Model Building · Structures

The Freight House at St. George (part 2)

St. George Freight House

See The Freight House at St. George (part 1)

Before painting the freight house it got a bath in Dawn dish detergent and warm water. After it dried overnight I sprayed a coat of Tamiya Surface Primer (beautiful stuff) thinned 1:1 with lacquer thinner. I let this dry a few days until the smell was gone.

Next, a variegated undercoat of Vallejo Basalt Gray and Medium Sea Gray was applied to everything. These being the Vallejo Model Color paints meant for brushing, I thinned them 2 parts paint to 1 part Vallejo Airbrush Thinner with a drop or two of Windex as a flow agent and sprayed at about 35# pressure.

The doors, railings and weather boards got a coat of Vallejo Military Green taken down a bit with gray. The walls were painted D&NE mustard, a mix of 10 parts Vallejo Golden Yellow and 1 part Flat Earth with a touch of gray. Windows, roof trim and soffits are Vallejo Off White.

Afterward, I came back lightly with a fiberglass brush to reveal just a little of the undercoat. I followed that with dry brushing Basalt Gray to show some weathered wood, then a dry brushing of Golden Yellow on the battens for highlights. Now was a good time to install the windows and doors. But no glass yet. A light dusting of Pan Pastels helped tie everything together. I used grays and earthy shades to take the brightness down a bit.

St. George Freight House trackside
The slate roof with “snowbirds” and copper flashing

The slate roof is intended to be the original roof with some repairs through the years so the slates don’t all match in color. Luckily, there are a lot of old slate roofs around Manchester to go by. But you must be careful not to over do this on a model. I brush painted Vallejo Basalt Gray with touches of Medium Sea Gray and Burnt Umber blended in at random. The copper flashing was painted Game Color Verdigris, the color of oxidized copper, knocked down with some gray. I touched the snow birds with Vallejo Black Gray and Burnt Umber. The chimney was brush painted with Vallejo Burnt Red and Leather Brown. Testors Model Master Old Concrete was used for the chimney top. The mortar is a soupy mix of Durham’s Water Putty brushed on and then wiped off the brick faces. A final dry brushing of light gray from the bottom of the roof highlighted the tips of the slates. Various gray Pan Pastels were used to knock a little shine off of the roof and black to soot up the chimney area.

Office entrance
Busy platform area. Much detail to come after it’s embedded in the scenery.

The decks were sprayed with Tamiya Surface Primer and then Vallejo Basalt Gray. After giving that a few days to dry. Testors CreateFX weathering colors were applied board by board to highlight the grain I had worked into the styrene surface. Again, a dusting of Pan Pastels gave the decks a worn, weathered look.

Signage for the ends was setup in Word, laser printed and sealed front and back with Dullcote. The paper was glued with spray adhesive to a cardstock base and then glued to a #40 styrene back trimmed with black.

Finally, the entire model was then sealed with Testors Dullcote and the window glass finally installed.

In the end, I mounted the structure on a 1/8″ hardboard base thinking I’m likely to remove it from the layout from time to time.

I think this is the largest structure project I’ve ever taken on. Styrene is a joy to work with and can be brought to whatever finish you’d like. Assembly is fast, relatively speaking. Scratch building siding and roofing (doors and windows too for that matter) is time-consuming but, after all, this is a hobby.

Cleanliness is next to, well, certainly not railroadiness. So, the freight house will be surrounded by dunnage and other junk scattered among the weeds and puddles. There’s almost always a boxcar or two spotted trackside at the freight doors. Trucks come and go throughout the day. Sometimes the lights are still burning late into the autumn evening. A busy place indeed.

My next structure project for St. George is the passenger station inspired by the long gone B&M station at Peterborough, NH. (The Toadstool bookstore now occupies that site.) It has clapboard siding. I’m carefully laying up my own to get that subtle effect of not quite absolutely perfect. The doors and windows are scratch built or bashed using Tichys as a starting point. A few are pretty elegant. It’s going to take a while…

Model Building · Narrow Gauge

A New Life for Penrhyn Carriage “H”

Here’s another story about a 7/8″ scale Welsh two foot narrow gauge model I built a couple of years ago…

Idlenot Light Railway open third No. 7 built from ex-Penrhyn workman carriage “H”.

