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 Small Layout Design Help/Challenge - c.1905 Pennsy
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Author Previous Topic: Modeling the White Deer & Loganton roster Topic Next Topic: Opinion on this font?
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Engine Wiper

Posted - 10/27/2018 :  1:51:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thatís why this place is great. The sharing of knowledge. It would have taken me forever to research that box car if I decided I just had to have one. Thanks, Mike!

Hereís a neat one. The LVRR team track in Dushore, Sullivan County. The more I research this one countyís railroad history in the early 20th century, thereís a lifetime of modeling even if one limits themself to just, say, 1907.

Country: USA | Posts: 302 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/03/2018 :  9:36:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are a few prototypes that really capture my interest, but I decided to start sketching Loganton. Iíve had an interest in the White Deer & Loganton for years, and Iíve tried to collect as much information as possible on the railroadís history and operation. There isnít much to go on. The best I have are photographs, and the best ones are of the area right near the Loganton station. I have some other information collected from various sources, so I thought Iíd try to piece together the puzzle.

Letís start with these two images, just because I think they really represents the character of the WD&L well.

These images give us an idea of the consists running along the 26 miles of track. I donít have any photos where a coach or a combine werenít included in the train, so Iím sure that all trains were mixed trains. Much of the lower line was owned by logging interests in the area and there were other logging railroads that ran down the tracks to the interchange with the P&R or the saw mill at White Deer. From what I can gather, they rarely came up to Loganton. While I canít find photographs of any of the other industries that the WD&L served, Iíve gleamed some things from reading that has helped me piece some things together.

Other than the meet with the Reading at White Deer, Carroll was a small village with a little depot and Loganton was the terminus. All other stations were simple flag stop platforms or sidings. There was a single round trip per day, with the exception of a few years where a second passenger run was made that kept the train in Loganton overnight. Freight along the line mainly consisted of coal for the villages and a lime kiln at Eastville, fertilizer, outbound finished lumber from a small sawmill in Loganton, outbound agriculture products including milk and grain, and miscellaneous inbound merchandise freight.

This photo, looking north, shows how the station at Loganton was situated along Fishing Creek, about a half mile from the village itself. I drive the road you see on occasion. If you continue beyond the village and through the gap, you reach I-80 in about a mile. You can also see the outhouse and handcar shed (and some other structure with a shed roof...) to the right of the station. I love this photo. It gives a good sense of how a shelf layout can be developed. Yet... thereís still so many things unknown. Carrol, the White Deer valley, and the rest of the line to White Deer is to the east (right). What is to the west of the station? It looks like there may be another structure along the line peeking out between the boughs of the tree on the left. What is it? What else is out of frame? Oh, the possibilities... (Oh, for a map or additional photos...!)

This is another interesting view. Here you can see that at some point a short siding was added at the station. (Notice in the first photo ĎNoon Trainí that this siding isnít present.) Iíve not seen a photo that shows a car here though. Team track? Just a spur to get a car off the main?

Now, the photo that answers some questions, but leaves me wanting more. A view down the line to the west of the station. What building are we looking at on the left edge of the image and whatís written on the sign? Are the dark areas doors, or other cars? What are the shapes just along the front (left) edge of the box car? And how did the Climax get behind the train? Are they switching, or are they now eastbound? If leaving Loganton, why did they not turn the engine? (I have sketchy info that there was a wye at Loganton, but all photos I have show the engines pointing west, or Ďuphillí.)


So, hereís what I know and can reasonably guess about the White Deer & Loganton at Loganton around 1907.


There was the depot, outhouse, and handcar shed.

The orientation is known from photographs.

Eventually there was a short spur at the depot.

One mixed train was run round-trip from White Deer to Loganton and back each day.

Eventually there was a second, evening passenger train added and the train overnighted in Loganton.

INBOUND FREIGHT consisted of:
Coal - retail and possibly rail served to the sawmill
General merchandise freight (there were hotels, hardware stores, etc.)

