Saturday, January 9, 2021

The new engine facility in Biddle

Work is still continuing on the new yard.
To recap, this is the stage where I'm at to date.

The other night I started playing around with the facility, laying in some styrene sections for concrete pads. No matter how I laid them out I always felt that it looked too modern for what I was trying to portray.

My first thought was to have just the pads and no shed or buildings around, but again, it always looked too modern whenever I'd stepped back to get an overall view. So the other night after feeling stumped, I decided to go to Google and see if I could find something that had the right flavor for me.

Keep in mind this nothing but an open staging yard. But I've decided to smear a little lipstick on the pig to see if I could make it a bit more presentable.

As far as operations go, there won't be much happening in the yard. Everything will be pre-staged before a session begins and the crew will grab a consist and attach them
to the staged trains on one of the first two tracks. The closest thing to yard work might be having the crew or a switch crew grab a caboose and tack it on the end of the train before it leaves the yard.

Simple and basic.
Just enough yard work to give it the feel of something railroady.

The same goes for the engine facility as well, simple and basic, you might even say that it's only purpose is for esthetics. So after looking on Google images for engine facilities, I came across images of Mike Confalone's Madrid yard facility and it really caught my eye.

It was simple, basic and practical. The first thing I noticed was the lack of concrete pads other than what the fuel racks and sand tower were mounted on. All of the track was right on the ground and not surrounded by concrete. The only thing I didn't favor was the two track engine shed as it was just a little more than what I wanted.

So I started looking around for a small shed, something in brick. Pike Stuff makes some awesome kits, but I've already used a lot of their stuff and didn't want to that look everywhere.

So I started chatting with a few friends about this, one said a small single stall shed, the other said an open air shed?
I kind of wanted something in brick since a lot of the old buildings in Biddle yard were brick.

While looking for what they suggested, I stumbled across a kit that I thought might fit the bill. The Walthers Northern Light & Power kit, it was brick and older, but I didn't like the Art Deco era look, then I found this kit which I happened
to have one in my stash.

It was brick, not too old and not too modern and it looked like it would fit the area nicely without dominating the scene.
So I started playing around with it and started throwing the idea back at my friends to see what they had to say.

This is what I came up with. Note I removed some of the tracks with my image editor to get a better feel of what it would look like.
Left to Right: Fuel/Ready track, switcher pocket, house/service track and finally a caboose track.
The industrial lead is still up in the air, but I will probably give it another bend so it kind of parallels the facility area more or less.

The backstory on this area (I always like to have plausibility or is it OCD) is this is all that's left of a once larger shop.

The industrial lead used to lead into a roundhouse and more loco facilities and car repair shops, but that has all since been removed (in reality all the buildings survived until shutdown)
I'm modeling in the last few years of The Rock, so this place isn't as bustling as it once was. I can't say for certain that this will be the final rendition, but I'm thinking it will be close.

Once the turnout arrives I'll get the house track re-laid and add the caboose track.

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