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OK Hogger

Posted - 01/13/2019 :  9:54:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yup, for (new) wooden barrel shipping.

A quick history narrative:

The H.D. Williams Cooperage Company relocated from Poplar Bluff, MO to Leslie, AR, alongside the abuilding Missouri & North Arkansas RR. Williams began their move in 1906, and it was completed by 1908. When completed, it soon claimed to be the largest cooperage in the world and could produce up to 3,000 barrels PER DAY. Over 500 people were employed. Williams had their own logging line that was eventually about 19-20 miles long, in addition to assorted spurs and branches. The Williams line was known locally at the "Leslie, Mountaintop & Southwestern". Locomotives consisted of two B Class Shay's and a rod locomotive, as well as a fleet of logging flats. In addition, Williams owned and operated a sizable fleet of the above type of cars in interchange service. The Williams mill sat on the east side of the north/south M&NA rails, and thus crossed the M&NA rails at grade in order to reach their 85,000 acres of timber. There were significant grades on the line, though I have no profile or grade data on hand at this time. Almost immediately, the rail line of the Williams company began to be known as the "Dinky line" because of the small Shay's, and their engines/trains were referred to as "Dinky's".

Here's a few photos of the H.D. Williams operation:

A small photo showing an overview of part of their cooperage plant facilities...

Their Shay's...

Of course, when the Williams Company started moving into Leslie, it was the talk of the region and a huge boon to the impoverished mountain folk. An interesting news bit was printed in the Marshall Mountain Wave newspaper of Marshall, AR, in November, 1906:

"Another cogwheel engine for the Williams Cooperage Company at Leslie whizzed down the line Wednesday evening. It made a noise like a 400-pound man at his first effort on roller skates trying to keep his balance, (and) it woke up all the babies in town, scared all the dogs within a mile of the right of way, and caused consternation generally; but nevertheless that kind of engine is the one for grade climbing and power, and... is the kind the Williams Company needs."

Love their little Shay's!

See? Told 'ya there was some mighty neat RR-ing stuff in the Ozarks of Arkansas back in the TOC19 era!

And with the above, I shall bid you all a good night!


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Posted - 01/14/2019 :  09:01:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit hminky's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre, if you are still interested in early virtual trains the paradigm has shifted.

Trainz 2019 has the stuff now. There is now track for early rail.

Stubs are coming.

You will need a gaming computer equivalent to this:


Sure you will say that is expensive but solid is more expensive, my wife tells me that all the time. That box is good for over five years so it would be $300 bucks a year.

You will need TransDEM to make routes.


Content is easy to make using Blender.


Even I can make stuff. If you made stuff in TSM it can be ported in 3d Crafter.


As much as I enjoy solid trains there is a point when I feel old and sitting at a computer is more fun building a railroad.

And you can do big mountains shown with my old early rail track the new stuff is better.

Just saying'

EDIT: Curtis' roughhewn ties

Life is good.

Edited by - hminky on 01/14/2019 10:05:25 AM

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Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/14/2019 :  09:02:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Andre, you have a way of presenting the history that makes a young guy like me excited to see it modeled. Truly fascinating stuff and you have so much to draw from to incorporate some fantastic signature scenes. Good on ya!

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OK Hogger

Posted - 01/14/2019 :  10:36:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I will always like V scale. How I will continue to indulge in it, is not very clear at this point.

Your pictures of TZ2019 look promising. Purchasing such a computer would be a hard sell with the wife right now. Currently I'm spending my hobby budget to amass the things I need in order supply what may likely be my "final" HO layout.

It could be that after my dexterous years are ended, I could possibly end up with V scale along with (perhaps) a modest 3-rail layout. However, that will remain in the future for now. At this point, I still very much enjoy tactile modeling.

So, for now, I want pursue a final "Hoorah" for me and HO. IF I can stay healthy and my dexterity/eyesight remain at acceptable levels, I think I have at least 10-12 years of modeling left in me. From that point, I will basically play with the trains and wait and see about the above "V scale and 3-rail only" theory. But, for now, it's time to make hay.

EDIT: Forgot to say that I really like that Canadian route pictured!


So very true. There were a lot of inspirational scenes along the rights of way in the Ozark and Ouachita* mountains of both Arkansas and Oklahoma.

"Ouachita" - Native American name pronounced "WAH-shuh-taw". Also found in Oklahoma, the Native American "Kiamichi" Mountains! Pronounced "Kye-MISH-ee". Very colorful area, the Ozarks and Ouachita's!

All fer now!


