Bricks: Production

Discussion in 'Trackside Photos & Details' started by inflammable, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. inflammable

    inflammable New Member

    I don't have as many photos for this one. Brick plants are large places, and haven't really peaked my interest yet. But I do have a little to share.,-83.618982&spn=0.005581,0.011319&t=h&z=17

    Take a look at this Boral Brick plant in Macon, GA. It runs from the railroad, with the three boxcars on it, down to and including the red roofed shed. The track is the NS-Georgia Central interchange, though I think NS crews service this location. The NS Brosnan Yard is to the left of here.

    The clay for Boral is trucked in, if you follow the well maintained dirt road to the south, it appears to go to a clay pit. It's stored in the large red roofed shed. From there it is conveyed to the next building, where I assume it is 'cleaned', rocks and other non clay matter removed. Again conveyed to the third, long rectangular building, where it is mixed with water and baked into bricks. The bricks themselves are loaded onto pallets, and stored outside. They're then loaded onto trucks and boxcars for further distribution.

    Just this plant could possibly fill your train room. I calculated the storage shed to be about 16in x 36in in HO scale. The production building calculated to be 18in x 56in. Plenty of room for selective compression. Also note the white object immediately to the left of the production building. That's the LPG storage tank. Those are quite often 10ft diameter and up to 60 feet long. The brick storage yard filled that corner of the property, and could easily be any size or shape you needed to make it. The railcar loading dock is where the middle boxcar is spotted.

    I suggest that if you wanted to go with a brick plant in a small space, then to model the storage yard, the LPG tank, the loading dock, a couple large forklifts, and a perhaps a partial building. If you located the LPG tank near the tracks, then you could spot an LPG tankcar nearby it, if you had one.

    Here's another plant:,-84.501675&spn=0.005277,0.007231&t=h&z=17 in Smyrna, Georgia.

    I believe it too is Boral Bricks, but I'm not as positive. As you can see, it's larger than the one in Macon, and even has sidings for bringing in raw clay in hoppers! It's trucked in these days, but there are two tracks for bringing in and unloading hoppers. These are the tracks leading to the left. The two to the right are for loading boxcars. I assume the raw clay would have been brought in in three bay covered hoppers, to keep it dry, and to keep it from blowing out.

    Other things to notice, the three LPG tanks just north of the boxcar tracks, and that the boxcar and the hopper tracks all come off of a single double ended siding, to minimize connections to the mainline. This section of the NS line is officially 'double track', so both of the middle tracks you see are the main lines. There's also a forklift bridge, over the boxcar track, connecting to the other storage yard. This would be an interesting feature to model, as well as the industry blue flag protection that it would require.

    Like I said, I don't have many photos to go along with all this, but I do have some of the beatup boxcars that are often used:


    They can be much more beatup than these, but I didn't see photos of them that I already had online. The hoppers for the raw clay could have a little red color around the tops and the chutes and trucks.

    I believe that boxcars are used to discourage pilferage, and to possibly allow for two layers of the brick bundles.

    Next up will be a brick distribution facility, where the bricks are unloaded from the boxcar, and sold to contractors.

  2. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    You could always model the bits that are exposed to rail. Using images of the other parts in a photo back ground. A little bit of selective compression and could manage it. The details on a large industry are good if they are lets say interesting from an architecture point. A steel plant for instance has a ton of architectural interest. Knowing how a manufacturing process happens will go along way to building the load outs for the rolling stock and details can make a very convincing portrayal of the plant itself.

    In essence you have to pick your battles. Depending on what your modeling the plant may have a great deal significance from a full on model standpoint. Having great refs also lets you imagineer a brick plant that would fit the space you have for one. I'm modeling Iowa and there are 2 large cement plants on the route both in the same city. So to model both and the city would take up nearly all the space .. hehe. So I have to compress that down so that I keep true to the route but not use up to much space on one city. Cement plants offer quite a bit of interest too. There are quarries to the northwest that aren't served by rail strangely enough. I think it has to do with traffic requirements but if it were me? I would get some rolling stock and lease some units and after getting track rights for the UP line from the quarries to Mason City run the line with loads. As I looked back in time (as you can when using Google Earth) the line never served the quarries (quite strange).

    When modeling you aren't just making building but a transportation system. So if the structure has a great deal of interest architecturally or from an industrial design stand point then a full out model is well worth it. If just the essence of what you're modeling is the loads in and out then a minimal approach will get the job done. The railroad itself is mostly interested in moving traffic to and from such a facility so that is pretty much where I begin.

    Great location, links and rolling stock photos are great too. Thanks for sharing.

    You don't always need pics to get what your looking for. As google maps will let you walk completely around the plant nearly. Now that I'm thinking of it... It could be a really cool idea to build a link library of google map locations that have been well accessed in street view or perhaps ranked that way. So if your looking for say a refinery you can look at several from google maps street view and sat view as well.

    Industry Type
    Business Name (Current & Historically) / Location
    Line Data (Rail line servicing both currently and in the past)
    Street View (1-4) for all sides

    Just some thoughts.

    Thanks again.
  3. inflammable

    inflammable New Member

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