Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Your favorite HO small-footprint industries

3882 views
50 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 823 posts
Your favorite HO small-footprint industries
Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 6:41 PM

I'm nearing the basic completion of my branch line, where the track splits into spurs to serve a number of as-yet-undetermined industries (https://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/p/287927/3406801.aspx#3406801). I need ideas for smallish factories or other operations.

What are your favorites? Kit built? Kitbashed? Scratchbuilt? 3D printed? Pictures please, if possible. EDIT: Oooh, that sounds like I'm asking what you generally prefer. My question is, what specific factories or other items are your faves.

Thanks,

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 13,192 posts
Posted by wjstix on Thursday, May 26, 2022 9:28 AM

For a small-footprint industry, particularly in a small-town/branchline setting, can't do much better than the old wooden grain elevator. Due to it's height, it's kinda impressive, but has a very small footprint. I have a Walthers kitbuilt one (Cornerstone Farmers Cooperative).

https://www.walthers.com/farmers-cooperative-rural-grain-elevator-kit-elevator-8-7-8-x-7-1-4-x-10-quot-23-x-18-x-25cm

 

Stix
  • Member since
    July 2009
  • From: lavale, md
  • 4,243 posts
Posted by gregc on Thursday, May 26, 2022 9:49 AM

tony koester had industries that were inthe aisles, just a spur along the edge of the layout

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 3,003 posts
Posted by NorthBrit on Thursday, May 26, 2022 10:11 AM

Easy.

 

T & J Harrison,  Small Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers

 

 IMG_4877 by David Harrison, on Flickr


Town Tailors,  Smith & Butler's  Printers,   Hey & Humphreys Bottlers  (of ale),  Fairbairn Lawson  Arms Manufacturers,   T & J Harrison Small Arms & Ammunition,  and Hudson Ward Flour Millers  all reside at Leeds Sovereign Street Yard.

 

 IMG_5153 by David Harrison, on Flickr

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
    October 2008
  • From: Canada
  • 1,780 posts
Posted by cv_acr on Thursday, May 26, 2022 10:30 AM

A team track or rail<->truck transfer is about as small-footprint as it's possible to get. It may not even require any sort of structure(s). Just a gravel driveway beside the track.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,318 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, May 26, 2022 11:06 AM

A lumber yard for sure. Every town that I drive through has a siding leading into the local lumber yard. Lumber yards are always fun to detail with loads of plywood, 2x4s, etc.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 2,404 posts
Posted by snjroy on Thursday, May 26, 2022 11:11 AM

I went back to the original thread and I see that you run steam. To me, that means a lot of flexibility as the RRs of the steam era pretty much served anything and everything. For my pyke, I went with industries that reflected my favorite engines and rolling stock: logging, mining and some passenger. That pretty much determined what the branches would look like. I guess another approach would be to pick buildings that look nice from your perspective. Otherwise, you can pretty much put anything as old-time manufacturing could be quite small, from sawmills to small breweries. 

 20211017_104745 on Flickr

 

 DSC_0201  on Flickr

Simon (the brewery is from our local club)

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,899 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 12:14 PM

crossthedog
What are your favorites? Kit built? Kitbashed? Scratchbuilt? 3D printed?

On all of my layouts, all industries were small, much smaller than anything in the real world. The spur gives the operating fun, the building is just a prop.

Allen's Wrenches (or something like that) by Magnuson is my favorite small building. There are actually two small buildings in the box.

I think the VFWD (Victoria Falls Water Department) Pumping Station by Magnuson is my second favorite. The pumping station has a boiler house and smoke stacks and has never been a pumping station. I always say it is a foundry.

-Not my pictures or model

It has a footprint of only 5-1/2 by 4-1/2 inches, but it looks like a real industry. 

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

I salvaged this little building from the layout of a local modeller, and it will be an industry on the next layout. Very small, but it gives me a place to park a couple of freight cars for loading.

