Scene Around the Track

Looking through my gallery of images that appeal and inspire me for various reasons, this photo appeared. I contemplate all the modeling subject opportunities I can glean from it. Then I thought ‘why not share it’ and that made me think to create this thread.

My concept - post a photo of a scene you found around a railroad that inspires you to make model rolling stock, a building or complex, track work, a bridge; a tank on tracks, a truck trans-loading coal/produce/cattle, crossing guard; a vignette, a diorama, a sectional scene for a layout, or a part of a layout. Civilian or military.

Post your pictures and if you have/intend to model it.

Not my photos, used for examples. If owner(s) object, I will remove them.


I have seen farm access road bridges made out of 50’ railroad flatcars here in Kentucky, similar to the above. Sorry no photographs.



You can see one just off Interstate 69 just as you depart Fort Wayne southbound, it’s in a farm field spanning a drainage ditch. I keep meaning to try to get photos of it by there don’t remember, where there’s a truck in the way. Next time I’m up there I’ll make a real effort to capture it.

Although I’m not much of a ‘train guy’ as far as model building is concerned, I’ve always thought these photos would be cool to replicate in a diorama or train layout…


Sobering photos of what had to be done thick layer of a rail line through some areas. I remember reading that when constructing the Central Pacific, Chinese laborers devised a way the lower one another down cliff faces in baskets, where they would then afix themselves on the wall in order to use a sledge and drill to crack away enough Rock to try to inselert dynamite, and eventually nitroglycerin.

Those snow sheds are fascinating. I think the Southern Pacific’s last ones around the Donner Pass were recently daylighted. Or maybe they were torn down and replaced with concrete I don’t remember. I think that was about 10 years ago. But it’s just too cool to see you seen on a mountain meadow somewhere with this large long timber above-ground “tunnel” for trains to run through. Reminds me of those styrofoam tunnel was that you could buy for your train layout LOL. Like the saying goes, “there’s a prototype for everything.”

Taking some “Fred Time” and having some gluin’ paintin’ time, and some postin’ time. Found this photo. It is remarkable to me on several levels. I read it is the Philippines which makes sense because otherwise it looks like the CBI, and I don’t recall A-20s used there. What I see here is a blend of military air and railroading - exciting enough.

What I see for railroad modeling potential, either for a layout or standalone diorama:

  1. Bushy right-of-way.
  2. Crops close to the track.
  3. Single main line.
  4. Station with large overhang on left, freight depot on right.
  5. Siding track between station and depot (occupied by two passenger cars).
  6. House/Team track to right of siding.
  7. Spur coming off of team track, curving into palm groves. (For where it goes, nobody knows.)
  8. Small yard, left side: ladder track with at least six stubs (“body tracks”?) next to (and behind?) station; at least one stub on the other side of the ladder track.
  9. High switch stands.
  10. Telegraph line with approximately 24 lines.
  11. Sheds and other buildings along/in tree line.

Many ideas can be gleaned from this image.

Reference of vintage track terminology.


Talking about boxcar/flatcar bridges…

More here :



Frenchy, great scenes. That bottom flat car looks like the one in Indiana I drive past. Next time I plan to pull over and take a photo or two.

Someday, when I do another layout…

The really cool thing - look at the registration number on the hopper car, and then its HO scale counterpart.


That’s an amazing contraption - and repurposed hopper.

Yeah, it is fun to find a model with a real road number with a connection to something we know of. Thanks for posting!

Another gravity based coaling and oiling faculty “built into the hillside”:
(Cass Scenic Railway)

Then water being lifted up out of an old tank car buried in a stream by steam driven suction pump.

Then this time a coaling station on the East Broad Top:

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After twenty years of driving by that thing, I finally left home early enough on my way to
Florence, CO to actually get there when they were open. They were kind enough to send a guy up top and get photos for me. I had a nice chat with the owner while we waited.

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Now that’s customer service. And you aren’t even a customer!

I posted some pictures of this bridge on the old site back in the day. I figured I would post them here. I find it really interesting. I would like to build a diorama of it one of these days.

Railroad Car Bridge (1)


Mike, those are wonderful shots. They look like they were exposed with film and not digitally too, which is something I appreciate more and more these days. I want to be surprised if one of them magazines like classic trains finds those and contacts you requesting use.

Pumping the water from the sunkened tank car - I’m marveling at the smoke pouring out of the stacks.

That image and the ones of East Broad Top are a treasure trove of detail for people wanting to match colors of rail, ties, ballast, general dirt and flora along right of ways.

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Hau Koda. Now that’s a covered bridge that won’t burn. Thanks for posting these again. Over the next few weeks I hope to have a few shots of repurposed Rolling Stock to post.

Thanks for posting these Randy.

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Wow. I love that. I may have an old passenger car or two from Revell’s Orient Express boxing to try that myself one day on a European layout.


I had that set! That’s really impressed with how detailed the cars were especially the Interiors with the little lamps on the tables. I ended up getting rid of it in one of my stash purges. But I do have the Bachmann train set of the Oriental express. To me it looks like the exact same models only assembled. Maybe metal wheels if I recall.

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I don’t know the exact location of the bridge as the only thing I have been able to find so far sates that it is…in the South Georgian Mountains.