Dual Era Structure, Part III — 1990

By the time the 1990s rolled around, only a few large trucking firms were thriving.  Consolidated Freightways managed to continue having success and hung on until 2002.


I’ve always liked their logo and image.  CF had its roots in Portland, OR, but grew to have a presence across the nation.


The structure is nicely “forward dated” by switching out the PIE trailers and tractors for CF equipment.


And parking the right kinds of cars around it.


It doesn’t really generate freight traffic for the railroad, but it does add a nice industry to enhance the overall realism of the layout.


Overall. I am please with the result.  The price for the terminal was sure right since I had all the parts to the building on hand.



Trailers were getting bigger by 1990 as the 48′ trailer attests.

Hapy railroading! (whether it be the 1990s, 1960s or whenever)



Dual Era Structure, Part II — Late 1960s

The PACIFIC INTERMOUNTAIN EXPRESS became the largest trucking company in the world in 1956.  By 1946 PIE had 535 employees and was growing rapidly through many acquisitions in the late 1940s and 1950s.  By the mid 1960s P.I.E. extended service to the east coast through more acquisitions, having 67 terminals in 29 states. In 1973 the company was purchased by IU International, and in 1983 merged with Ryder Truck Lines, forming Ryder/P.I.E Nationwide. Sadly, by 1989 loses were staggering, and the company was sold again, absorbing Transcon Lines. Loses continued, and in 1990 P.I.E. filed for bankruptcy.

However, on the RailsWest layout, the PIE is living it up in the late 1960s (sometimes early 1970s).



Small but often busy place.




Doesn’t generate rail traffic, but it does give a place to change up from time to time to create a more dynamic layout.  (A future project is to weather the tractors and trailers and add license plates!)


Next post will share its 1990 appearance.


Dual era structures?

Readers on this blog will recall a number of posts related to making your freight cars dual era.  I often make one side of the car appropriate weathering wise and other identifiers (COTS, ACIs, etc) for one era and the reverse side of the car appropritate for another.  Roofwalks obviously can put a crimp on this strategy depending on the breadth of your eras.  This works well if you have a shelf layout where only one side of your car is normally visible.

With this post, I want to illustrate a dual era structure.  By changing signs and surrounding details, one can backdate or “forward date” a structure.

When I lived in Roswell, NM, in the early 1990s, I often drove by a truck freight terminal. I often thought how I’d like to have a non-rail business such as this.  By changing out the trucks and trailers from time to time, one could  introduce a little variety on the layout.  Sometimes the terminal was quiet, other times, there’d be many trailers parked at the dock.

With this series, I am going to share how I took the leftovers from Hernandez Distributing (originally two Walthers Grocery Supply kits) project and created a dual era truck terminal that will be used to portray a late-1960-early 1970s Pacific Intermountain Express operation and a Consolidated Freightways operations set in 1990 around the time I lived in Roswell.  Just for fun, I theorized that Gillette Western also occasionally uses the terminal when it is in the early era JUST because I have a very cool Gillette Western truck and trailer and want to be able to use it!  (Hey, it could have happened!)

Ok, here is the building I made from leftovers of two Grocery Distributor kits.


Nothing too fancy.  This is what it looks like with no details to give it context, to evoke an era.


There is one lone sign that I attached to the building.  Could signal that another company uses the facility from time to time or it could be the relic of a long ago era.



Actually a pretty fun building to kitbash.  I only had to cut one large door opening and I had to remove the second story.


Everything came with the Grocery Distributor kit except the roof and roof details.  They are from a Walthers roof top details kit. (The roof is cut from a sheet of styrene.)


It is compressed a little, but it is adequate to suggest a viable business.


Next post, this building will be detailed out as a Pacific Intermountain Express terminal in the late 1960s.


How your automobiles and trucks can help set the era

Many of us put a lot of work into having just the right era freight cars and locomotives.  A bit of effort on your automobiles and trucks can also help evoke your desired era.  It is not always easy to research the date of some vehicles, but it is worth your time as shown below on B. Smith’s Limpia Canyon Northern.

Early 1960s.

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Mid 1960’s.
Late 1960’s
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Mid 1970’s  (Don’t have a date for the tank truck, any readers have an idea?)
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Doesn’t have to be perfect, but getting close will really make a difference.
LCN logo 7 with n tighter