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Modeling 'The Gilpin Tram' - pt.II
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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 02:10 am
521st Post
Keith Pashina

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 761

That is some good information about the East Broad Top shop equipment!

Thanks for posting the links and information regarding the borer/slotter machine.
The HAER drawing link you posted is also handy,
and a great read to see how a prototype machine shop was set up.

There is was also a paperback book published about the EBT shops,
and included great descriptions and photos of all the major equipment.

I had a copy, but seemed to have either traded or given it away.


Work progresses on the HO scale, free-lanced boiler works and machine shop complex.
I now have most completed the various structures, and will begin scenicking the scene base later this evening. 

Here are some progress shots about what I have been up to.

One side of the complex is anchored by this building,
a modified Wild West Scale Model Builders Franke Furniture kit..

Mike Pyne, the company owner/designer, probably intended for this to be a wood-working industry,
but I modeled it as a building addition to the original brick building, needed to house additional scenery.

I moved some doors around, put the small office on a different wall,
and added the steel bar and rod stock storage rack to one side.

This is a nice little kit that goes together nicely

Here's an overview of the kit.

I left off one wall until all of the interior detailing was completed before gluing it on.
The roof had to be modified, too, to make it easily removable.
The kit comes with a lot of nice laser-cut roof trusses.

Here's the completed interior, with various machine and detail kits from several manufacturers.

Not a well-focused photo, but this shows a worker at a lathe,
an attempt to make this look like a busy, prosperous machine shop

One detail part I used was this set of tools and gears that were laser-cut from a dense paper-like material.
Originally from Vector Cut, this company has since ceased business.
I wish I would have purchased more of their stuff when I could!

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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 02:19 am
522nd Post
Keith Pashina

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 761

The other side of the boiler works and machine shop has this machine shop addition.

The idea was to model a thriving business that added several additions over time.
This building began with two of the Woodland Scenics Tucker Brothers Machine Shop kits.

These kits have probably been on the market for close to 40 years now,
and are all metal, with lots detail cast onto the walls and also as separate parts.

I kit bashed the buildings into one long building.
This view of the "back side" shows two of the original walls butted together,
with a freight door sandwiched in between.

I liked the detail already cast onto the walls

Again, I left off one wall until all of the interior detailing was completed.
This include LED lighting, an overhead belt drive system, machines, tools, work benches, figures, etc.
This was a very enjoyable part of this model build! 

Another somewhat poorly focused shot,
but conveys some of the atmosphere I was trying to attain with a busy shop interior.

The tool was a casting from SS Ltd, and represents a milling machine.
The "belts" for the machine are architect's tracing paper colored with colored pencils

All of the machine shop structures have LED lighting.
This was a test of the lighting before adding the side wall and "buttoning up" the building.

That's all for now, but more photos to follow.


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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 04:12 am
523rd Post
Ken C

Joined: Tue Jun 16th, 2015
Location:  Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 862

Both machine shops look like a great addition to the layout.

Shame about Vector Cut,
did manage to get a couple of set's though.

Been collecting a number of machine shop tools myself,
one day I need to layout a plan and install them.


Ken Clark

Kaslo & Slocan Railway
International Navigation & Trading Co
Kootenay Railway & Navigation Co.
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 Posted: Mon Feb 3rd, 2020 02:16 am
524th Post
Keith Pashina

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 761

In the past couple of weeks, I managed to complete the Boiler Works and Machine Shop scene.

I took a few photos of the scene before permanently mounting it onto the Black Hawk section. 

This side of the model will be next to the 3' gauge C&S,
and the boiler works and machine shop theoretically ships materials in and out, too.

This is not modeled on my layout - just the spur track.

You can see here how the center building,
is a kitsch of two Woodland Scenics "Tucker Machine Shop"  kits.

These are all-metal kits that have been around for close to 40 years,
but still look good and worth looking into

This view is up the center courtyard, with machine shop areas on both the left and right sides.

The building in left foreground is a Rusty Rails resin kit for a small shop.

I kit bashed the square shaped building to put the inset corner.
This was needed to fit against the curved HOn30 spur, that will run along in front of the scene.

