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German, Swiss, and Austrian outline. HO/HOm
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Here is a tip I learned about some time ago.

The rear pan is used on an electric locomotive. This in case of catastrophic failure and the pan is torn from the roof of the locomotive. Having this happen would almost certainly destroy or foul the rear pan and then you're stuck.

Cases when the front pan is used would be when an auto carrier, fuel or oil car, or manned railroad work platform is directly behind the locomotive.
 

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Yessir, that's a really nice layout there!!
 
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