For some reason, despite 3 or 4 unfinished projects on the workbench, I got the bug to build a model of the original Talyllyn No. 7 for my 7/8” scale Idlenot Light Railway. The prototype was the Penrhyn Quarry Railway quarrymans carriage “H” but with a roof – essentially an open third.

In the early days of the Talyllyn preservation society, six Penrhyn quarrymans carriages made their way to Pendre. The Talyllyn shops constructed three cars from them: Nos. 7, 8 and 9. Nos. 7 and 8 were simply Penrhyn carriage bodies (“H” and “P”) with their 2′-0″ wheels replaced with 2’-3” gauge wheels from Corris slate wagons to suit the Talyllyn’s gauge. Each seated 18 passengers. (The Penrhyn though squeezed 24 workmen into each carriage!) No. 9 was an 8 wheel, bogie trucked frame with 2 Penrhyn carriage bodies (“C” and “D”) mounted on top.  The volunteers added a roof to No. 7 while Nos. 8 and 9 ran open to the sky. Being a bit decrepit to start with none of these cars were in service all that long (we’re talking the early ‘60s) but they helped fill a shortage of passenger rolling stock at a critical time. By the way, the frame from No. 7 was later repurposed for the Talyllyn Refreshment Van or “tea van”. The Idlenot is certainly going to need one of those. It’s on the short list.

Despite laser cut kits being available in 7/8” scale for these carriages I decided to build mine from scratch. I worked primarily from old photos and plans in Bernard Rockett’s Penrhyn Quarry Railways, Part 1. In addition, Great Railway Eras No. 9 Talyllyn 60 has nice photos of both No. 7 and No. 8. The Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modelers’ Penrhyn Quarry Railway Modeler’s Guide had a few pages on building the 16mm kit versions of these carriages and that was helpful too.

John Bate’s tome, The Chronicles of Pendre Sidings, provided much behind the scenes information – he was there, after all! I learned of the channel underframe stiffeners from the text and a photo showing No. 7 tipped partly over. The stiffeners were added to stop the shimmying that was causing alignment the axleboxes. That’s certainly something we want to avoid on the Idlenot.

The body and underframe of Idlenot No. 7 are made largely from basswood. The ends are aircraft ply scribed to the correct board width. A 16g steel subfloor gives the car a little heft. 7/8ths Railway Equipment Co. axleboxes and Sierra Valley gauge 1 spoked wheel sets were used in the spirit of the basic running gear on the prototype. Many brass “lil” pins were added for carriage bolt detail. (I always thought my English granddad was saying “Lillpins”. Fifty or so years later, I realized they were just small.) Corner strapping was formed from styrene strips and dress pins. Angle braces for the seat backs and the underframe’s channel stiffeners came from styrene shapes.

Here’s the second go at the body in gray primer. Its inspiration is in the right, top photo in Talyllyn 60.

Accucraft round face chopper couplers – standard on the Idlenot – were mounted along with Penrhyn style eye rings from Talisman. The inevitable holidays were filled with Squadron Green putty and the body given a coat of sanding sealer, then gray primer. In deference to its Penrhyn roots, the finish coat is a dark, brownish, purplish eggplant color. Not having a color sample to work from I mixed Polly Scale PRR Maroon and AT&SF Blue to get a shade I thought close – maybe aubergine. It took quite a few airbrush coats to get even coverage. The number “7” was hand painted in white on each end.

The seats are bench slats, as on the later run of home-built Penrhyn cars, with a varnished finish. These went in last. Two letters “H” were fashioned from brass, shined up and attached to each side. Not trusting adhesive to hold these on for very long a sturdier mounting method was sought. I drilled through #70 twice on each letter then through the car sides. Dress pins were pushed through from the inside, soldered to the front of the letters, trimmed and cleaned up. They’ll never come off!

