Sunday, December 29, 2013


As I work toward initial operations on the current railroad—the “Valley Core"—I find myself diverting into several “side” projects.  Such is the case of the depot construction for Eugene.  It is not needed directly for operations, but it provides important context for the tracks currently in place at Eugene.  As I show the layout off to family and friends through the holiday period, I find the depot would be useful for them to relate to the railroad.  Finally, I needed a different project to lift me out of a bit of a holiday funk.

Eugene depot model in position on the layout.

My current Eugene depot uses the Walthers “City Station” kit (933-2904).  This is intended as a long-term stand-in until I finally get around to scratch building a more accurate depot.  The Walthers structure is the right size and captures the look of the stone and brick depots along the original Oregon and California (later Siskiyou) Line.  These include Medford, Grants Pass, Roseburg, Eugene and Albany.  In addition to published photos, I consulted photos on Joel Ashcroft’s site:  and ordered a set of depot photo prints from the Shasta Division archives from “Photo Bob” Morris:  Out of respect for the intellectual property rights of both sites and the excellent (commercial) resource provided by Bob Morris, I provide just links and let the reader judge whether my use of this kit is a suitable stand-in. 

Assembly of the depot is relatively straight forward, though I will note several things I did to mine.  First, this is a brick structure.  That meant painting the brick siding an appropriate base color (I used PolyScale Boxcar Red), adding individual brick highlights with Primsacolor pencils, and applying a mortar treatment.  I began with a thin gray wash (1:3 gray paint:water plus several drops of Liquitex Flow Aid).  Though this altered the basic brick color a bit, I did not get the desired mortar line contrast.  A second application of the gray wash was a little better, but still not much contrast.  A fellow modeler suggested I go all the way with a white mortar wash.  This proved to be the solution.  Though the actual mortar on the Eugene depot is gray, one uses white in the model form to compensate for the small scale—the art of model railroading!

For the window sashes, doors and trim colors, I consulted the Steam Age Equipment Company SP Common Standard Plan books.  Volume 1 lists paint colors for company buildings.  By 1956 (the revision date on the plan sheet), masonry structures used either gray or tan trim.  The photos I looked at showed the trim color had shifted from darker (bottle green was a previous trim color) to lighter—gray or tan.  I selected gray based on the darker brick color and looking at the few color pictures I could find of similar structures along the Cascade and Siskiyou Lines.  I stand prepared to receive an alternative view—inevitable once one makes such a choice.  I’ll take such comments under advisement when I finally tackle a more accurate depot model.  Although the standard plans call for white window sashes, I have no indication of them at Eugene nor on the similar structure photos I looked at, so windows, doors and trim all received a light gray color.  The roof was painted SP’s Moss Green (PolyScale Depot Olive). 

I installed basic wall partitions between the central operator bay and the waiting rooms on either side.  I also installed a floor.  I chose not to light the structure, as I do not intend conducting night or low light operations on the layout.  No further interior detailing was installed as the structure will be placed two feet away from the aisle.  It will serve as a good stand-in.

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