-Photograph by Kevin Parson

It is a wood structure. It might be from a craftsman kit, or it could be scratch built. I don't know.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    September 2014
  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
  • 2,019 posts
Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, May 26, 2022 1:57 PM

Hello All,

Not to be facetious, but- -those that their actual footprint on the pike represents a larger industry off pike.

On my 4'x8' pike a kit-bashed Suydam #24; "Wyoming Coal Mine or Bulk Loading Plant" represents the entire mining complex.

The footprint of the kit-bashed structure is approximately 4"x5" but gives the illusion of a much larger unseen industry.

Another thread was about modeling a bulk transfer facility of crude oil.

The OP had extremely limited space.

No need to model the offshore buoys and supertankers that offload their cargo to a tank farm, or the entire tank farm and associated complex piping.

The "wellheads" from the tank farm could be modeled to a single-sided loading platform for the waiting tanker cars.

All in the space between the existing track and the facial.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 20,821 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, May 26, 2022 2:28 PM

I have a small meatpacking plant from Suydam and a background brewery building I built on the aisle, just an inch-deep structure that I had fun creating a shallow interior for, plus a Railway Express office.  These are loosely tied together by some of my transition era rolling stock, ice bunker reefers.  So, on one side of the yard sits an icehouse.  There's a lot of local traffic generated by having to ice the reefers, in addition to load them, before shipping them out.

I have a small team track and a freight house, too.  The footprint of my carfloat dock is small, without the carfloat, although the need for sidings and track to support carfloat operations starts to take up space.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 1,988 posts
Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, May 26, 2022 3:31 PM

My fav small kit is a Walther's trackside oil dealer.  It's perfect for my country layout. The structure is very easy to build also and can operate independently or get attached to a larger related industry.

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • From: Vermont
  • 135 posts
Posted by Ablebakercharlie on Thursday, May 26, 2022 3:58 PM

As a Vermonter I will offer an industry that is fun to model - Dairy.    

I got the Walther's Dairy kit as well as a wooden craft kit of a dairy transfer stand which has a small footprint.  

The cool thing about having dairy as an industry is it gives one an excuse to have express runs on the layout.

- charles

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 13,192 posts
Posted by wjstix on Thursday, May 26, 2022 4:31 PM

Keep in mind, one medium sized industry might look more realistic than two very small ones. Some industries may have separate tracks to receive different types of cars, or separate spotting locations for incoming cars with raw materials and outgoing cars with finished products. A food-related business might have a spur for unloading tank cars and another for unloading boxcars, and ship out it's finished product in reefers.

Stix
  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 823 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Thursday, May 26, 2022 4:32 PM

I have a question or comment for almost every post here, and it will take me a long while to put it together, but for now, thanks to every single one of you. These are all great ideas.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 13,149 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, May 26, 2022 5:22 PM

I have several towns on my layout with team tracks, most of which require little space (no need to model the whole thing, just the interesting parts near the track.)
Here's a few views in Dunnville (where there are also several larger industries)...

...there's another much smaller team track area in South Cayuga...

Elfrida has a team track, too, also not all that large...

...but also includes a small shed for LCL (Less than CarLoad) shipments...

There's also a team track in Mount Forest, again, wedged-in with other industries...

As has been mentioned, a small grain elevator doesn't take-up a lot of space...

...but I had enough room to add-on a small scratchbuilt farm supply store.

In this view of the same grain elevator, there's a small red coal elevator in the left background, along with a small white icehouse....


Since I'm modelling the late '30s, I have similar scratchbuilt ones in most of the smaller on-layout towns.
The coal and ice comes in by train, and is delivered to customers using either trucks or horse-drawn wagons.

Wayne

 

  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: Colorado
  • 4,065 posts
Posted by fwright on Thursday, May 26, 2022 8:13 PM

One of my favorite small industries is a log loading spur.  Log cars are short, generally 32ft.  A spur 2 cars long is fine, since cars have to be moved to the loader one at a time.  In my era, steam donkeys and/or some spar rigging is all it takes.  However, a log loading spur is not scenically compatible with a town.

Fred W

....modeling foggy coastal Oregon, where it's always 1900....