The roof and stanchions are constructed from brass for strength. Using the car body as a jig, the stanchions were cut from square brass tubing, drilled and mounted to the sides with 0-80 nuts and bolts. Then, when everything was squared up, the letterboards were soldered to the tops of the stanchions with resistance soldering tweezers.

The brass bits for the roof assembly are being readied. I choose brass for strength. A wooden frame would be just too dainty.

Brass crosspieces were fashioned to the arch of the roof by sawing and filing. Soldering the two frames foresquare to the crosspieces was problematic until I thought to leave the side frames bolted to the car sides and push them together against the crosspieces with bar clamps. I turned to an 80W iron for this work being careful to keep each stanchion clamped to the letterboard as I went around. Now the entire roof assembly could be easily handled as a unit.

I decided on tinplate sheet as a sub-roof. It solders so easily. And it was easy to bend to the arch of the roof. The roof frame was turned upside down and soldered to the sub-roof in a rolling fashion, again using the 80W iron. Once in place, the sub-roof was trimmed to size with a pair of household scissors.

After an overnight bath in citric acid the roof assembly was clean and ready for paint. Masking off the roof top, I gave the frame a coat of rattle can etch primer in that lovely new shade of monkey vomit green followed by an automotive satin black.

The finished appearance of the roof was to be a canvas look which I do with cotton cloth. Since I couldn’t shellac to the nonporous tinplate subroof I instead used rubber contact cement. After ironing the cloth smooth and wrinkle free I coated it with cement. The tinplate was cleaned with acetone and it too was coated with cement. In 20 minutes or so the cement flashed dry. Then, the cloth was carefully draped over the roof and, with the help of a warm dress iron, bonded to the tinplate. Finally, the rooftop was given a coat of gray primer and several coats of white to represent a heavily leaded paint finish. I don’t weather my passenger rolling stock as the Idlenot volunteers take loving care of their roster so it’s finished off with Testors Gloss Cote.

Now, I don’t want to give the impression that everything went smoothly. I made a lot of mistakes along the way. Ask my wife about the film of rubber cement I left on her iron. Some ideas just didn’t work out. I can be ham fisted and sometimes a little impulsive. Part of the model building craft is learning to overcome or at least skillfully hide your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to throw out a part or an entire assembly for that matter and do it over! The first body for No. 7 went straight into the tipper. I didn’t like it. It just didn’t look right.

My large scale models are meant to be viewed from several feet away in the garden so I try to strike a balance and not rat hole into too much fine detail. The three foot rule is in force. Or is it the ten foot rule? I forget. Generally, I don’t bother much with underframe or interior detail if it can’t be seen with the car upright on the rails.

No. 7 in the dappled sunlight on the Isle of Shoals Tramway. 
No 7 parked at the Drew Road Station platform on Rich Chiodo’s lovely Isle of Shoals Tramway.

With the roof assembly bolted to the body the carriage was finally complete. It’s numbered Idlenot Light Railway No. 7 and, I must say, looks quite the tart – making the scene in aubergine.

Train Shows

Springfield Show 2019

Just returned from the enormous Springfield, Mass., model railroad show. Picked up a few things for the layout. Not really much scale O there. In fact, there’s more scale S given Des Plaines Hobbies’ presence. Stopped by the new San Juan Model Co. tables for their excellent AB brake sets to find someone had just bought them out! I suppose they were the biggest scale O presence albeit narrow gauge. We swapped a few Cliff Grandt stories and I wished them well as they have taken on quite a project that we’ll all appreciate in years to come. Still hard to realize Grandt Line and San Juan Car Co. are gone.

Crusader Hobbies was there too and always has a great selection of O scale figures and details. I picked up a few items for the freight house. Bought a few hand tools for the workbench. Picked up a supply of SuperTrees from Scenic Express. A great day was had by all!

