 40-2 - 1972-1986
SD 70 MAC - 1992 to present
Many of these locos have taken on a life after normal life and are still around on various roads... GP 7/9's are a good example of motive power reinventing itself with internal upgrades and modifications and although many have external changes such as chopped noses etc as they get relegated to yard/switcher uses. There are certainly lots of SD40-2's around as well as some S4's.
Regards Gary

++amended to include GP38-2 date++
 

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Gary,
I think he meant GP-38-2 rather than a non-existant GP-30-2.

Tom
 

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Ed, it's your railroad run what you want. I'll put 1:22.5 Euro rolling stock with my 1:27ish LGB F units or something even freakier just because I want to. If other people don't like it well to each his own.
LAO
 

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As others have said, it's your railroad so you can run what you like. However, we do spend a lot of money and effort to get highly detailed models of specific prototypes - otherwise any old pile of crap would do the job. In that sense, we all have some interest in realistic models, not just the specific cars and locos but in consists and their surroundings as well.

Others have already given the build dates and the general lifespan for locos. I would only add that larger Class I's tend to use newer locos in mainline service than 40 year old derelicts. A GP9 is a front line loco from the 50s-60s-70s but after that, they were relegated to yard duty, branchline duty, rebuilds or just sold to shortlines. Yes, one can find exceptions but when we model we tend toward the normal practice.

On rolling stock, the eras are divided up in several ways not necessarily corresponding to the introduction of loco technology. I will give a very brief summary of the 20th century ...
1) wood cars with truss rods generally prevailed up to about World War I
2) steel hoppers were in general use around 1900 and other steel cars followed so that new construction in steel was the rule by about 1915
3) wooden truss rodded cars were banned from Interchange service in the early 1930s as were billboard reefers
4) double door auto cars came into general use in the 30s
5) brake wheels were moved to car ends in the 1920s and the above roof brake staffs vanished before the Second War
6) post World War II the 40 foot car, especially the general service boxcar, reigned supreme until the late 50s
6) post 1960 there was a rapid evolution in freight cars as they were lengthened and strengthened and made more specialized - the general purpose 40 foot box was on its way to extinction
7) during the 60s wooden reefers and stock cars were withdrawn from service, steel reefers in small numbers were in use but slowly died out - today reefers are very rare with a few notable exceptions (like the Tropicana OJ train)
8) roof walks were removed from house cars by 1970? and the brake wheels were moved lower on the car ends - for safety reasons, brakemen were not permitted on the car roofs
9) during the 1970s all cars carried COTS stencils but technological evolution eliminated these in the 1980s
10) with the replacement of the huge fleet of general service 40 foot boxcars with 50 foot or longer cars came specialization - by the 1970s, grain was shipped in covered hoppers, auto parts in special high cubed cars, automobiles in auto racks and the biggie, general merchandise in trucks or in some cases in TOFC; chemicals especially hazardous chemicals were shipped in a huge array of tank cars
11) by the 1990s this evolution was almost complete to where the preponderance of cars on the rails were covered hoppers and tank cars, followed by coal hoppers, ore jennies, and other special cars - the general service boxcar became a fairly rare beast

I have left out a huge amount of detail and said very little about tank car evolution and did not really mention hoppers or gons. The point is simple though; just as locos have evolved so have freight cars. And while we most often think of our eras in terms of loco technology, freight car technology is just as important in defining the look and feel of a specific timeframe.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Had a meet at my house yesterday with some friends. We were running a beautifully detailed Northern Pacific mallet,first generation diesels,second generation diesels and a couple dash 9's with a stack train all at the same time. We had fun and that is all that matters.
 
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As was stated, I meant GP 38-2. Oops. Sorry. I fixed it in the orginal post.

Also as was stated in my original post, I'll always run what I want to and don't care what people say. I do however, still want to know when things were around just so I can learn more about actual railroading.

Ed
 

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NW-2 Switcher - introduced 1940's - out of service with Class1's 1970's - many still running in industrial and shortline service.