  • Member since
    March 2011
  • 1,655 posts
Posted by NVSRR on Friday, May 27, 2022 11:03 AM

How about the railroad use one spur.    For mow stuff.    New ties old ties, mow equipment loading and storage.   EmergNcy supplies   Etc

 

shane

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 7,387 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Friday, May 27, 2022 11:50 AM

How about a 20' x 20' building that occupies about 2 1/2" in HO that saw numerous car loadings daily and served two tracks.  Here in northern lower Michigan we are known as the cherry capital of the world.  Probably in the late 50's or the 60's the Pere Marquette rr built a fruit transfer building to transfer fruit to refrigerator cars.  It was a metal building that probably replaced some kind of wood structure before my time. Opposite sides had roll up doors at car door bottom height and one side had two truck doors side by side.  The inside probably had just enough room for a fork lift to unload the trucks and place the fruit containers in the cars. The entire building was on a concrete pad about 3' high.  it was torn down in the last five years for some reason but the buiding can still be seen on Google Earth in Williamsburg Michigan.  Just south of old M72 and west of Elk Lake Road.  the tracks appear to be able to have handled 6 to 10 cars easily.  no evidence of a car puller so it was probably switched by a locomotive.

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 823 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Friday, May 27, 2022 12:20 PM

wjstix
For a small-footprint industry, particularly in a small-town/branchline setting, can't do much better than the old wooden grain elevator. Due to it's height, it's kinda impressive, but has a very small footprint.


gregc
tony koester had industries that were inthe aisles, just a spur along the edge of the layout

I am becoming fonder and fonder of the grain elevator idea. Maximum height, minimum footprint. Trying to fit one into a small town will be challenging. Everywhere else on the layout is all curves.

Greg, this again makes me wish I had an around-the-walls layout. There aren't many places along the edges of my layout that are not going to be occupied by something else (yard, branch climb, etc.). But it's an idea I'll save for the next layout.

NorthBrit
Town Tailors, Smith & Butler's Printers, Hey & Humphreys Bottlers (of ale), Fairbairn Lawson Arms Manufacturers, T & J Harrison Small Arms & Ammunition, and Hudson Ward Flour Millers all reside at Leeds Sovereign Street Yard.
David, I wish you would show a photo of that yard from further away so I could see how some of those industries fit in. I especially like the idea of printers and brewers.

cv_acr
A team track or railtruck transfer is about as small-footprint as it's possible to get. It may not even require any sort of structure(s). Just a gravel driveway beside the track.
Chris, yes, I was originally planning to have one of the tracks be a team track and may still do that. Great idea.

richhotrain
A lumber yard for sure. Every town that I drive through has a siding leading into the local lumber yard. Lumber yards are always fun to detail with loads of plywood, 2x4s, etc.
Rich, I have a spot on the layout where I envision a lumberyard. It's the "northernmost" of the green lines in my original plan (https://bythedarkofthemoon.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/img_7692-e1619567342627.jpg). It would be a spur on the north side of the river, and it would fit inside the curve of the siding at the top of the layout. What I am learning is that things take up much more room in reality than they do in planning, especially if turnouts are involved, so I'm not sure what will fit, but yes, great idea and there is a dedicates space for the Priest River Lumber Co.

snjroy
I went back to the original thread and I see that you run steam. To me, that means a lot of flexibility as the RRs of the steam era pretty much served anything and everything. For my pyke, I went with industries that reflected my favorite engines and rolling stock: logging, mining and some passenger. That pretty much determined what the branches would look like. I guess another approach would be to pick buildings that look nice from your perspective. Otherwise, you can pretty much put anything as old-time manufacturing could be quite small, from sawmills to small breweries.
Simon, my layout is steam AND early diesel. In fact I really push the limits, because I'm using my old childhood Roundhouse Atlantic 4-4-2 alongside an SP&S "broadstripe" RS-3, which wouldn't have been. SP&S had old Atlantics from parent GN, but not past 1954, I think, and their diesels didn't have the yellow broadstripe until after 1960. And besides that, the Atlantic I have is based on a Santa Fe prototype, much different from what the Great Northern had. Nice pictures. Funny you mention passenger trains and logging/mining; originally I wanted to have a logging operation, but I couldn't ever see affording a Shay or Climax engine, so I forewent the logging idea, and while I have traditionally had zero interest in passenger trains, once I learned that my Atlantic was historically a passenger train engine built for speed I started wanting to get a few pax cars. I'm glad I went with 24" minimum curves on the mainline. I now have a nice mix of baggage and mail cars and SP&S, GN and NP coaches, which was prototypical for SP&S.

