The Wabash Railroad
in Southern Ontario, circa 1951
ABOUT MY RAILROAD...
Until the Autumn of 2008 I was building a layout based on the Canadian National Railway’s branch line hub in Palmerston, Ontario. Then, I had the opportunity to visit Bill Darnaby’s well-known HO scale model railroad, The Maumee Route. The experience had a profound effect on me and caused me to rethink everything I was attempting to do in my train room. After some careful thinking about options for the space, I settled upon modeling something that was in my own backyard. The Wabash Railroad had a significant operation across Southern Ontario that just begs to be modeled. The Buffalo Division was primarily a single-track bridge line established to reduce shipping times between Buffalo, New York, and Detroit, Michigan.
I am building a double-decked layout featuring selected towns and signature scenes on the Wabash Railroad’s 240-mile Buffalo Division. My layout models the segment between Aylmer and Cayuga, Ontario. This 60-mile stretch of the Wabash includes a number of online customers typical of small-town Ontario, as well as a section of the mainline shared with the Canadian National Railways’s Hagersville Sub. Since I am modeling 1951 it will be neat to see the little CNR 2-6-0s sharing the rails with the paired F7A units used on the Wabash Red Ball freights. I’ll be posting regular updates and photos of my progress on this blog.
This photo of the Car Department tracks in St Thomas is a wealth of detail information.
While the subject matter of the photo is the remnants of Wabash #2254 following a tragic boiler explosion, for me it's a gold mine for detailing an area of the yard that I'm actively working on right now. First is all the short bits of track holding spare wheelsets. There a lot of them and note the way the rails are doubled up to gain space by offsetting pairs of wheelsets. Then there's really narrow gauge track for some kind of work cart. I'd love to see a photo of the cart. And note how the rail joints are not offset. There's that water supply in the foreground. Simple enough, but it's a detail often overlooked. Just behind the caboose, we can see the lights on the pole. I do know from other sources that there were 2 of these poles. The 2nd would be to the right of the photographer. If you look closely you can determine where it's cinders and dirt, and where the weeds and other greenery would be. Lots of detail info to work with here. I find that I spend more time looking around the edges and in the back ground of photos than I do at the primary subject matter in railroad photos. There's so much to see and to learn about.