Alco S4 Switcher - introduced 1940's - out of service with Class1's 1970's - many still running in industrial and shortline service.

F-3 - - introduced 1940's - out of service with Class1's 1970's - virtually extinct in revenue service, mostly museum pieces today.

GP 7/9 - - introduced 1940's - out of service with Class1's 1980's - many still running in shortline service. (a few in Class1 service, but very rare, and almost always rebuilt)

GP 30 - - introduced 1960's - out of service with Class1's 1980's - virtually extinct in revenue service, many converted to slugs.

GP 38-2 - introduced 1970's, very sucessful model, lots and lots still running today,
with Class-1's and shortlines..

SD 40-2 - introduced 1970's, many still in service today. arguably the single most successful diesel model of all time.

SD 70 MAC - introduced 1990's - still in service today.

Scot
 

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Posted By Dougald on 04/20/2008 6:38 AM

As others have said, it's your railroad so you can run what you like. However, we do spend a lot of money and effort to get highly detailed models of specific prototypes - otherwise any old pile of crap would do the job. In that sense, we all have some interest in realistic models . . . while we most often think of our eras in terms of loco technology, freight car technology is just as important in defining the look and feel of a specific timeframe. Regards ... Doug


Remarkably informative and useful. Thanks once again for lending your expertise.  
 

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Ed

Class I refers to a railroad ... in this context it can be taken to mean one of the big railroads like the Pennsy, the Great Northern or the ATSF or in modern parlance the CSX, Norfolk Southern or BNSF.

Regards ... Doug
 

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yes sorry, I should have clarified that..

"Class 1" refers to a *type* of railroad..namely a BIG railroad!

New York Central
PRR
Erie
Santa Fe
Southern Pacific
CB&Q
B&O
Union Pacific
Norfolk & Western
Conrail

etc etc etc..dozens more..
all the BIG well-known railroads of the 20th century.
These are the railroads that bought huge amounts of diesel locomotives NEW from the builders.
neraly all diesels began their careers with a Class-1.

After all the "merger-mania" of the last 40 years or so, all the US Class-1's have merged down to only 6 remaining North American Class-1 Railroads:

UP
BNSF
CSX
NS
CP
CN

odds are good your favorite railroad is today merged into one of those 6 railroads above..
mine is..The Lehigh Valley became part of Conrail in 1976, then most of the LV trackage that Conrail didnt abandon became part of Norfolk Southern in 1999 when Conrail,
in its turn, was also merged out of existance..

After the Class-1's you have the fairly large "regional" systems.

Susquehanna
Wisconsin Central.
Montana Rail Link.

still fairly large railroads! but not large enough to be a Class-1.
rosters of maybe 30-40 locomotives and systems of several hundred miles.

and then the smallest railroads, the "shortline" railroads.
these are the railroads that are keeping alive many of the first generation diesels,
the Alcos and the ancient EMD switchers that the Class-1's stopped running in the 1970's.
these are the railroads that have anywhere from 1 to 15 locomotives and routes of 2 to 50 miles.

Scot
 

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A "Class 1 Railroad" is not determined by how much track the railroad has, nor how many trains they run or how long their trains are... at least not directly.

A Class I railroad (in the U.S.) has a minimum annual operating revenue exceeding $319.3 million (U.S. dollars).

A Class I railroad (in Canada) has a minimum annual operating revenue exceeding $250 million (Canadian/Canadien) in each of the previous 2 years.

A "short line" with only a mile of track and one windup engine could be considered a "Class 1" if they could get enough revenue from their operation to exceed the specified amount.
 

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Posted By Scottychaos on 04/21/2008 5:37 AM

yes sorry, I should have clarified that.. "Class 1" refers to a *type* of railroad..namely a BIG railroad! New York Central PRR Erie Santa Fe Southern Pacific CB&Q B&O Union Pacific Norfolk & Western Conrail etc etc etc..dozens more.. all the BIG well-known railroads of the 20th century. . . Scot


A discussion and listings of the class I and class II railroads

can be found in Wikipedia.
 
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