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Huge mistake on my model; help needed

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, April 25, 2021 2:42 PM

Elevators are loading structures, not for storage. Out West here you store your grain in "bins" on your property until you get a buyer. Only then can you move your grain to an elevator facility where it is lifted high enough to fill the railroad cars. When the elevators get full you start seeing shiny new galvanized grain bins popping up and even large piles of grain stored on the ground, which is really bad for quality and losses to  vermin.

Ideally, grain passes through an elevator very quickly.

I'd  like to see pictures of the light fixtures  at the top of the elevator, above the bins, in an old wooden elevator....

There's a good sketch in this document:

https://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/hrb/internal_reports/pdfs/Grain_Elevators_study.pdf

 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by BATMAN on Sunday, April 25, 2021 4:58 PM

I have visited a few elevators in the past when traveling across the Western Provinces and I am going from memory of what I learned from those visits most of which were decades ago. When electric light was introduced the lighting was specialized and actually called "grain elevator explosion-proof electric lighting". In Manitoba, I saw the packaging in my Uncle's basement in 1966.

A metal (lead?)pipe (steel conduit in later years) was run up the outside of the elevator and the colour of the light where the distributor was located up top was amber as just like fog lights, amber helps you see through the dust just as fog lights do on cars. The bulbs were specialized and placed inside a sealed glass covers. Sometimes there were also red and green lights at different locations around the elevator, I cannot remember what those colours were for.

Most of my photos are on slides in a box somewhere, but I did take this one about ten years ago that shows the covered bulbs and conduit. Up top, at a different elevator, the setup was the same but with an amber bulb or amber glass cover maybe and the wire ran through old steel pipe threaded at the joints.

 

I am no expert on the subject and yield to anyone that is. 

 

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, April 25, 2021 6:19 PM

ModelTrain

Here is a photo of my progress right now. The elevator is almost completed. I only need to add the ladder 

Grain

 
Your model turned out excellent.  You did a really great job on that Stef.   Nice!
 
 
 
 
TF
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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, April 25, 2021 8:49 PM

Looks perfect.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 25, 2021 9:01 PM

Nicely done Stef!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, April 25, 2021 9:03 PM

BATMAN

I have visited a few elevators in the past when traveling across the Western Provinces and I am going from memory of what I learned from those visits most of which were decades ago. When electric light was introduced the lighting was specialized and actually called "grain elevator explosion-proof electric lighting". In Manitoba, I saw the packaging in my Uncle's basement in 1966.

A metal (lead?)pipe (steel conduit in later years) was run up the outside of the elevator and the colour of the light where the distributor was located up top was amber as just like fog lights, amber helps you see through the dust just as fog lights do on cars. The bulbs were specialized and placed inside a sealed glass covers. Sometimes there were also red and green lights at different locations around the elevator, I cannot remember what those colours were for.

Most of my photos are on slides in a box somewhere, but I did take this one about ten years ago that shows the covered bulbs and conduit. Up top, at a different elevator, the setup was the same but with an amber bulb or amber glass cover maybe and the wire ran through old steel pipe threaded at the joints.

 

I am no expert on the subject and yield to anyone that is. 

 

 

 

I've lived on the Prairies for over 50 years. I've never seen a grain elevator lit at night.

Never. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by BATMAN on Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:32 PM

Lastspikemike
I've lived on the Prairies for over 50 years. I've never seen a grain elevator lit at night.

Me neither. 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:48 PM

I know nothing of grain elevators, but I have worked in hazardous and explosive environments that had electric lighting.

It was specialized hardware, but if you can have electric lighting in a concentration plant, sugar mill, or fertilizer plant, why not a grain elevator?

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:22 PM

SeeYou190

I know nothing of grain elevators, but I have worked in hazardous and explosive environments that had electric lighting.

It was specialized hardware, but if you can have electric lighting in a concentration plant, sugar mill, or fertilizer plant, why not a grain elevator?

-Kevin

 

No doubt some may  have had electric lighting....in the engine house which is a separate building. Not on the top floor.

Bear in mind that most of the rural Prairies had no electricity...at all...until quite late.

http://www.history.alberta.ca/energyheritage/energy/electricity/the-early-history-of-electricity-in-alberta/rural-electrification-in-alberta.aspx

Even the telephone was party line  up to the 1970's.

The Province I live in occupies an area nearly three times the size of the UK. Population of the UK today is around 60 millions, 3 largest cities total about 12 million. My Province? About 4 millions total. We don't even have three largest cities. Total of the two sizeable cities we do have is less than 2 millions. Before WWII the numbers were even less impressive, more like 40:1. Land area unchanged of course. No electric lights in the farmhouses, don't you know. Why try to fit them into a grain elevator? You don't notice one feature of those grain elevator pictures? No power poles. No power poles near any farmsteads neither.

