Wagon Number Sequences?

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Dragonfly
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Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby Dragonfly » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:55 pm

Evening all,

So I'm putting together a few batches (about 40 in total) of freelance narrow gauge wagons (to be detailed in my workbench thread), of various types, and while I'm waiting for the primer to dry I'm looking in to how to number them. Does anyone have insight into this kind of thing?

Would locos, passenger stock, and goods stock share a number sequence, or have their own? Or one for everything? If one for everything, a hodge-podge mix of everything, or blocks for each (1-19 for locos, 20-49 for coaches, etc)?

I know the answer will be "there's a prototype for everything", so I could go with any option, but I'm just after eliciting opinions on what's best?
=Doug
| Dragonfly | Current projects: Kidneston (00) / Clatter (N) / Much Oakley (N) / Workbench |

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Bufferstop
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Re: Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:26 pm

I spotted the words narrow gauge. Unless it is one of the larger common carrier lines like the ffestiniog, or a large company internal system, numbering if any would be more likely to be haphazard. Coaches may fare better as the builder woould likely give them a number, and that could well be retained in service.
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Mountain
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Re: Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby Mountain » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:24 pm

For me, I number locos, coaches and waggons seperately. I have not started on my coaches. My locos are numbered except for the diesel which I need to mke some number and name plates. The waggons. I have started numbering a few. I left a few gaps so some older looking waggons will be numbered in those gaps.
If they are nice newer looking waggons, why not start the number sequence around number 20 so other older looking waggons can take the lower numbers. I sometimes use the number 0 before the other number if the number is lower then 10. See photos. I'm not sure if the black waggons have visible numbers. They are purpously painted to give the faded look with a dry brush.
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Bigmet
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Re: Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby Bigmet » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:46 am

It is helpful to have at least an outline 'history' of the operation that the model represents, as that will suggest things about loco and vehicle identification and numbering.

For example if it has been running for a good many years and is a reasonable success, all the early rolling stock and locos will be long gone, so forget about low numbers, and there will be gaps especially at the lower end of a number sequence due to accident and wear out. Narrow gauge means a small operation, so numbering sequentially in three (or possibly four) lists is adequate: locos, wagons, coaches, (service stock).

On the other had if it started just a few years ago, you might have locos 1 and 2, and wagons 1 to 45, with 3, 10, 21, 24 and 37 missing because they were wrecked in the 'great breakaway' of last year...

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Mountain
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Re: Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby Mountain » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:58 am

Very sensible idea. I though about something along those lines myself.

b308
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Re: Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby b308 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:19 am

Rolling stock on NG lines tended to last a long time, often longer than some of the locos, for example the wagons used on the Welshpool at the end of it's days in the mid 50s were essentially what they got when it opened (however so were the locos!). Several of them have been preserved. They were mainly wood so relatively easy to repair/rebuild "in house"...

Regarding numbering, and using the WLLR as an example again, the stock would have been bought in batches at the outset and numbered in sequence at that point. Any later additions would have followed on from the last number used. So if your railway bought, say, 20 open wagons, 10 box vans and 20 cattle wagons when opened then you'd have the sequence 1-20, 21-30 and 31-50 for each type of wagon. When the GWR took over they renumbered the wagons into their own sequences! Of course as they are a small independent company they could decide to do things differently!

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Re: Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby NickH » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:05 pm

What happened on many lines was the original wagons would be numbered from 1 in sequence as acquired. After that, any wagons built to replace old ones as they were scrapped or written-off, being paid for out of the revenue account, would take the old numbers, whereas wagons to extend the fleet were paid for from the capital account, and would be numbered in sequence from the highest number. This process could be repeated ad nauseam, so that new wagon numbers might be scattered across the whole range. Sometimes, wagons that were replaced were not actually taken out of service, and they might be put on a duplicate list by adding a prefix zero to the original number.

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Mountain
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Re: Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby Mountain » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:53 pm

Something that may have happened in narrow gauge and was very popular with standard gauge was where a small company who owned a fleet of wagons would have a small fleet, but would want to give the impression they were large, so they would add a few numbers to mke their fleets seem like hundreds or even thousands of wagons in number when they may have only owned a few.

Generally narrow gauge railways would fit into two types of railway. The first was similar to most standard guage railways in that the railway company itself may only have a few wagons for maintaining the railway where all the rest were owned by private companies who were charged by the railway to run on their lines. So in other words, the railway was a common carrier. A few nartow gauge railways were like this in operation.

The other type were the railway companies who owned all the stock and local businesses would borrow the railway companies waggons to enable their products to reach their destination.
Numbering sequences would differ accordingly.

My feelings are that your railway will be your little company so you devise your own numbering system as I have mine. I have not finished my numbers as yet though.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:54 am

b308 wrote: for example the wagons used on the Welshpool at the end of it's days in the mid 50s were essentially what they got when it opened (however so were the locos!).....


Ah but the locos had benefited(?) from trips to Swindon, rather on the Blade Runner system of regeneration.
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Pennine MC
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Re: Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby Pennine MC » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:14 pm

All good answers, not really any right or wrong. But the bottom line is that the guys responsible for numbering on small railways were just people, like you and I. If you're methodical, as I am, draw up a system that appeals to that side of your nature. If you're not, do something more random. Could be great fun :)

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Re: Wagon Number Sequences?

Postby Dragonfly » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:42 pm

Thanks all for the feedback. Very much appreciated.

So locos and coaches will be numbered separately; makes sense. So I don't need to leave gaps for coaches.

For the wagons I've gone for a semi-haphazard system at this time, haven't put in any gaps yet, but at the moment I'm looking at something like this:

7mngwagons.png


Hoppers are a "maybe" at this time. I have a few H0-gauge ones that may be convertible to 7mmNG.
Generally the majority will be grey, of course, with black frames, but a few will be painted in dull red, dull blue, or dull green. Tankers in yellow or black. The "logo" column is the size of the lettering. For the early ones I'm having larger railway initials, then transitioning to smaller initials above the number in the lower right corner.

So the sequence is not entirely random in nature; for the most part each type of wagon has grown in number gradually, starting with one short mixed rake (the first 6) to begin with, then more of each being built two or three at a time. Later on, the batch of 3-plank opens are all done at once, as the railway had grown enough to do a larger batch at once.

I'll very likely scale this arrangement up and put in some gaps, that may be filled in later (or left unseen or scrapped).

Liking the "duplicate list" idea with a zero prefix. May well put in a few "tatty" wagons with that, when I do the layout, with some cast aside in an overgrown siding.
=Doug
| Dragonfly | Current projects: Kidneston (00) / Clatter (N) / Much Oakley (N) / Workbench |


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