What is implied, but not modeled, is the portion of the business,
that would have included a foundry, and also boiler making and repair.

These are hinted at by the two truncated brick buildings at the rear, that abut the backdrop

This view shows what was a really fun part of building this model,
painting and planting plausible clutter and items around the buildings.

It was fun to build a variety of structure types,
brick, wood board and batten siding, metal clad wood, and plain board siding.

Everything was weathered to look kind of dingy and well-used.

Machine shops and foundry operation seem to develop general coating of dust and grime,
that coats everything inside and around the buildings

I'll bet you didn't realize that they had aerial drones back in 1902, did you?

Here is the overhead view of the completed scene, showing where everything fits together.
Three of the buildings have detailed interiors depicting machine shop operations.

I have since glued the scene down into Black Hawk,
and all that remains to be done is cover up a few glitches at the transition between the old and new scenery,
and hook up the feed wires for the LED lighting

The Black Hawk Boiler and Machine Works should be a reliable shipper,
on the HOn30 Gilpin, James Peak, and Middle Park Railway.

I suppose now I need to build a model of the boiler transport car that was on their roster,
in order to haul boilers in and out of the facility.

I also intend to model flatcar loads of machinery and equipment for repair,
and the repaired items back out.

The boiler and machine works unfortunately seems to suffer from a lot of employee turnover,
workers quitting in a huff grumble that:

"Whoever the idiot was that laid out the machines,
didn't know diddly squat about how a shop should be run",

Oh well

So, that more or less wraps up the boiler and machine shop saga.

I have also begun working on building my model of Gilpin Tram's "roundhouse",
which is what they called the converted barn that they used.

Until next time,


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 Posted: Mon Feb 3rd, 2020 10:57 am
525th Post

Joined: Wed Oct 6th, 2010
Location: Twickenham, United Kingdom
Posts: 1205
I do like the overhead belt drive set up Keith, very effective.

It also reminds me that I've got the necessary parts,
and need to install a similar set up in Updah's engine workshop,
which has been idle too long for lack of power!



Updah Creek
My Flickr albums
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 Posted: Mon Feb 3rd, 2020 12:18 pm
526th Post

Joined: Tue Jan 24th, 2006
Location: Warba, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1831
Nice work...very nice...

Another Fine Minnesota Modeler putting my efforts to shame.  ;)

Getting old aint for Sissies!!! ;)
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 Posted: Mon Feb 3rd, 2020 02:41 pm
527th Post

Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5479

WOW ! ... And it only seemed like you just got started a lil' while  :time: back as well !  :shocked:

Hi Keith  :wave:

I'm sure the workshop dudes are just luvin' that nice 'new' dirty ol' shop !  :old dude:

:!:  They are even burnin' the Midnight oil again, with overtime !  :!:

The whole scene, inside & out, looks awesome !  :bow:

And to think SO MUCH DETAIL  :shocked:  and all this to look at ... In just one 'corner' ! 

:moose: :moose: :moose: :moose: :moose:



' Mysterious Moose Mountain ' - 1:35n2 - pt.II

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
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 Posted: Sat Feb 22nd, 2020 03:09 am
528th Post
Keith Pashina

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 761
Slateworks, Si, Tileguy and others:

Glad you all enjoyed seeing the machine shop saga.

It was fun to build and more or less occupies the center of the Black Hawk scene,
so I'll call it the "center piece" of town.

Now, on to the next project....


The Gilpin Tram's engine house was north of the Black Hawk retail district and depot,
and upstream along North Clear Creek.

The engine house anchored the south end of a very small yard and turning wye.
Across the creek was a warming house for loaded ore cars.
All of this confined to a narrow, crowded valley.

The engine house was a converted horse barn,
but the railroad called it the "roundhouse", there was nothing round about it!

One end of my Black Hawk scene had room for the engine house scene.

My shelf layout is 18" wide here, and this end of the layout shares space,
with the yard, Golden Fleece Mill, and assorted small businesses.

I took drawings of the engine house,
and mocked them in the space I had available:

I decided to build a new condensed version of the engine house to fit my space.
The trackage was greatly condensed, too.