SeeYou190
I salvaged this little building from the layout of a local modeller, and it will be an industry on the next layout. Very small, but it gives me a place to park a couple of freight cars for loading.
Kevin, thank you for the specific model recommendations and the photos. This is very helpful. I really like that pumping station and found several for sale. Your little salvaged freight shack is a charmer.

jjdamnit
The footprint of the kit-bashed structure is approximately 4"x5" but gives the illusion of a much larger unseen industry. Another thread was about modeling a bulk transfer facility of crude oil. The OP had extremely limited space. No need to model the offshore buoys and supertankers that offload their cargo to a tank farm, or the entire tank farm and associated complex piping. The "wellheads" from the tank farm could be modeled to a single-sided loading platform for the waiting tanker cars. All in the space between the existing track and the facia
JJ, I think I remember that post, and I found it very interesting. I may avail myself of some similar "implied" elements, where what's on the layout suggests more than is visible. In particular, I think I'm going to put a stock pen in one corner. I'd love to have room for rolling pastures, but I don't. Most of the interior of my layout will be town/city, and then there's the yard, and the branch line between them traverses mountain terrain. But I can infer pastures on the edge of town.

Wow. So many great ideas here, and they're still rolling in. I think I'll have to respond to the rest in a second post, but this will do for Part I.

Cheers,
-Matt 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,899 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 27, 2022 12:54 PM

crossthedog
I really like that pumping station and found several for sale.

It is not a difficult kit to find, but prices can be all over the place. You should be able to get one for about 40.00 total if you are lucky and/or patient.

It is a resin kit, so all you get are the walls and the chimneys in the box. You will need to add an interior if wanted.

I have built this kit twice, and I have a third one for the next layout.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 823 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Friday, May 27, 2022 1:37 PM

MisterBeasley

I have a small meatpacking plant from Suydam and a background brewery building I built on the aisle, just an inch-deep structure that I had fun creating a shallow interior for, plus a Railway Express office.  These are loosely tied together by some of my transition era rolling stock, ice bunker reefers.  So, on one side of the yard sits an icehouse.  There's a lot of local traffic generated by having to ice the reefers, in addition to load them, before shipping them out.

I have a small team track and a freight house, too.

Mr. B., is that the Swift meat packing plant? Also, which icehouse? I would love to see photos. I hadn't considered an icehouse, but I have a lot of reefers, so I'm interested in your comment that the icehouse generates a lot of traffic. The whole idea of having one-inch-wide building facades against a backdrop seems like a very space-efficient thing to me, and it's one of the reasons why I am convinced that an around-the-walls layout is best. There are literally zero sections of straight track on my layout that are against a wall. The only places for switching industry spurs are these few pieces of track in the town, but they run perpendicular to the wall at the back, not alongside it. The only other straights on my layout are in the yard, on a narrowly constricted section of mainline, and part of a steep branch grade, none of which places will accommodate a large factory side.

kasskaboose
My fav small kit is a Walther's trackside oil dealer. It's perfect for my country layout. The structure is very easy to build also and can operate independently or get attached to a larger related industry.
kass, thanks for the suggestion. I've seen this. And I suppose it could go closer to town if it's what I'm thinking of.

