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 Wanted: Dolly Varden information...
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Posted - 06/16/2006 :  08:49:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit danpickard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi all,
After a entertaining (yet damn cold!!) long weekend at an exhibition here in Ballarat (Australia), negotiations/plans proceeded in the way of planning for a new exhibition layout. John Hunter (fellow RR line member and good modelling mate) and myself where busy on a scratchbuilders display table (plus my Stumpy Creek was operating), and we began throwing around some ideas for venturing into a new joint effort. After much brainstorming and crazy ideas (hell, we thought we could install a small air conditioner into it to help give that "cold" feel to the area!!), we finally met a very happy verdict..to model the Dolly Varden Mining Railroad, an little line we both share a fascination for.

While not strictly a prototype layout, there are a few specific areas of the line we would like to get our hands on, namely Dolly Varden house and wharf, the ore tipple, mine, probably Camp 8, and possible include some of the logging operation aswell. We are narowing the rails a little as well, keeping it 0n30. Essentially we will each model our own sides of the layout, and then join them up for exhibition.

Much ideas have been sourced from the beautiful book "Steel Rails and Silver Dreams", which has some wonderful pictorial content. Heres where you forum members come in...research. From what I understand NG&SLG march/april 1999, p26 has an article on the DVMR tipple, shed and powerhouse...if anyone is able to help out with a copy of these pages, it would be great. Further than that, I'm open to any other information of the area that you guys have to offer, and everyones help would be appreciated.

Dont expect to see any modelling pics from either of us on this one for a while though, as we kind of plan to spend a bit of time in the research phase. We've got a few different ideas on what we want to present to the public, as this wont purely be another layout, rather a display.

I'm (we're...) open to ideas and info.

Dan Pickard

Country: Australia | Posts: 1344


Posted - 06/16/2006 :  09:03:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit nalmeida's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Despite not having any ideas or material to give I would like to express my interest in this project, it's coming from two of our best modellers so I expect big things guys! (We need to keep the pressure high to get you guys workin) . Also I'll have my eyes open to anything regarding the subject, I would like to know in wich country was this prototype located and what gauge was used. In the meantime I checked and I don't have that number of NG&SLG.

Edited by - nalmeida on 06/16/2006 09:04:50 AM

Country: Portugal | Posts: 2040 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  10:25:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This should shape up to be a very interesting project. I look forward to seeing your progress - even if it means waiting a while.

Last year I made the stretch and picked up a copy of Steel Rails and Silver Dreams off eBay. Yes I paid a premium for it but it was worth it. It is one of my favorite books. Full of great photographs and it really tells the story of the mine and the unfortunate history of the railroad in an easy to follow manner.

I am sorry but I am missing most of my 1999 issues of the Gazette so I cannot help you there. I don't know if you are only interested in prototype info or if you are also interested in other modeler's work. In case you are, the late Dick Patterson, a fine modeler himself, did a very creative HOn30 display layout based on the Dolly Varden. It was covered in one issue of Model Railroader and I recenlty discovered it in an old issue of the Gazette I was browsing. Dick was a great modeler and his approach was quite creative. I belive the whole layout (it was one of three that he had in his basement at the same time) was 8'x5' with the mine on one side and the tide flats on the other. One of the details I remember him describing is making trees from 1/4" to 3 inches tall. Yes, I said 1/4". He modeled forced perspective to make the mountain look bigger than it was. Some of the photos in the Gazette article show how effective it was. I would never have thought of modeling 1/4 inch trees.

In case you are interested, there were articles in MR issues March 1997 and the Gazette Nov\Dec 1991.

Good luck with your project!

Dave K in NB

Country: USA | Posts: 873 Go to Top of Page

Tabooma County Rwy

Posted - 06/17/2006 :  01:48:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, Dan,

I checked and I have a copy of the Mar/Apr 1999 Gazette with the article you want. Send me your address and I'll send you a copy.

I also have a copy of the Nov/Dec 1991 issue of the Gazette that Dave is referring to, with the feature article on Dick Patterson's HOn30 Dolly Varden Mines Railway. Again, I can make you a copy if you want.

