Sanborn Maps

I’m involved with the Dixie Model Railroad Club here in Nashville and have an assignment to build the Tennessee Egg Company structure that sat along the railroad in Chattanooga, TN. Other than a few aerial images, the main document at hand to build this structure is a Sanborn Fire Insurance Map. These are very good resources of structures in communities served by railroads, many of them being commercial industries along the right of way. Click on any image here to review a larger size.

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New Discoveries

B&O Freight House, Wheeling, W. Va. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HAER WVA, 35-WHEEL, 4
B&O Freight House, Wheeling, W. Va.
Image from the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HAER WVA, 35-WHEEL, 4

Recent Internet searches have led me to a new string of customers that were served by the Wheeling Freight Terminal. It seems wrong to call these the product of a search as I actually just stumbled into related details. Note the tall buildings in the background of the image above. These structures constituted a block that all had docks along the tail track that accessed the team yard. I had wondered about these buildings before, but there was little info at hand when the layout was being designed in 2012. Click on any image here to review a larger size.

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Scratchbuilding a Shed

A mostly completed end wall.
A mostly completed end wall.

Building models using a minimum of commercial parts or set directions is often referred to as scratchbuilding. Anyone who is building a model railroad that closely follows a specific prototype location will need to scratchbuild a number of structures to capture the look and feel of the real place. In some cases, commercial models can be modified and altered to represent an actual structure but those instances are infrequent. Scratchbuilding has challenged many model railroaders over the years. The fear of failing or messing up a project inhibits many modelers. I think all model railroaders should attempt at least one scratchbuilt structure. I recently finished two small buildings and learned new skills in the process. Click on any image here to review a large size. Let’s take a look at one of these projects.

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