Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Odds and Ends

The far siding is for the Stockton Agricultural plant while the middle one is for the future Standard Oil distribution center. A copper smelter will occupy the area adjacent to the ore cars. The cars themselves were built after similar cars used by the Virginia & Truckee Railroad for hauling ore.
When I am waiting for parts to arrive, I generally find some smaller projects to myself busy. That is what has happened over the past few weeks. Over in the Stockton area, there were three rail-served industries that had not had track laid to them, mainly because I hadn't decided just how the structures would be arranged.
   The first industry was the Stockton Agricultural and Manufacturing Company. The prototype made all sorts of things from plows to harvesters to steam traction engines. It was a large complex occupying several buildings. There was no way I could accommodate all of the buildings so I had to selectively compress what was there. Using an 1895 Sanborn insurance map, I decided which ones best represented the buildings and laid them out on the plywood sub-roadbed. This location pretty much defined where the Standard Oil Distribution facility would go. The only problem left was where to put the copper smelter.
    Stockton, in the 1890s, did not have a copper smelter. Any ore sent down from Copperopolis was shipped to smelters outside of California. The trouble (for me) was that I had a nice set of 4-wheel ore jimmies that I wanted to use. The only logical way to use them was to carry the ore to a smelter and the only logical place for that smelter was in Stockton. After evaluating every other option I could think of, I decided to install a diamond crossing in the siding tracks. Since the siding that would be crossed was on a curve, a special diamond needed to be built. I laid out the curve simply by taping a piece of paper over the track and making a rubbing of the rails on the paper. The location of the other track was marked in the same way. Using that as a guide, I soldered up the diamond on PC board ties. It was not as difficult as I had thought it might be. The resulting siding is just long enough to hold the string of empty ore cars as well as the full ones which will replace them.
The Canfield-McGlone kit is a good model of the prototype and is easy to assemble. Note the end doors.
Another of the small projects was assembling a kit of a car I had been wanting to build for several years. Photos of the Standard Wagon Co. car of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad have been around for years. Irv Schulz, Clover House, Art Griffin and even MDC had made cars or lettering sets for it. A couple of years ago, John Canfield and Bob McGlone developed a kit for the car which simplified my work immensely. 
The prototype car was built without air brakes and is pictured here around 1890.
The car is interesting in that it was built on an old flat car. The stake pockets are clearly visible along the bottom of the car. The car siding is horizontal which is consistent with it being attached to long vertical stakes. The Official Railway Equipment Registers specifically call out this car as being only for buggies (i.e. relatively light loads) and should not be loaded with heavy freight. The end doors make it interesting. They were typical for carriage and buggy cars. Maybe I will have to build some end platforms on my team tracks.
   Unfortunately, the car kits were a limited run and are no longer available. They should not be too hard to build, however, using the information from the ORER and the photo.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Another Town Finished and a Long Caboose

An overview of Burnett's with the corral, general store and warehouses.
The scenicking around Burnett's is pretty much complete now. There are still some vehicles and figures which need to be added but I'm happy with how things turned out. The Gilmer & Martin Warehouse is for grain and is a big shipper for the railroad while the Golden State Box Company turns out crates for the area's fruit and produce packaging industry.
The Gilmer & Martin warehouse is to the left while the depot and storage room
are at the right.
The G&M building is scratchbuilt based on plans found in SP station plats plus some insurance diagrams (no photos found yet). The GS Box building is a Walthers shed to which I added a platform and did some weathering so it would like a little unkempt. The interesting part of the area is that it was not an agency station but it had both a depot building and a storage facility. These are modeled full size. In 1871, the depot building was a saloon but, by 1895, it was a depot so I modeled an enclosed waiting room. The other building was called a barn or just storage. Again, no photos of either so I put together a sort of baggage/storage building and painted it the railroad's color scheme.
Looking down the county road into the crossroads of Burnett's shows the general store plus the grain warehouse.
The stock pens were also there so I used a Walthers stockyard kit to make these. Some day, I'm going to have to build up some stock cars. Ziegenhorn's General Merchandise stores rounds out the crossroads area. I may yet add a local blacksmith shop but I need to do some other things first.
The S&C's Long Caboose could seat around 32 people plus the train crew so it could take a load off a regular passenger train.
While waiting for things to dry, I started a project I had been looking forward to: a Central Pacific Long Caboose. While some folks would call it a drovers' caboose, the CP just labeled it a "long caboose" so that is what the S&C will call it as well. It was obviously designed to carry a few passengers so I may have to convert one of my trains into a mixed. Drawings show the car as being 52 feet long over the end beams. My car was scratchbuilt using styrene with Grandt Line windows. The trucks were an odd size (6-ft. wheelbase) but I found just what I needed on the Shapeways site.
   What's next? Well, Burnett's was a flag stop but just exactly how did a prospective passenger flag a train? It turns out that several companies made small signals just for this purpose and that will be my next project.