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North Coast Railroad

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  • Succumbing to guilt about the N pattern on the end wall, and knowing it would drive me nuts, ( Ok, it's a short walk not a drive) I fixed the end wall that will never be seen with Z patterns on the door. So here's my guilt in pictures.

    Still needs a little alcohol wash to darken the color of the doors more, but you get the idea, I'm sure.

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    Last edited by David_J_Buchholz; 12-29-2021, 08:49 AM.
    Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


    • Next up. The Marine Leg Tower

      I've been working on the buildings that butt against the backdrop first intentionally, and will be moving towards the foreground sequentially. in the meantime, I've been collecting ideas, parts and photographs, Here's a little tease a to where I'm at , and where I will be going.

      Neither gone nor forgotten is the Marine Leg that takes grain from the hold of the lake freighters at docksides, to the top of the grain silos.

      There are actually two lifts within a marine tower, the first being the marine leg that dips into the hold, then hauls it to the top of the tower in buckets the first time. It is weighed on its way back down (via gravity) to the bottom of the tower. At the back of the tower is the second lift, taking it again by bucket to the top of the tower, where it is dumped via gravity into collectors on top of the silos. From there it goes to a conveyor belt that is centered over the silos. It is then directed to a particular silo for storage.

      The parts for the second lift will be the grain conveyor from RIX. I won't need all the directing tubes from the tower head, so the spare parts can be reassigned for other parts of the project. I have a few things in mind already for the superstructure on top of the silos that direct the grain.

      The parts for the winch that hauls the tower from one end of the boat holds to the other, are various pulley and motor castings and parts. Some are from Wiseman. The big gear is 64 pitch from slot cars usage. I have matching pinions.

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      The rectangular tubes will form the second lift at the rear of the tower to haul grain the very top, ending above the collectors on the top of the silos. Gravity takes over from there.

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      Last edited by David_J_Buchholz; 12-24-2021, 09:20 AM.
      Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


      • David,

        First of all, the ends look great! Secondly, Z is the best! The silo and elevator builds will be interesting to watch.



        • Are those two prototype pictures from the Buffalo area? This build of the grain unloading and storage is going to be interesting to follow.

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


          • Bernd, yes the prototypes are in the Buffalo Harbor, The one pictured is the primary inspiration for the project. Honestly, they all give inspiration in one way or another to the theme. The Library of Congress has a whole series on pictures that I've previously linked to on a much earlier page. They show the internals of the towers and both ends of the silos, below and above, in the head house. That's where the grain conveyor tripper exists. As it it turns out in our small worlds, I discovered my brother in law's family had a bar where the boat unloading crews (called "Scoopers") hung out. One brother actively took pictures and videos to record for posterity a dying occupation. I'm after some of his photos.
            Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


            • Bernd
              Bernd commented
              Editing a comment

          • My niece is looking for her uncle's phone number from the other side of her family that I spoke of. In the meantime. I have more b&w photos in the library if Congress archives that show the internals of the marine Leg towers.

            There are three vertically oriented hoppers called garners in the tower. The center hopper weighs the incoming grains. The hopper above and below either hold grain from the leg ready to be weighed next or holds it after bring weighed, as it begins to climb the tower again for it's final lift to the top of the silos.

            Been working on some non photo worthy projects over the past few days. Artwork for signage on the malt house and silos. Window "glass" for Mohawk Mills and sorting out lighting and wiring from "We Honest" for the structures.

            COMPLETING projects is my theme for our 2022 forum challenge ( Actually 1951 in my model world, where it's "Deja Vu all over again")

            Until one of the first four kicks the bucket I'm still:

            Fifth "Dave" on the right
            Last edited by David_J_Buchholz; 12-29-2021, 08:56 AM.
            Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


            • Someone said imposing...
              Indeed and a great industrial scene!
              Impressive work man!


              • While I'm waiting for for the rest of my LED materials to show up on my doorstep, here's a little tease about one of my other ongoing projects.