OUTBOUND FREIGHT consisted of:
Finished lumber from a small sawmill
Agriculture products - milk for certain

Confident Guesses:

Some sort of engine servicing must have been present, even if just water

When the second train began to overnight in Loganton, engine facilities were probably expanded to include an ash pit and fuel

From the photo looking west beyond the station, we know there was some place for the engine to run around the train

There must be a team track or freight house to handle LCL freight

There must be a coal pocket to deliver retail coal

Milk was important enough that the WD&L owned a milk car

The WD&L also owned a reefer...

Good-ish Guesses:

I have shakey info there was a wye to turn engines in Loganton, but I havenít seen any photos with the engine headed east, with the smokey end downhill

When the second train was added and overnighted in Loganton, itís reasonable to think a small engine shed would have been built to protect the locomotive

The small sawmill was either on the WD&L or had a way to get the finished lumber to the railroad

Grain was harvested in Sugar Valley. There was at least one steam traction engine and thresher working the valley at the time the railroad was operating and there were mills in the valley. I assume that any grains leaving the valley on the WD&L would have been processed and bagged rather than loaded bulk into narrow gauge box cars only to be transferred to Reading cars.

I had initially thought it was reasonable to believe there would be some provision for loading animals, but there doesnít seem to be evidence that the WD&L owned any stock cars.


So, with all that said... Iíve started a drawing with that which is known, and Iím hoping Iíll get some input from everyone on what makes sense beyond the depot that stays true to the prototype and makes for interesting operations.


Country: USA | Posts: 302 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/04/2018 :  01:27:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I generally think your thinking is sound.

The depot in the above photo is a combination passenger-freight depot. So at least when the depot was built it was intended to handle the station's freight.

I also think it would make sense to have 1 engine service location at a terminal and a second water point 20 or so miles away. All trains are probably run out and back from that terminal with services.

With the railroad burning wood, I wouldn't bet on coal coming to a rural sawmill. Area livestock may have been loaded at a standard gauge station.

Other traffic ideas--pulp wood outbound? Whatever freight came to the area in 1907 was transported by wagon and rail. You should be able to find historical information about area roads. The high passenger volume indicates to me that a good road was lacking.

Inbound: groceries and perishables, even cheese. Things farmers need--building materials, farm machinery and feed. Other consumer goods like kerosene and maybe ice. Express packages and US Mail in and outbound. Maybe you included express in LCL, but technically it is different customers, different cars (and even different trains when there are different classes on the timetable), and different processes. Probably won't be much mail, so packaged US mail in with baggage and express. Wouldn't expect an RPO on a such a short run.

Nice information to have is where are the local post offices and the nearest ice plant.

What I like about pre-WW1 is there were still "teams" using the team tracks. Nice pictures.

Modeling Arizona Eastern Railroad, Hayden Junction (1920), in On30

Country: USA | Posts: 463 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 11/04/2018 :  08:27:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Thatís a start. You have some fine photos.

The mystery building with sign is interesting; the two dark areas look like openings to me.

Wyes are such space eaters. It looks like you can justify not having any turning facility.

Perhaps the position of the loco is due to a lack of runarounds up the line and the need for switching.


Country: USA | Posts: 6507 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/04/2018 :  08:33:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ryan,

I think your interpretations sound feasible/reasonable, and all seems to be supported by what I have read so far online about the railway. The question of whether to include a wye or not it kind of moot in my mind since even with 15" radius and #4 turnouts and the required 10" tail tracks for your locos, is not going to fit on a 24" wide shelf.

Take care,

Country: Canada | Posts: 1199 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 11/04/2018 :  09:19:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know there are those who will think this is a silly reply, but would the track-plan for the original Richard Francaviglia IOTA ( a flyspeck on a map) done as a HOn30/HOn36" railway solve your problem - If you can't find the original from MRC (about 1972 AFAIR) let me know and I'll forward it to you - it can only be described as a classic - David Pye is building an N gauge, modified version on the FB page here https://www.facebook.com/search/str/IOTA+layout/keywords_search. It will need an Industry change, I know. Hope it helps. If you need a copy of the article let me have your email addy.

Edited by - shortliner on 11/04/2018 09:30:11 AM

Country: United Kingdom | Posts: 523 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/04/2018 :  09:42:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the feedback. I think Loganton is developing nicely for the information we have.