Edited by - OK Hogger on 01/14/2019 10:42:01 AM

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Posted - 01/14/2019 :  10:59:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit hminky's Homepage  Reply with Quote
So, for now, I want pursue a final "Hoorah" for me and HO. IF I can stay healthy and my dexterity/eyesight remain at acceptable levels, I think I have at least 10-12 years of modeling left in me. From that point, I will basically play with the trains and wait and see about the above "V scale and 3-rail only" theory. But, for now, it's time to make hay.

Thought I had great health back in 2006 when I turned 59 and two years later my health went south due to Multiple Chemical Sensitivy.

Thought that it was "Fibromyalgia", but figured out it was allergies to "fragrances". The unburnt winter auto gas releases the aromatics and makes it really bad. Hard to believe "fibromyalgia" was all in our heads until big pharma developed a drug to sell.

Don't count on the future.

Edited by - hminky on 01/14/2019 11:01:01 AM

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OK Hogger

Posted - 01/14/2019 :  11:08:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Harold for your "encouraging" words about the future!

Yup, we do not know our futures. But my personality type (and acute OCD) causes me to plan for EVERYTHING I do. So, in regards my future ("our" future, the wife and I), I have to extrapolate.

At nearly 67 years, I eat healthy and stay active. I do not consume alcohol or use tobacco, or any other types of substances. (I haven't for over 45 years.) I have no known medical issues, take no medications, have good BP/sugar levels/etc. As recently as a few years ago my spinal X-rays indicated I have the spine of a healthy person some 30 years younger than my age, so...

I will face any health issues as they come up. In the meantime, I have a plan.

(I ALWAYS have a plan.)


Edited by - OK Hogger on 01/14/2019 11:09:46 AM

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OK Hogger

Posted - 01/15/2019 :  01:21:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Striking while the iron is hot.

I want the depots on hand, as well as the water tanks, so I can get dimensions for track planning around them.

Thus, I purchased this sealed NIB IHC tank for a "look see":

I think with a bit of help, this tank can look pretty good. I like the faithful old Atlas tank, but it's perched too high to suit me, and given the injection molded "X" braces, might be a pain to lower it about a couple feet. So, I'll take a look at the one I've purchased see if I like it.

I'm also considering picking up a Model Power tank for a look at too (smaller footprint than the above tank):

I wouldn't mind some variety in the tanks (there may be 3?), but I may be best served to stick with one style as a "standard" tank.

Also purchased a sealed NIB Walthers Golden Valley depot. Got it about half price compared to the more plentiful eBay lists. I intend to use this depot at the "crew change" town on the lower level.

Looking at using the AHM Rural Depot for the other three town locations. Here's a pic of the AHM Rural Depot:

Each of the remaining town's to receive an AHM depot would get a different version. One will be an "as kitted" sized one, one would get a medium sized (kit bashed), and one a small kit bashed depot.

Here's what size I'm talking about. These little quickie depots are left over from my Ozark foray from decades ago. They were never finished.

A "medium" sized kit bashed AHM:

A "small" sized kit bashed AHM:

Should I go the AHM route, then I will finish the above two for the early-mid 1960s diesel era, and build oxide red replica's for the TOC19 era.

Off to bed. Heading over in the morning to the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas to hook up with a friend of mine. We intend to go explore some old road beds of some of the abandoned TOC19 railroads. Hopefully, we'll do some hiking and all that jazz.

Ever since my steam "Awakening" (i.e. saw my first steam engine via the Freedom Train), I've enjoyed exploring old road beds.

Nighty night!


Edited by - OK Hogger on 01/15/2019 01:25:32 AM

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Michael Hohn

Posted - 01/15/2019 :  07:49:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

The AHM kit is a real goodie. Except for the roof it is based closely on a DL&W depot design used in rural NY; plans were published by Kalmbach. On the prototype the roofs swept out in a curve and they were called “pagoda style” depots.

I think having a standard depot plan is an excellent Idea.


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

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OK Hogger

Posted - 01/15/2019 :  10:34:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just got back a bit after dark from my sojourn to the Ouachita Mountains. More on that down below.


Re: AHM "Rural Depot"...

When that kit first came out back in the 1980s, I thought it really had the "look" of Ozark depots that I'd seen in pictures. Very common looking, which is what I wanted at the time, and still want.

Now, I did want a more "ornate" depot for the crew change town, on account of my "thinking" that the upstairs would be used for a combination dwelling/supervisor office. Thus, I've chose the Walthers Golden Valley depot for that location.

I agree that by using the AHM Rural Depot as a base for my three other depot locations, a "family" look (i.e. "standard-type" depot) will be reinforced.