I didn't have space for the double spurs to the right of the engine house,
nor room for the warming house.

Fortunately, the engine house was very compact and could fit a small space.

I had originally built a model of the Gilpin Tram engine house in 1993,
for my HOn30 layout.

I had an article on the model and drawings,
in the September/October 1999 Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette.

The first model was of the "final" version,
when the GT had enlarged the original engine house,
to first one, then two, and finally three stalls,
to house the three Shays in use at any one time.

The photo above shows the engine house in place on the layout circa 2005.
I made the roof removable, to show off the fully detailed interior.
The repeated on-and-off moves,
had bent the corrugate roofing sheets over the stall doors.

The engine house served several different iterations of the layout,
and is shown here when mounted on 16" wide shelfs.

This photo shows just how compact the structure,
built as a model of the full-sized structure, really is.

I ended up moving and tearing up this layout,
and I gave the much-traveled engine house to a friend,
Mike Pyne of Denver, Colorado to use.

I wasn't worried about this,
as I knew someday I would build another model of the engine house,
and now, 27 years later, that day has arrived!

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 Posted: Sat Feb 22nd, 2020 03:21 am
529th Post
Keith Pashina

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 761

This sketch is courtesy of Joe Crea,
who drew this image 25 or more years ago.

I like the character he drew in this image, the Shay on the trestle,
and the open stall doors make me curious to know what's going on inside.

This is the type of scene and mood I wanted to build.

The above photo shows the GT engine house shortly after the railroad was built,
and when they had only a single locomotive,
and hence, only one stall was needed.

The trestle carries the mainline,
on the beginning of the long, laborious climb up Chase Gulch,
it was later filled in with soil.

Here's another definitive image of the Gilpin Tram,
and shows the GT with now three locomotives,
and a three-stall engine house.

An addition was added on the right side of the building to house the 3rd stall,
this stall was slightly larger than the other two,
as Shay #3 was a bit larger than their first two Shay locomotives.

There is a lot of detail to study here,
we'll jump back to enlargements of this to look at some of the details.

The next few images are enlargements from the previous photo.

If these look familiar, they are,
I posted these a year or so ago to study some of the details,
but I think they are worth re-visiting again.

So, above, we notice details of the track construction,
and a small ground throw used to throw the turnout,
leading to the left-hand engine house stall.

This would be a neat little detail to include in my model.

Of course, the GT used harp switch stands, and I already added them,
the little (former) Precision Scale Models harpswitch stands,
are easy to build and make operable.

The more I look at the trestle, the more I like it,
so I had better include that on the model, too.

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 Posted: Sat Feb 22nd, 2020 03:32 am
530th Post
Keith Pashina

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 761

In front of the engine house, squeezed up against the trestle,
is a small outbuilding that appears to be clad with sheet metal siding.

My guesstimate is that this shed was used for supplies,
and possibly flammable materials such as lubricating oils and paint.

I don't know if this was true or not, but I modeled this building in 1993,
and will re-use it on my current model.

Also, look at the detail strewn around on the ground,
wheel sets, and such - not in neat rows at all.

Yet another detail I had better include on the model.

Continuing looking at the enlargement of the photo we've been using,
we now see some details of the stall door construction,
and diagonal timbers used to support the wall and used as door stops.

We can see hints of shelving or benches inside,
and what looks to be a wooden and not dirt floor in the shadows inside,
intriguing, and I had better plan to build a full interior in my new model.

The rooftop shows details, too,
such as a whistle that can be seen in front of the stack.
I took this to mean a boiler for powering belt-driven machinery was below,
was this what actually was built?

We don't know.
I have never seen any photos or drawings showing the interior,
so it is my guess and "modeler's license"

Yet another signature image of the Gilpin Tram.

Dang it, those pesky Shays are again blocking my view of the engine house.
Notice the different height stall doors, twelve-pane windows,
what looks to me like sheet metal siding, and other details.

Also, the lower left hand corner of the roof was notched to provide clearance,
this doesn't show up in the earlier, single-stall photo,
so maybe this had to be done when the bigger Shay #3 showed up. 

Another neat little detail to model,
that tells a story about the history of this structure.

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