Need Model Railroad Industry list

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gary S., Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Have been searching the web for a list of industries that can be used on my layout, does anyone have a link or two?
  2. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I think pretty much any industry you can imagine can be used.

    To be more prototypical, it depends on the era modeled, the location, the railroad, etc....

    I usually flip through a Walters catalog to see what's available to get ideas. Of course if you're good at scratchbuilding, you can make anything.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Are you looking for anything specific Gary? Virtually anything that exists in the real world is potentially an industry that can be modelled... Not all have commercially available models, but a look at Walthers reveals a dizzying array of possibilities. :D

  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I've already got a few in mind, Freight house/Team tracks, Plastic molding/extruding factory, metal works/ large machine shop, interchange tracks... but need more. I figured I could find a list somewhere that I could choose from. Certainly I can come up with more just by thinking, but don't want to overlook any possibilities.

    I remember seeing a big list of industries somewhere, but can't find it now. Maybe it was in a book or magazine?
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Some of the industries you could choose would occupy your entire layout. I guess that you are looking for a mix. Please remind us of the location and era (if you know) as many industries are location and time specific; in industries that span several railroading eras, it may that be the type of equipment will determine the date.

  6. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    I don't know if this is of any help, but it inspired me with my narrow gauge projects.

    Details of industrial and commercial narrow gauge railways across Europe
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I'll check out that link for inspiration. Thanks!

    Andrew, I want to do a shortline type operation with 40 foot cars and GPs, so maybe the 1960s is my era. And I am modeling north central Texas, some of the smaller towns like Abilene and Wichita Falls. This will be a freelance, so nothing is set in stone.

    I am thinking that the plastic pellet industry may be a bit later than the 60s, but on the other hand, they were using plastic back then.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Orangeville, Ontario has a Union Carbide factory that used to take in plastic pellets - although waht the final product was, I was never sure. It was quite a large place though, and would take up quite a bit of your shelf/shelves.

    Some medium sized industries that might be appropriate include freight forwarding (from rail to trucks), furniture factory, meat packers (especially in Texas?), farm equipment, brick works, fertilizer plant. Other smaller town considerations might be team track (for just about anything) lumber, bulk goods like coal, fuel oil, cement, sand, maybe a grain elevator and/or feedmill. There may also be a produce dealer.

    By the 1960s the road networks are much more developed than at the end of WW2. Truck traffic is on the rise, and lcl (less than carload) is on its way out in many areas. Electricity is widespread (negating the need for ice in homes - although I am not sure if ice reefers would still be in use). Coal as a home heating source is also out (if necessary in TX?).

    Just some thoughts as they occur... ;)

  9. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    If you have access to telephone books or city directories from that era, take a look in there, in the classified/business section, and you'll have a really excellent idea of what sort of industries would be appropriate. Try your local historical society--I assume that state historical archives would be in Austin but Houston is a big enough city to have some of that sort of thing nearby.
  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thank you for the ideas, Andrew. Those are some good possibilities. I guess what I am seeking is industries that "jump out at me", in other words, "I would like to build that!" The packing house is a definite possibility, and cement/sand type operations sound good. Also, the furniture factory is a possibility.

    Most of my industries will be flats against the walls, coming out at various depths to break up the monotony. Also, with over 75 feet of wall space, I have room to make the industries fairly large. I want the buildings to be large enough to handle from 3 to 5 cars in the spur track, maybe even more for certain industries.
  11. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    good idea!
  12. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Gary, 50,000 + enough for starters???
    I could email you a list :)
  13. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Here ya go, it seems the list that was at one time inaccessible was moved and you should be able to access the Ryops ind sigs Industry Database here

    Also, i do have a list of Packing houses with locations etc this list is small at just over 500 industries
    it is in XL so would need to be emailed
  14. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    Gary in your location would a oil field supply work ?
  15. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    Quite a lot of mining goes on in Texas. Mining gets you the biggest salary in Texas, 40k a year on average at present. Dunno if all of these were mined in the 1960s (I presume they were), but here's a list of minerals mined in Texas:

