Thursday, December 24, 2020

Why am I doing this?

Talk about a project that was completed in fits and starts, these two gons take the cake. Many years ago, I purchased a Concor 52'6" gondola kit that included steel coils, coil troughs and hoods. Somewhere along the line I found another one, probably at a train show. I had always intended to build these for the home road and paint them in a similar scheme to those found on the C&O/B&O/Chessie System in the 1970's. The photo below shows how Chessie marked these cars especially for coil service. In addition to the two yellow panels on the side and the "COILS ONLY" stencils, the interiors of the cars were painted yellow. This was supposed to help alert crews and shippers to the special loading requirements.

So this past May, I took the kits to Michigan with the intention of building them over the summer. I had built one of these kits before for general service, and I remembered that the underbody had to be modified in order to lower the trucks. And lowering the trucks meant changing the coupler pockets and end sills. There was a great article many years ago on how to do this, but of course I couldn't find it. So I looked at the bottom of the one I had built previously in order to figure out what needed to be done.

So I started hacking away at the bottom of the car. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty, but I wasn't building this for a contest and no one was ever going to see the bottom of it anyway. The photo below shows the modifications to lower the trucks and raise the coupler pockets.

The next step was to glue the underframe pieces to the body. Armed with a few clamps and some wood blocks, the next step was easy.

As I was working on the underframe, I was also looking at the sides and ends and trying to determine what needed to come off and be replaced with some finer detail. It soon became apparent that just about everything had to come off. About this time, I began to wonder why I was spending all this time hacking away on a kit that was at least 30 years old and lacked all of the finer detail that's available on RTR stuff today. I was about to throw in the towel when I came across the photo below.

The picture taken by Steven Brown shows Clarke Avenue Yard in Cleveland on the old B&O. What caught my eye was the gon behind the switcher. Note the yellow interior- this is clearly one of the coil gons and it's in pretty good shape. And while it is difficult to see in this photo, the car has ladders on the right side. I had been working on a resin kit of a SOU gon and it had ladders on all the corners. So it occurred to me that I could use ladders instead on grabs on the corners. And there was the additional inspiration I needed.

Next up, I carved off most of the detail and added new ladders and stirrup steps. I also added some etched walkways pieces to the solid platforms by the handbrake. As I wanted the cars to be able track well while empty, I also added some shot to the bottoms. Remember- I said that no one was going to see the bottoms! The photo below shows the cars at this point.

With the cars complete, I now turned to the hoods and troughs. My efforts here didn't last long as it became apparent that the hoods would require major work. In addition to adding grab irons all around, the braces for the top that came with the kit weren't going to work. I started looking through kits I had on hand and online but couldn't find anything that would work. I really didn't want to scratch-build these, but I was too far into this project to turn back. So the cars sat for awhile.

Sometime later, I came across a photo of the B&O gons with a caption that said these cars were rebuilt for hot coil service and as such, didn't have hoods. Bingo! That was exactly the inspiration I needed to finish these up. I dug through my coil car photos and found the one you see below.

A cradle like the one in the gon would be easy enough to build out of styrene shapes. A quick search through my supplies yielded exactly what I needed. So the last piece of the puzzle for these two cars was finally in place!

Several trips through the paint shop, some home road decals, and this project was finally complete. The cars received light weathering as they were rebuilt in September of 1975. The photos below show the final results.

So why did I do this? Several reasons. First, I had always wanted to have a couple of coil gons like these decorated for the home road. Second, I still enjoy taking some of the old standards and making something somewhat acceptable out of them. And lastly, one of the really neat things about proto-freelancing is that you can come up with rolling stock like this. While there's no specific prototype for the car, it is based upon prototype principles and practices. And hopefully, I've followed those closely enough to make it appear as thought there could have been prototype for it.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

New Motive Power- 1

The railroad's locomotive shops have been busy. The most recent addition to the roster is SD9 1752. This is a Proto 2000 unit that was decorated as a BNSF repaint of a Burlington Northern unit. It was on sale at Walthers and had a Tsunami in it so I figured I couldn't go wrong even though it would need some modifications. The footboards had been cut off the bottom of the pilots and notches were cut in the top corners to accept the newer style cut levers. As it clearly represented a unit that had been updated at some point, I was going to paint it in the modern CWE scheme (F4). But after retiring SD9 1763, there were no locos on the railroad in the earlier paint scheme (F3). So I decided that this unit would carry the colors that were last applied to diesels in early 1967.