Ablebakercharlie
As a Vermonter I will offer an industry that is fun to model - Dairy. I got the Walther's Dairy kit as well as a wooden craft kit of a dairy transfer stand which has a small footprint. The cool thing about having dairy as an industry is it gives one an excuse to have express runs on the layout.
Yes! I definitely want to have a milk train. I know bubkes about them, so I need to study up a bit to figure out how those worked, where they stopped, where they loaded, unloaded. Do you have the Brook Hill kit? And could you show us the transfer stand?

wjstix
Keep in mind, one medium sized industry might look more realistic than two very small ones. Some industries may have separate tracks to receive different types of cars, or separate spotting locations for incoming cars with raw materials and outgoing cars with finished products. A food-related business might have a spur for unloading tank cars and another for unloading boxcars, and ship out it's finished product in reefers.
Stix, I've been thinking about this. What you're really pointing to is how many different types of cars a bloke can shuffle in and out of a property, and while I will need to put smaller industries in most places, there just one or two spots where I could have a single medium-large factory between two of my tracks, with as you say different car types loaded and unloaded on each track, or even at different spots along the same spur. I think this mix will serve me well, having one or two bigger items while staying within my overall "space budget".

 
doctorwayne
I have several towns on my layout with team tracks, most of which require little space (no need to model the whole thing, just the interesting parts near the track.) Here's a few views in Dunnville (where there are also several larger industries)...
Wayne, thanks, I knew I could count on you for some eye-candy. Always inspiring to see your work. I like how you've tucked team tracks into some pretty narrow spaces. It seems to me that several of your team track platforms are accompanied by a nearby boom sort of thing, the black crane that crosses over the track like a signal tower but which I assume is some kind of unloader. Why are those structures so often near your team track? Your comment about coal and ice coming in by train made me recognize a hole in my knowledge that has existed for better than 45 years, and that is, how does coal get up into a coaling tower? I have the Alexander coaling tower, and it never occurred to me until just now to wonder. Does it get elevated the same way grain does? It seems like this would be difficult, since coal is so much more coarse.

fwright
One of my favorite small industries is a log loading spur. Log cars are short, generally 32ft. A spur 2 cars long is fine, since cars have to be moved to the loader one at a time. In my era, steam donkeys and/or some spar rigging is all it takes. However, a log loading spur is not scenically compatible with a town. Fred W
Fred, even though my current layout will not have logging, my brother in Alaska, who is watching my progress with salivating envy, hopes to put a steam-era logging operation up someday, and so I keep my eye out for ideas to encourage him and get him planning. I'd love to see what your logging operation looks like and what you have for a boom. I'd like to have room to model this:  https://bythedarkofthemoon.files.wordpress.com/2022/03/boom.jpg, which believe it or not, someone actually manufactured in HO at one time.

NVSRR
How about the railroad use one spur. For mow stuff. New ties old ties, mow equipment loading and storage. EmergNcy supplies Etc
Shane. You're hired. I like this idea. Not sure how much track I can spare, but I actually have an SP&S sawdust car, a hopper (or is it a gon?) with wooden slats added to increase capacity. Also I've been outbid on a ballast car more than once, but I'll find one in my budget, you just watch. My yard has three long tracks and a small fourth that isn't very useful, which might be perfect for MOW equipment. It's tucked up pretty tight against a hill, though. We'll see. Thanks for the idea.

ndbprr
How about a 20' x 20' building that occupies about 2 1/2" in HO that saw numerous car loadings daily and served two tracks. Here in northern lower Michigan we are known as the cherry capital of the world. Probably in the late 50's or the 60's the Pere Marquette rr built a fruit transfer building to transfer fruit to refrigerator cars. It was a metal building that probably replaced some kind of wood structure before my time. Opposite sides had roll up doors at car door bottom height and one side had two truck doors side by side. The inside probably had just enough room for a fork lift to unload the trucks and place the fruit containers in the cars. The entire building was on a concrete pad about 3' high. it was torn down in the last five years for some reason but the buiding can still be seen on Google Earth in Williamsburg Michigan. Just south of old M72 and west of Elk Lake Road. the tracks appear to be able to have handled 6 to 10 cars easily. no evidence of a car puller so it was probably switched by a locomotive.
Oh you whose avatar name I cannot pronounce, this is a very nice idea. I found it right away. The current (or rather recent) structure is too modern for my era, but the idea is brilliant. You said it serves two tracks; there must have been another turnout at one time, because the mainline isn't close enough to the structure to have been served by this building. But even if it were just along ONE track, like Kevin's little depot above, this is still a very useful idea. I'd be curious what the earlier structure might have looked like. I might do a little googling and see if I can find it.