Ouachita Sojourn:

Had a fantastic time with my long time friend that is also a retired railroader as well as a model railroader. We first met at a model railroad club meeting back in 1974 (I think). He was about 2 years into his railroading career at the time, an employee of the Frisco. We hit it off immediately and have been friends since.

He lives over in a small town in Arkansas called "Pencil Bluff". After looking at his latest model RR projects (he's pretty much strictly diesel era), we headed out into the mountains to find some remnants of the old Caddo & Choctaw RR, as well as viewing the artifacts on part of the old Gurdon & Fort Smith/Missouri Pacific branch to Norman, AR. We did some hiking of the C&C roadbeds, and looked over several sawmill ruins, a huge in-service sawmill at Glenwood, AR, along with all sorts of other stuff.

Here's some scenes from the actual Pencil Bluff area:

Origins of the community date back to at least 1882, when a church was organized for the those living in the area at the time. It was not called Pencil Bluff at the time, and didn't really have an "official" name. Over the decades, two names became common: "White Town" and "Sock City" (long story on that one!). It wasn't until the late 1940s that it officially became "Pencil Bluff".

The town's name was based on a slate bluff area. Seems back in 19th century, when that area was wildcat wild, people didn't have much money. So, apparently a Schoolmarm learned of the slate bluffs, and sure enough, one could literally pick up a piece that was about an 1/8" thick, and flat and perfect, you could break it off into a piece about the size of a tablet. Using these pieces of slate, and a shard of slate to write with, one could write on it like chalk, even erase it. So, the school used it for the blackboard, and the kids used slate tablets w/slate shards for writing instruments. The name "Pencil Bluff" hearkens to that history!

A view of the Ouachita River with a fish hatchery truck in the background:

I needn't have wondered about what we were going to do for lunch in these backwoods. (There are few places to eat!) We ended up stopping at a little "hole in the wall" aging "convenience" store. Inside was a cement floor, old shelves with equally old (non perishable) stock thereon, and several well worn tables and chairs, and lots of old pictures and such. I ordered what my friend ordered and when they set that plate of steaming food in front of me, I knew it was going to be some gooooood eatin'! (IF you like "down home" style cooking, which I do!) The special for today was fried potatoes with sliced (dinner) sausage, with boiled cabbage, cornbread and sweet tea. I'm telling you it was spoon lickin' good. Here's a pic of it in all its glory:

In our wanderings, we stopped at an old town where a railroad ran through. The town was named "Caddo Gap". I didn't realize there was such recorded history of the area, but sure 'nuf, my friend took me to see a statue of a Caddo tribe (or Ouachita tribe) warrior.

Seems the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto had met the Caddo (or Ouachita) tribe and the result was engraved at a memorial to the tribe. Below is a picture of the memorial showing one of four such plaques. (Each plaque contained a different factoid thereon.)

In case the photo of the plaque isn't legible, here's how it reads:


"In this area in 1541 a Spanish expedition from Florida commanded by Hernando De Soto encountered fierce resistance from the Indians, whom they described as the best fighting men they had met. De Soto then turned to the southeast and descended the Caddo and Ouachita Rivers into what is now Louisiana, where he died."

We both had a lot of fun out tromping old roadbeds in the pine covered mountains, seeing the rushing creeks and rivers, seeing old railroad locations... all of it. It was a super day!


Edited by - OK Hogger on 01/15/2019 10:40:59 PM

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OK Hogger

Posted - 01/17/2019 :  11:29:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Interestingly, those marketing the little cheapie AHM Rural Depot on eBay seem to think they're made of gold or something.

Any of you have a kit or two you want to dispose of?


Edited by - OK Hogger on 01/17/2019 11:31:13 AM

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Posted - 01/17/2019 :  11:56:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
IMHO, the scenery in Pencil Buff would look good on a model railroad. I got those AHM Depots for 99 cents each. I'll check if I have any still.

It's only make-believe

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OK Hogger

Posted - 01/17/2019 :  1:34:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

EDIT: Thought I'd move my AHM Depot response on top.

I THOUGHT I remembered buying those for .99 back in the day! Glad to find out I'm not completely losing my doogie's.

ANY of the little AHM Rural Depots you have that you're willing to sell would be much appreciated. I will eventually need four of the kits, but I'll take whatever you're willing to part with.



I agree with you 100% on the Pencil Bluff scene. In fact, I think that many portions of the Ouachita or Ozark mountains could make for great model railroad scenes.

