Layout construction will begin with the fictional town of St. George, Vermont as it appeared in 1953. St. George will occupy a 16′ long section of benchwork. The width undulates from 2′ to 4′. It’s a stub terminal — the end of the line . The left side turns 180 degrees to the opposite wall and future expansion. That area will serve as a fiddle yard for the time being.
St. George is fictional but somewhat influenced by Peterborough, New Hampshire (see the nice article by Randy Brown in Model Railroad Planning 2000). Necessary features included a run around track for 6 or 7 cars, several sidings and a turntable. The river bisecting the town is a key scenic feature. Until the equipment roster grows, the town will be visited by just a mixed turn every day.
Much of the freight is boxcar traffic. There’ll be an inbound hopper of anthracite coal every few days and occasionally a tank car of gasoline or home heating fuel. A few boxcar loads of grain will arrive each week. The odd automobile boxcar will appear and occasionally a flat car or gondola load of some kind.
Outbound loads include furniture, lumber and pulpwood loaded at the team track. Also bagged feed and other boxcar loads. A milk car or two will go out every day from the creamery just outside of town. And in these days before the great surge in over the road trucking, the railroads carried most of the small lot freight in LCL boxcars.
I’ll operate the line with a mix of GE 44 tonner and 70 tonner diesels until I can muster the wherewithal to build a 2-6-0 (B&M B-15 or Wabash F-4) or 4-6-0 (CP D-4 or D-10). Admittedly steam would be on it’s last legs in 1953.
Much of the car fleet is still wood or composite in 1953 although these cars are disappearing fast. The newest car type is likely the PS-1 boxcar. 50′ boxcars are rare but appear from time to time. These would often be used for automobiles, furniture and appliances.
Getting close to erecting the benchwork.