Originally Posted by Bob Allen
I want to do a layout of the 50s and 60s. I want to do NYC train idea. Do other train co. run on other companies tracks. Say a Western Maryland runing on a NYC tracks.
Yes, some railroads would run their complete trains along another company's track. This was more of an exception, rather than the general rule, though. The company that wanted to use some other railroad's track would need to negotiate a contract with that railroad, and pay a fee for the right to run their trains on the other company's track. This process was called obtaining "Trackage rights" from the railroad company that owned the track.
Such trackage rights agreements could be long, or short, term. Sometimes when railroad 'A's track was damaged, they might negotiate a temporary trackage rights agreement with company 'B' to get their trains through, until the track was repaired.
Other trackage rights agreements were more permanent. For example both the Union Pacific, and the Milwaukee Road, had trackage rights over the track of the Pacific Coast Railroad that went into downtown Seattle, for many years.
Amtrak daily runs most of it's passenger trains on track belonging to one of the giant, modern freight railroads. This causes many operational problems for Amtrak. The track owner will usually give it's own trains priority over the Amtrak trains. Thus passenger trains may sit on a siding, waiting for a freight train to pass by. This doesn't help Amtrak keep to it's schedules. It's one reason they are often late. The exception is the Northeast corridor, where Amtrak owns the track, and the freight railroad has trackage rights.
Freight cars owned by one railroad, riding on the track of another railroad is very common. The US has never had a true transcontinental railroad. That is track coast-to-coast all owned by the same railroad company.
The celebrated, post civil war, "transcontinental railroad" only ran about half way across the continent, from Sacramento California, to St. Joseph Missouri, and even it was owned by two separate railroad companies, Union Pacific and Southern Pacific.
So for a refer load of oranges to travel from the west coast to an east coast city, it had to travel over the rails of another company (usually several) just to get from L.A. to New York. This method of moving freight was called "Car forwarding."
Some passenger cars, particularly sleeper cars, regularly moved from their "home road's" rails onto another company's track to get to their destinations. They were called "through sleepers."
As for your Western & Maryland, and New York Central, question, you'd have to look at a railroad map to see if those two railroads even connected to each other. If, as I suspect, they didn't; then it's not likely that a W&M train would have run on the NYC's track. However, a through sleeper, or even an entire passenger train could have made the connection via a third railroad. The locomotives might have been changed to some from the other company. Freight car forwarding from W&M to NYC probably happened now and again.
The famous "California Zephyr" passenger train used the tracks, and locomotives, of three different railroads. The Burlington Railroad, Denver & Rio Grande, and Western Pacific, were all traversed to complete the train's run to the west coast.
There are troop cars, troop kitchen, troop sleeper, and troop ambulance cars available. I have a beautiful N-scale set made by Micro-Trains. There should be similar cars available in HO-scale too.