What cars to pull with a Southern Pacific LionChief Plus 4-6-2 Pacific

I am brand new to this hobby. I have ZERO knowledge of anything train related, but I want to learn. 

I started out with a Polar Express o gauge set, which was fun, but I want something a little more "real world". I have lived in Central California most of my life and would like to recreate a train that would have run in this area during the steam era. The Southern Pacific LionChief Plus 4-6-2 Pacific looks like a good place to start. From what I can tell, locomotives such as this would have run through central san joaquin valley. What cars would a train like this pull? Is it a passenger train or a freight train, or both? Can anyone suggest some cars that would go with this theme?

http://www.lionel.com/products...6-2-pacific-6-81309/

 

Original Post

That isn’t a scale model based on a real locomotive, so don’t get yourself hung up on “what’s right” or realistic, in this case. 

Traditional sized models like this based on Lionel’s postwar toy trains, as opposed to scale-length models, are meant to appeal to the hobbyist interested in the simple joy of running toy trains. So run anything you want behind it along with a matching caboose if you opt for a freight train.

You can find some matching passenger cars. I would opt for 15-inch heavyweight cars (like the Polar Express cars you have, only painted in the same SP Daylight colors as the locomotive tender), because the undersized cars look better running behind the undersized locomotive.

But, again, it’s your choice. Have some fun.

Jim R. 

Hi, and welcome to the hobby. You have come to the right place to gather information and help with your new pastime.  You might find that your new pastime turns into your new passion.

The first thing you need to know is that you are president of the railroad.  You can do what you want.  This looks to be a fun engine, and you can run whatever you'd like behind it.  I have a Reading & Northern blue LC+ Pacific, but there are no properly sized matching passenger cars.  So, what I run behind it are the silver postwar 2400 series passenger cars.  As far as I'm concerned I can run these cars behind any engine.  For me "Lionel Lines" is a legitimate road name.  If it isn't for you then that's great because you are the president of the railroad.

However, I do like to run matching trains as well.  You need to keep sizing in mind.  As Jim R said these are not scale engines.  I run both scale and postwar sized trains.  Just not together;  even that would be too much for this president.

That engine in real life ran both freight and passenger service.  Though, it was primarily a passenger engine.

The bottom line is: have fun.

Alan

Lionel produced a set of matching "Baby Madison" passenger cars for your locomotive. They're properly-sized, and have nice detail.

Check out 6-81649 3-Pack with an observation car, 6-81773 2-Pack with a dining car, and 6-81774 2-Pack with a baggage car.

TRW

As other have said you can use whatever but in real life these engines would have pulled mainly passenger cars and most would have been pullman green back in the 20s and 30s. By the time the streamline silver and brightly colored cars came along larger engines were pulling them.

The most common car it would have pulled were Harriman type passenger cars though SP had many of the more common heavyweights.

Sunset 3rd Rail made these. Note the round roof. 

It appears few if any O gauge manufacturers have made green SP heavyweights, only Daylight versions but you could use car lettered for Pullman which SP did have.

This is an MTH Pullman heavyweight.

 While SP did have heavyweights painted Daylight colors there were only a few dozen and most all were RPOs, Baggage, or Diners. 

Again, run what you like.

 

edit, I should have checked out your engine first. Looks like Paper TRWs suggestion would be a good bet. Also MTH has done Railking cars in this color scheme.

Pete

PaperTRW posted:

Lionel produced a set of matching "Baby Madison" passenger cars for your locomotive. They're properly-sized, and have nice detail.

Check out 6-81649 3-Pack with an observation car, 6-81773 2-Pack with a dining car, and 6-81774 2-Pack with a baggage car.

TRW

I agree. Your engine has the Southern Pacific "Daylight" colors - very famous. Assuming you like colorful trains (I know I do), and want something to match your engine, PaperTRW's suggestion is the best one (IMHO). The cars look like this:

Image result for lionel 81649

 

Much of doing model railroading is research, you get a lot of book and internet time. To help launch you into the past here's a link to an SP society page.

By the late 1930's the Pacific style 4-6-2 locomotives were falling back to either pretty flat country or secondary trains because they didn't make enough horsepower to maintain schedules in mountains and hilly country especially with the larger consists that were becoming common before and during WW II.

My childhood memories of taking the SP commuter trains between San Francisco and San Jose is of pretty somber trains but this was late WW II and immediately after so fancy orange paint schemes were replaced with black and gray.

http://espee.railfan.net/passenger.html

 

Bogie

OldBogie posted:

Much of doing model railroading is research, you get a lot of book and internet time. To help launch you into the past here's a link to an SP society page.

By the late 1930's the Pacific style 4-6-2 locomotives were falling back to either pretty flat country or secondary trains because they didn't make enough horsepower to maintain schedules in mountains and hilly country especially with the larger consists that were becoming common before and during WW II.

My childhood memories of taking the SP commuter trains between San Francisco and San Jose is of pretty somber trains but this was late WW II and immediately after so fancy orange paint schemes were replaced with black and gray.

http://espee.railfan.net/passenger.html

 

Bogie

I second the availability of research on that website.  They are my go to site for the SP projects I have helped Golden Gate Depot on.  Even if they don't have all the information, there is usually clues as to where to find it on another site. 

However, I also agree, it's your railroad.  Run what you like.  I have a set of streamlined SP Daylight cars (18 total) that are scale 21" from K-Line.  They are horribly inaccurate in color and car configuration, but so what?  They look good behind my Williams scale GS4 Northern.

Have fun is the only requirement in this hobby!

Jonathan Peiffer

 

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