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Model Railroading > Steam era passenger train questions

Date: 10/07/20 12:23
Steam era passenger train questions
Author: tq-07fan

I plan on helping my friend develop a passenger schedule for his steam era layout. I have some questions so that I will allow enough time for the schedules.
1) Would open end observation cars be turned on a turntable if no wye was close to the station?
2) Would any other cars have to be, or be preferred to be turned to operate in a certain direction (like dining cars)?
3) Basically the passenger trains represented would be operating from Cincinnati to Tennessee. Would the same steam locomotive be used for the return trip after receiving coal and water or should a new one always be used?
4) This last one may still use the same locomotive for ease of operation but would be interested in how often the stem locomotives were changed out in general.
We don't need to be exact but it is always more fun to replicate the real thing or at least explain why not.



Edit: I added pictures from tonight of how things turned out. I guess that could be a pun if you try hard enough? I will add more to a reply here if you scroll down.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/20 22:15 by tq-07fan.

Date: 10/07/20 14:59
Re: Steam era passenger train questions
Author: dwatry

My recollection is that in most terminal stations, the entire consist would have been wyed together (or run around a balloon track if you had one - like at Sunnyside Yard in NY).   That way the entire train would remain in the proper order, without reshuffling a lot of cars individually.  RRs usually liked head end and coaches at the front, diner and lounge in middle, then sleepers at the rear, with an obs trailing.   If you start turning individual cars you create a lot of extra work to reshuffle the whole consist. 

Date: 10/07/20 15:30
Re: Steam era passenger train questions
Author: santafedan

In Cincinnati there was a baloon track around the round house north of the terminal.

Date: 10/07/20 15:46
Re: Steam era passenger train questions
Author: Lighter

It depends on where you are going in Tennessee. There would be a wye at each terminus. Turntables and passenger cars are narrow gauge stuff. Or an emergency. As posted earlier railroads had a preferred order to cars on passenger trains as well as facing directions for those cars. As for the locomotive - likely the locomotive would be changed at Louisville. If you are going to Chattanooga or Memphis there might be another change in Nashville. At the Tennessee terminus whether the locomotive was serviced and put back on the same train depends on how long the layover would be. 

Date: 10/07/20 17:43
Re: Steam era passenger train questions
Author: tomstp

Y's at Tower 55 Ft Worth and Dallas Union Terminal.

Date: 10/07/20 22:38
Re: Steam era passenger train questions
Author: tq-07fan

My friend's layout had me confused as I thought higher track was the Southern and the other was the L & N but they are both the L & N. Normally our group has been operating freight trains on his layout using JMRI generated switch lists but with only two of us I suggested we operate the passenger train just to see what would happen, this is before I got to see the replies here. The train that is represented is basically like a daytime local All Stops passenger train operating from Cincinnati to Corbin and back, turning at Corbin. It has a baggage and express car, a mail car, two coaches and the observation car. When I got to Corbin I took the locomotive off and serviced it. You can see it sitting on the ash pit to the left of the turntable. While it was being serviced I took the yard switcher and put the two head end cars to the new front of the train and put the coaches behind them in a yard. I then took the observation and turned it on the turntable as seen in the pictures. My friend did not have enough room for a wye on the Corbin end of his layout so this will have to do. On the Cincinnati end there is a wye which can be used to turn the observation and locomotive. I timed out the run and if done with approximately two minute stops at the stations represented it should take between and hour and a half and two hours to make the run to Corbin and back with the passenger train. Operating sessions for our little group are set up for dinner for an hour then two hours of operation. The whole process from dropping off passengers at the Corbin depot to taking the train into the yard to shuffle cars, and turn the observation and locomotive and service it took almost forty minutes. Most important it was actually a lot fun to work the passenger train with the switcher while spotting the locomotive at the coal water and ash pits.

Thank you all for the replies. I thought there would be some places where they would turn passenger cars on the turntable.


Date: 10/08/20 00:04
Re: Steam era passenger train questions
Author: RRBaron

I rather dought that there would be an observation car at the end of a two-car local. You could say it was a business car or even a private car on a fan trip, but a working observation on a two-car crawler? I don't think so. But then again "there's a prototype for everything".  

Date: 10/08/20 10:41
Re: Steam era passenger train questions
Author: Bob3985

I concur. Ballon or Wye tracks were used to turn the whole train to maintain the same consist departing as that which arrived.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY

Date: 10/08/20 11:49
Re: Steam era passenger train questions
Author: boejoe

That's a nice assortment of locomotives at the roundhouse.

Date: 10/08/20 19:14
Re: Steam era passenger train questions
Author: 4489

Years ago, Halifax, NS had a turntable beside the station and each car off of an incoming train would be turned individually.

Date: 10/10/20 18:22
Re: Steam era passenger train questions
Author: tq-07fan

Right on! Prototype for everything! Like I said it is my friend's rather impressive steam era layout. We had fun with turning the passenger train. My guess for the observation car was that it had snack counter or something along that line but I didn't have time to walk through and look! 


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