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It’s never too late: Adding an industry to a layout


The lumber company (above) consists of a tiny office and a longer lumber shed. The hand car shed was relocated to the op-


largely to the steady introduction of 1940/50’s era cars and trucks from Classic Metal Works. I have also imple- mented a new operating system (RMC, October, 2011). In this case, however, I managed to add a new industry by “shoehorning” it into an underutilized space in the Brookview industrial area adjacent to the west end of the yard. The inspiration for this came from an article in–believe it or not–the January, 1941, issue of Model Builder magazine. The article was entitled, “Building Materials Company–Build this Model Retail Lumber Yard,” au- thored by none other than the leg- endary Frank Ellison, and written in his usual folksy style. It had been lan- guishing in my “To Do” project file (I suspect most of us have those) for many, many years, but it didn’t make the initial cut of industries when the layout was built (see RMC, September, 2000). I was always enamored by the structure and had taken the article out and tried several times to find a place for it, to no avail. Then one day the light (LED?) went


on. A small area opposite the Valley Coal dealership located at the western end of Brookview Yard would work if I moved the small hand car shed to the opposite end of the yard, adjacent to the yard office and crew quarters, which ac- tually makes more sense from a proto- type standpoint. The billboard and vehi- cles were moved elsewhere, and with a few careful motions of a putty knife, the shed was removed and installed at the opposite end of yard. The original article was written pri-


72 SEPTEMBER 2012


posite end of Brookview Yard to a location that made more proto- type sense (below). It is now situated next to the yard office.


marily for “O gaugers” using a space about 12″×16″, but I scaled it down for HO to about half that, although the structure could be extended beyond that if space is available. Both the tiny office and lumber shed were scratch- built from Northeastern wood on hand, using additional lengths of stripwood to represent lumber stored in the shed along with a few crates and piles of cardstock cut to 4′×8′ to represent stacks of plywood and drywall.


In-


stalled on the layout, it shares the sid- ing with the coal bunker and has its own small parking lot and truck load- ing area, and it will be added as an in- dustry to the operating system.


The structure could be built from


styrene, or the Atlas lumber dealer kit, which takes up about the same space, could be used instead, but I enjoy scratchbuilding, and I prefer wood to represent wood. However, the point of this article– and a few others to come–is not just about adding a lumber dealer, but rather allowing the creative juices to flow, even for a “finished” layout, to find ways to improve it, and in this case to expand both its realism and its operational capabilities. Just keep your mind open to the pos- sibilities, and the lights will come on. Your railroad will be better for it.


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