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 Chesapeake & Ohio Combination Office & Depot Build
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Author Previous Topic: My version of Vollmer cathedral kit 3739 Topic Next Topic: Bar Mills HO REA Depot build
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Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  07:17:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Onto the next post...

Country: USA | Posts: 4162

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  07:28:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone.

My next project will fulfill a request I have received depicting something that is VERY "railroady"...so to remedy that situation.....

Welcome to a scratch build of a vintage Chesapeake and Ohio Combination Office and Depot in HO scale.

The prototype structure doesn't exist anymore, but lives only in this artist rendering I found in the classic reference book "Buildings & Structures of American Railroads" by Walter Berg. Just one short paragraph of info accompanied the drawing. I contacted the Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society in Virginia for any additional materials they may have, but they never responded back. The structure was probably built in the 1890's, but demolished in the late 1930's. It features several different styles of wood wall treatments, and the perhaps the earliest use of asphalt rolled roofing.

Since no actual photos seem to exist, I will have to do a lot of "imagineering."

Fortunately, the Walter Berg book also included this 2nd drawing of the actual floor plan, with a few perimeter dimensions. The 2 story office (not including center bump-outs) is a scale 41' x 21'. The depot is 25' x 61'. There's a freight room, a men's waiting room, a ladies waiting room with toilet attached, telegraph office, and ticket/ freight office. The train dispatcher and other officials were in the 2nd floor offices.

I found a vintage black & white photo of a C&O depot in Virginia with very similar siding treatments. This should guide me in the proper direction. Oversize trim, brackets & outside corners are duly noted.

First, I made up some drawings to work out the overall "givens" based on the main drawing and floor plan...

Then from thin cardstock, I built a mockup of the office, including a possible roof, to see if this would look plausible....hmm, not bad. Approx. 5 3/4" long X 3" wide X 3 3/4" high, excluding the roof. After some thought, I may eliminate that flat roof in the center and make it a conventional hip roof....

....and then I built the depot & wrap-around loading dock...Approx. 8 3/4" X 3 3/4" wide X 2 1/4" high. The dock is scrap pieces of black foam core. I went with a hip roof here.

The windows are by far the most unique feature on the office. Some are 12 over 2, even 15 over 2 !. Obviously, nothing is available commercially. So I asked Rail Scale Models owner Stephen Milley to custom cut them for me. I sent him my amateurish window & door drawings, with dimensions. He also suggested I submit drawings for the roof brackets and circular wall vents.

After a few weeks of back & forth, he came up with 5 sheets of .015" laserboard to fit the project. Stephen burned extras of most pieces to maximize the sheet material, and to provide a cushion for any construction accidents (or mistakes) on my part.

The pricing, including shipping, is roughly double what you would pay for any styrene products from Tichy or Grandt Line. I found that fair- given these are completely unique, one-of-a-kind, and exactly what I needed.

Till next time....starting the walls....

Country: USA | Posts: 4162 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  08:23:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Interesting archaeology here, I'll be following along.

Country: USA | Posts: 6823 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  09:23:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Thatís going to be a beautiful model in your hands.

The architect(s) for the C&O did some wonderful work back then. Even the smaller depots were real gems. Youíve selected an outstanding example.


Country: USA | Posts: 7268 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  10:38:34 AM  Show Profile  Send Guff an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Nice station choice to model. Rail scale Models did a splendid job on the windows and doors.
I'll follow along!

David Guffey

Country: USA | Posts: 2107 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  11:23:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What a great looking project. You can be sure I will be following along.



Country: USA | Posts: 4253 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/08/2020 :  11:35:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, this looks like another interesting project from you.
I look forward to watching your progress!

Greg Shinnie

Country: Canada | Posts: 9067 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  11:36:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, ya got me. I'm in. Cool project!

in Michigan

Country: USA | Posts: 7536 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/08/2020 :  11:55:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm on board. This will be very educational for me.


New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

Country: USA | Posts: 3968 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/08/2020 :  12:37:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Philip's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Off to a great interesting project!


Country: USA | Posts: 3473 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Supporting Member

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  12:38:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl -

Getting a little railroadie, nice pick, will be following along.

Country: USA | Posts: 299 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  12:56:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggie', until you can find a rock.

Country: USA | Posts: 225 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/08/2020 :  2:02:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A beautiful prototype and a fine start. looking forward to seeing your progress.


It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5741 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  2:06:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I saw you tapping the keyboard early this morning, and knew we were in for another great build tutorial. Maybe Russ (Slimrails) has a postcard or two of this beauty. Sign me up!


Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 6196 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  4:13:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Carl,

I've been looking for a new build from you just about every week. I will be sure to follow this one.

Mike S.

Country: USA | Posts: 87 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/08/2020 :  4:49:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, looks like another spectacular build coming up'..Good move on the windows'. You wouldn't be happy with anything else'...


Country: USA | Posts: 6186 Go to Top of Page
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