Monica was with me and, as usual, we finished up at the Steaming Tender Restaurant in Palmer, Mass., where, if you close your eyes, the Central Vermont still crosses the Boston & Albany.



The Quebec Central

This season’s (Winter 2018) Classic Trains magazine has a nice article by the late Jim Shaughnessy on the Quebec Central. The QC has always been of interest to me.

Back in the 1990s I was railfanning the CP Lyndonville and Newport subs watching Montreal Alco RS-18u and C424s hauling freight at speed in and out of Newport, Vt. They were still running 5 man crews and cabooses. A few miles of the Quebec Central were still in operation north out of Newport.

The original Dominion & New England Railway concept usurped the Newport sub from Newport, Vt to the Canadian border past Richford, Vt. including a short bit of the QC. But it proved to be just too much model railroad for me.

My much more modest fictional short line D&NE is situated in northern Vermont and once ran into Quebec to a connection with CP’s transcon. St George, just a little south of the Canadian border, is now a terminal but once saw through trains to Canada.

I’ve actually ridden on the QC. About 20 or so years ago Jack Keene, John Nichols and I rode a fan trip from St. Johnsbury down the Lyndonville sub to Wells River, back north through St. Jay to Newport and on to the Canadian border just past Newport Center (we couldn’t cross the border for insurance reasons). Then, back to Newport and up the first bit of the Quebec Central before returning south to St. Jay.



Layout Construction · Model Building · Narrow Gauge

The Crowsnest Tramway Co.

Off topic, I suppose, but I thought I’d share a few photos of one of my favorite layout themes: Roy C. Link’s Crowsnest Tramway Co., the 1:32 version. It was on display at the 2015 Narrow Gauge Convention in Augusta, ME. I had seen the odd B&W photo in publications but never dreamed I’d get to see it in person. What a surprise when I walked into the convention display room!


If you are familiar with the Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Modeling Review magazine then Roy Link needs no introduction. He’s as famous in the UK as Bob Brown and the Gazette are over here.

Roy is a master model builder. The Crowsnest Tramway is an ongoing theme. A new diorama pops up from time to time in whatever scale Roy chooses. There have been versions in O14.5 (On2 over here) and 16mm (a popular large modeling scale in the UK) in addition to the one pictured here in 1:32.

[A collection of photos gathered from the web.]

See the Crowsnest in action at this link: Crowsnest Tramway

I love everything about it. The scenery connotes an airy, sparse landscape up in the hills. The backdrop is beautifully done. Trackwork is typical industrial narrow gauge. As far as I know most everything is scratch built. The detail is enchanting. Notice the chickens next to the scale house.

Roy sold the diorama to another notable UK modeler, the late Mike South, who brought it with him to Calgary, Canada. After Mike’s passing, it passed into obscurity until located by Canadian Craig Parry. Craig restored the diorama and built the wonderful display cabinet you see above. He has been bringing it to various conventions in North America.

As I recall, this Crowsnest Tramway diorama represents the end of the line where lead ore is weighed and then tipped into road vehicles.

The D&NE is a modest achievable layout intended to be built to a high standard. And then you see workmanship like this and just ponder…

Model Building · Structures

The Freight House at St. George (part 1)


In 1953, much railroad freight is LCL (Less-than-Carload-Lot) and most towns had provision for handling these smaller shipments. In the case of a large market town like St. George a free-standing freight house was often the answer. There are a number of freight customers in town that ship smaller consignments such as the busy Green Mountain Basket Co. Piano stools, crutches and furniture made locally often go out as LCL. The lumber and feed store receives bagged feed and lumber by the car load but products such as paint, fencing and appliances might come to the freight house as LCL. Railway express shipments, on the other hand, are handled at the express annex in the passenger station.

The St. George freight house is based on one described in an article in Dec71 RMC by former MR editor Paul Larson for his O scale CMR&P. Modeled after a freight house built in the late 1890s on the St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern (CB&Q) at Louisiana, MO, it’s the perfect size for St. George. The design is archetypal railroady. I built the model pretty much as drawn.

