Fillmore Avenue Roundhouse is a “turnaround” facility.  It’s main purpose is to service and make light repairs so that the mainly passenger locomotives will be ready as soon as possible for further use. Along the back walls are work benches and some machine tools.  Most details are from Scale Structures… The details are carried over to the sectioned stalls as well… The deeper inside the building the less fine the details needed to be.  I also used figures of less expensive quality.   Advertisements Continue reading ROUNDHOUSE PT5


Adding details to the interior was a long, but fun process. The first thing done was to clean up all the molding marks on all the stall beams.  Parting lines were sanded away and ejector pin marks filled in with putty.  Tedious, but well worth it.  The Walthers kit is quite good. It includes brick detail on the interior walls. This picture shows how the structure was assembled, starting from one end working to the last full size stall.  I worked in sections of two or three stalls at a time. Here are some pictures of the details added…. I … Continue reading ROUNDHOUSE PT4


The most difficult thing about the roundhouse model was sectioning the side to the benchwork edge.  This called for fairly thorough planning as I absolutely wanted to keep a full clerestory level all around the front face of the structure.  I like the result. When constructing, I started with cutting the foundation and filling in the individual stall section seams with Tamiya putty.  This took a long time, but I am glad I went against my nature to rush things.  Then the end walls were made to the right length.  Lastly, the roof was carefully marked and cut (these roof … Continue reading ROUNDHOUSE PT3


To access inside the roundhouse for cleaning track and getting at a mis-behaving locomotive, I have not glued the roof sections down. However, I did glue these together in three or four groups.  This makes removing the panels easier.  I also marked them discreetly on the inside in case I get them mixed up. To help hide the split lines between the individual roof sections, I applied a strip of .010″ thick by .100″ wide styrene along the seam. One very common roundhouse feature, that does not come with the Walthers kits, is a firewall.  Since my roundhouse is fairly large … Continue reading ROUNDHOUSE PT2


The roundhouse is the “off”-centerpiece of the entire layout.  It occupies 1/3 of the available space and was the most time consuming structure to build.  This is the Walthers Modern Roundhouse (five kits), there are 15 stalls.  It is truncated to fit on 29-1/2″ wide benchwork.  Since a good portion of the structure is cut-away, I took advantage of this to detail the interior which is best seen from the sectioned side. Here are some general views I built it generally as per the kit but I did make some modifications and added much more detail which I will outline … Continue reading ROUNDHOUSE PT1


The 130′ turntable is from Walthers.  I would have preferred a shorter one, but the only other version they offered is a 90-footer which is way too short for my 4-8-2 Mohawks.  I see now Walthers is going to offer a 110′ version in the summer of 2016.  Go figure.  If you wait long enough, a model will be made, but you’ll never get a layout done. I do not use the programming feature for aligning the turntable to the tracks.  I did try this when I was testing the installation.  It was time consuming as I have 24 for … Continue reading TURNTABLE


Permanent Diesel fuelling facilities were not found on the NYC until many years after 1942.  However, switching operations in Buffalo started to be Dieselized in 1939.  As was quite common in the early days of Dieselization, fueling was by tanker truck from a local supplier.  This is the case here at Fillmore. A concrete pad made from styrene sheet along with a light stand, trash can, and fire extinguisher make this simple scene.  This does allow for an interesting operation whereby an ALCo HH600, working the coach yard, can be brought over (via the turntable) for refuelling… …provided by this … Continue reading DIESEL FUELING PAD & FIRE STARTER SHACK


The last servicing stage prior to a ride on the turntable to a lubrication stall inside the roundhouse, are the ash and wash pits. The cinder conveyor serves both tracks.  Cinders and ash are dumped into the track-level hoppers.  When the skip-bucket is in position, the trap door opens and they are dumped into the bucket.  The bucket is then raised inside the tower were it is tipped and the contents fall into a chute and into a gondola car below.  Water hoses are provided to cool the ash/cinder mix after dumping.  The cinder conveyor and ash pits are from … Continue reading ASH & WASH PITS


The Roundhouse Foreman has his office in a small building that also has the hostler crew room.  It is located in between the coaling tower and steam plant.  Like many other structures on my layout, it is sectioned to give the impression of more outside the layout boundaries. This is the Walthers Industry Office kit, the prototype Milwaukee Road yard office signature structure on the Beer Line.  To make it look less identifiable, I modified it by removing the basement level and stairs and adding a rectangular patch over the “diamond” window on the left door. Figures are from Preiser. … Continue reading FOREMAN’S & CREW HUT


To add a little operational variety and an opportunity to do some switching, a steam plant is located near the roundhouse.  This is the Walthers Machine Shop kit, cut-away to give the impression of a larger building. Coal is dumped into the pit; normally two 55 ton hoppers supply this fuel every day.  Windows are frosted over and there is lighting inside. Workers automobiles are from Sylvan kits and are a fun diversion to build.  Water tower is from Walthers. Continue reading STEAM PLANT & WATER TOWER


When a locomotive is spotted for sand at the sanding tower, in most cases it is also aligned to one of the coaling chutes.  In the case of small power, like an 0-8-0 Switcher, coaling and sanding is a two-move process. In the view above, a portion of the sand bin is modeled as a cut-away.  There is a pit for “green” sand to be dumped into.  The machinery house next to it provides power for the auger that transfers the wet sand into the pit and into the dryer (tall skinny structure to the left). The machinery house also … Continue reading SANDING FACILITIES


The coaling tower is based on a prototype found on the CPR in my hometown of Toronto, Canada.  A CPR coaling tower on the NYC?  This might not sit well with NYC purists, but then again Fillmore never really existed anyway… Pictured above in Roundhouse Park (formerly CPR John Street Roundhouse), this coaling tower survives today along with a number of historic railway structures and is the inspiration for the coaling tower at Fillmore.  Here’s the story:  John Street was opened in 1929, the Canadian Pacific Railway was partnered with the New York Central System for many years already before this, … Continue reading COALING TOWER


First servicing stop (from staging) are the inspection pits.  There are two roundhouse inbound leads.  All the road engineer needs to do is spot the water hatch on the tender to the water column.  The inspection pits are long enough to accommodate the longest of NYC power here (that being class L-3a/b 4-8-2 Mohawks). The water column is from Tichy; there are three on the layout.  They were built by my friend Steve Bourdon and were from his CNR Goderich Sub layout.  After he modernized into the 1980’s, he passed these on to me.  Thanks Steve.  I painted and weathered … Continue reading INSPECTION PITS