In Praise of Bakeries, Part I

I lived in Roswell, NM, for much of the early 1990s.  One of the pleasures of early 1990 Roswell was driving by the Rainbo bakery and smelling the fresh bread being baked.  Another treat for me was to check out the spur where the Santa Fe Railway brought in covered hoppers of flour.

Roswell II

Site of Bakery in Roswell.  Green dots denote the former unloading area.

Sadly, it is all gone now with the exception of a few relics.  The green dots above show where the cars were spotted for unloading and the base upon which the silos sat that stored the flour.  The flour was pneumatically carried from the train car to the silos and from the silos to the bakery.  I am not sure if the remaining structure was related to the bakery.  I remember to pneumatic tube that carried the flour to the bakery was pretty long and may have gone to a structure that has now been demolished.


View of the silos that once stood in Roswell, NM. Must have been a busy week, normally only 1 to 2 cars of flour was spotted. You can see the pneumatic tube heading towards the bakery on the right hand side of photo.  It was high to prevent interfering with vehicle traffic, 1993.– ©C. Hunt photo

The bakery in Roswell would normally receive 1 to 2 cars once to twice a week.  It was a small, but very steady customer.


Pillsbury car spotted at bakery 1992.– ©C. Hunt photo


Reverse side of silos. — ©C. Hunt photo

I wish I had taken more photos of the overall operation.  As usual, I didn’t think I was capturing the closing days of something that had been going on for many years.

1993 local coming into Roswell II

ATSF local coming into town in 1993.  Note UP flour car destined for the bakery.– ©C. Hunt photo

Above is an action shot I caught while the ATSF local down from Clovis heading to Carlsbad stopped in Roswell.  The local generally had to switch the bakery and the Budweiser distributor and often the team track and Miller distributor.  The Coors distributor and lumber yard were regular but less frequent customers.  There was a smattering of irregular customers also in the area including a dairy, a Christmas ornament factory and a waste recycling facility.

If you model the mid-1990s or earlier, a bakery is worth considering for your layout.  They were widespread and regular customers and often received smaller cars.   You don’t even have to model the whole operation.  You can just model the silos with the bakery being theoretically just off the layout just as the above photos suggest and as B. Smith did on his LCN RR.

unnamed (4)

B. Smith only modelled the silos.  The bakery sits just off the layout.

unnamed (2)

unnamed (3)

His bakery also receives corn syrup by rail so there is also a tank (on the left) in his unloading area.  His bakery is usually good for a couple of covered hoppers and an occasional corn syrup tank car.

unnamed (5)

In part II of this series, I will discuss a little more about modelling bakery operations and discuss rolling stock options.

4 thoughts on “In Praise of Bakeries, Part I

  1. Reblogged this on Andrew's Trains – Formerly and commented:
    Bakeries make for fascinating operations on a model railroad. They can be modelled with minimal facilities (such as the unloading areas – silos, tanks and such) or full blown with the entire bakery building and office complex should you have the space. Being space poor, the silo and tank thing (really the most detailed part of the operation) appeals to me the most. I’ve blogged about Bakeries as on-line customers (Mrs Baird’s on the Bergstrom Lead in Austin, TX) here before as has Lance Mindheim (Miami, FL).

    Small and larger bakeries continued to use rail for inbound loads until the early 1990s. Rails West has some great history in this post (part 1 of at least 2) and it is really worth the read. I hope that you enjoy. Thanks go to Rails West for sharing his personal knowledge of the industry.


  2. Pingback: Neat little structure in Roswell, New Mexico to model and more… | Rails West

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s