Thinking it would be more common for New England, I thought of substituting clapboards for the board and batten siding in the plan. But the other day, while over in B&M Mogul country in Goffstown, NH, what did I see but the old freight house sheathed in board and batten!

A board and batten vignette courtesy of the ex-B&M Freight House in Goffstown, NH.

Paul built his O scale model from Northeastern basswood and Grandt Line windows. But Northeastern doesn’t carry the board and batten siding in a suitable spacing anymore. I’m favoring styrene these days anyway but as it ends up Evergreen doesn’t carry appropriate sized board and batten siding either (they used to — my Monson Jct. freight house is built from it). One night, at the stroke of midnight, the ghost of Al Armitage appeared and encouraged me to suck it up and build my own board and batten siding. The next day, I was at the workbench laying down the battens by hand.

Al Armitage’s booklet on styrene fabrication has been the bible for decades. It focuses on extreme scratchbuilding before styrene strips and shapes were available.

Evergreen’s Styrene Modeling, edited by Bob Hayden, has more up to date tips and techniques.

Adding battens to the trackside wall. With the spacer strip and square this goes pretty quickly. I use Testors Liquid Cement for Plastic and an 000 brush for styrene construction.

IMG_20181021_162025384 (2)
Work in progress. One end has had battens applied. Tichy windows and doors are modified for a New England look. Freight doors are scratchbuilt as a drop in unit.

It’s a large building about 28″ in length including the loading dock. The 4′ foundation raises the structure to an imposing height. Along with the passenger station it’s going to dominate the scene.

The base material for the structure is #40 styrene sheet. You can get it in large sheets if you ask around which alleviates the need to splice up the long sides. I cut out all of the openings for doors and windows first and then laid up the battens cut from #20 by #40 styrene strips. The 1″ by 12″ weather boards around the foundation are represented by #20 by #250 styrene strips cemented directly to the base layer. They enclose what would be an open foundation of brick pillars. The chimney comes from Bar Mills. I also used part of one as a foundation pillar where the weather boards have gone missing.

To speed things up, Tichy doors and windows were used but modified to look more like those we see here in New England. The freight doors, stairways and the loading dock are all scratchbuilt in styrene.

The structure is braced with #125 by #125 styrene strips. The walls are raised around a solid floor of #40 styrene that, with the help of a couple of internal partitions, squares everything up nicely.

I added a couple of #40 styrene pads under each end of the building to keep the weather boards from picking at the scenery and to support the stairways and loading dock. They’ll be hidden by ground cover when the building is in place.

Shingling the roof took forever.

The roof is a story in itself. Built on a base of #40 styrene, it’s heavily braced and removable. In northern New England, buildings of this type might have a shingle roof of Vermont slates. The cost of enough commercial hobby slate roof material to do this structure would be more than everything else combined. While I laid awake one night fretting over this, around the stroke of midnight the ghost of Al Armitage reappeared. He admonished me to not be such a snowflake and just scratchbuild the slate shingle roof. Next day, I’m slicing off 8-14″ wide strips of #10 styrene at 24″ lengths. The work actually goes pretty fast, I guess. Boy, that’s a lot of roof. Actually, it took a long time. I topped the roof with #5 styrene copper cap. As a final touch, 162 Tichy “snowbirds” were added for protection from falling snow and ice.

Styrene representing wood was roughed up in the traditional way with a file card, wire brush, Zona saw and sandpaper to knock down the plastic sheen and to give the weathering something to hang on to. The wood grain effect is not overdone. I’m not a big fan of nail heads. They just aren’t visible at normal viewing distance even in O scale.

D&NE structures are painted an amber color with medium green wainscoting and doors. Windows and trim are white. The scheme is reminiscent of Vienna station as I remember it on my hometown Washington & Old Dominion Railroad.

And this is where I leave off for now. The structure is complete and being prepped for painting. I’ve already primed the roof.