SeeYou190
It is not a difficult kit to find, but prices can be all over the place. You should be able to get one for about 40.00 total if you are lucky and/or patient.
. I'm very patient. And often lucky. 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 3,003 posts
Posted by NorthBrit on Friday, May 27, 2022 2:58 PM

crossthedog

 

 
NorthBrit
Town Tailors, Smith & Butler's Printers, Hey & Humphreys Bottlers (of ale), Fairbairn Lawson Arms Manufacturers, T & J Harrison Small Arms & Ammunition, and Hudson Ward Flour Millers all reside at Leeds Sovereign Street Yard.

David, I wish you would show a photo of that yard from further away so I could see how some of those industries fit in. I especially like the idea of printers and brewers.
Cheers,

-Matt 

 

 

Matt.  Left side from the top -  T&J Harrison  and Hudson Ward.    Right side from the top  - Town Tailors,   Smith & Butlers Printers,   Hey & Humphyeys,  Fairbairn Lawson.    The whole lot in a space less than  3ft by 1 foot.  OO/HO Gauge.

 

David

 IMG_2217 by David Harrison, on Flickr

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 823 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Friday, May 27, 2022 3:19 PM

@David, thanks for the extra photo. Looking at it with the others I can now see how it all fits together. Very nice. I suppose you have to switch out a car now and then that's in the way of one of the other industries on the same track, since you have several on each side of the fork, and then spot it back where it was? Is that a thing? I guess it would have to be. EDIT: I will have an almost identical trackage scenario. My cars are longer so I could not include as many businesses, but I could possibly do something similar.

-Matt

 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 2,227 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Friday, May 27, 2022 4:15 PM

I have quite a few on both my mainline and branchline. Several small freighthouses. A fuel oil depot. An auto parts warehouse. A creamery. Near the backdrop I have a number represented by low relief structures. A beverage bottler. A candy and tobacco distributor. A plumbing supply warehouse. It's easy to find generic structures to represent industries such as these. DPM is a good place to start. 

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,899 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 27, 2022 4:28 PM

kasskaboose
My fav small kit is a Walther's trackside oil dealer. 

I don't know if this is the one you meant, but Walthers McGraw Oil Company has a very small footprint.

-Walthers Image

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,318 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, May 27, 2022 4:34 PM

SeeYou190
 
kasskaboose
My fav small kit is a Walther's trackside oil dealer.  

I don't know if this is the one you meant, but Walthers McGraw Oil Company has a very small footprint.

-Walthers Image

-Kevin 

I built that kit and made it a trackside set of structures. Those are very tiny shacks and take up very little space.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 13,149 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, May 27, 2022 5:13 PM

crossthedog
It seems to me that several of your team track platforms are accompanied by a nearby boom sort of thing, the black crane that crosses over the track like a signal tower but which I assume is some kind of unloader. Why are those structures so often near your team track? Your comment about coal and ice coming in by train made me recognize a hole in my knowledge that has existed for better than 45 years, and that is, how does coal get up into a coaling tower? I have the Alexander coaling tower, and it never occurred to me until just now to wonder. Does it get elevated the same way grain does? It seems like this would be difficult, since coal is so much more coarse.

The small overhead cranes  (from Kibri, or Faller, I think) are for loading or unloading large items onto trucks.  The crane itself is stationary, but the trolley is moveable.

At some time in the past, there were coal mines in Canada, but most were quite a distance from my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario.
Hamilton, from the late 1900s was an industrial city, with two large steel producers and lots of industrial manufacturing.
While I'm not modelling the city, I've named several small towns on the layout for actual places, but none of them are intended to replicate the real ones.