    Uranium (an interesting one).
    Lignite (brown coal).
    Clay (Bentonite, fullers earth, bleaching clay, ball clay and kaolin - I am an expert on the kaolin mining and milling process and can provide lots of detailed information about how to structure your industry if you choose this. This industry is used for paper coating, and tends to be shipped in box cars and slurrey tanks)
    Barite (minor industry which experienced great success in the 1960s).
    Bromine. (extracted from seawater)
    Dolomite. (dow chemical use a lot of this at freeport)
    Helium. (lots of helium in texas!)
    Mercury. (the price of mercury rose during the middle to late 1960s, and mining stopped in 1970s when the prices declined again.)
    Sand and Gravel.
    Crushed stone (Aggregate).
  16. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I'm planning a bio-fuels facility for my railroad. A little modern for you transition/60'-early 90's guys. But when you model railroading today, its perfect.
  17. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    Hang on a second...

    My initial reaction to "Bio fuels"... is to wonder if you mean, LPG, fuel oil, diesel, etc? Since hydrocarbons are biological chemicals they would technically count as "bio-fuels".

    I'd assume something but I actually have no idea what "bio fuels" are, so I guess you'll have to educate me!

    As an aside, I'm considered modelling a sewage works as an industry on a layout. Although not many of them were ever rail connected, they do have a potentially rail-transportable product output, which is essentially dryed biosolids (dead plants, mud, faeces, etc.). This is then taken to an incinerator at a landfill. Might be a good small-time branchline operation, switcher-only motive power, trains being no more than four to five freight cars long.

    If you're dedicated enough to modelling this concept it can be very easily done. I've found the walthers wide oil-storage tanks useful in that respect - sawn in half they make a great pair of thickening/settling tanks. All you need to add is the central column, catwalk going between one edge of the tank and the central column, railings, and feed baffle ring (which surrounds the top of the central column) - there are more details you can add if you really want to, depending on how accurately you want to represent it, for instance; the feed pipe suspended underneath the catwalk. Some tanks, rather than having a central column, have an I-beam bridge going right the way accross, with a catwalk on top of the beams that usually gets as far as the center. To add a little variation in the tank sizes (Since they are not all one width) the Walthers tall and thin oil storage tanks will saw up into three small tanks. To make a percolating filter you simply build the sprinkling arms assembly, mount it on a central column, and fill the tank in with a dark grey or brown ballast. After that you need a river (to discharge clean water into) running by, on the banks of which you can put a few culverts. The loading spur for your railroad should run up alongside a storage building, attatched to which is the filter press building.

    And if you want it to be really really prototypical, there are loads of websites on the internet that go into great detail about what exactly goes on in the sewage works process. My suggestion is to only model part of the sewage plant, the rest of it going off the edge of the board, in the land of the imaginary. Trying to model a whole plant will consume your budget and take up a whole lot of time as well as resources and board space!
  18. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    While technically I guess you correct (fuels derived from prehistoric flora and fauna) "bio-fuels" today usually refers to things like ethanol - made from corn or other annual crops.

    This actually has an interesting link to railroading. While not exactly a fuel, canola oil was used as a lubricant on Canadian steam in the WW2 era. Back then it was known as rapeseed - little wonder they changed the name...

  19. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    Ahh I see... Sorry, yes of course. *smacks head*

    On the other point you brought up, I've heard about some steam engines being run on lard, and various other "exotic" fuels like sugar and mollasses. It seems that some of these engines will run on anything that burns hot enough to generate high pressure steam. Crazy stuff!
  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    A little off topic, but I have heard that my VW Golf Turbo Diesel will run on used fryer oil...! :D

    Have you seen this handy smiley -> hamr Made for just this occasion ;) :D

    On your last point, there is an operational Shay in Ottawa that used to run on "Bunker C" oil I believe. Apparently the stuff has the consistency of molasses in january, and the engine must be started with a wood bonfire to "melt" the fuel before it will flow...!


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