Trains were basically run from White Deer to Loganton and back. I have zero photos of the railroad at White Deer other than the WD&L at the P&R depot. I think itís reasonable to assume that all the shops were at White Deer. But a second train that overnighted in Loganton was added, and I would guess that meant at a minimum there would be water and a place to dump ashes. Maybe a wood rick? These locomotives ate a lot of sand too. Iíd guess a pretty basic engine shed would have been built for the locomotive that stayed over in Loganton.

There were post offices in Loganton and Carroll. Also in Logan Mills and Titusville farther up the valley beyond the railroad. They would have received their mail at the Loganton station. Sugar Valley is approximately 2 miles wide and 20 miles long. Loganton is about in the middle. At the time of the railroad, there were only 2,000 people living in the valley. (Even fewer today...)

The valley was very isolated then. Good roads were definitely lacking. The closest standard gauge road was the P&R at White Deer, 28 rugged miles down the mountain. If livestock was leaving the valley, thatís quite the trip.

The mystery building looks to have openings to me too. Engine house? The small sawmill? The structure that can just be seen near the box car remains a mystery, but looks like it may be a dock of some sort. Maybe a jib crane?

Certainly no room for a wye. Either locos wonít be turned or Iíll use modelerís license and have a small round table. I think I can justify not turning the locos.

Thanks for the input, all!

Country: USA | Posts: 302 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/04/2018 :  10:13:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Not sure if you have seen this thread or not, but I figured that I would send it along just in case you didn't:


You might want to contact Pat Harmon, the original posters and ask for his help. Also, in the last post there is an email address for the station master at the White Deer station (Ron). The guy seems like he wants to help with the research process, but there are no other posts after his. You might want to do a follow-up with him as well.

Take care,

Country: Canada | Posts: 1199 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 11/04/2018 :  1:49:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ryan, Thanks for posting the pictures. I've enjoyed reviewing them.

It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5670 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/04/2018 :  3:56:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the encouragement, all. IOTA is pretty neat and worth considering.

Rob, Iíve emailed Pat months ago but didnít get a response. I was just recently up to the station with my little ones and got a few phone numbers off a notice hanging in the window. Iím going to give it another try. Hereís a few photos:

Spencer and Nora exploring:

Hereís the White Deer & Loganton at the P&R station in White Deer c.1906. The P&R tracks are to the right.

And how it looks today:

And since this was on Halloween... GHOSTS!

Country: USA | Posts: 302 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/04/2018 :  5:35:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An L shaped layout would be needed to have room for a wye in the corner.

Modeling Arizona Eastern Railroad, Hayden Junction (1920), in On30

Country: USA | Posts: 463 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 11/04/2018 :  6:23:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thatís a handsome station.

Country: USA | Posts: 6507 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/04/2018 :  6:54:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey, Mike. It really is, isnít it? The kids love visiting and itís only about 15 miles away. We try to catch the local North Shore RR switching some of the industries nearby too.

Also, youíll get a LVRR fix soon. Iím also working on Lopez... but donít think I can get it sorted in 2x12. Is there a book that deals with the State Line & Sullivan that you know of?

I have a blog going over on Model Railroad Hobbyist and thought Iíd copy a post to here that adds additional info about the WD&L. Iíve gotten great feedback over there too. This hobby is great.


Hey, Dave. Thanks so much for participating. I value your knowledge and experience! Youíre right to say that there was a lot happening in the White Deer valley in this timeframe. Several different logging interests were working in the area. The short answer is that the White Deer & Loganton wasnít a logging railroad, but was owned by one of the Whitmer-Steele subsidiaries (after the death of John Duncan and the sale of his interests by his estate.) The WD&L was the passenger and general freight line in the area, and actually leased 17 miles of itís total 26 miles of trackage from the White Deer Valley R.R. The Sugar Valley Railroad crossed the WD&L. These logging railroads were cutting for mine props, just as they did under different names when they were in the Lauralton/Weikert area.