In the early 1900s, the TH&B (Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Rwy.) had 1500 65 ton hoppers built by National Steel Car (also in Hamilton).
Those cars were hauled to Port Maitland on the north shore of Lake Erie (not all at the same time, of course), then loaded on a lake boat and sent to Ashtabula, Ohio, where they were loaded with coal.
The loaded cars were then put back on the boat, and back to TH&B track for a trip to the steel mills (and local coal dealerships, when home heating was generally from coal-fired furnaces.
I decide to add the coal dealers' scratchbuilt coal elevators in each town, rather than trying to model the steel industry, as my layout room is only 560 square feet (the steel plant were I worked was over 1,000 aces).

I figured that servicing the heating industry would provide lots of operations, and decided to add ice delivery, too...(I'm modelling the late '30s, a time when many rural towns didn't necessarily have easy access to electricity, so there were coal furnaces and ice boxes rather than refrigerators.
To that end, I created the Hoffentoth Bros. Ice, a plant that cut and stored winter ice from Lake Erie, then shipped it out to some of the surrounding small towns year-round.  Here's the track-side of the factory in Lowbanks...

...and a couple of other views...

The coal dealerships, along with the smaller icehouses, are in most of the on-layout towns...

The Brothers also run a facility for reefer icing, useful for the local farms growing and shipping fruit and vegetables....(some structures take-up much more space)

While there are no local competitors for the ice business, there are a couple for the coal and fuel companies, such as Creechans Fine Fuels (named for a friend)...

Here's a photo provided by Leon Hoffentoth..."That there's Cletus, lookin' all smug and important, and showin'-off his new fangled wrist watch thinga-ma-jig, while I'm the good-lookin' one on the right. (I believe that the intended photo may not be allowed.)

Here's the cover over over the dump-pit for the small coal dealerships...

...the covers are removed, then the hopper car is spotted over the pit, with one set of hopper gates opened at-a-time.  The hopper car is then manually re-spotted (using a prybar against the wheels).

Most of the coal bins have the elevator side of the structure facing the viewer (and the track, of course), but I built one with the outlet chutes (for loading trucks or wagons) facing the layout's aisleway...

There are also two coaling towers on the layout...this one is a modified one from Walthers (just small enough to fit into the close quarters available)...

...and a much larger one from Tichy....

Most of my other industrial sites have structures somewhat suitably-sized, but like many other layouts, there's never enough room for really big ones.

Here's a quick view of part of Dunnville....

I'll try, later, to add some other photos of largish manufacturing companies, even though most are miniscule compared to the real ones which inspired them.

Wayne

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 823 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Friday, May 27, 2022 5:47 PM

John-NYBW
A candy and tobacco distributor.

Candy and tobacco together. Ah, those were the days.

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 823 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Friday, May 27, 2022 5:52 PM

doctorwayne
The small overhead cranes (from Kibri, or Faller, I think) are for loading or unloading large items onto trucks. The crane itself is stationary, but the trolley is moveable.

Wayne, thanks for that info. I think I could easily fit a team track ramp and one of those puppies on one end of one of my town tracks.

Hey, if you ever invite me over to visit your layout, and then afterwards you notice that that passenger depot next to Hoffentoth Bros. is missing, and then you happen to recall that I was acting shifty and had a large angular bulge under my jacket as I was leaving... well...that's just a really fine looking train station, is all I'm sayin.

-Matt

 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,318 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, May 27, 2022 6:01 PM

crossthedog


 

 
doctorwayne
The small overhead cranes (from Kibri, or Faller, I think) are for loading or unloading large items onto trucks. The crane itself is stationary, but the trolley is moveable.

 

Wayne, thanks for that info. I think I could easily fit a team track ramp and one of those puppies on one end of one of my town tracks.

 

Hey, if you ever invite me over to visit your layout, and then afterwards you notice that that passenger depot next to Hoffentoth Bros. is missing, and then you happen to recall that I was acting shifty and had a large angular bulge under my jacket as I was leaving... well...that's just a really fine looking train station, is all I'm sayin.

-Matt

 

 

Matt, if you do that, do me a favor and grab Bertram's while you're at it. I will make it worth your while.

Rich

Alton Junction

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!