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Hello,

I have a Athearn C&NW #5091. I bought this years ago when I thought I would start my HO project. Now that I am older and have more money, I am getting started again. I need some help on picking out some rolling stock that fits this engine and what makers to go with (Athearn, Accurail, Bachmann,...). Looking for quality, but nothing that breaks the bank right off the bat as I have to spend on track and table.

Thanks!
 

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Rolling stock is kind of a personal preference thing. Most of my rolling stock is fairly new and I have mostly Athearn, Atlas, Bachmann Silver Series and Walthers (they have a gold and platinum and I guess regular, not gold or platinum, line) I've had pretty good luck with all of them. The funny thing I've found with rolling stock is that I can buy four of the same say, walthers gondolas (yeah I know all same # not prototypical) and three of them work fine and the fourth always derails. This happens with the Athearn, Bachmann, and Walthers cars (I don't have two of the same Atlas cars). Even the six car Athearn set that I have, I can run for over an hour with no problems, but If I do have a derail it's always the same car. I just put the bad ones aside and one day I'll look at them.

Still rambling...Just this past Saturday I went to a Train show swap meet and pick up three used cars that a club was selling. All had knuckle couplers and 2/3 were weathered, $3 ea. all run great. I did replace the wheels with metal ones before I ran them, I picked up some Bachmann metal wheels for $7.50. So for about $5.50 ea. I have some nice cars. A lot cheaper than the average new car price that I spend $14-16. If I can hit up some more shows I'll probably go this route.

As for what goes with your C&NW loco. This Saturday I took my son to the local CN yard for the first time. Two GE -9's were sitting pretty much right in front of me and when they finally rolled out the train must have had over 100 cars, about 30 of them were CN the rest...UP, BNSF, Conrail, NS, and the list goes on, a real Heinz 57 of road names.

So now when I run the model railroad, I'm just gonna throw the kitchen sink of cars at my locos, but I think you can do just about anything here.

Done finally.... :)
 

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Another thing to consider is what time frame are you running. Some stay to one time period and anything outside that period they will not run. Personally I run anything built in the 'what I like' era. This includes anything that looks good to me :). I have an American 4-4-0 sharing rails with an Athearn DD-40. Only rule I run is that the cars pulled by the train have to be of relative size (the little steamers look odd pulling 50 foot box cars.)
 
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