If you'll overlook the diesels, here's some onboard pics of Ozark mountain views that could be inspirational for modeling some neat scenes.

Here's a typical valley view:

Here's a pic climbing Boston Mountain Grade (2.69% max) at Bridge 3. Note that neat rock face on the opposite side:

Of course, the obligatory tunnel picture. I'm still climbing steeply here, for the grade doesn't break until up toward the far end (north) of the tunnel:

And how's this for the feeling of a mountain town? I'm just exiting the tunnel pictured above, and slowly easing into the mountain town of Winslow:

And here's what it looked like coming into Winslow back in Jan of '75. All three tracks were still in place then, as well as tie loading on the back track (see stacks of ties distant left):

And a view looking south. Ties waiting for loading into gondolas are more visible to the left. Also note the last few remnants of only SOME of what Winslow looked like from back in our TOC19 era:

There was far more to Winslow in TOC19 than represented by the above decaying buildings. (By the way, those old buildings caught fire and burned just a couple weeks after I snapped those pictures!)

Back in the TOC19 era (up to the end of steam), the Boston Mountain Grade was a northbound helper grade from Chester (MP 386) to Winslow (MP 375). Early on there was a turntable at Winslow, but it was pulled early on. Sometimes, helpers were required on the north side of Boston Mountain for southbound trains.

FWIW: While the Boston Mountain tunnel was being bored (1882), the Frisco laid switchbacks over the backbone of the ridge using 4+% grades. (THAT would be interesting to model in itself!)

So, no, I'm not truly giving up a lot by leaving Colorado. I'll have a different look, but still mountainous. I'll also have a different regional culture, but still interesting. Lastly, I'll have about the same theme: Helper grade. BUT, I'll be gaining an additional era!

All fer now!


Edited by - OK Hogger on 01/17/2019 6:40:50 PM

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OK Hogger

Posted - 01/18/2019 :  11:36:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Received my IHC Water Tank yesterday afternoon. Last night I quickly snapped it together (it's a "snap tight" model) to get an idea of its overall appearance and such, as well as get some measurements for clearances.

What I discovered is that it looks really BIG compared to small steam. Can't imagine how huge a taller Atlas water tank would look!

To illustrate:

The wide angle lens downplays its size in comparison to the loco. I think adding to the effect of "too big" is the quite possibly the large drain spout casting. The drain spout seems to be WAY oversize.

At this point, I don't think I'll be using the IHC tank.

SO... I'm now waiting for my Model Power water tank to arrive. (Pictured previously in this thread.)


Also received that last night, as well. Upon opening the kit, I immediately measured the depot platform. Discovered it's SMALLER than the published footprint. The entire platform only measures 3.5" in width! (That's a good thing.)

I was also surprised to see it is NOT a two story depot. (I don't know why I assumed it was?) Anyway, that shuffles it to the "top of the grade town" instead of it being the "crew change town" depot. In its place at the "crew change town" will go a full sized AHM Rural Depot, for I KNOW those are two story w/living quarters upstairs.

Glad to have found that out!

Things are slowly coming together in regards to this dual era idea.

All fer now!


Edited by - OK Hogger on 01/19/2019 4:14:32 PM

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OK Hogger

Posted - 01/19/2019 :  4:13:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SO... it's been a relaxing and soothing morning.

It snowed last night, and at one time while I was starting a fire in the fire place, it was snowing heavy. (Beautiful!) However, it had all but stopped snowing before I was out in my hobby house modeling. BUT... still pretty cool to sit there at my workbench, feet all toasty warm, and look out my window...


I cleaned up the parts and temporarily assembled my Model Power water tank. Had to use "Tacky Tack" to hold it together, for I'm a long ways away from gluing things to make it final.

Some of the elements I think I will change, BUT, overall, I like the size of it better than that larger IHC water tank. It doesn't overpower the smaller engines nearly as bad.

Here's a couple pics showing both:

I will say, that I think what I'm seeing on the IHC tank (tank on the left) is that oversized water spout more than its bulk. Perhaps there's some water spouts on the detail/parts market that I can replace it with and I that could possibly make me happy with it.

They both have things I don't care for, the size on the IHC, and the angled exterior bents on the MP tank. (I would need some square styrene strips about the same bulk of the molded timbers in order to modify.)

Ah well... at least I now have a general idea of space I need to allow for on the track plan.

All fer now!


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Posted - 01/19/2019 :  6:45:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Andre, I have one depot, assembled, Chimney missing, roof needs painting and weathering. You can have it for $6. including postage. Are you interested? want a picture?

It's only make-believe

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