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It's probably a tough question to answer, but is there a way to find out what railroads would typically be "prototypical" to run in a MU/Lashup? I model diesels from the 50's to current and pretty much any RR that appeals to me. I know we'd never see a Norfolk Southern running with a UP, but I'm curious which Railroads would get an OK to run in a MU lashup.

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Marc, I will typically run 1960's-90's diesels together based on mergers.  In my mind, they are prototypical but I admit that I never investigate much further.  I don't look up the real-life engine rosters.  I just want to know if it's plausible that the two engines could have been seen together at some point.  So I run a SD40-2 Frisco with a SD40-2 Burlington Northern, or Missouri Pacific with Union Pacific, MKT with Union Pacific, etc.

BN-Frisco

There are a couple big freight yards here in St. Louis where I still see fading paint schemes like BN and Santa Fe.  That inspired me to buy these two engines and run them together:

IMG_8782

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Never a NS with a UP? All the time...

I have seen NS with UP power on a couple of occasions here in NJ but I am not near the rails nowhere near as mush as Chris. Railroads will sometimes lease motive power to other railroads.

I once read that back in '40s and '50s the NYC only consisted locomotives from like manufacturers. All EMD or all Alco, etc. Today's railroads can consist anything to anything.

Foreign power is far from rare on today's railroads, but not as much lease power as those that act as "run through", where one train may traverse multiple railroad networks with the same engines, therefore it is common to see UP, BNSF, or CN power on an NS train where I live in the Pittsburgh area. Over on CSX, BNSF and CP units often linger on grain trains that originated on the midwest. So no, it's not uncommon for scattered roadnames in engine consists.

@Marc C posted:

It's probably a tough question to answer, but is there a way to find out what railroads would typically be "prototypical" to run in a MU/Lashup? I model diesels from the 50's to current and pretty much any RR that appeals to me.

Well, first back in the 1950s thru the early 1960s, there were a number different manufacture diesel units that could NOT electrically MU with certain other brands of diesels, i.e. Baldwin and FM for example. There were also problems with Alco products MUing with EMD units, due to the design of the electrical power control of the Alco. As a result, many railroads had their Alco units trailing with EMD units in the lead.

I know we'd never see a Norfolk Southern running with a UP,

Maybe not where you live, but NS units MU fine with UP and/or BNSF units.

but I'm curious which Railroads would get an OK to run in a MU lashup.

That all depends on what era you are attempting to model, i.e. 1940s, or 1950s, 0r 1960s, or 1970s, etc..

@MikeH posted:

Marc, I was driving past the old Frisco (BNSF) Lindenwood Yard today and I saw a black Norfolk Southern diesel hooked to a couple orange BNSF diesels.  The yard parallels Interstate 44 so I was driving past at 70mph otherwise I would have snapped a pic.

Thanks Mike, I've noticed some MU's locally as well that I was surprised by. Here on the east coast I've seen Just about everything,  even a Ferromax engine which I thought was cool to see. Most engines in MU's that I see regularly are same road name.  I guess it has become such a small RR universe out there that just about anything goes.

I run my Lionel Legacy ATSF B40-8W and BNSF GP35 together all the time. I've seen BNSF and ATSF Superfleet and Blue/Yellow Warbonnet diesels around Barstow Yard and along Cajon Pass. I even saw a CSX loco on a UP train once as well as a CN loco on a different train. I've also seen a photo of a BNSF diesel acting as a rescue loco for a commuter train.

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