Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Williamstown, Mass. Coal

Williamstown, Mass. Prototype
inspiration for Railway Heritage Models Kit

Williamstown, Mass. is located one station west of North Adams, Mass on the B&M now PAN AM main line. The two structures that Don and I visited are the inspiration for a laser kit offered in HO scale by Railway Heritage Models of the N Scale Architect. There also is a N scale version available.

I did read a review for the kit in RMC some years ago. It appears that you can build either version seen in the prototype photos below. The Silo`s are one piece and the trim is peel and stick laser wood. The last time I checked the kit was still available through Walthers but one may find it on line also. I remember seeing the smaller silo of the two on Dick Elwell`s layout and as seen in the photo included. I don`t recall if Dick built it from the laser kit or scratch built his own version. Dick lives very near this structure making it easy for him to do research.

Today or should say in Jan 2010 when I visited the site both structures were still standing but unused. No trackage is seen in the area but the main line is not far off. Both structures do not look in that bad of shape. These coal silos make for some really nice inspiration for us modeller's to work from. I personally really like the look of the smaller one of the two...George Dutka

The smaller of the two structures is seen during January 2010. George Dutka photo

A look at the larger coal silo during Jan 2010. George Dutka

I took this photo from the overpass that crosses the main line trackage. I am looking south with the smaller structure to the west. The ex-B&M station is also standing on the south side of the trackage on the other side of the overpass, or to the east of me...George Dutka photo.


  1. Wow! I used provide coal from the smaller of these two structures, when I worked for Mason Fuel Co in Williamstown, 1980-85. They're out of business now but sold coal, then mostly oil and a tiny bit of coal, from about 1890 to 1990. I'd weigh the truck on scales at what's now R.K.Miles building supply next door, then fill it just like this model, then spray it down (supposedly to keep down the dust but I suspect to add weight of water, then weigh the truck again. People came with their pickups, and I'd overfill them terribly (on their insistence) and they'd creak away with flattened springs. Also delivered to various residences and to the historic old Walloomsac Inn in Bennington with scissors truck and shute. In 1980 they got coal from the adjacent rail line (which went through the nearby Hoosac Tunnel) but then they began getting it delivered by 18 wheelers from Pennsylvania because the railroad charged too much stop and deliver a single car. That seemed so wrong to me. So thanks for the memories!

  2. Great to hear about your time there...George

  3. Fascinating structure. I am building the larger structure in a HO scale kit, in an abandoned state like it looks today. I wish I understood more about the inner workings.