The Haitian Sugar Train

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

  1. LarryR

    LarryR On30 Resource Center


    Doc Tom,

    I discovered your beautiful Haitian micro layout on Carl Arendt's site, then found this forum. I wanted to say "Thank You" for both sharing your wonderful layout with us and for the work you are doing with the Visitation Hospital in Haiti.

  2. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member



    Welcome to Zealot. This is a great forum, easy to see and share. The only thing it lacks is more folks looking and sharing. while you are here look around, and if you have stuff that looks good, please share it.

    My narrow gauge efforts are concentrated in Hon3, although I have spread some On3o stuff to ON3

    Bill Nelson (longtime cohort of Dr Tom; I have threads all over the place here.)
  3. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Thank You

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for the nice comments. If you would like to read more about Visitation Hospital here is the website

    Yes this has been a fun build for me. Here are some pictures of the next scene I will model after the Engine House is finished. It is a Haitian Distillery making moonshine rum from sugar cane. I had a lot of fun doing field research here with a local Catholic priest. This scene will be on the flip side of the little micro layout.

    Bill Nelson is right in his post above. This is a fun site and it is very easy to post pictures of modeling, moonshine stills etc..

    Are you modeling in On30? Do you have a micro layout?

    Doc Tom:wave:

    Attached Files:

  4. LarryR

    LarryR On30 Resource Center

    Hi Doc Tom,

    I visited the Visitation Hospital website and was glad I did. I have been wanting to make a contribution to help the people of Haiti and wanted to be sure it would be effective, so I made a contribution there. Thanks.

    Your next scene looks like it will be interesting and unique. I look forward to seeing it. It must be great to be able to do "hands on" research for your layout.

    Yes, I model in On30. I have a Inglenook switching layout which is just a bit larger than the standard definition of a micro. It's just some partially ballasted track on a bare board right now. I work with some neighborhood kids here in Brooklyn, NY and I use it as part of an introduction to model railroading for them.

    I am also a member of an On30 modular group and have two 2ft x 4ft modules. We set up at meets 2-3 times a year.

  5. LarryR

    LarryR On30 Resource Center

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the welcome. This seems to be a really nice forum and I'm sure I will be visiting regularly. When I have something worth sharing I will post it.

    I see what you mean about having threads all over. You're a busy guy!

  6. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Larry,

    "Mesi anpil pou ede moun malad e pov nan Ayiti." Haitian Kreyol for: " Thank you very much for helping the poor and sick in Haiti."

    Your donation is much appreciated.

    On30 is an interesting scale and guage. I have been reading on the On30 "conspiracy" website about how many people are critiqued for doing 3 foot narrow gauge lines in On30 which is of course 30" between the rails. What is interesting to me is that the Railroads that ran in Haiti and in much of South America where and are 30" between the rails. Also the first locomotive on the Haitian RR in Haiti was a far I am prototypically and historically correct in this micro layout.

    Hands on field research is a lot of fun. My co-workers in Haiti know I am a "train nut" so they will always stop to point out abandoned right of way, rusting old steam engines, and interesting industries like the "rhum" distillery above.

    We would love to see some pictures of your switching layout and the modular layout. It is pretty easy to post pictures here so give it a shot.

    Doc Tom :wave:
  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    the old molassis mill


    Once upon a time we had an old molasses mill back on the tree farm. . One of the neighbors wanted to use it and the neighboring field, to grow the cane; and struck a sharecropping deal with my father. Dad would get 20% of the Molasses, as his share. Well the Neighbor goes to the local hardware store, and charges enough new tin gallon containers to hold Dad's 20%, which ends up costing more than the molasses would have.

    Then a ways later Dad gets a visit from the Lauderdale County Mississippi Sheriff . It seems that the neighbor used his 80% to cook up some homemade Rum.

    The story gets better. sorry folks , but it can't be told without using some language, offensive to many, which I will use, in a quote, under very careful and in a very narrow historical context, but will not commit to writing, as I do not have enough of the details to fully establish the historical nature of the tale. I should have had a tape recorder going.

    Bill Nelson
  8. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    This is an interesting story. I hope to hear the end of it some time. Fermenting sugar juice is the basis for rum all right.

    Here is a shot of the outdoor sugar press at the mill/distillery in Haiti I hope to model. Look at all that sugar cane stacked by the press. I hope to have my little RR help in getting the cane to this back woods/jungle still.

    Doc Tom:p:p:p:p:p

    Attached Files:

  9. Quarryman

    Quarryman Member

    WOW that's some AWSOME :thumb::thumb: modeling.
    Just love the detail and the whole composition of the layout, very well done.

    Joe, :wave::wave:
  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    Tom does good work! I'd like to take credit for that, but after twentyseveral years of working together. I can no longer remember what I taught him, what he taught me, what we developed independently, and what we developed together. In any case it is a lot of fun to watch that tool kit get used on something other than the mountains of Tennessee,

    Bill Nelson
  11. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Joe,

    Glad you liked the RR. I have enjoyed building it as it has been a real learning experience, both doing the research and building the structures from scratch.

    But underneath it is a mini layout much like yours. Looking forward to seeing some more of your posts of your RR from "down under."

    Doc Tom:thumb:

    Attached Files:

  12. Quarryman

    Quarryman Member

    Hey Tom, :wave:, down under I may be but I model American Prototype.

    Much prefer things your side of the fence. sign1

    :thumb::thumb: Joe.

    P.s. (Don't see too many Camels in my neck o' the woods....or
    kangaroos sign1 )
  13. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Joe,

    I have noted that quite a few "Aussie" Modelers do American prototypes.

    I have enjoyed some of the colorful RR models of Australian bush trains including a green shay I saw on one of the Australian RR websites. After decades of looking at "grimy black" lokies it is fun to see some international color.

    Doc Tom

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