This project turned out to be more work than I had originally anticipated. The rotary beacon on the cab rood had to be removed and the hole filled. I cracked one of the number boards trying to get it out of the body and it had to be repaired. Then there was the frame. If the unit was going to be painted in the F3 scheme of the early 1960's, it probably wouldn't have had the footboards removed and the newer style uncoupling levers. So I dug through my spare parts boxes until I found a frame from an older unit. Fortunately, the shell fit onto the frame without any problems. Next, I wanted to add spark arrestors that were applied to all of the first generation EMDs. Of course, the BNSF winterization hatch interfered with them, so I had to dig through my parts box to find a replacement. Once all of the changes were complete, it was off to the paint shop.

I tried fading the Pullman Green with oils by mixing up a dirty grey color. It didn't turn out as I had hoped although it did a fairly good job of fading the paint. I went back over it with another wash of burnt umber and ivory black oil paint which toned down the grey wash. The final results can bee seen in the photos.

The unit was been renumbered post 1968, so the numbers on the cab side received less weathering than the rest of the unit. 

The unit will be assigned to either the ballast train or switcher duty at Nelsonville or North Pierce. While the weathering didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped, it's good to have a unit on the railroad in the pre-1967 F3 paint scheme.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Freight Car Redo- 1

 For the past six months or so, Bob Fallowfield has been going back over his fleet of cars with an eye toward updating and/or redoing the weathering on them. I've been following his progress on his Galt Sub of the CP Facebook page. Bob models the late 1970's- early 1980's so a lot of his freight cars are of interest to me. He does some really beautiful work, and I've learned a few new tricks from him. But what I've really taken away from watching his progress is the desire to go back and do the same thing with my fleet. The first to go through the program is C&O 619112.

This is one of the Walthers RTR cars that came out in the mid-1980's. I removed all of the cast on grab irons and replaced them with Details Associates wire grabs, replaced the stirrup steps with A-Line parts, and replaced the roofwalk with an etched metal one. It was a lot of work. Once the new parts were on, I masked off the rest of the car and sprayed over the ends and the ends of the sides with Scalecoat II (I think- it was a long time ago!). I painted the trucks a rust brown color and then weathered the car with a light dusting of Floquil Grime. The weathering was based upon a color photo that appeared in Rail Model Journal back in the day. Satisfied with the results, it went on the railroad.

At some point in the not-too-distant past, I came across a photo of one of these cars and noticed that the bottom was blue. Sigh. A quick check of other cars in this series showed that all of the bottoms were painted Chessie Dark Blue, as were almost all of the covered hoppers painted in the Chessie scheme. So I grabbed the old car, looked at the bottom, and realized it would be a chore to mask it off and repaint it. So it sat a while longer.

A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that I could brush paint the bottom. It certainly didn't have to be perfect. I could just mix up a blue that closely resembled the Chessie paint and have at it. I could also redo the weathering which I had never really been satisfied with. The photo below shows the results of the paint job.

When new, the trucks on these cars were painted the same blue color as the bottom. I thought I could capture this look with some artist's oil dabbed on with a cosmetic sponge. It wasn't a one shot fix as I had hoped. I ended up going back over the trucks with a wash of artist's acrylic burnt umber and then finished it off with Pan Pastel highlight.

The final step was to add some wheel splatter to the ends and touch up the coupler pockets. The results can be seen below.

It's nice to finally have this car looking more like the prototype. Given all the time and effort I had put into it back in the day, I really didn't want to abandon it. Will the crews notice the improvement? Unlikely. But at least I won't be inclined to turn my head away every time I see it!

Monday, December 7, 2020

Diesel Paint Schemes- Part 1

In January of 1947, the Mechanical Department of the Chesapeake, Wheeling & Erie Railroad placed its first order for diesel locomotives. For a railroad that depended upon the shipment of coal for its livelihood, indeed its very survival, this was a difficult decision. But recent reports from other lines of the incredible performance of diesel locomotives versus their steam counterparts made the decision inevitable. Management owed it to the stockholders to at least evaluate the potential of these new machines.

In mid-1947, the first six of a total order of ten EMD NW2s arrived on the property. These units were assigned to the large coal loading facilities at Hunters Bay, VA and were used primary to shuttle coal between the massive coal storage yard and the loading wharves. This job had been handled by the railroads venerable Class S 0-8-0 switchers that were purchased from Alco in the mid-1930's. These locomotives were showing their age and the increase in post-war coal movements required additional power to handle the tonnage.

