Operating with Track Scales

Weighing Coal Hoppers

C & S 2-8-0 Number 638 shoves the last of a string of loaded coal hoppers onto the scale at Louisville Colorado. Two daily coal turns weigh their newly-loaded hoppers here, keeping both the scale house and road crews busy.

This article will give you some ideas on how to set up freight car weighing for your railroad. It's based on almost 10 years of experience with both industry and railroad track scale operations on Jim Ferenc's Colorado & Southern Railway.

Weighing Loads

  • What, When & Where to Weigh
  • How to Weigh: Static Weighing vs. Weigh-In-Motion
  • Train Movement & Track Scales

Working with Weights

  • Weight Definitions: What the Numbers Mean
  • Load Weight & Safety
  • Crew Challenge: Is it Safe?

Weighing Empties & Testing

  • Weighing Empty Cars
  • Testing with a Scale Test Car

Track Scale Paperwork

Further Reading

The Resource Links in the right sidebar are excellent information sources on railroad track scales, and more importantly, their application to model railroads.

The list is in suggested reading order, beginning with broad model railroad-oriented tutorials, and ending with very detailed prototype engineering specifications.