PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

Modeling Maintenance of Way (MoW)

Bruce Smith

PRRT&HS, Camp Hill PA 2014

Different types of MoW trains:

Living Quarters (Camp Trains)

Section or work gangs

Moved with the work

Parked in a siding near the job

Providing riding, eating and sleeping functions

Might also have cars for tools and other supplies

Typically made up of retired revenue service cars (passenger or freight)


Wreck Trains

Derrick (Crane)

Usually kept near steam source (not parked in a yard)

Many sizes (typical 120-250 ton)

Often self-propelled

Steam powered derricks used fuel and water from steam loco tenders -- when railroads dieselized, tenders were dedicated to wreck trains

Idler (allows boom clearance)

Carries shop trucks, other wrecking equipment

Additional cars for crew, tools, and FOOD.

Once called, crews often served at least a full shift

If wreck was minor, the train might "tour the line" fixing bad order cars, etc.

Operating rules restrict speeds

Typically 30 mph boom trailing, 15-20 mph boom leading

Other Trains

Ditching (Jordan spreader, crawler crane)

Ballast cleaning

Ballast train (often old hoppers)

Snow removal (may have plows on both ends for bidirectional operation)

Wire trains (when catenary was in use)

Tunnel maintenance

Weed spraying

Oil spraying

Rail grinding

Some Philosophies:

1) Model TRAINS, not individual equipment

2) Operate those trains -- don't just leave them in a yard or on the shelf

a) Do this prototypically

i) Work Extra train orders for train

ii) General Orders taking tracks out of service

b) Follow rules, such as speed restrictions

c) Don't overdo it! While work trains were common, they were not always out there obstructing the line!

d) Mix it up, with both location and type of work varying

3) Provide evidence of MoW activity

a) MoW structures

b) Materials placed for upcoming work, and debris from earlier projects

i) Ties, spikes, rails

c) Evidence of activity

i) New ties

ii) Clean dirt colored ditches and weed filled ditches

Sources of Models

Many are railroad specific and so are best suited to resin or metal kits or modification of revenue service cars.

Cranes and Derricks

Custom Finishing -- Burro crane

Walthers -- 25 ton diesel crane

Tichy -- 120 ton Brownhoist

Athearn -- 200-250 ton


Jordan Spreader -- Walthers, brass, kits

Russell Plow -- Walthers, brass, kits

Camp Cars

XL -- Westerfield

Pullmans -- Branchline, Walthers

Other MoW Cars

X29 -- Red Caboose

X23 -- Westerfield

FM -- Sunshine, F&C

Many others can be kit-bashed or scratch built.