fictitious QA&P West TX layout agriculture industry

Discussion in 'Freelance' started by skyraider, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Still got a little ways to go, but this afternoon I built a couple of pallets, added a few barrels and planted some weeds. It needs a little more clutter, but at least now it doesn't look quite so spartan. IMG_3932.JPG
  2. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    The MP team track back home was buried in a gravel parking lot and just ended in the gravel, no wheel stops. I’ve tried to capture the feel here.

    PS: look at the hotel windows. They started out as very fat muntin 6 over 6 windows. The house I grew up in had 3 over 1 windows like the hotel.

  3. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Well, on the model at least, when a kid hits one out of the park, he really hits it out of the park.

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  4. Gabriel G.

    Gabriel G. Member


    You've managed to capture the feel of West Texas in HO Scale. I especially love the detail you've put into your structures. They look amazing.

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  5. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    It’s all that open space. Wish I had room to do it.
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  6. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Thanks, Gabriel. For me, model railroading is about trains and history. It's fun trying to recreate the history and feel of the area you are modeling--making a tribute to the people and industry that settled and built the area. Here, that's agriculture, oil, ranching, and railroading. Silly as it sounds, I seldom run trains. Building stuff is what's fun for me.

    Have fun on the forum!!
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  7. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Hi Patrick. When we moved to Texas, one of the priorities was a house--or outbuilding--with space for a decent layout. There's a solid old cinder block building on our property that's 25' X 35'. That was originally going to be the layout room. But by the time I figured out how much money it was going to cost to seal it against dust, air condition it, finish the interior, etc., we decided to just leave it as the equipment shed and turn the back room into the layout room.

    We moved Joyce's craft room into what was the master bedroom (20' X 26'--why would you want that much space in a bedroom?), moved the master bedroom to a smaller but still decent master suite, and turned the craft room into the layout room (20' X 20' with an adjoining 15' X 8 walking closet where the staging yard will be).

    The layout design ended up being an around the wall style layout with a peninsula in the center of the room. The problem with that is that there will be two liftouts. They will be designed so that they will work flawlessly be light enough to be easily remove and replaced. But you're right--the space is nice. Frankly, anything larger than the layout I'm now building would be a pain to maintain.

    Have a great weekend,

    Paul Moore
  8. Gabriel G.

    Gabriel G. Member

    As someone with an interest in both railroad history and history more broadly, I totally understand where you are coming from. :) I have whole notebooks filled with little details for future use about all sorts of topics I've researched at one point or another.
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  9. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    I’ve lived in the same house for 40 years. I was not model railroading at the time so layout space was not a consideration.

    But now, after retirement and no further need to be near where the employment had been, a move may well be in the future. And believe me, a decent layout space WILL be top priority!
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  10. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Yesterday I nearly finished the benchwork for the next section of the layout. It will be mostly scenery, but there's one small town. There's a place where I might add a siding off of one of the sidings in the tiny town. Attached is the track plan. The potential siding is on the far left indicated by a red line.

    What kind of industry needs to be out of town other than a feedlot or fertilizer factory? We've already got a small feedlot with loading chute. Don't know that I want a fertilizer factory, but it might be an option.
    Current layout with out of town siding.jpg
  11. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    In Texas, some sort of oil services industry. You’ll need a small warehouse to handle drilling mud and drilling additives...frac’ing sand, drill bits, etc. To go with it, add a pipe yard to handle casing and drill pipe.
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  12. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    That's not a bad idea. I've got three warehouse type buildings already built up and am not sure where to put them all. One might go there as an oil services company.
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  13. mark

    mark Staff Member Staff Member


    Recommend you add a cotton compress, gin, mill, warehouse.

    This would add diversity to your industry types, while modeling a common rail served business found throughout Texas. Additional benefits include a variety of car types and commodities. Car types include box, tank, flat and hopper (open and covered). Inbound commodities include burlap or cardboard, steel banding, coal (power), machinery, etc. Outbound commodities include bailed cotton, seeds, cottonseed oil, linters (fuzz left after ginning), animal feed, meal, hulls, etc.

    Buildings are also interesting, with single or multiple structures often with interesting and varied shapes and roof lines, including wood frame, metal clad and brick construction. Other details include stacks, tanks, storage bins or silos, conveyors, piping, loading platforms (open and covered), etc. Many of these businesses also sold other agriculture related items including fertilizer, farm equipment, building materials, etc. This further adds to car types, commodities and structures.

    There is a wealth of information and photographs available on the internet or at your local library. Also, do not forget other agriculture and trade resources like the your local county agriculture agent's office, the Texas Cotton Producers Association and the Texas Cotton Ginners Association.

    Remember, Texas consumes and produces much more than cattle and oil. These are already represented on your railroad, so think of something different.

    Hope this helps.


    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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  14. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the detailed input. We have a cotton gin here in Rule, and there's one just north of us in O'Brien, TX. My wife and I were looking at the fields yesterday and speculating when harvesting will begin (late next month, most likely).

    A gin is something I've considered for the layout. The current ones are extremely large and tall, with all kinds of huge blowers, pipes, etc. It would most likely have to be scratch built. They are interesting, and would definitely fit the area that I model. A few shots are attached of our local gin to show the complexity and size of a potential gin model.


    Paul IMG_20190917_152054149_HDR.jpg IMG_20190917_152027647.jpg
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  15. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Fertilizer plants are relatively big, unless is just a dealer/blender. The plants are big as the fertilizer products are relatively low value, and there are many big suppliers, so you need economies of scale. Other ideas would be grain silos, a fuel oil supplier, a coal supplier, or a small manufacturing plant. Down at Rolla they used to have a dog food plant, Bow Wow was the brand I think, right next to the Frisco tracks. How about a chemical distributor - we had a lot of those in the chemical industry. You would need a small office building, a warehouse with a track siding, a small tank farm for liquid products - the tanks would need to be diked for acids, alkalis, or other hazardous liquids. Depends on what the market needs. You would need a tank car loading dock or two. You also would need a small parking lot for the poor industrial sales reps that have to call on the distributors, go on joint calls, etc.
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  16. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    This morning on the way to the hardware store I stopped by the local cotton gin and they gave me a tour. It's maintenance time as harvest won't be for another month or so. A sidenote: between Aug 31 and Sept. 10 we had 8.25" of rain. That's 1/3 of our annual average. As a result, the farmers are already seeing a pretty major problem with cotton fungus, so the harvest may not be too good this year.

    Anyway, I now know roughly how a gin works and what components need to be included to make it a plausible replica of a cotton gin. They told me that the gin here in Rule is the oldest continuous operating gin in America, and maybe the world. It was first built in 1903. It's been modified numerous times, but it's still the Rule Cotton Gin.

    The hardest part will be making the cyclones and large diameter tubes on the outside of the building. The first photo of the Rule Gin shows the cyclones on the left side of the photo.


    Paul Moore
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  17. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    Back to cheep plastic buildings. I’ve always liked this kit. It won’t fit on my layout. But it can be almost anything.


    You need these around any kind of industry.
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  18. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    Rix has a kit for cyclones and dust collectors. Soda straws might work for the pipes.
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  19. skyraider

    skyraider Member


    what kit is that? If I decide not to scratch build it with corrugated metal siding, that kit would be perfect.
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  20. skyraider

    skyraider Member's a possibility. Delete the small town and have a backdrop simulating a tow behind the gin. Have a cotton gin on the left in the foreground. Have a siding that goes to the left for a small petroleum service industry or something like that. Attached is a closeup showing the proposed changes to the layout.

    Paul Gin closeup.jpg
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