                This is a progress shot of the Marine Leg dipping into the hold of the freighter in the harbor slip.

                I decided the original pieces of the leg weren't to my liking, too skinny, too frail. So i went back to studying pictures, and came up with a better design . As seen though, the leg needs to shortened a bit so that in its retracted position, it fits within the height of the tower. The small girders sticking out from the front need to be changed to larger girders like the others seen on the front. It will help house the actual leg, as there are other things that need to be in the tower itself

                There is a vertical slot on each I beam at the side of the opening. that will fit the mechanism that raises and lowers the arm into/from the ships hold. Within the tower will be the three large graniers stacked vertically for weighing the grain , and a spiral staircase in one of the corners. On the rear will be the second lift , as hinted at in previous pictures above. Additionally there will be an assortment of electric motors and winches inside and out, needed to for prototype operations

                Happy New Year 2022

                Fifth Dave on the right

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                Last edited by David_J_Buchholz; 01-01-2022, 12:52 AM.
                Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


                • Yeah, that scene will be a showstopper for sure!


                  • Dave,

                    Well done. Your model is probably unique. How many people even know these things exist?


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


                    • it is most likely that all the men who worked the last of the marine towers have all past away. Self unloaders were developed so that to unload a freighter, the legs were no longer needed. Each boat had its own apparatus, (like the extension ladder on a fire truck), to unload into a hopper. the grain then slid down pipes to the bottom of the silos to a conveyor belt, which brought the grain to a central lift in the workhouse for distribution above into the silos..

                      Unless a person visits or views pictures of the Buffalo or Montreal harbor, they most likely think a marine leg is in a different color pair of pants than an Army or Navy leg. Or why is it not Marine LEGS? (plural) What happened to the other leg of the Marine? Did he get hurt?

                      I'd agree knowledge of the existence of them is rare, and almost non-existent is an understanding of how they worked. They are ingeniously simple in concept, complex in design.

                      Fifth "Dave" to the right
                      Last edited by David_J_Buchholz; 01-01-2022, 11:30 AM.
                      Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


                      • Thought I'd pull into the dock and see what all that noise is.

                        Looking good Dave. I came across a whole article or picture series on these. I wish I could remember where.

                        I'll be coming into port every so often to see what's going on.

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


                        • When you are in port, feel free to step back in time and stay at the Harbor Inn. It' was owned by my brother-in-law's family for a few past decades. In the early 19th century, it was a home to one of the several "scooper boss" operations that lasted into the early twentieth century, when the workers unionized.

                          The the scooper boss was typically owner of the bar. He decided who got hired to unload the boats, and how much they got. It's a fact that 9 out of ten workers were Irish immigrants. Historically it was reported ,"The muscles in the backs of Irishmen are cheaper than than building an elevator" That seemed to hold true until two things occurred. Electrical power from the new power plant at Niagara Falls became available and the slip form method of building concrete silos.

                          With just a few electrical motors, it eliminated the need for steam boilers and fuel. The cost of handling grain dropped dramatically.

                          Scooper bosses hired you IF of course, you drank at their bar, and rented their rooms above the bar. Since they knew exactly how much they paid you, they made sure there was no money left in your wallet at the end of the month. Otherwise, you never got the job to begin with. It wasn't condusive to have a family under those circumstances of "employment" as basically it was indentured servitude if you worked the grain trade.

                          On page twelve on this topic is additionally historical references to the grain trade of Buffalo NY

                          Bernd, if you spot that site again, please post a link.

                          Here's the Harbor Inn, home of notorious "scooper bosses", a future modeling project for the North Coast harbor scene. Yes the building isd triangular shaped. it's not a trick of the camera angle. It was built to match the angle of three intersecting streets. at the harbor of Buffalo.

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                          Last edited by David_J_Buchholz; 01-08-2022, 11:38 PM.
                          Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


                          • I did a quick surf. These look like the pictures I remember, but the site is unfamiliar.


                            Lots of great pictures here too.


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


                            • Thanks for the links Bernd! I've added them to my collection!
                              Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.