Thursday, 10 January 2019

Wells River Freight Don Janes

A trackside view of the freight shed with some details added to the loading dock.

A New (or not so new) Freight Shed added to Wells River

     I am slowly starting to get some scenery and detail work done on my Wells River scene which is located on a branch line on a peninsula in the middle of the layout room.  A couple of weeks ago I did a post on the Richland Fuels scene in the same town.  This post will focus on the B&M/CPR freight shed which stands next to the oil dealer.  These structures are freelanced but hopefully give the flavour of buildings that would have stood in small towns in New England in the 1950's. The only accurate prototype model in the town is the station which is a replica of the actual Wells River station.
    My original plan was to scratchbuild a freight shed using photos of a typical B&M structure.  That changed when I contacted my friend Neil Schofield about buying a freight shed that he had on his old layout but would not be using on his new one. I had always admired this building and was very pleased when he offered to sell it to me. Neil had scratchbuilt it from styrene using photos of a New Haven fright shed that was once located in Mansfield, CT. I figured that even though it was a NH structure I couldn't get much more New England than that.  Neil had painted it the same as the photo. I decided that I would try to change the colours somewhat to closer match the B&M colours.  The trackside of the structure was already close to what I wanted so I decided to try and match the cream and maroon paint and finish the rest of the structure the same as the trackside. I am very pleased with the way it came out.
This is one of the photos Neil used to build his NH freight shed. Note the brown end. Note also the boarded up windows.
This is a photo of the freight shed on Neil's layout. Note the boarded up windows and general disrepair of the structure.
This is the model on my layout with a new paint job and some of the windows opened up to represent a less rundown structure.
     When Neil built his model he boarded up a lot of the windows to represent a later period when the building had fallen into disrepair.  Since I am modelling the 1950's I wanted to represent a better maintained structure so added some new windows, leaving only a few windows along the parking lot side boarded up.  When Neil did the windows he modified Grandt Line windows to closer match the prototype so when it came time to re-open the windows I had to make some more custom windows to match. Fortunately Neil gave me some extra windows to work with. Neil did a great job of weathering the styrene loading dock to look like old weathered boards so I left that part alone.

Here we see Neil's model on his bench where he was measuring it for me to see if it would fit on my layout.  Note the many boarded up windows.

Here is the back of the freight shed on my layout with the opened up windows.

   One other detail I added was station name signs. This was just a matter of going into Microsoft WORD and creating the signs.on a sheet of cardstock. I then cut them out and glued them on the shed. Following B&M practice I made them with white lettering on a blue background.
    Once I had all the modifications done I cut a piece of Gatorboard for the base and glued the loading dock to it. I left the building loose so I could move it out of the way when doing the scenery. The parking lot was made from 1/8" Masonite which I air nailed down and filled the holes with spackle.. It was then painted a dark gray to represent asphalt and then weathered with chalks. Lines were added to represent cracking with a fine tipped felt pen. The gravel area was a mixture of various shades of dirt run through a very fine tea strainer to represent an unpaved gravel area.
     Overall I am very happy with this scene and look forward to finishing more sections of Wells River.  I still have some more detail work to do but I consider it pretty much finished for now.  This will be my last layout post before heading to Arizona on Sunday where we hope to hide from the winter until April.
Here is a trackside view showing the various weeds and broken packing boards laying along the tracks. The board fence separates the freight shed from Richford Fuels. It is a Tichy product.
Another view of the parking lot side. You can see the weathering effects in the pavement. I added a period billboard and long grass and weeds beside the road.
Another shot of the truck docks. The photo shows the gravel and paved parking lot, covered rear entrance and station name sign.


  1. It's not rare to see someone inherit an old time structure and then move on making it disrepaired to fit a much modern era, but going the other way is quite rarer. It is interesting that while you elected to restore the structure, you've kept a few remaining tell tale signs that it is no longer pristine and the neglect cycle is about to start.

    1. Hi Matthieu:
      Don's on his way out west and cannot log onto the blog or respond. I will pass your comments along to him via e-mail...thanks...George