The paint scheme for the NW2s was the product of the designers at EMD. With input from management, the talented individuals at EMD selected an overall color of Pullman Green with a yellow stripe on the hood. The railroad's name was spelled out in white Railroad Roman letters on the hood above the yellow stripe and the CWE herald was placed in the stripe on the cab side. The locomotive number was placed above the stripe on the cab.

Impressed with the performance of this first group of locomotives, the railroad ordered a handful of additional switchers from its long time steam locomotive partner, American Locomotive Company. The first two Alco S2s arrived in June of 1948 and were assigned to the coal operation at Hunters Bay along with the NW2s. The S2s were painted in the same scheme as the NW2s but with the road number below the yellow cab instead of above it. 

By the end of the month, another three S2s joined the ten NW2s already at work keeping the coal moving at Hunters Bay. And the writing was on the wall- there would be no turning back. Dieselization of the railroad was inevitable. The first handful 0-8-0s were sent to Richmond to be scrapped in August of 1949.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A Fun Build

Perusing pictures of freight cars occasionally provides me with inspiration. Such was the case recently with an Atlas 53' Evans double plug door boxcar that I purchased some years ago. I bought it used and wasn't sure at the time if the paint scheme was correct or not. As I found out later, Atlas does a pretty good job of replicating prototype paint scheme and this car is a very good representation of the prototype. I stumbled across a few photos of this car on the Internet and it appeared to have a painted roof, or at least a significant amount of overspray of the orange on the sides. I didn't recall that being the case with the model, so I grabbed it to compare to the photos. Sure enough, the Atlas roof is painted to represent galvanized steel. It occurred to me that I could mix up a color close to the color on the sides and paint the roof. So armed with a little inspiration, I set off to get this car on the railroad.

The first step was to add cut levers. Plano Model Products makes a number of variations of the type used on cushioned underframes and this particular car has the Stanray style sliding cut bar. These come as a kit with five separate pieces for each lever. Having never built these before, I was a little apprehensive. However, everything fit together perfectly and the kit was much easier to construct than I anticipated. The photo below shows the cut bars. 

After adding A-Line stirrup steps, I painted the trucks and underframe with Rust-Oleum Weathered Wood color Roof Accessory Spray paint. This line of paint is dead flat and comes in several colors that are great for model railroading.

Next, I masked off the sides and ends and painted the roof. The color isn't an exact match, but a little weathering goes a long way toward making it appear to be correct. The photo below shows the roof.

I added an ACI label, sprayed the entire car with Dullcote, and then weathered it lightly using artist's acrylics and Pan Pastels. This car was built in 1974 and wouldn't have had time to acquire much dirt and grime by 1976.

This was a fun build and the chance to add some prototype details to a ready-to-run freight car.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Of Heralds and Paint Schemes

It all started innocently enough. There is a group of us that are interested in coal hauling railroads and we trade emails back in forth. The topic of Alco RS3s on the L&N came up and there were a number of great photos posted. I made the comment that I just might add a couple of RS3s to the roster for a mine run. And that was the start of an amazing deep dive into the railroad's locomotive history and some beautiful first generation diesel paint schemes.

Before I go any further, let me introduce Dan Borque. As I'm sure many of you know, he is the owner and proprietor of the Appalachian Railroad Modeling website and you can find it here: If you haven't checked out this site, you need to- it's filled with beautiful models, great prototype information and stories, and more track plans than you will ever find in one place. Dan is one of the most prolific track planners in model railroading and his plans have been featured in many publications. He is also an incredibly skilled modeler who is currently working on the St. Charles Branch of the Southern Railway. Here's a link to the website:

So shortly after the comment about the RS3s, Dan mentioned that it might be neat to do an "an Alco-designed lacquer scheme with lots of curves and stripes and a more practical grey and yellow for repaints." The next thing I know, there's a great looking picture of an RS3 in the proposed as-delivered paint scheme. After some input from the group and some back and forth between the two of us, Dan came up with what you see below.

Dan found some beautiful locomotive line drawings that are the work of Will Anderson. With a little bit of manipulation, he was able to add color to the drawings. Note that he also added credits at the bottom of the print.