Country: USA | Posts: 4630 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 06/17/2006 :  06:35:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit railphotog's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Speaking of making copies from magazines - don't suggest this on the Model Railroader forum! There was a thread a year or so ago on this subject, and of course the editor chimed in with the legalities of making copies of magazine pages, and how one shouldn't do it - they should buy the back issue from the magazine. I replied it's sort of like speed limits when driving, everyone knows they are there, but most people exceed them regularly, and make copies for friends once in a while.

The editor checked my forum profile and visited my personal website. I got a private message from him stating he had visited the site and noted I had a couple of small (1 inch) images of MR covers, illustrating my published work. They were covers of my photos. He told me to remove the images because they were copyrighted by Kalmbach. Sum*****! I did because I never know if I might have something for them in the future, although I doubt it. I never though someone could stoop so low! That sure diminished my already minimal impression of him!

Bob Boudreau
My model railroad photography website:

Country: Canada | Posts: 4027 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 06/17/2006 :  8:36:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit danpickard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The Dolly Varden mine is/was in British Colombia/Canada, right near the south-west border with Alaska, served by the Alice Arm waterway, circa around 1910-1925. Originally a 3' line, but we plan to attack it with On30, mainly because we are both more structure and scenery guys, and probably aren't that keen to knock up a couple of On3 locos just for the layout. We're talking semi-prototypical here...

Dan Pickard


Country: Australia | Posts: 1344 Go to Top of Page

Dick Kuepper

Posted - 06/17/2006 :  8:43:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dick Kuepper's Homepage  Reply with Quote
According to the NGSLGazette website, both issues are available.

Country: USA | Posts: 1659 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 06/18/2006 :  08:55:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit nalmeida's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info Dan, it does look like an interesting prototype.

Country: Portugal | Posts: 2040 Go to Top of Page

Dennis McCarthy
Engine Wiper

Premium Member

Posted - 06/18/2006 :  11:28:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Alex Zelkin recently mentioned on the Yahoo Sn3 group that Google Earth has a view of Alice Arm.

Coordinates are: 58° 28' 40" N by 129° 29' 14" W.

May be of some interest.


Edited by - Dennis McCarthy on 06/18/2006 11:29:53 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 106 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 06/18/2006 :  12:19:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit danpickard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've just been speaking with Alex, who passed on the same information, but thanks for the referencing.

Dan Pickard


Country: Australia | Posts: 1344 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/18/2006 :  7:08:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have the old NG&SLG with the mine plans, if for any reason you still need them let me know.

Country: | Posts: 290 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 06/19/2006 :  08:12:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit danpickard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Chris, but I've already tracked down those issues.

Dan Pickard


Country: Australia | Posts: 1344 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 06/19/2006 :  09:20:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess I need new glasses. I thought this was a question about Country Music.

Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

Country: USA | Posts: 11245 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 06/19/2006 :  1:35:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit quarryman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by k9wrangler

I guess I need new glasses. I thought this was a question about Country Music.

This Dolly never had a Porter.

Edited by - quarryman on 06/20/2006 09:55:55 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 1200 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 06/20/2006 :  10:11:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit phatkat64's Homepage  Send phatkat64 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I for one, would love to see the finished project, so I will be looking forward to pictures!

If you guys need to warm up, take a holiday up here. It was 110 degrees F(43 degrees C)!

Frankly, I'd rather be down there with the cool air and the hot blondes!

Carmine, Southern AZ

Country: USA | Posts: 48 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/26/2006 :  07:41:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
dan dan dan im exited about our project or should i say madness when am i going to get some sleep so much to do and all those trees I personly cant wait to get cracking on that whalf and the bunker all i need to do it start and track down a ship for the scene as I mentioned tonight i want to make this scene look cold cold cold so snow is in the wind also that water looks cold so some cracked clear sheet and resin might work thanks to all that are helping us with information it realy helps and keeps us pumped just think dolly varden /alice arm in OOOOOOOOOOOOO should be a knockout layout and it all ready has its first booking mymymymy the things you get me to do.

Country: Australia | Posts: 479 Go to Top of Page
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