The primary means of train control (dispatching) I plan to use on my SP Cascade Line will be Centralized Traffic Control (CTC)--once I install the required electronics and create a CTC panel. CTC was installed on the climb up over the Cascades in 1955. Prior to that, Timetable and Train Orders (TT&TO) ruled traffic movements. I retain the objective to use TT&TO for at least some sessions at a future date. A physical reminder of TT&TO operation will be the Train Order Offices placed roughly every other siding up the hill. Indeed, my selection of which siding/stations to model on my railroad featured T.O. Offices. In spite of building my railroad with the intent of using CTC for traffic control, I still have an active interest in the infrastructure that supported its predecessor (TT&TO), including the Train Order Offices.
Cascade Line modelers are blessed by a full set of company structure kits to represent the remote "villages" that supported Train Order stations. A typical station had a Train Order Office, three houses for the shift Train Order operators, and housing for the track maintenance section gang and their foreman. Many of the T.O. Office stations also had a signal maintainer. All of these structures plus miscellaneous support structures are available as kits from ALW Lines:
http://alwlines.com/ With such a rich resource available, I just "had to" model these villages, even though they were mostly gone by the 1960s. Treat this one as modelers license.
ALW Line kits serve to model Cascade Summit, Cruzatte and Wicopee. I will need to model the McCredie Springs T.O. Office separately, as it followed a different plan. The three offices I did model started the same when built for the SP in 1926, but a freight section was added to the Cascade Summit station soon after the line was opened. Fortunately, ALW Lines can supply a structure kit for this extension as well.
As with the tool sheds, I prepared for construction by priming the laser-cut wood pieces. For the T.O. Offices, I found it convenient to apply the peel and stick trim pieces to the sides before painting and subsequent assembly. I applied a coat of white primer to both sides of the structure pieces. The interior surfaces were painted with an off-white paint, while the floor received a basic brown paint. The exterior was painted with my dwindling supply of PolyScale PRR Buff-- a good match to SP's Colonial Yellow structure color.
Cascade Summit Train Order Office sides painted "Colonial Yellow."
Once painted, I began assembling the walls, using the floor as a core. I glued one or two sides to the assembly at a time, letting the joints set before moving on to another wall. I held walls square with weights. The final set of walls were held to in place with rubber bands.
Train Order Offices under construction. Cascade Summit, on the right, has all wall sections in place, with the final sections held with rubber bands.
The original ALW Lines kits used laser-cut peel-and-stick shingles. Later production, exemplified by my Cascade Summit kit, feature laser-cut shingle roof panels. These are much easier to install--certainly much faster. They also look quite good. Kudos to Bruce Barney for improving upon an already good kit!
Train Order Office roofing. The "standard" office in the foreground uses the old peel-and-stick shingles. The roof panels have guide lines etched on them to help locate the shingle rows. The Cascade Summit office in the background has the more recent full roof panel shingles. One side has been applied with contact cement and the other side is upside down on the left, ready to be installed.
As I completed each T.O. Office structure, I placed it on the layout where it will be planted. Most sites will require additional footings or even a full set of walls below the station. This is particularly the case for Wicopee, which literally was hanging on the edge of the mountainside.
Wicopee Train Order Office on site. I need to build support walls to raise the office to railhead height.
Cruzatte Train Order Office.
Cascade Summit Train Order Office.
Whether I leave the Train Order Offices in place on the railroad for more modern year operations is yet to be determined. Meanwhile, I can prepare their sites on the railroad. Even if I remove them, the T.O. Offices still leave footprints of where they once stood.