In short order, Dan was working on the original scheme for the F units, the GPs, and a herald. Somewhere in all of this I provided him with the first diesel roster that I had developed when I originally planned the railroad along with a much later version. Dan then asked if I had ever done an analysis of total horsepower versus number of units over the years. This led to a deep dive into the roster- models, years acquired, numbers, horsepower, retirements, paint schemes- for the period from initial dieselization through August, 1976. The Excel spreadsheet that Dan prepared with all of this information is simply amazing.

There is much more to come on all of this. And I still can't believe I was fortune enough to have someone with Dan's talent pull all of this information together and develop such great looking paint schemes. But for now, I'll leave you with the steam era herald that Dan developed.

Friday, November 13, 2020

"Cause there's a fat man..."

No, not in the bathtub, but in the railroad room. During a recent op session, there were several instances of turnouts being thrown inadvertently. From all available evidence, it appears these were the result of a crew member bumping up against one of the pushbuttons on the panels. It one instance, it caused a massive derailment of a westbound MT coal train. And in fact, one crew member wrote up an occurrence, stating that he had actually observed a protruding belly commit one of these infractions.

The unnamed crew member who observed the pushbutton faux pas suggested a possible solution to the problem. His idea was to make clear cover with finger holes for the pushbuttons. I had some leftover Lexan clear plastic from a previous project, so I got to work.

The first step was to print out a copy of the panel to use as a template. I then measured the distance from the top of the pushbutton to the panel, substracted the width of the Lexan, and made stand-offs from Evergreen styrene tubing. Add some nuts and bolts and you have what you see below.

A close-up view of the Panel Protector (patent pending) shows the distance between the cover and the top of the pushbuttons.

I need one more of these for the panel at Summit Springs. Crews working the mines there need to lean in a bit to reach the cars and it would be easy to bump one of the pushbuttons while working a cut of cars. 

Now I just have to hope that the fingers of the fa.. er, waist challenged crew members will fit through the holes in the covers!

Monday, November 9, 2020

Track Plan

The CWE was featured in the June 2016 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman and the article included a beautiful track plan drawn by then editor Stephen Priest. I recently received permission from Otto Vondrak, the current editor of RMC, to post the plan on the blog with proper accreditation.  So here it is!

©2016-2020 White River Productions, illustration by Stephen Priest. Used with permission.

This plan is the result of Stephen's amazing talent and interest in the railroad, and I'm grateful to him and the folks at White River Productions for taking the time to make this happen.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Introducing... Hardy Coal Sales!

Some time ago, Anthony Hardy sent around a photo of a unique operation in the CSX yard at Ravenna, KY. Here's the photo along with his description:

Basically though what the operation consisted of was an old backhoe that permanently sat on an flatbed truck with no doors and beat up dump truck. And of course a siding.

CSX had a weigh in motion scale at Pryse about 4-5 miles from Ravenna yard. Sometimes they'd catch a car that was overloaded. Not every train...but somewhat a common occurrence. Just like a bad order, those cars had to be set out and corrected before they could continue.

Yard crew would work the train to pull the overloads, then set them out on the siding, which of course the crews referred to as "the overload track".

A local contractor, last name was Ballard, used the rear scoop from the backhoe to pull enough coal from the car to bring it into compliance. The coal was put in the old dump truck, then dumped on site. The dump truck was not used on the road, just onsite. There wasn't even a windshield in the dump truck.

My understanding is that the contractor was given the coal in exchange for making the car 'legal'. After enough was collected, they would sell the coal, bring in a tractor trailer truck, and bring a front end loader, and load out 2-3 truckloads of coal. I don't know who they sold it to...probably spot market stuff. I never saw them load it back into hopper cars, but that would be definitely plausible for shipment.

I also did see one time a centerbeam flat car loaded with fabricated i-beam floor joists spotted there. I don't know if the car was overloaded or if it got set out for some other reason but I can see where any heavy bulk load 'could' be overloaded. That was the only time I ever saw anything besides a coal hopper spotted there.

The other interesting thing was when the cars were lightened, many times they were part of a privately owned unit train. However, they would not get tied back on to that train next time it came through. It normally would leave via the one regular mixed freight that originated at Ravenna. So you'd see one or two aluminum rapid discharge cars leaving on a mixed freight.

It was a neat little operation for sure!

Of course, something like this just screams to be modeled, and I had planned on doing just that. The biggest challenge was finding the right backhoe and truck for my 1976 era. I spent some time searching the Internet but was unable to find anything that would work. Then Anthony came to my rescue with a picture of a backhoe made by GHQ Models and a link to their website. While the company is primarily a manufacturer of wargame models, they have a very nice line of HO scale kits of construction and farming equipment. Here's a link to the website: . I promptly ordered the backhoe kit and the project was on!

