The Haitian Sugar Train

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

  1. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Hey Doc Tom it's good to hear from you that you are safe. I PM you a couple of days ago & was concerned that you were over there. We are all praying for you & many others that will be going over there to help. This is a very sad & horrible thing to happen anywhere but more so in Haiti. We will continue to pray for those people. It is a blessing to see America along with others putting their problems aside to help as one. God Bless.
  2. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Another building for the On30 Haiti layout

    It has been a very stressful month as we mount a response to the huge number of injured people in Haiti. Both of the clinics/hospitals I am affiliated with have been very busy. Our Visitation Hospital is lining up to receive post-op patients from the US Navy Hospital Ship COMFORT.

    To get a little break from all the stress I did try a little modeling. THe structure pictured is a church in 1920 Port au Prince. The Haitian people have a very deep Faith and it will be this Faith that will get them through the tough times they are in now.

    Of course in 1920 Haiti not everybody is in Church and there is quite a bit of activity going on on the docks. The guys are loving the show of the colorful well used Porter with a load from the sugar mill.

    Doc Tom:mrgreen:

    Attached Files:

  3. S class

    S class Member

    It's good to hear that you and your organisation where largly unharmed and are in a position to provide support to the haitian people.
    And with a fine church like that I bet Jesus is commiting the sin of pride about now.
  4. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Open Air Engine House for the Sugar Hauler

    Hi Guys,

    I have been doing a little more work on the Haitian Sugar Hauler set in the 1920's.

    I love the ramshackle "open air structures" found on Caribbean Sugar lines. Here is an example of a Cuban Engine House with a nice loco in out of the rain.

    I also enjoy the Terrapin Model RailRoaders outdoor engine facilities set in the desert Southwest. I included a picture below as well.

    So I decided to combine these ideas in to an open air engine house for the Leogane section of my Mini On30 Rail Road.

    Here are some of the first construction shots. I used a paper jig copied X6 for the delicate support structures. I spot glued some of the 12 pieces of cut styrene that make up the supports to the paper jigs. The paper was peeled away and I was left with a very delicate structure of iron work for each support. These have been secured to a concrete floor and the long beams that will tie everything together come next.
    Thanks for looking. Dr Tom :wave:

    Attached Files:

  5. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    More Work on The Haitian Engine House

    Hello All,

    I have done a little more construction on the open air engine house. The steel beams and "rafters" are in place and some of the first corrugated metal roofing has been installed. One of the Porters decided to get out of the hot tropical sun and find some shade.

    There is an overhead hoist installed and the rigging for it comes next. A whole box of detail parts are being painted and will be installed soon. Those little tools in O scale can really bring life to an engine house scene.

    More to come. Doc Tom:wave:

    Attached Files:

  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Tom, you have a great transition from urban to rural in about an inch and a half there, very well done indeed!
  7. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hey Bill,

    Glad you caught that. This "backside" of the mini layout does represent rural Leogane Haiti where the sugar cane fields were. The prototype did have a concrete engine house there. I decided go to open air to show off all the interior detail parts that are so neat in this larger O scale. Besides we can say this was the first structure in 1920 and in the following years the concrete structure was built.

    I will heading back to Haiti this Friday for more "field research" and modeling will slow down a bit.

    Doc Tom:wave:
  8. Hoorhaylowe

    Hoorhaylowe New Member

    Hello Doc. I was wondering where you get your corrugated from...or if you make it? Have a safe trip to Haiti!

  9. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Hoorhaylowe,
    Thanks for the Bon is appreciated.
    In the Port au Prince part of the mini layout I made my own corrugated metal from aluminum foil pressed on a corrugated mold I made.

    For the Open Air Engine House I used "Sodders Enterprises" 1/48 scale corrugated metal for the roof. 40 pieces cost $9. I got mine from Caboose Hobbies but you can also check them out at .

    It is a good material that I glued to the frame of the roof with ACC glue. It takes acrylic paints well too.

    I hope this is helpful.
    Doc Tom:mrgreen:
  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    corrougated material

    One of my old time train buddies Pick Perry of Hurtsbourough Alabama built the back side of a huge O scale sawmill on an On30 . He had found rolls of corrugated paper at a party store. It was sold to be material for streamers or such, but the corrugations looked teal good in O scale. and he was able to do the back side of this huge mill and the roofing for the loading sheds with about six dollars in materiel (excluding paint). the corrugated paper soaked up a lot of silver spray paint, but it looked really good , and was dirt cheap. If I ever get around to building an O scale building with corrugated metal I will hunt around to see if I can come up with some of that stuff.

