Jim went to see his friend Mary. He went on his bicycle. So Jim moved his bicycle from his house to Marry's house. But Jim didn't go to Mary's house so he could move his bicycle. He wanted to move himself to Mary's house and he used his bicycle to do it. Railroads are the same way. They move cars from one place to another, but it is really the things inside the cars that they want to move. It may be boats or goats. It may be beans or jeans. All of these are called freight, and the trains that move freight are called freight trains. Other trains that move people are called passenger trains. But to move freight and people, railroads also have to move empty cars sometimes.

Yesterday Moria Mining Company sent ten cars of mithril ore to Gimli Brothers Refinery. Now Moria Mining Company has more ore to send to Gimli Brothers Refinery. But all of the freight cars Moria Mining Company owns are at Gimli Brothers Refinery. So Moria Mining Company pays the railroad to bring the cars back so it can fill them up again and send the new batch of ore to Gimli Brothers Refinery.

Dragon Toy and Chair Company wants to send a car load of chairs to Hobbiton Furniture Store. But Dragon Toy and Chair Company doesn't own any freight cars. So Dragon Toy and Chair Company has to rent a car from the railroad. The railroad cleans up an empty car and takes it to Dragon Toy and Chair Company. Once the car is loaded, Dragon Toy and Chair Company pays the railroad to take the loaded car to Hobbiton Furniture Store.

So railroads are paid to move the goods that are in the train cars. They are also paid to move empty cars back to the companies that own them so they can be used again. They are paid rent for cars by companies that don't have any cars of their own. And they are paid to move people from one place to another. That's how a railroad makes money. It uses this money to pay all the people who work on the railroad and to pay for the buildings, the track, the locomotives, and the cars the railroad uses. If the railroad doesn't move enough people and freight, then it doesn't make enough money to pay all its people and all its other costs. Then the railroad may be forced to sells its equipment, its buildings, and even tear up its track and sell the steel to raise enough money to pay all its bills. Then there is no more railroad.

We want to run the Lake Town & Shire like a real railroad. On our railroad we move people and freight from one place to another. But sometimes we also need to move empty cars to where they are needed. You can learn more about how we do this in the section on CAR MOVEMENT. But first, you should read the next section about different CAR TYPES.


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