The Walthers model is of a small, very small, local elevator probably of around 1930's era. In era you could fit electric lights but you'd need a generator or more likely an acetylene gas system for lighting. No way anyone would connect electricity or use acetylene gas for lighting an all wooden structure used only in daylight. How are you supposed to grade grain in the dark? Why would a farmer of that era waste any morning daylight by staying up at night? In neighbouring Saskatchewan they don't even bother with daylight saving time, what's to save?

If electricity were available why use 19th century single cylinder ICE for power?  

Alyth Yard

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Posted by BATMAN on Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:49 PM

My earliest ancestors settled in the Swan River Valley in Manitoba in the 1790s. My cousin married a kid off the farm in 1976 from Saskatchewan. In 1969 they were still using horses and wagons to take their grain to the elevator and had no running water or electricity on the farm.  They were probably the last farm in Canada to be operating like that.Laugh

I live a very comfortable life in B.C. but have had plenty of exposure to ranch and farm life. There are no cookie-cutter examples of what things should be like as far as what we model, If the cattle bust a 2" x 8" board in the cattle pen and you grab a 2" x 10" to replace it, so what. Yet if you do that on the layout someone will point out sloppy modeling. "Not all your boards are the same" they will say. 

The same goes for lighting the elevator. All-nighters loading railcars were commonplace at that time of year, just to provide space in the elevator and bins for more incoming grain the next day. City slickers telling how it was done and what was is a none starter.

I have a 4 x 4 F-350 p/u that rarely gets put in 4 wheel drive. I remember my Uncle saying he did not think his truck had ever been taken out of 4 wheel drive from the day he brought it home. Half the time I drove that thing around the ranch I was not even on a dirt path never mind a road. It is another world on the farm and/or ranch and unless you spend time there you are being presumptuous pretending to know what goes on.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, April 26, 2021 1:34 AM

BATMAN
There are no cookie-cutter examples of what things should be like as far as what we model.

That's the truth.

Looking on farms for standardization is a losing venture.

Down here, if you give a farmer an old school bus and a couple tons of angle iron, he can build anything.

I was very surprised to find out that "grove goats" are mostly custom made from used school buses.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Monday, April 26, 2021 8:25 AM

I married into a homesteading family. Unfortunately, the generation that informed me is now gone so I can't ask them. C'est la vie.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, April 26, 2021 9:34 AM

I grew up on a fishing resort.  Somewhat similar to farm life I reckon as there was ALWAYS LOTS of W**K to be done.  One difference between a resort and a farm is hospitality, you have to be nice!

International Falls was 35 miles away.  Our basement and garage were full of things that you think you would need if anything went wrong and something always went wrong! Laugh

If the thing you needed was not there, it wasn't like you could stop what you were doing and run to town.  Not Today!!!  Not with guests running all over the place needing a fishing license, minnows, gas, fish cleaned, pizza or Whatever! Whistling

You taped things back together good enough so to speak until the next time you went to town.  Literally!  

It would get to 40-50° below zero in the winter sometimes (Just see how fast you become an experienced furnace repair guy on a night like that), although you thought you bled all the water lines in the fall under each cabin perfectlySad  Not even close as plumbing was extensive in the spring but some of those didn't show up until your guests were there.  Many-a-times we had those rubber things with the clamps on a pipe to Band-Aid it until the time it could be done right.  Black tape wrapped tight worked for a while if you ran out of clamps. Just one example of the many.

So if someone said to me,  That doesn't look right Track Fiddler.  I'd say "I know", I haven't been to town yet!

Nothing ever looked right anytime all the time.  So if something doesn't look completely right on your layout, don't worry about it, that's the real world! Huh?

 

 

 

TF

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Posted by York1 on Monday, April 26, 2021 10:07 AM

ModelTrain
Question: I was thinking of maybe adding a light, in a few months, in the upper part of the elevator but I don't know if normally we can see lights inside a real elevator like this. What do you think?

There is a wide range of modeling thought here.

Are you aiming for absolute authenticity, or are you making a layout that is what you like but may not be accurate?

If you would like the look of some light coming from the windows, I'd say put it in.  Who cares if it's completely accurate?  You will like it, and that's the important thing.

York1 John       

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Posted by BATMAN on Monday, April 26, 2021 10:21 AM

The distributor was at the top of the elevator and if it got stuck or didn't seat properly usually caused by spilled grain someone would have to go clear it. At busy times the loading could go on all night and if someone had to go up they would need light.

I may be wrong but I think the lights would all be turned on before operation started as a spark is most likely to occur when the switch is flipped. Flipping the switch before things get going means fewer combustibles floating around inside.

So have a light, it works for me.

I just googled explosion-proof grain elevator light and got lots of images. Note the pipe, just as I remember.

single american vintage industrial appleton "unilet" explosion or vapor-proof  grain elevator wall-mount caged light fixture

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, April 26, 2021 10:37 AM

That was a nice find Brent,  I guess that sums up safety lights for grain elevators or other high-risk explosive areas.

I would imagine that amber globe was shatter-resistant or shatterproof even though it had a guard on it.

