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Thread: Shortlines during the 1940s and 1950s

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    Default Shortlines during the 1940s and 1950s

    So, I've decided to change my N scale layout idea from the 1990s set in the Appalachia mountains to the 1940s to 1950s shortline that's set in the Appalachia Mountains. As someone who was born in 1984, I'm not really familiar with the era that I want to model. So, for the two decades, the Class III railroad and the location. What would be an appropriate power for my railroad and would it be standard gauge or would it be narrow gauge?

    Also, I know some industries have their own little switch engine (like 40 tone switchers), what would an Industry use during this time period?

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    Well, Alco RS-1s came out in early 1940, so they might use them. GE 44-ton switchers might also have been used, as might Alco S1 and S2, Baldwin VO-1000, various Plymouth switchers, and the EMD NW2. These would all be standard gauge. Is this planned to be a logging operation? Are you trying to be true to a prototype? Otherwise, I'd say go with standard gauge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PW&NJ View Post
    Well, Alco RS-1s came out in early 1940, so they might use them. GE 44-ton switchers might also have been used, as might Alco S1 and S2, Baldwin VO-1000, various Plymouth switchers, and the EMD NW2. These would all be standard gauge. Is this planned to be a logging operation? Are you trying to be true to a prototype? Otherwise, I'd say go with standard gauge.
    It's a Freelance layout, but I would like to keep it as prototypical as possible. I'm kind of surprised that they'd be using Gen 1 diesels, I thought in this era the shortlines would be using steam engines that the Class 1s sold off to them.

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    Steam lasted a LONG time on shortlines... Well into the 60's in a lot of places. Considering the Appalachians is coal country, I would suggest a small steamer... Consolidation or 10 wheeler maybe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortliner View Post
    It's a Freelance layout, but I would like to keep it as prototypical as possible. I'm kind of surprised that they'd be using Gen 1 diesels, I thought in this era the shortlines would be using steam engines that the Class 1s sold off to them.
    Ohhhh! I thought you were asking what diesels they might be using! Definitely more likely to be using steam on those. Shays, Climaxes, little switchers and tank engines would certainly have been around for that era in that area.
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    The route is going to have a coal mine as it's main customer, I may put in a lumber yard and a sawmill if I have room. One of the first question I'm trying to get answered is whether or not it should be narrow gauge or standard gauge.

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    Just my opinion, but if you're going to do this in N-scale and it's going to be fictional, go with standard gauge.
    PW&NJ Railroad

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    The East Broad Top in Southern PA hauled coal over narrow gauge tracks up to 1956. Ran 2-8-2s primarily and never owned a diesel. I'd love to see a recreation of this narrow gauge line in N scale.

    However, your decision as to narrow or standard gauge should be dictated by practical reasons, such as the availability of off-the-shelf narrow gauge steam and your inclination towards scratch building your locos and rolling stock. I wouldn't have the commitment required by narrow gauge.

    Wayne
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    Okay, so I'll go with standard gauge. So, are there any shortlines that existed back in the 1940s and 1950s that ran coal in the Appalachia mountains that I can look at for inspiration?

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    A good starting place might be this website:

    http://appalachianrailroadmodeling.c...ian-railroads/
    PW&NJ Railroad

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    Quote Originally Posted by PW&NJ View Post
    A good starting place might be this website:

    http://appalachianrailroadmodeling.c...ian-railroads/
    Thanks!

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