Freight trains the added interesting twist
Freight was a seriously big part of the railway companies business as they were able to move large amounts of goods in one movement typically using only one locomotive.
Every layout can benefit from having goods trains running on it adding extra interest and dimension to any scene as they rattle past your commercial passenger services regardless of the size of your track setup.
There are lots to choose from as well. You could opt for specific trains made up of a particular wagon or truck. It is not uncommon on a steam era branch line to see a rack of small 4 wheeled tankers passing by or in a mainline diesel arena a long train of bogie goods box cars or if it allows you can even have a mixed freight train typical of the small branch lines doing localised deliveries.
More over these trains offer even more scope to model a goods yard with loading / unloading areas, weight and height gauges, goods sheds, road info structure and railway workers busy handling the stock. You can also add sidings specifically for this type of operation and have shunters moving wagons around.
If you are stuck for space why not consider putting a couple of wagons in a siding as static displays and luckily as most models these days are high in detail and finish they will appeal even to the most disconcerting viewer.
When it comes to liveries the various versions available is staggering. Private owners and local businesses used to own (or rent) their own dedicated wagons and these would be painted in the company colours with their logos in prominent places. Buffers Model Railways have commissioned many of these types over the years and have always tried to focus on the more unusual and brightly colour variants bring a splash of colour to all that Bauxite and grey stuff often seen on the railways.
If you prefer you can also go for the corporate versions these might include companies such as Esso, Shell and BP on tankers. British Coal board on coal, coke and mineral wagons.
Alternatively you could opt to make the layouts freight services more subtle by using railways company livered stock.
Let’s not forget that in the days of steam your average freight system would have had a Brake Van on the end of the rake and again these are available in many variants and from all the larger regions such as the Toads of the Western region and the more standardised 20 -30 ton of the midlands railways.