For the truck, I have a collection of old Roco military models that belonged to my father. One of the deuce and a half trucks seemed to be the perfect candidate as you could often find those in all types of service after they were sold by the military. Several modifications were made to the truck. The front axle was moved forward slightly in order to more closely match the prototype appearance and the sides of the bed were cut back to accommodate the outriggers. 

Modifications to the backhoe included removing the arms for the front bucket. As can be seen in Anthony's photo, the bucket has been removed and the front wheels have been turned in order to get the backhoe as far forward in the truck bed as possible. The photo below shows the truck and backhoe after being painted.

Next, the equipment was weathered using artist's oils and turpenoid. The pieces above were weathered separately as I wanted to make sure I could get into areas that might be blocked or difficult to reach once the vehicles were assembled. The photo below shows the results.

Finding a location for the operation was the easy part. There was an area of North Pierce that had never been finished because I couldn't decide what to do with it. One idea was to add an old boxcar as a storage shed. I also considered adding another building of some sort. And I was never really happy with the way the scenery around the truck loader turned out. There just wasn't enough coal on the ground around the structure and the tracks. The photo below shows how the area looked.

This area would be perfect- enough room for the equipment and coal on the ground and a place to spot a loaded hopper on the spur to the tipple. So the next step was to redo the scenery in the area. I used a combination of different colored grouts and real coal for the ground cover. The photo below shows the completed scene.

And here's a closeup of the truck and backhoe. Note that the outriggers have been added to keep the whole mess from tipping over!

Of course, there has to be some kind of paperwork for the crews alerting them to the overweight cars. Using the template I have for waybills, I made up some "OVERWEIGHT" inserts that can be slipped into the plastic waybill sleeve. The photo below shows a typical coal waybill along with one that has been marked as overweight. Note that it includes where the car should be set out along the line and the location at North Pierce with the TIBS alpha numeric code (Hardy Coal Sales N16). Crews will now need to be on the lookout for Overweight cars in addition to Bad Order cars

The photo below shows the MT's spotted at the tipple and the first loaded hopper ready to be relieved of some coal.

As for the name of the operation, it seemed only appropriate to call it Hardy Coal Sales. After all, it would never have happened without Anthony's photo, background info and help in finding a suitable backhoe. And if you know Anthony, then you know he has a wonderful sense of humor. When he originally passed around the email, he titled it "Ballard's Coal Scooper Outer." So this operation, while formally named Hardy Coal Sales, will most likely be referred to by the crews as the Scooper Outer!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Bunk House Update

 Now that the sailboat is put away for the season, it's time to get back to work on the railroad. I did manage to get a few things done over the summer, including some progress on the bunkhouses mentioned in a previous post. The photo below shows the current state of completion.

The tabs over the porches will be used to attach the porch roofs which can be seen in the middle left of the photo. The 2x4's that were painted the same color as the bunk houses will be used for the porch railing. The next photo shows the scratch-built doors.

These two structures will be located to the west of the yard office at Nelsonville. The photo below shows the area. The back of the buildings will be supported by posts in the same fashion as the section houses at Quinnimont. 

And now for a sneak peak at what will be a new "industry" on the railroad. 

More to follow on this exciting project in the near future!

Monday, August 3, 2020

"... Ding..."

Several months ago, a link to a YouTube video circulated among some of us here in the Cincinnati area. It was a 15-minute clip of the dispatcher's office on the Clinchfield in Erwin, TN back in 1987. Here's a link to the video: It's an interesting, behind-the-scenes view of a critical piece of railroading that we don't often get to see. And it was of particular interest to me because the Clinchfield was CTC over its entire length and the panel in the video is a Union Switch & Signal model.

As you would expect from someone who has studied the prototype for most of his life and relied on his observations in developing his own proto-freelanced railroad, Allen McClelland picked up on the annunciator bell. You can hear it ring whenever a train comes into a section of the railroad that is controlled by the panel. This alerts the dispatcher, along with an occupancy light, that a train has entered his area. And as you would expect from someone who is continually thinking of ways to improve operations, Allen asked Gerry Albers if there was some way to add a bell to the V&O panel on Gerry's Deepwater District VGN railroad. Gerry is a genius when it comes to anything electrical and is also deeply interested in prototype operations, and an annunciator bell of some sort seemed like a natural fit with his Signals By Spreadsheet system.

