Saturday, February 25, 2017

Modeling Danbury - Signature Structures, Freight House, Finishing Up

Loading Docks

The loading dock models for the freight house were built separately from the freight house then added to the layout scene after finished structure was in place. Thinking was that it would be easiest to integrate ballast, weeds and other assorted items into the scene that would naturally be under the wooden dock and around the freestanding auto dock before they were in place.

The Freight House Dock

The prototype dock is constructed entirely of wood, surrounds the freight house on three sides then continues beyond the easterly end approximately 90 feet. There are two stair cases on the west end and a ramp on the east end.

The model dock was built with sheet styrene and strips. The underside of the dock during construction is shown below. A simple jig was made to construct the 66 support bents and a spacer block was made to equally space and keep the bents square when gluing them to the bottom of the docks decking.

The top side of a section of the dock after the support bents were glued it place.

At 54" in actual length the finished dock is an impressive size model in its own right.

The Auto Unloading Dock

The free standing auto dock that was at the east end of the freight house is the only remnant of the freight house that still exists today, it is on the grounds of the Danbury Railway Museum.

The kindly folks at the museum permitted me to go into the yard to take measurements and the photos shown below for modeling reference.


As seen above the prototype dock and ramp were constructed with a rail tie surround filled with sand/gravel and topped with a concrete pad.

On the model foam board insulation is subsututed for the sand, styrene sheet for the concrete and strips are used for the tie surround.

Completed Freight House Photos

Below are some photos of the freight house installed on the layout.

This was a lengthy build in time and dimension, but was a fun build! The freight house is now the nucleus of the Danbury portion of the layout. Still needed is some freight for the docks, trucks and grease spots left by them in the driveway, all those neat details that will come in time.

Now it is time to run the daily symbol and extra freights that run thru and in and out of Danbury.


  1. Beautiful work as always, Joe. Thanks for sharing it here - it's inspiring!
    - Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)