See The Freight House at St. George (part 2)

I popped in some windows and doors for this photo. Getting ready to paint.

It’s a beast! The roof, platforms, doors and windows will all be painted separately. The styrene pads under the platforms will protect them, I hope. They’ll be hidden by ground cover once it’s all in place. The roof is already primed.

Idlenot Light Railway · Model Building · Narrow Gauge

Idlenot Light Railway Tool Van No. 2

Before I started on the D&NE I was building 7/8″ scale models of Welsh two foot narrow gauge equipment. Here’s the story of one of those cars…

“The Idlenot Light Railway Preservation Society proudly announces the presentation of tool van #2 to the railway’s operating department. The tool van was rebuilt from the remains of Glyn Valley Tramway box van #2 discovered some years ago in a farmers yard deep in the Welsh countryside. After decades of service as a chicken coop, most of the remains were quite unusable. But the lads in the car shop were able to construct what must be considered a replica from that heap of rotted timbers and rusted ironwork using only a few old picture postcards as a guide. They claim there are some original parts in the rebuilt van. You would be hard pressed to know which as the workmanship is done in the traditional manner and, I might add, in a superb fashion. Congratulations to these intrepid volunteers!”

Volunteer work train trundling home in the dappled eventide with Tool van No. 2 in tow. Photo taken on Rich Chiodo’s beautiful Isle of Shoals Tramway.

This 7/8” modeling project was started as an interlude after constructing a GVT guards van for a neighboring restored railway line. The original idea was to march right into a second copy of the guards van for the Idlenot but I wanted to tackle something a little different first. Flipping through the pages of Bernard Rockett’s Glen Valley Goods plan book right after the guards van there are plans for the GVT box vans, similar in size and shape but different in detail. The box van is scratch built except for the running gear, couplings and a few detail bits.

The brake lever details were cut from 16g steel. The chain is from an old piece of jewelry.

The frame is constructed from basswood timbers topped by a floor of 22 gauge steel. The sides and ends are built from individual basswood planks. All of the ironwork strapping is constructed from styrene. The innumerable square bolt heads are diced from 1/16” square styrene and dropped onto the side braces in a puddle of MEK. Much of the remaining detail, the door latches, the brake gear, etc… is constructed from brass and steel. Oodles of pot metal NBWs adorn the end braces. Sierra Valley Enterprises spoked wheel sets are running in SVE sprung axle guards. They sit a little proud but are a close representation of the GVT equipment. Accucraft 16mm scale chopper couplings – standard on the Idlenot – complete the car.

Complete, that is, except for the roof. After several failed attempts, a decent approach to the roof was uncovered with much help and consultation with the boys over at the car shops of the nearby Isle of Shoals Tramway and my good wife! First, with much planing and sanding, a block of balsa was shaped to the roof contour. Since this roof was to be permanent, the balsa block was simply glued into place. Next, a sheet of 1/16” aircraft ply, cut a little over sized, was bonded to the balsa with yellow carpenters glue. How was it bent to shape? I remembered a passage in D. A. Boreham’s classic, Narrow Gauge Railway Modeling, where he described mounting a roof on a passenger car. The car is propped over two bits of wood with the car sides aligned with the edges of the boards and then the car is heavily weighted. Next morning you have a perfectly formed roof. All it needs is careful trimming to the proper overhang.

For the finish surface, I was looking for a tarred canvas effect. I settled on some cotton material from an old bed sheet. The most important step is to iron it – it must be wrinkle free. How to bond it to the roof? Shellac! I covered the ply with a thick coat of shellac and then carefully draped the cotton cloth over the wet goop. It helps to cut a diagonal slit in the cloth at each corner so it drapes nicely. When that dried, I applied several more top coats of shellac. The final step was to trim the now stiff cloth with a single edge razor blade right to the edge of the ply. A few coats of variegated blacks and grays give the roof the look of tarred canvas.