Fast forward a month or so and I found a reference to prototype CTC panel sounds on one of the forums I follow. It turns out that JMRI has most of the typical sounds in .WAV files on its website and those sounds are used in connection with JMRI's PanelPro CTC panel. I passed along the sound files to Gerry and he was off to the races.

In short order, Gerry found the small sound modules that are used in audio greeting cards. Not only were they relatively inexpensive, but you can record up to 30 seconds of sound on them. You can see one in the photo below.

There are two tabs that are connected to the board. The one with the red dot is the record button and the other one is the play button. Gerry figured out how to connect the play button to an SBS DIO card so that block detectors could be used to initiate the audio recording of the bell. And before you could say Shazam, the V&O dispatcher's panel had an annunciator bell. Whenever trains leave staging at either Gauley Bridge or Dickinson Yard and hit the first occupancy block, the CTC panel gives the dispatcher a "ding."

Of course, this is something that I just had to have. Gerry was kind enough to give me one of the cards along with instructions on how to wire it up. I mounted it on the inside of the dispatcher's panel as you can see in the photo below.

Two wires for 5V power and one wire to a DIO card was all it took to connect the hardware. A simple signal spreadsheet provides the link between the block detector and the card. So now when a train enters the railroad on either end of the board, well, see for yourself below.

These little audio cards are really neat, and we're already thinking about other ways they can be used to incorporate other types of sound into our railroad operations.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Inspiration- Part 3

Most of the scenes and structures on the railroad have been copied from the prototype in some form or fashion. It has often taken me a long time to find the right combination of structures and/or scenes in order to finish a particular area of the layout. By copying the prototype, at least to some degree, the scenes end up looking plausible and "right" in my eye. I've never been able to create something out of whole cloth that achieved the look I wanted.

A case in point is the collection of yard structures at Nelsonville. There has been an old wooden coach there for years that serves as the yard office. It's a wooden model that my Stepfather built many years ago. I painted it grey, added some roof details, and was planning to blank some windows, add a window air conditioner, and other details but lost interest at some point. You can see the structure here at the beginning of the video: The intent with this structure was to copy a similar scene at Sproul, WV on the C&O. But there's just too much wrong with the old car to make it work. So the plan now is to copy the yard office at Elk Run Jct. which can be seen in the photo below by Jonathan Spurlock. The shanty on the right in the picture has already been built and is in service at Nelsonville.

There will be several structures along the tracks to the west of the yard office and I've been kicking around ideas for this area for a long time. I looked long and hard at the structures in the yard at Thurmond, WV but came to the conclusion that there just wasn't enough room. Also, the track by the yard office is a runner and not a RIP track like the one in Thurmond, so most of the structures wouldn't have been appropriate.

So next came the idea of some type of crew quarters. I have a number of photos and plans for C&O section gang houses, and these seemed like they might work. However, most of these are two room structures with an addition on the back. I would have to skip the addition as there isn't room for it. For that reason, I wasn't completely sold on this idea.

And then came the photo. Robert Slavy posted a photo of a bunkhouse at Quinnimont, WV on the C&O Fans Facebook page. I have never seen a photo of this structure before in any of the books I have on the C&O or in any of the articles on Quinnimont that appeared in the C&OHS Magazine. This was it- finally! And it was built  to the same design standard as the other structures I have already planned to use in the Nelsonville engine terminal!

As an aside, Robert Slavy has an incredible collection of photos that he took in and around C&O locations in West Virginia in the 1960's and '70's. He grew up in Pineville, WV and worked for many years in the region. He also has some great photos and videos of the Virginian Railway in and around Mullens and Elmore, WV. I met Robert at a Virginian Crazies weekend several years ago and he's a great guy.

Back to the bunk house. The picture below shows the structure sometime in the mid-1970's.

Note the board and batten siding so common on lineside structures on the C&O. And note the longitudinal board just above the window. This same style of architecture was used on many C&O buildings, including some of the ones in Hinton, WV. I scratch-built several of the Hinton structures based upon drawings by William Simonson that were published in Model Railroad back in the early 1990's. They can be seen in the photos below.

Two of the bunkhouses will fit perfectly in the space between the yard office and the motor car shed. Now all I have to do is get them built!

And, thanks Robert, not only for this picture, but also the many others that you have shared from your collection of C&O and VGN pictures. As many others have suggested, there's a book waiting to be written with all of your shots.