Rolling Stock

Last Updated: March 26th, 2012.

Free-mo does not set standards for operating equipment. CenterTrak members will maintain all operating equipment according to the following standards. Visiting members in our setups will be exempt from these standards for no more than six operating setups, but should at least provide the standard equipment. These standards are in place to insure enjoyable operations to all operators, and limited wear and tear on modules and other equipment.

Locomotives

  • ES-1. Decoders. All operating setups will use Digitrax DCC therefore all locomotives in Interchange Service* must have a Digitrax compatible decoder installed.
    • ES-1.1. Speed Steps. All decoders must be 128 speed step decoders.
    • ES-1.2. Dual Mode. Locomotives equipped with dual mode type decoders such as those found in Atlas locomotives will be allowed for no more than two operating setups. These decoders cause undo lag on the DCC system.
    • ES-1.3. Programming. The run chief will be solely responsible for keeping track of locomotives to avoid two or more locomotives with the same address during any operating session. Operators must register their locomotives before an operating session, first come first serve rules apply. In event of a dispute, the run chiefs decision will be final.
  • ES-2. Sound Decoders. Sound decoders are allowed on equipment in Interchange Service*.
    • ES-2.1. Usage. Sound will be used as per prototype rules. Excessive use of horns or bells will result in sound being turned off or equipment removed from service.
    • ES-2.2. Volume. Volume of all sounds will be set at a low enough setting so that sounds are not audible more than 10 feet from the equipment.
  • ES-3. Couplers. All locomotives used in Interchange Service* will have body mounted metal knuckle couplers, Kadee recommended.
    • ES-3.1. Scale Couplers. Scale knuckle couplers are allowed so long as they are mounted so that they can mate properly with standard knuckle couplers.
    • ES-3.2. Plastic Knuckles. Plastic knuckles are allowed on equipment for no more than two operating setups.
    • ES-3.3. Horn-Hook Couplers. Horn hook or X2F type couplers are not allowed on any equipment, Interchange service or not.

Freight Equipment

All freight equipment used in Interchange Service* will be maintained and be equipped as follows:

  • FS-1. Couplers. Freight equipment will be equipped with metal knuckle couplers, Kadee recommended.
    • FS-1.1. Long Cars. Freight equipment exceeding 57 scale feet will be equipped with shelf type knuckle couplers.
    • FS-1.2. Scale Knuckles. Scale knuckle couplers are allowed so long as they are mounted so that they can mate properly with standard knuckle couplers.
    • FS-1.3. Plastic Knuckles. Plastic knuckles are allowed on equipment for no more than two operating setups.
    • FS-1.4. Horn-Hook Couplers. Horn hook or X2F type couplers are not allowed on any equipment, Interchange service or not.
    • FS-1.5. Talgo or Truck Mounted. Equipment with Talgo or Truck Mounted couplers will not be allowed in Interchange service, no exceptions.
  • FS-2. Wheelsets. Freight equipment will be equipped with metal wheel sets following the RP-25 contour or better. Intermountain recommended.
    • FS-2.1. Plastic Axles. Metal wheelsets with delrin axles must be free rolling to prevent drag in trains.
    • FS-2.2. Oversized Flanges. Oversized flanges such as those found on older Rivarossi and other equipment will not be allowed in Interchange Service.*
  • FS-3. Gauging. Freight equipment must be gauged according to NMRA standards and properly maintained between operating setups. Equipment found not meeting these standards will be removed from service until corrections are made. Operators removing equipment for violation must note the violation and register the complaint with the run chief.
    • FS-3.1. Coupler Height. Couplers will match a Kadee height gauge with no more than 1/8th coupler height deviation for height, and all trip pins must clear the gauge.
    • FS-3.2. Wheel Gauge. All wheelsets must fit within an NMRA standards gauge.
    • FS-3.3. Weight. Equipment should be weighted as close to one ounce per 10 scale feet of car as possible. Cars deviating more than one ounce higher or lower than the total for the car will be allowed by decision of the run chief.
      • FS-3.3.1 Lead Shot. Lead shot is not an acceptable material for weighting cars.
  • FS-4. Loads. Loads on open top cars are allowed so long as provisions are made for oversize or overlength loads.
    • FS-4.1. Live Loads. No car in Interchange Service* should be loaded with “live” or loose loads.

Passenger Equipment

All passenger equipment will be maintained and equipped as follows:

  • PS-1. Couplers. All passenger equipment will be equipped with metal knuckle shelf type couplers.
    • PS-1.1. Scale Knuckles. Scale knuckle couplers are allowed so long as they are mounted so that they can mate properly with standard knuckle couplers.
    • PS-1.2. Plastic Knuckles. Plastic knuckles are allowed on equipment for no more than two operating setups.
    • PS-1.3. Horn-Hook Couplers. Horn hook or X2F type couplers are not allowed on any equipment, Interchange service or not.
    • PS-1.4. Talgo or Truck Mounted. Equipment with Talgo or Truck Mounted couplers will not be allowed in Interchange service, no exceptions.
  • PS-2. Wheelsets. Passenger equipment will be equipped with metal wheel sets following the RP-25 contour or better, Intermountain recommended.
    • FS-2.1. Plastic Axles. Metal wheelsets with delrin axles must be free rolling to prevent drag in trains.
    • FS-2.2. Oversized Flanges. Oversized flanges such as those found on older Rivarossi and other equipment will not be allowed in Interchange Service.*
  • PS-3. Gauging. Passenger equipment must be gauged according to NMRA standards and properly maintained between operating setups. Equipment found not meeting these standards will be removed from service until corrections are made. Operators removing equipment for violation must note the violation and register the complaint with the run chief.
    • FS-3.1. Coupler Height. Couplers will match a Kadee height gauge with no more than 1/8th coupler height deviation for height, and all trip pins must clear the gauge.
    • FS-3.2. Wheel Gauge.  All wheelsets must fit within an NMRA standards gauge.
    • FS-3.3. Weight. Equipment should be weighted as close to one ounce per 10 scale feet of car as possible. Cars deviating more than one ounce higher or lower than the total for the car will be allowed by decision of the run chief.
      • FS-3.3.1 Lead Shot. Lead shot is not an acceptable material for weighting cars.
  • PS-4. Diaphragms. Diaphragms are allowed on passenger equipment so long as they do not interfere with proper operation through a #6 switch. Offending equipment will be removed from service, noted on a bad order form, and registered with the run chief.

* Interchange Service is described as any equipment available to trains operated by any operator and used in normal switching operations. Equipment in captive service or equipment that does not operate on Main Line track are exempt from these standards.

Update Log

  • March 26th, 2012: Separated from “Equipment” standards.
  • April 6th, 2011: Provision added for Live Loads
  • December 6th, 2010: Listed on web page

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