The Haitian Sugar Train

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by Doctor G, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Thinking this to be the appropriate ( hey, its an industrial rr) place, thought I would post a few pictures of my latest creation. This is the Haitian Sugar train that ran from Port au Prince Haiti to Leogane Haiti in the 1920's.

    I do a lot of medical work in Haiti and my friends and interpreters there "humor me" with helping on the field research of this very charming RR (narrow guage 30" prototype that really used Porters).

    Here are a couple of shots of the hard working "Sugar train", "Tren Sik" in Haitian Kreyol in the streets of downtown Port au Prince after leaving the Haitian American Sugar Company Mill.

    Doc Tom:wave:

    Attached Files:

  2. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Must be kind of smoky on that second floor balcony...:thumb:

    There is something about that gravel in the foreground of the last image that looks...wrong...somehow.
  3. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    You are very observant M. Man. That is not gravel but rather the foam that will become the foundation of another building next to the tracks. There is a lot of foam , foam core board and other lightweight materials in this model meant to be taken out frequently for visits.

    Here is a "previous shot" of the area you are referirng to. Notice the foam in between the two Porters at the end of the "depot" and dock. That is is the bizarre gravel you so correctly noticed.

    Doc Tom:mrgreen:

    Attached Files:

  4. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Close up of the wharf and "depot"

    In Haiti a storage wharehouse of any kind is called a "depot". Here's a "depot" on the wharf in Port au Prince with a railroad track to bring sugar and "rhum" for export.
    Doc Tom :mrgreen:

    Attached Files:

  5. ytter_man

    ytter_man Member

    Always loved sugar trains, sugar beets are a local industry here and their attempts to ship raw ones by rail have been less than successful. Outgoing product is still shipped bulk by hoppers though.

    I just ordered an 0-4-2 Porter myself, yours looks very good painted up :thumb:
  6. Sippy

    Sippy New Member

    I really like your trains. I hope I can make my train setup as good as your.
  7. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi ytter_man,

    Thanks for the feedback. The Haitian Sugar Trains hauled sugar cane to the mill.

    Yes, the Bachmann Porters are neat models and think you will enjoy it. Did you get it in On30?

    Doc Tom:wave:
  8. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Thanks Sippy. Don't be afraid to jump in and get your feet wet. You will find a lot of good ideas on this website and others.
    Doc Tom
  9. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Wow Doc, I haven't been on for a while & you have raised the bar this time. I like it, very unique. You have to have an artistic flair for this type of modeling. Your travels probably help a lot. You should be commended for your efforts over there & you know as I do you will definitely be Blessed. Great job & how is your Gardening RR coming along ?
  10. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Jim,
    Good to hear from you and thanks for the nice comments.
    Yes, Haiti is really burned in my brain....been working there for 15 years. The good folks I work with in Haiti know my passion for the RR hobby and they are always showing me remmanants of the little narrow guage (30") train that ran through the sugar fields and to the mills. To honor them and maybe take the layout to Haiti, it is very portable, I started building the sugar hauler you see here.

    I work at two separate clinic sites in Haiti and you can read about one of them at .

    Here are some more pictures of the palm trees growing on the modeled island of Haiti.

    Doc Tom:wave:

    Attached Files:

  11. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    This whole layout is mostly foam, and weighs a little more than nothing. It is nice having a portable when you move, as you're not completely railroadless.

    Tom has embrased the micro layout concept very well here, the way he has piled things up, filling a whole lot of visual interest in a little space. When I have tried to think MICRO, it hasn't really worked that well, largely because my tiny ON3 Shay CN 60 needs a 19 in radius; which begins to push me out of the micro and into the mini layout range. then my natural propensity to build more and more has turned all of my attempts so far int Maxy-minnis, that I don't have time or room for.

    Bill Nelson
  12. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Thanks Bill. Yeah, those little Porters can really turn a tight radius for an On30 layout. There is a 9" radius on the sugar hauler. I think the On30 Bachmann Diesel Davenports can turn this tight but that's about it. Here is an earlier "overhead" shot showing just how small this "mini" is.
    Doc Tom:wave:

    Attached Files:

  13. Maico Shark

    Maico Shark Guest

    What an exotic diorama! I really feel transported...Please keep building Doc...
  14. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Thanks Maico. Part of the exotic feel to this layout is the different plant life I had to learn to model. Here are some shots of a banana tree and Bouginvillea behind it. The Roan milk cow also gives a splash of color.

    Below is the picture of an East African German diorama that inspired me to try and model these green bark trees.
    Doc Tom :rolleyes:

    Attached Files:

  15. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Progress on Le Petit Mec.....a small store

    Hi all,

    Got a little more work done on the Haitian industrial sugar line. Here is the 2nd floor of Le Petit Mec the small store in Port au Prince. Upstairs is the residence quarters. Out in the street is the Ice Man Vendor coming back to refill his cart. Ice is a precious and prized possession in tropical Haiti.

    The roof is temporary and the 2nd story lacks furnishings and interior detailing at this stage.
    Doc Tom:cool:

    Attached Files:

  16. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I locve the Caribbean colors. when I was a kid I went to Curacao, the brightness of the paints, even on the shacks was astounding. but judging from what I've seen, Curacao, at it's grittiest looks luxurious next to most of Haiti.

    Bill Nelson
  17. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hey Bill,

    Glad you like the scene I am depicting in this micro layout. On the flip side of the mountain I will model rural Leogane Haiti where the sugar cane was cut and loaded on the sugar train.

    Here is a scene from the "market" in the very rural town that I work in. Looking forward to trying to capture this in "O scale."


    Attached Files:

  18. ytter_man

    ytter_man Member

    Might break ya looking for that many figures sign1

    A loading scene you say? Awesome :thumb:
  19. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Sugar Hauler at work

    Thought I had better show some shots of the sugar train actually working. I did not want you guys to think the railroad is here for a Caribbean vacation.

    Here are some shots of the sugar train pulling a cut of empty cane cars out of HASCO Mill #1. The cars will make their way about 40 miles west where they will be loaded in the huge HASCO sugar plantations near Leogane Haiti.

    Doc Tom:rolleyes:

    Attached Files:

  20. S class

    S class Member

    wako doc G that layout is incredible for such a small space, and me not having even reached track laying on my own yet!

    just out of curiosity, every hobby publication ive seen on figure paining involves pink and white skin tones for caucasian and agalo people, but ive always wanted to ask what colour would you use to paint a "black" person?

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