Monday, March 7, 2011

Planning the Essex Junction Trainshed

I managed to mess up my back during the weekend so I have not been able to work on the layout – I simply can’t stand for very long or hunch over anything. Luckily, today it feels better than it did yesterday and far better than on Saturday.
Since I can’t really work on finishing up the track work in Waterbury, and daytime television isn’t worth anything I decided to round up some photos of the Essex Junction trainshed. I have a lot of information on Essex Junction, but it’s scattered in numerous binders, books, and file folders. It was time to put it together in one “Essex Junction” reference binder. Included with this post are a few pictures of the shed.
When it was built (sometime just before the Civil War) the shed looked like three tunnel portals, side by side. 

Over time as engines and cars got larger the shed portals were too small, so they were removed by the late 1880s and replaced by a wood gable ends that spanned all three tracks (when the B&L line was abandoned in the late 1930s, the third track – actually Track One – was removed leaving two tracks that ran through the shed. Here’s the way I’m going to model it (top photo is looking north, bottom photo is looking south):

This is going to be one of those signature projects on the layout – it has to be done “right” since it’s such a critical element of the scene.
You can see lots of details on Essex Junction in my article that appeared in Model Railroad Planning 1998. I also wrote another article on Essex Junction, this one including plans of the station and trainshed drawn by my good friend Laz Scangus, in the February 1993 Mainline Modeler.
I’ve built an N scale model of the trainshed before (it appears in the MRP 1998 article). But for this HO scale model I want to take it a step further and include the ceiling truss work as well as some interior lighting. Mostly, I want to be able to recreate some of the photos shown here, taken inside the shed.

There is also the practical aspect of coupling and uncoupling cars inside the trainshed. Do I make the entire roof removable (for operating sessions we’d take the roof off) or add an opening in the roof – similar to what Jack Burgess did with his model of the Yosemite Valley’s El Portal station?
Perhaps what I need to do is leave one side wall removable, perhaps held in place with magnets. That way, if I want to shoot a picture from inside the shed I can take that sidewall off and get the camera lens “inside” the building.
I plan to build the shed almost exclusively from styrene. Once I figure out how the roof trusses were constructed I’ll draw them up and we’ll see if they can be cut on Bernie Kempinski’s laser.

1 comment:

CVSNE said...

We'll certainly try. Thanks for the feedback! - Marty