M&K Sugar Mill -- An Industry for the Triple O

62 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 804 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, May 3, 2020 1:05 AM
Paul & Bill, I did some more "thought modeling" today. A good piece of HardieBacker will serve as the foundation, and, yes, I am going to use pink foam covered in something that looks like corrugated metal. I think the raw material is a wash between beverage cans cut and crimped and pre-fabricated stuff bagged and shipped. The latter will be easier, of course, and dietarily less deleterious! I am going to try and make a carboard mock-up in the coming week or two. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Eric
  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 2,071 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 10:13 AM

Eric, looks like a fun project!! Don't get hung up on scale, you only need to SUGGEST a sugar mill. These structures were massive, visible for miles as you approach. I remember the towering stacks. Every modeler faces how to represent something like this. A steel mill or oil refinery, if built to exact scale, would be huge, even in HO. A few key elements to suggest, and build it undersized!!

Years ago, I wanted to go exact scale 1:20.3. I took HO drawings, and multiplied by 4, which worked out to 1:21.75. Even a branch line station becomes Ginormous!!

Yes, build it undersized, but capture the key elements. I have this issue representing the Swiss Alps, as well !!


  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: Ormond Beach, FL
  • 385 posts
Posted by chocho willy on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 9:36 AM

Eric, looks like you have something there that will keep you busy for a while and I agree hidden details are a lot easier to take care of, Bill

Tags: Sugar
  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 804 posts
M&K Sugar Mill -- An Industry for the Triple O
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 1:53 AM


As promised, I have been "milling" a sugar mill for the fictional M&K Sugar Co.  As fate would have it, by shear dumb luck I discovered "Fowler Locomotives in the Kingdom of Hawaii," Jesse C. Conde, 1993 that had many pictures of these locomotives, Fowler Co. provided track plans for their Hawaiian customers, and even a photo of a railroad I never knew existed to the West of me!  


   These structrues were massive.  The advantage  from a modeling perspective is that they were simple, with the photos on hand basically showing huge, corrugated metal covered buildings and a towering stack.  "Next Stop Honolulu" has short chapters dedicate to  our local mills, and I have to re-read those as well as make a site visit to the surviving structures in Waipahu.  Clearly, a mill would not only be a logical way to anchor the Triple O in time and place, but it would serve as a reason to have any of a number of other facilities - fuel for the mill, service facilities for the locomotives, loading docks for outbound bags of sugar, etc.  In short, the mill would become a focus for that part of the railroad and be the reason other buildings come into being.  Write me in 20 years to see how I am doing!  Big Smile


    Ambitions aside, real space compression will be an issue.  Below are an overhead and "primary viewing angle" of the only possible site for this structure:

There is no room to move the tracks, though the POLA shed could go away.


     In theory, the outermost tracks are the mainline and passing sidings of the Triple O (our analog to the OR&L).  Here, in the town of Pu'u'oma'o, plantation supplies and empty boxcars would go where Diesel Dan is currently sitting with the plantation's snap track.  The mill would sit where those two buildings are (gifts from my very talented father-in-law) and extend over the innermost track where Komaka Iki sits with his string of still-to-be-finished cane cars.  This is where can would be offloaded into the mill.  An indoor transfer facility would obviate the need for internal details, which is OK with me, to include the lift to take the cane up into the mill.


    Clearly, there needs to be some selective compression, and I am going to have to focus on out-buildings that scream "plantation."  I am thinking mill and power plant at a minimum.  I have to canvas the stores once the quarantine lifts, too, to see what sort of material I can readily procure locally that will withstand rot, termintes, blazing sun, etc. I have followed Bill's strategic lead to focus on plastic, well painted, for things I want to last!  I am actually considering a PVC pipe frame, but I am not sure how I would emulate the metal sides beyond drink, cut, crimp, glue, repeat...


    For the moment, this remains a thought project as I wait for the quarantines to lift, but I think it is a necessary, but doable feature.




Search the Community


Get the Garden Railways newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Garden Railways magazine. Please view our privacy policy