Woodchip Industry

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by MagicMan_841, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Member

    I love woodchip cars. I really love them. I have 4 of them in CN paint (DI) and of course I need a place to load/unload them on my future layout. The thing is that I don't have the space to build a huge paper mill or a lumber mill complex. My question is, what other industries, that are relatively small, use woodchips, or produce them? Are there such things as places where trucks unload logs and they are turned directly to chips? My layout will represent anywhere in Canada in the last 10-15 years.

  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    You could model a rotary dumper to barge facility to exchange with an off pike industry. Be a great way to have an interchange with other layouts i.e. you receive a shipment from one latout and transfer by by barge to another.
  3. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    I wish I could find a pic to show you, but in North Vancouver, by the BC Rail passenger terminal that once was .... sob... is (are) large piles of wood chip to be taken where I do not know. The piles are quite high, 3 or 4 stories high. To model it, you need some kind of token structure, a road in with a truck or two on it; track(s) in. You might have a tall long pipe that is high with a hose connected to it, kind of like a fire hose (to spray the wood chips so you don't have internal combustion), you might even have a couple of these. And that's it.

    So make a couple of cones out of cardboard (cereal box type) and coat it (them) with white glue and sprinkle on saw dust, build this pile up a bit. Maybe a bull dozer sitting at the top of the pile moving some chips would be good.
  4. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Member

    Hum, I like both ideas, but I like rsn48's more. That's probably what I'll go for. I understand that the chips are took to this place by truck, and that there is some sort of little office??? (the token building thing). Is it possible for you to get some pics of it and post them here? I would really appreciate if so.

    Thanks a lot
  5. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    There are many small sawmills along the banks of the Fraser River. My son lives in Mission and has taken me for drives along the river to see them. Hard to get a photo unless you have a boat to take them from the river side. Logs arrive by water and the sawmills turn them into chips. The piles aren't as high as the ones mentioned by rsn48 but must be 20 to 30 ft. high. The railroad track runs close by so the chips can be easily loaded into those.
    As for destinations, chips could go to a dock and be loaded onto a barge or ship to be transported elsewhere.
    Some smaller industries may also require wood chips such as one that makes particle board or MDF board.
  6. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    I know wood chips are brought in by train as I see the rotary dumper there. Are trucks taking them in or out, I don't know. It wasn't in my conscious when I was in the area. I too considered modeling this area - may still yet.

    Yes the structure is an office. Nothing complicated. You could buy a house structure and make it into an office.

    I have edited this in; this is a picture I found. I'm not even sure if it is of the area in North Vancouver, and it isn't a great pic for a comprehensive view, but it will give you an idea:

  7. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Member

    Very interesting, rsn. I clicked on the "Chip Loading Terminal" link at the bottom and there are some nice drawings there. It would be a nice industry to model if anyone had the space. hehe.

    I'll probably scale it down and change the theme. I don't want any water or boats so I'll just say that chips are brought in by truck from the off-layout sawmills and unloaded there, then they are loaded into gondolas. I'll probably have one or two pile of chips. I might also put an area for trucks to unload finished wood products and then load them into centerbeam flats... hum, yea.. I like that idea.

    Thanks a lot for the precious advice!
  8. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    How about modeling the wood chip piles as described above and just suggest a large paper mill with a backdrop picture or a flat?
  9. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Member

    I've though about a backdrop. I'll probably add one. Either a sawmill or a paper mill.

    Thanks for the tips, guys.
    Much appreciated
  10. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    A tip Magicman, put your backdrop in as early as possible. It only gets harder latter on. In Vancouver, I'm one of a very small small minority that have their backdrop complete. And, interestingly enough, I haven't laid any track yet.

    People will give you all kinds of reasons why they haven't worked on the backdrop, but the real reason for many is that it is intimidating and is one area they can procrastinate (since everyone else is) and worry about it latter. Only latter the backdrop gets much harder to install or paint in, since mountains and structures are up.

    Backdrops can actually be one of the hardest items on layout building as it calls for skills most of us don't have and if we do decide to learn, its not something quick learning like soldering, etc.
  11. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Member

    Thanks for the tip. What should I use to make a backdrop? (the material, I mean)
  12. upguy

    upguy Oregon Western Lines, CEO

  13. upguy

    upguy Oregon Western Lines, CEO

    Here's another picture of the same module that was taken about the same time as the one in the thread. I was going to just attach this photo when I edited my first post, but I had to post again to get the attachment feature.

    Attached Files:

  14. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    I will give you my recommendations for me; you can glean from it what you want.


    A backdrop is one of the most important items on a layout. Although it should not dominate, it should not detract either. There are three levels of backdrops - 1) the Wow! category where the backdrop knocks your socks off 2) the good category where the backdrop does a good job of setting the tone, atmosphere and location of the layout, but it doesn't dominate; and lastly - 3) the invisible category which is backdrop which is there but people don't become aware of it right away, but more importantly it doesn't detract from the layout either. For example, a good sky scene can be an invisible category.

    The second step for me was to choose which category I wanted. Of course my first choice was the "Wow! category, but as you will see latter, this changed.

    Next a serious assessment of my skills. Since I feel the backdrop should be so important, the question that comes to mind is - do I possess the artistic skill to pull off any of the above three categories. Well I felt I could do a category three backdrop, but remember I wanted a category one backdrop.

    So I ruled out me doing the backdrop, which led me into either commercial backdrops or my photographic backdrops. I ruled out my own photo backdrops as I didn't feel up to the task. So a commercial backdrop it was to be.

    So I decided on something from www.backdropwarehouse.com but that was when I learnt about another important aspect of backdrops - affordability. You see I was going to need about 65 feet of backdrop and to be honest I just wasn't going to be able to afford that much in Canadian dollars from backdropwarehouse.

    I then looked at a local chap in Vancouver who does a good job, but I ruled him out due to cost and to the fact that I decided to change locations - he was going to shoot some local scenes for me.

    So finally, finances being a harsh mistress, I decided on Faller's for my backdrop. I got the look I was after but I had to drop a category from "Wow" to "good." The only way you can see all of what is available from Faller's is to look at an older Walther's catalogue. Walther's still carries it all or will bring it in, but it no longer shows all of what is available in current catalogues.

    So in the end, I installed 65 feet of Faller's (I had to order more since it comes in pre-determined lengths in various scenes). I ended up using three different scenes with three different heights to suit the area of bench work where it was going (double decker).

    So this is how I reasoned out my backdrop. Of course I don't know what you are skilled at - art? photography? Or what your priorities are - wow, good, or invisible. But maybe my process of reasoning can help you out.

    Do your backdrop now. You'll be one of the only ones in your area with a finished backdrop and you will be amazed at how "finished" your layout will appear, with - if you are like me - you have no track laid yet.
  15. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Member

    rsn : my layout is currently a piece of 1½" pink foam with nothing on it. Because of the roof there's some of the wall that's inclined so between the top of the layout and the beginning of the inclined part there's about 7-8 inches max. I can't put my ADM elevator against the wall because it's too high... Thanks for the precious advice!

    upguy : very nice railroad and backdrops, sir. Is this N Scale ??? And did you scratchbuild the woodchip loader or is it a kit??? If it's a kit, who makes it???
  16. upguy

    upguy Oregon Western Lines, CEO

    Yes, it is N-scale. The woodchip loader is a kit that is, I believe, made by Republic Locomotive Works. If I remember right, the kit is made for truck loading; but this one was modified to be used for railcars. (I was fortunate enough to get this one off of eBay, so I didn't have to build it myself.)
  17. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Member

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