Need ideas for a grain operation module

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by jflessne, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    Hey guys with my little 4x4 Christmas layout winding down (Hopefully before Christmas is over.) I'm back at planning my actual layout.

    I'm interested in grain operations. I'd like to make this a module. Maybe a Freemo module because I have preliminary plans to move next October to a location with basements. My question. Anyone have some ideas for grain operations layout in say a 6 foot module? With the idea that this will be added onto one day. Maybe create a staging module.

    I don't have much imagination so.... Questions please ask
  2. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    For something small You could go with the Cornerstone series elevator, older wooden type, then add the round steel grain bens, conveyor system and grain drier. Elbow Lake Mn has a setup like that that is served from local farmer hauling in and trains and trucks hauling out. You get a variety of farm traffic from tractors pulling wagons, pickups with wagons, single and dual axle farm trucks and the big farmers are running semi's, My nephew works for one of the big farmers there, he was at the elevator a little while back, this year and saw a train derail right in front of him. He said it scared him pretty bad, the ground was shaking so hard that he thought the elevator might collapse.

  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    What era and/or location are you thinking about?

    You could run anything from a rural scene to a huge concrete complex lakeside (or oceanside) for transcontinental shipping.

    A rural elevator in the 1920s would be my choice. Hamilton Model Works makes a nice "eastern" style rural grain elevator that would work for this scenario.

    You could stick with the rural theme, but update it to be a "feed mill" which rather than simply handling export of grain, also imports or mixes feed, fertilizer, etc, etc.

    "Wheat kings" on the praries from the 1920s to 1970s are interesting, but they are fast disappearing now. Something in 1980s Canada would give you a reason to run the dedicated Government of Canada and/or provincial government cylindrical hoppers (hope I have my dates right).

    A lakeside facility would allow you to model a big lakeboat (it could take up the entire 6 foot length if you wanted.

    One other really interesting facility, but one which takes you back to the turn of the last century (circa 1890 - 1910) is Depot Harbour, Ontario and the Ottawa, Arnprior & Parry Sound Railway. This was the biggest transhipment point (lakeboats to rail) for grain in all of North America at one time. Used to run a train every 20 minutes at one point!

    Hope that gives you some ideas...! ;) :D

  4. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    I actually like that cornerstone kit. Also looking at a Campbell model Walthers Part # 200-384. Really exspensive but man it's a nice kit. I guess the region would be Midwestern region. I think the cornerstone kit gives me a wider range of era. I remember old grain operation buildings like being used in Southern Illinois in the 80's I believe. I'll shoot for 50's up I guess.

    I think I'm shooting for a specific layout plan in the end. Compact it to a 6 foot module. In the long run I'm not sure I really want to compact the grain operations into something that small since the module will one day join with a larger module.

    I think once I understand the grain operations a little better I'll know what "stops" I'll need to make a long the way. For example farmer to Elevator to hoppers to mill then to a goods platform? Maybe I'm missing a step.

    On a side note in all my research I was amazed at the massive grain operations out east. I had no idea. Sad a lot of those plants stay unused.
  5. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    If space is at a premium You might consider using the kit and cutting the grain bins in half and putting them against the backdrop.

    Grain operations start with seed, dry fertilizer, and chemicals (herbicides and pesticides in 2 1/2 gallon containers and 55 gal drums, anhydrous ammonia in tank cars) hauled in, planting and harvesting, drying, storing and shipping to pasta manufactures (wheat) mills (flour, cereal and so on) Ethanol plants, trans shipping onto ships for export, cooking oil manufactures (corn and soy beans) From crop areas (Red River Valley area in west MN east ND) with little livestock to feed lot operations for beef, pigs and poultry operations. On the last they are hauled into other granaries (elevators) and trans loaded back into trucks after it has been ground, mixed with other grains and supplements added and delivered ready to feed. You could even add in flax (animal feed and the straw for rope). Barley hauled to breweries.

    Grain crops that don't receive enough rain weigh in light and goes to animal feed or if too much rain or other factors may be too good and not be usable, barley is a good example, to high a protein count and you cannot use it fro brewing beer, it is then animal feed.

    And we can on from the there.

    Sugar beets and the beat plants that cook em down for sugar, beets are hauled in by truck and sugar is hauled out in box cars and trucks, the plants burn coal to fire their boilers so there are always coal cars there too.

  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Those 4-bay cylindrical hoppers were built in the early 70s if not earlier, and still dominate the grain trains that come through here every day!
  7. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    Cylindrical hoppers?
  8. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Yea the grain hopper that look like a tank car with belly dumps on it, thats most of what we see out here in the farm country.

  9. KATY

    KATY Member

  10. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Oldtanker, you know a lot about barley. I know a little about it tooo ( i'm a homebrewer ) and that's true, too high a protein content is bad ( American 6 rows barley is high in protein content , that's a reason why US and Canadian breweries use "adjuncts" such as corn and rice to reduce it )

    OK, back on topic:
    jflessne: you could have an interchange with some Canadian railroad, and have hoppers like this one:
  11. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Turkey, the we share 2 hobbies....I'm a home brewer too! And the wife wines!sign1

  12. KATY

    KATY Member

    Well, who's doesn't? Whoops, wrong spelling.
  13. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Yes, your grain operation " Carolina Central " based N scale layout on a door is excellent.
    It should inspire all scalers who want to venture into the grain hauling business.
  14. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Turkey, grain is excellent on any railroad and lends itself well to other industry.


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