The final step was, of course, paint and finish. The GVT cars were painted in what was described as a “holly green”. Actually, there are several descriptions of that color but the paint faded to blue and that gives a good clue as to the shade of green. I settled for Humbrol Acrylic #163 Dark Green with some Humbrol #3 Brunswick Green mixed in to punch it up. I was aiming for the shade of green on the rebuilt GVT coaches over at the Talyllyn Railway. Since this is a freshly shopped car, I brush painted it straight up with only a little weathering. The running gear was given a coat of rusty brown and then attacked with washes of blacks and darkened rust. A final dry brushing of dark rust was applied to the door latches and the many bolt heads.

I tried cutting stencils for the lettering with limited success.

The lettering is reminiscent of the Talyllyn Railway volunteer built tool van which itself is lettered in a style reminiscent of the Cambrian Railways, pre-1922 of course. Mine is not quite that fancy. Its hand painted with white enamel. Okay, I lied. I cut stencils for the “IDL RWY” and sprayed the white but the edges just weren’t crisp enough. I came back with a thin outline in black ink to clean up the edges and fix the line weights. It also gives a little snap to the lettering. But it’s not intended to be shadowing, as such. You shouldn’t really see it. The “No 2” really was hand painted – I couldn’t cut stencils that small and curvy.

A little more dusting and rusting, not much, and a final coat of matte spray completed the car. Hurray! It’s going to earn its living hauling tools and supplies out to the upcoming track work projects.


Delta Lines Memento


Traveled down to Marlboro, Mass., last Saturday to the NMRA Hub Division train show. Haven’t been down in a few years. Spent quite a few hours strolling the aisles and checking out the operating displays.

One fellow had a few O scale pieces for sale and what caught my eye but a Delta Lines caboose! I gave it a good looking over and it seemed genuine. On the bottom was the following tag:

“Orig: Delta Lines caboose by Frank Ellison from M. Philbrice Bridges, Westwood, MA Keystone Canyon R.R. 1981.”

Speaking with the gent I gathered this was his father’s. He did not know anything about Frank Ellison and the Delta Lines being too young and maybe not that interested. He came down to a reasonable price and it was mine.


I remembered that the Delta Lines was sold to someone in the Boston area in the 1950s but was heavily damaged in transit. So it wasn’t surprising to see a piece of rolling stock at a Boston area show. And as far as the provenance of this piece, that’s all I have. I think it’s genuine. It will stay on the display shelf a treasured keepsake of a bygone era.


Here are a couple of brief articles about Frank Ellison:

Wikipedia: Frank Ellison

Frank Ellison and the Delta Lines

Research · Structures

Oh, Well…

My visit to the Peterborough Train Show today yielded a treasure trove of information on the B&M Peterborough branch at Larry Kemp’s extensive display. If you’ve been following the blog, I just finished my rendition of  That Corrugated Shed seen in many photos of Peterborough.

Luckily I had placed it at the back of the scene with its rear facing the aisle because the front of the building was nothing like I had assumed. See the full sized shed in Larry’s HO display below. The prototype looks a little like the Atlas lumber yard kit but with corrugated siding. The front is actually a series of sliding doors for lumber storage bays. The angled loft encloses a veranda to the second story bays. Mine has just a single freight door. Oh well… We all know the real meaning of ASSUME, don’t we?

Larry Kemp’s Peterborough Depot Square circa 1950

Larry Kemp’s Peterborough Depot Square circa 1950. Front side of that corrugated shed.

I have no intention of changing my model. It is what it is. And you can’t see the front from where it is set in the scene. But isn’t that just how it goes!



The Peterborough Train Show

Monica and I took a short drive out to Peterborough today for the Peterborough Train Show. The first person I met at the door was Randy Brown who wrote the article on modeling Peterborough in Model Rail Planning 2000! Much of my research on Peterborough as inspiration for St. George comes from Randy’s excellent article.

See St. George, Vermont 1953

What a pleasure to actually meet the author.

Wayne (l) with Randy Brown (r) at Peterborough Train Show 10Nov18