 

 

TF

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, April 26, 2021 10:12 PM

BATMAN
I just googled explosion-proof grain elevator light and got lots of images. Note the pipe, just as I remember.

When we built the CNG training center in Atlanta, the explosion proof light fixtures in the lab area looked almost exactyly like that. They were about $750.00 each, and looked like something from 1940.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ScenerySheets on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 10:18 AM

I've always been a big fan of lights on layouts - they just seem to add a bit liveliness and dimension. It looks like you've already received some mixed replies about lights on grain elevators specifically. As some pointed out its seems logical that it woud hve some light but the argument about the potential for fire also seems sound. That said, I imagine that somewhere there is probably at least one grain elevator somewhere that's lit up at night. And the ultimate answer is that if it looks right on your layout and in your scene then you should probably go for it. (You can always just not invite any grain farmers over to see the layout.)

Tags: #lighting
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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 11:59 PM

ScenerySheets
I've always been a big fan of lights on layouts - they just seem to add a bit liveliness and dimension. It looks like you've already received some mixed replies about lights on grain elevators specifically. As some pointed out its seems logical that it woud hve some light but the argument about the potential for fire also seems sound. That said, I imagine that somewhere there is probably at least one grain elevator somewhere that's lit up at night. And the ultimate answer is that if it looks right on your layout and in your scene then you should probably go for it. (You can always just not invite any grain farmers over to see the layout.)

Hi Dom,

Very well said!

Welcome to the forums!!   Welcome

 

Stef,

Sometimes some forum members state things in absolute terms that may make the OPs feel as though they are wrong if they do things differently. We shouldn't take those pronouncements to heart. It's your railway. If you want lights in the grain elevator, then put lights in the grain elevator!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 8:59 AM

The OP asked about lighting because the roof was getting glued on.

The OP asked specifically about whether the upper level of the elevator (where the elevating stops and the grain is either delivered directly to the loading spout or to a storage bin) would normally be lit or not. 

My posts were intended to explain why it would not be lit and that any rural and local  grain elevator in operation in Western Canada (along a CN line) could not have been lit by electricity until after about 1950. 

The Walthers model is specifically a rural, local elevator.  Generic it may be but the prototype could not have been connected to electric power. After 1950 a rural Canadian grain elevator could have been lit electrically but would not have been for a number of very good reasons.

I will check with someone who would know having worked on a grain farm at harvest time in Western Canada (though the elevator would be on a CPR stub line) and whose uncle repaired these elevators for a living for over 50 years.  Wish I could just ask him directly. Mind you that roof is now glued on so the OP made his decision. Then again, he's no stranger to removing parts and re-installing them.... 

Sure, you can do whatever suits you on your railroad. But that wasn't the question asked. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by ModelTrain on Friday, May 14, 2021 5:32 AM

Finally, here is the final result and the prototype I tried to model. 

I had lots of difficulties with the decals on this model. I have used Micro-Set and Micro-Sol but they don't seem to stick to the model.

One

Two

Stef

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, May 14, 2021 1:01 PM

You've done a nice job on the weathering, Stef...lights or no lights.  Thumbs UpThumbs Up

Wayne

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Friday, May 14, 2021 3:04 PM

Decalling an uneven surface is very tricky. The decal does not lie down into the grooves or other surface irregularities very easily.

There are stronger decal softeners than Microsol. Tamiya makes a couple of levels of stronger softener for example. 

When softening decals aggressively it's very important not to move or even touch the decal until the softener has dried up.

Also, when placing your model on your layout note where the engine house is relative to the main elevator in that prototype picture. That little flat roofed building is the engine house. These buildings were separated from the grain handling parts of the structures for fire safety reasons. The belt drives from the engine house into the elevator lifting machinery ran under the truck delivery area floor. 

McNab isn't all that far from where I live.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by ModelTrain on Friday, May 14, 2021 8:44 PM

doctorwayne

You've done a nice job on the weathering, Stef...lights or no lights.  Thumbs UpThumbs Up

Wayne

Thank you. I am also happy with the result. A little bit less about the decals.

Lastspikemike

Decalling an uneven surface is very tricky. The decal does not lie down into the grooves or other surface irregularities very easily.

There are stronger decal softeners than Microsol. Tamiya makes a couple of levels of stronger softener for example. 

When softening decals aggressively it's very important not to move or even touch the decal until the softener has dried up.

Also, when placing your model on your layout note where the engine house is relative to the main elevator in that prototype picture. That little flat roofed building is the engine house. These buildings were separated from the grain handling parts of the structures for fire safety reasons. The belt drives from the engine house into the elevator lifting machinery ran under the truck delivery area floor. 

McNab isn't all that far from where I live.

Thanks for the information. I really appreciate.

Stef

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 14, 2021 10:17 PM

doctorwayne
You've done a nice job on the weathering, Stef...

I agree!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 10:48 AM

Your grain elevator model looks great Stef.  I like your weathering job as wellYes

 

 

TF

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