A bakery comes to the Rails West layout, part II


The scent of baking bread finally fills the layout.  Stores in the Carrizo Valley and the nearby region will no longer have only older bread from a far away, big city.


The site is not scenicked, but at least I have a building to serve finally.  I only modeled the office, silos and unloading area.  The actual baking facility and loading dock are just off the layout.


It sits just across the tracks from Hernandez and Sons distributor.  I hope Paco and Jim like the smell of baking bread while unloading beer!



The overhead tube takes the flour to the baking facility off site.


The view from Agri-West Supply.


Overall, it turned out about like I wanted and provides a credible place to spot a car or two of flour regularly.  Bakeries were typically small (a car or two) but active customers.I really like small flour hoppers.  It also kind of rekindles some nice memories of walking around the “good smelling” bakery with my camera recording the comings and goings off the ATSF.


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

It contributes to creating a sense of place by helping portray a small city in the west in 1981. Bakeries were common across the American landscape before there was, sadly, a big push to centralize to large bakeries about the mid to late 1990s.

A bakery comes to the Rails West layout

As numerous past posts would suggest, I am a fan of bakeries on layouts.  They are a steady source of traffic and don’t take up a huge area on a layout.  As I have written, I enjoyed driving by a bakery in Roswell, NM every day to monitor the rail action.  Every two or three days, a new load would come in, sometimes a couple.  Here are some pictures from earlier posts that I took in the early 1990s in Roswell, NM.



1993 local coming into Roswell II



View of the silos that once stood in Roswell, NM and a ATSF freight bringing a load in. You can see the pneumatic tube heading towards the bakery on the right hand side of the above photo.  It was high to prevent interfering with vehicle traffic, 1993.– all ©C. Hunt photos



My challenge was that I didn’t want to build the whole bakery, it was a bit large and I didn’t really want to scratch build the whole structure.  I wanted something close, but it didn’t have to match perfectly since the Rails West layout models a composite of western locales versus Roswell.

I decided to model only the office and the silos and suggest the larger bakery and loading docks off the layout.

Here are the Walthers Cornerstone two kits I used as the foundation–

These are the Plastic Pellet Transfer kit (933-3081) and Industry Office (933-4020) kits.

There was one problem to tackle immediately–the silos were way too high.  I had to cut them down.


Here they are after I cut them down.  There were about 30 feet too tall.  Cutting the rounded, thin plastic was tricky.  I used a miter box very carefully and a lot of sanding to get them to equal heights and squared off.  Once I got them to about the “Roswell” heights, I assembled the silos.


Once I was happy with the silos, I started on the associated structures and the office.


The office was a breeze to build after tackling the silo cut downs.


I will share the final product in the next post.  Overall, I am pretty pleased with it.

Cool books on western shortlines

I have been enjoying some great books from an author that was new to me, Jeff Moore.  Jeff, so far, has written on western shortlines primarily in California and Oregon.


The above book caught my eye on Amazon so I thought I’d try it.  It just so happened at the same time, B. Smith, suggested that I might like Jeff’s book on lumber short lines in California.


I highly recommend both books.  Jeff hits just the right amount of history and descriptions of operations to make the reader feel a connection to each of the short lines featured. The photos are very supportive of the text and help the reader visualize each of the operations. The photos and text work well together to help me improve the accuracy of my efforts to capture western railroading in 1981.  I am beginning to incorporate some new thinking on the “college” shortline on my layout.


Image used with permission. –©Jeff Moore

Jeff includes maps for the lines discussed and photos to help you visualize the operations. Mind you, there are not mainly photographic books.  The format of the two above paperback books is about 7 by 9 inches.  However, photos are used very skillfully to reinforce the informative text.


Image used with permission. –©Jeff Moore

The thing that is a little different about these books is that you learn a little history of each of the lines and a fair amount of the traffic history, which is really great for modelers.

Jeff’s writing style is perfect to make the reading enjoyable and informative.   The photos really help, but with Jeff’s style, these are not dry historical texts.  He offers just the right amount of history, discussion of more contemporary operations, maps and images.

If you like western shortline prototype operations, I recommend both of these books. Though most of the lines have ceased operations, a few of them still operate.

Jeff has written other books on the subject.

And he has just published a larger format book entitled, the McCloud River Railroads.   The book description offers that features “385 photographs, many in color and published for the first time, and 41 maps and drawings. Maps were drawn by John R. Signor. Size 8.5 x 11, 385 photos; 41 maps & drawings.mccloud-cover-small