The White Deer & Loganton is a 3í narrow gauge railroad. They met the P&R at White Deer along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. This is where the White Deer Valley Railroad had a small mill and both supposedly had their shops. Itís not clear from my research if the WD&L and WDVRR shared facilities or not...

Convoluted, yeah?

Info on the White Deer & Loganton and the other railroads is in Book No. 2, ďWild CattingĒ on the MountainĒ beginning on page 235.

So the WE&L trains did look different than the L&BV, SVRR, WDVRR, etc. because they werenít really a logging line. Just operating in the same area.

I guess I wasnít really thinking ďcoal pocketĒ... thatís just what I typed. I agree that coal would most likely come on one of the general purpose narrow gauge gondolas to be offloaded. Either to a coal yard along the tracks, or loaded onto wagons. Thanks for helping to clarify.

Good point about the engine house. The locomotives would have seen most maintenance done in White Deer, either at WD&L shops or WDVRR shops. P&R only if the locos were loaded onto standard gauge flat cars and transported on the Reading. I guess my thinking about a facility in Loganton stems from that structure near the left edge in the last photo I posted above. I canít tell if the dark areas are the ends of cars or open doors... so maybe wishful modeler thinking that itís an engine shed. It could be the sawmill or something else entirely...

I do believe that the mill in Loganton was producing stick lumber and not mine props, but I havenít found evidence one way or the other except that the sawmill pre-dates the WD&L and the valley needed finished lumber to build out. Loganton was also mid-way up the valley and a good distance from the lumbering. Sugar Valley was mostly cleared and in agriculture production by 1900. The White Deer Lumber Co. mill at White Deer was cutting props.

Grain... sketchy historical info at best other than I know the major grist mill was at Logan Mills several miles from the railroad, there was at least one thresher operating in the valley, and I donít have enough information on the trackage at White Deer to know if there was any major amount of bulk transfer between the WD&L and P&R. So everything is admittedly pure conjecture.

Interesting information about stock cars being scarce. I really have zero evidence of live animals being moved on the WD&L. Maybe just more whishful modeler thinking trying to add interesting traffic and modeling opportunities.

Other points Iíve been pondering... What is the structure at the front of the box car in the last photo above? Looks like a dock of some sort, possibly with a jib crane? The station is a combination passenger/freight depot, but I think a team track is still a good bet. What other engine services would be at Loganton? Water? Ash dump? Sand? A wood rick?

Interesting stuff, eh?

For reference, from Book No. 2, here is the White Deer & Logantonís locomotive and rolling stock roster c.1906:

(2) Class B Climax locomotives, 25- and 30-ton. Apparently equipped with higher geared trucks for better speed since they were not involved in the lumbering operations. They were also equipped with air brakes and could provide steam heat to the coach and combine.
(2) homebuilt open excursion/passenger cars
(1) combination car
(1) passenger car
(1) milk car
(4) gondolas
(2) box cars
(2) flat cars
(1) refrigerator car
(2) additional flat cars were added in 1910
Hereís a railroad where the entire roster can be achievably modeled... if only for want of a pair of HOn3 Climaxes in the 25-ton range...

Iím going to keep looking at Loganton, but Iíve also been working on a few other possibilities, including Sonestown on the Williamsport & North Branch, Lopez with the Jennings and T&T logging lines and LVRR, and one or two mine prop logging lines where they met with the Lewisburg & Tyrone. Itís pretty incredible what was happening in the mountains of Pennsylvania for 10 years on either side of 1900.

Country: USA | Posts: 302 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/05/2018 :  07:53:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
One of my ancestors drove cattle between his farm near Marlborough, MA and summer pastures near Keene, NH, perhaps 65 miles.
This was a multi-day trip, and most of the trip could have been done by rail by 1850, but apparently the drive was enough cheaper.

Country: USA | Posts: 6514 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 11/05/2018 :  08:47:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ryan - another possibility for a line, though not an NG one, that did use small 4-wheel Plymouth locos and ran up a valley was the Union RR of Oregon - it had a sawmill about halfway along the route and very simple trackplan which may be adaptable. Info here http://trainweb.org/highdesertrails/uo.html

Edited by - shortliner on 11/05/2018 08:51:39 AM

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