Any wintertime logging layouts??

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by wjstix, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    Just curious - guess that new Spectrum Climax has got me thinking about logging !! Anyway, I live in Minnesota. In the great lakes area (Minnesota, Wisconsin, upper Michigan, Ontario & Quebec) logging was almost entirely done in the winter, but I don't think I've ever seen a logging layout set in winter. Must be somebody out there who isn't modelling California or the pacific NW !!

  2. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Winter in the Pacific Northwest looks pretty much like the rest of the year--gray, wet and cold!
  3. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    I've been thinking of an Adirondack winter scene with Linn tractors bringing loads of logs down the mountain. Haven't quite worked out how to animate that yet. Possibly a motorized cable mechanism somehow hidden behind the ridge.

    Or horse drawn log sleds with the horses desperately trying to outrun the gravity driven sleds.

    The mind sure starts thinking of weird things when the temps start edging towards 20 below.

  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I know many loggers in Northern Ontario get more done in winter because of ice roads. Trucks can get in and out fairly easily. Not so in summer as much of the land is too swampy.
    Don't know if that is true in the mountains
  5. morey_r_e

    morey_r_e New Member

    I'm new to the site. Also interested in Minnesota logging railroads. I am considering several options, including the possibility of trying to model a winter setting. I recall seeing some articles over the years in MR and RMC dealing with the topic; I plan to go through my back issues to see what I can find.

    One of my considerations is what aspects of the RR to model. I love geared engines which, in MN, pretty much restricts me to the in the woods end of the line as most MN logging RR used rod engines for their longer hauls to the mill. Given this consideration, and the fact that most of the woods work was done in the wintertime, I figured one possibility is to have the layout focused on a logging camp/yarding area. From there, it will probably lead to a junction with the mainline to the mill where the rod engines take over. Not very big, but then I have to consider the space available.
  6. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    First, Welcome to the gauge! The run from the logging camp to the junction, has all kinds of operational possibilities, and even better scenery possibilities. I hope you have room to cover the three main areas, the camp/yarding, the junction, and the space between. Add snow, and this will be a :cool: layout. :D

    Maybe a switchback between the camp and the junction? either one at the high end, though logically, the camp would probably be the high end. On30?
  7. morey_r_e

    morey_r_e New Member

    Winter Logging - Afterthought


    There's not too much call for a switchback. While we have some hills here in Minnesota, especailly in the northern woods, they hardly compare to the Pacific Northwest. That's one reason why so much of the logging here was done with regular rod engines (4-4-0s and 2-6-0s). I'm basing this both on my own experience with the terrain, and the locomotive rosters provided in Frank King's book, Minnesota Logging Railroads. What geared power that was used, was used primarily because of its ability to handle the poor quality of the temporary track in the woods.

    Incidentaly, not all of the logging was done in the winter here. In the same book, there is a picture of a "Big Wheel" being used in the Red River area during warmer weather. Should I decide against the winter motif, another concept that I have considered is a "portage" railroad. King refers to such a line being operated by the Swallow and Hopkins railroad. Logs were brought from the woods to a lake, boomed and floated across the lake where they were picked up by the portage railroad. The portage line railed them about four miles to another lake where they were again floated across to another rail loading site on the NP. Additionally, the towboats for booming the logs across the lakes were equipped with track and could serve double duty as car ferries to get equipment and supplies into and out of the woods. Obviously this would not be a winter operation.

  8. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    An interesting aside re: winter logging with horse-drawn sleds:

    To keep things sliding smoothly over the frozen ground, early in the morning a horse-drawn sled with a large tank of water would be sent out to "groom" the logging roads by laying down a film of water to freeze into a smooth path.

    Sort of an early, back-woods Zamboni. Small wonder nearby Lake Placid would become home to the Winter Olympics twice in 50 years with the technological skills of the mountainfolk up here.

  9. morey_r_e

    morey_r_e New Member

    Sled Trails


    The same thing was done here in Minnesota only they did the trail grooming during the night so as not to interfere with the day's logging activity; not a pleasant assignment. In addition, tracks were cut into the trails to keep the sleighs from wondering off the trail. Lastly, straw was spread over the trail at any significant downgrade to retard the laden sleighs and keep them from overrunning the animals pulling them.

  10. morey_r_e

    morey_r_e New Member

    Winter Modeling Articles

    I have found the articles on winter modeling that I was looking for. The Jan/Feb 1996 issues of MR contain a two-part series on modeling snow, ice, and all that fun stuff. The series is fairly elaborate going into color combinations and such as well as different snow/ice formations.

    There is a quick and dirty winter modeling article in the Dec 2001 issue of MR.

    Hope this proves of some help in trying to model a winter scene in the Great Lakes area.
  11. ferrology

    ferrology New Member

    ice roads for logging

    As I understand it the practice began in the Lake States, Minnesota or Michigan, in the 1880s and spread to other states from there (and is the common practice yet for freighting in the far north today). the big advantage is cost of construction, you consider grading, clearing, trestles, rails, etc. vs. clearing a pathway, maybe some bridges of logs, then just plowing with a "rutter" and icing with the sprinkler wagon every night (they have excellent examples at the Adirondack Museum), you have a "rail less railroad" that melts away in the spring.

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