    Bill Nelson (up in the mountains surveying a route to add a return loop to the narrow Gauge up on top of Iron Mountain. this is tricky as it will take another walk under (Duck under if you are over six feet tall) This just at the top of the stairs entering the railroad room.
  11. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

  12. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I missed Monday night train club as well I knew I'd have to work a longer than usual shift Tuesday morning, and had had difficulty sleeping in the day on Monday, and so I didn't push it. Also I had nothing prepared to work on and recently I hadn't been getting much done when I don't go in with a plan, and pieces ready to install.

    With the supervised med pass I completed this morning, I'm done with training, so my schedule can normalize some, and perhaps that will help. Jennifer's schedule has been worse than mine, with her normal 3 12 hour shifts on the Pediatric Cardiology floor , and then two days teaching Nurse practitioner student's clinicals. Later this month she will have a vacation day scheduled in every other week to try to get a little room in the schedule for rest and recuperation.

    Hopefully when things get more sane I can start making some real progress on some train stuff. I was getting some stuff done before my schedule got shifted around for my med class. since then though I have had real trouble getting quality daytime sleep. My house doesn't have any naturally real dark rooms. All these east and south oriented room with 12 foot ceilings and 9 foot tall windows means a lot of natural light. I'm wishing I had a warm dark sleep closet somewhere.

    have a good trip.

    Bill Nelson
  13. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

  14. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Leogane Engine House gets a roof

    Well, the hard working crew of the little Sugar Hauler braved the heat and the mosquitos to get a roof on the Leogane Engine House.

    Seems the new roof rusted very quickly in the tropical moisture and the hot sun.

    The guys got the idea for the EH from the open air engine houses in CUBA, a 100 miles away, and pictured below.

    The shady roof protects the workers but sure makes it difficult to get a good photo in the shady interior. There is no electricity in 1920 Leogane Haiti and management will buy some kerosene lanterns to light the work benches that will be coming soon.
    Doc Tom :wave:

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  15. screen48

    screen48 New Member

    It just keeps getting better. Well done!!!

    How do you find the time - do you have a modeling table in the plain?
  16. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Thanks Screen,
    No, I really do not have a modeling table on the airplane to and from Haiti.
    While in Haiti I do get ideas for the scenery and in the next few months I hope to make banana trees for the rural Leogane section of this mini layout.

    About the only change I made in my personal schedule to get modeling time was to give up Television in my free time and instead do modeling.It is a pretty easy "tradeoff."
    Doc Tom:wave:

    Attached Files:

  17. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    The Sugar micro layout goes on the road

    Despite the horrible rainy weather here in Tennessee, the local Clarksville Montgomery Museum and the local Historical Society held "Train Fest" in our neat old train station pictured below.Train Fest is a display of all kinds of Railroad displays and activities......everything from a restored full scale 1:1 caboose, a country band singing RR songs, Lionel layouts, G scale layouts and scale models of trains.

    This was my first chance to take the little Haitian Sugar layout "on the road."

    Here is a couple of shots before all the kids descended on the layout to blow the whistle and ring the bells on the little Porters.

    It was a lot of fun on a rainy weekend and the layout performed nicely. The kids learned how to whistle for grade crossings and helped with some simple operations moving cane and bagged sugar around.

    The lower "box" contains all the electronics for the micro layout including a simple MRC sound system with speaker in the large two story building pictured. I use a radio control throttle so I can interact with the visitors.

    The layout is foam based and suprisingly light. The whole thing disassembles in to two parts the box and the layout and is easily transportable.

    If you are considering building a mini or micro layout this is one of the big "selling points" that got me hooked. They are easy to move and transport and can really hold kids and their parents interest. I had a lot of fun talking up our great hobby

    Dr Tom:rolleyes:

    Attached Files:

  18. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    That's a magical world you've built there, D.G....
    I only hope it's "earthquake-proof"....
  19. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Tom, next time take pictures of the kids blowing the whistles!

    That was the beginning of the rain on the train platform. on the DG CC & W RR thread I'll share a photo of the result.

  20. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Thanks Gus and Bill for looking and commenting.

    Gus, I think pink foam mountains are earthquake proof.......aren't they????sign1 Seriously though i realized that my modeling does show why there was so much devastation in modern day Port au Prince. The buildings are built perched on mountainsides with no real structural support and no reinforced concrete. It does not take much to knock them down.

    Bill, I hate using a flash for model RR pics and so these were very slow shutter speed shots taken in the low light of the museum. The kids would be nothing but blurs with their enthusiasm for trains. Plus I ran out of hands helping kids push the whistle button and operating a throttle, there was no appendage left to operate the camera. I promise to do better next time and try to get the kids to hold still for a time delayed shot:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:.

    Doc Tom

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