Small Industry Suggestions

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by kcsfan, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. kcsfan

    kcsfan New Member

    My very small, rural, mid-western layout (late 70's era) needs two industries for the line to service. One is already in place, a grain elevator. The other will need to be a smaller industry, on a single track siding. But I find I am running into difficulty choosing what to use in today's available kits. I'm not afraid of the idea of modifying a kit or two for my needs, but am still coming up short on a viable industry that fits the bill.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for an industry that might work, or could be made to work, in a small amount of space?
  2. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Well, choosing...

    ...already seems to be tough, huh? How about adding a third service point that could service any industry besides the 2 you actually model?

    That's right, a team track. Use part of the switch lead to the industry as a team track to bring in all kinds of goods. All you need is a ramp.

    As far as what type of small industry- How about a machine job shop. I buy sub-contract machining from small machining companies that have big machines that do specialty work. Single building industries that fit in large weldments and castings. The fun is you never know what you'll see going into the building to get worked on next. Could make for interesting flat and gondola as well as truck loads.

    Good luck picking a winner for the other industry.

  3. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    How about a farmer's co-op that just receives fertilizer? There are many, many of these scattered from Cleveland to Denver that only receive three or four cars a year. No doubt that there were even more back in the era we model. (Ohio in the late 1970s for me.) To model it you'd only need a small storage shed, some tanks, and a couple farm implements setting around. It also fits with your main industry really well.

    Another idea would be to include a retail lumber yard. You could model just the unloading ramp, a storage shed, and a few stacks of stock and leave the rest to the imagination. For a busier industry you could model a lumber distributor and include just a portion of a larger structure.

    One of my favorite industries to include is a concrete plant. It would receive cement in short two bay hoppers and ship bagged concrete in boxcars. The aggregate would presumably be acquired locally and trucked in if it's not quarried on site.

    In the right locale a cannery is also an option. Local produce is purchased and processed and shipped by insulated boxcar. My hometown in Ohio once had two that shipped by rail and I can think of a couple more out in Illinois still active.

    Other options might include a propane dealer, a manufactured home builder, another type of food processor, or anything else you can spot in the large number of photo books that have been published about the region over the years.

  4. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Another option is to acquire a copy of the American Shortline Railway Guide from the era you're modeling. It was published back then by The Baggage Car of Strasburg, Pennsylvania and included with each entry a description of the traffic each road hauled. From those commodities you should be able to deduce what industries were in a given locale.

    Also of note to modelers in the Midwest and Northeast is The DO Lines by Ed Lewis, also published by The Baggage Car, that chronicles the start-up of a number of shortlines on routes cast off by Conrail. Each of the roads' traffic is analyzed which may provide ideas for model industries.

    Finally, I'd suggest finding copies of Rail Service in the Midwest and Northeast Region, published in 1974 by the USDOT. This multi-volume work details industrial traffic in the region and identifies routes and points to be included in what would become Conrail. Fascinating reading for any true rail historian and valuable reference material for any modeler of the region in the era.

  5. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    You could ship the barley from the grain elevator to ... a brewery.
  6. kcsfan

    kcsfan New Member

    HaHa!!! I love it! Why did I not think of that myself....
  7. kcsfan

    kcsfan New Member

    That's a good idea. One of the industries services by the A&M here locally is a Concrete plant. It's relatively small, and if I took a few pictures I could probably trim it a bit more to fit, but still look functional. Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll be printing these off for when it comes time to expand the line.
  8. berraf

    berraf Member

    Please, could you post some pics of your work so far!

Share This Page