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Model Branch Line Warehouse Construction Challenge!

I’ve challenge a few of my model railroad friends to construct a branch line warehouse in the scale and gauge that they model in. Originally, I had HO, HOn3, O and Fn3. Unfortunately, my friends that model in HO and HOn3 had more pressing projects to work on. I. proceeded without them.

I came up with a very rough design for the building that I had in mind. Drawings below. It was my intent to submit our effort as an article in some model RR mag. I've since given up on that idea. I was hoping that we would each choose a somewhat different construction technique. My friend Ernie Barney completed an O scale version of the warehouse. Photos below.

For my purposes the warehouse needed to be a concrete structure, but it could have been other. The. Structure is approximately 60’ by 24’ by ~15’. NOTE: the 15' is the height above the dock and floor and not above grade. The height of the exterior walls was determined by the height of dock. It has a loading dock on the track side. Again, for my purposes the dock needed to be concrete. The back side has doors with bumpers for loading trucks. There is one window with a heavy wire screen. There is one metal personnel door. The number of doors were left up to the builder. The drawings show seven freight doors, three track side, three on the opposite side, and one on the right side. I made my freight doors 9' by 7' metal clad (metal sheet over wood structure). The freight doors can only be opened from the inside. They can be either double or single hung sliding doors. The right-side door is optional. For my warehouse I decided on five freight doors and one personnel door. The building has exterior lights, roof drains and roof vents. Lights did not need to be functional and mine are not. The loading dock needed to be sized to fit the needs of the modeler. Mine was made bigger than what the drawings show. The bigger it is the more detail can be added.  Also, I wanted it to be long enough to unload two to three freight cars. I also chose to have only two freight doors in the back as I wanted more wall space for propaganda posters.

Not only are the walls of my building concrete so is the roof. Unlike the drawing, the roof drainage system is a screened channel drain that runs parallel to the back wall. Over the concrete roof structure is a tar and gravel roof membrane. The roof membrane goes up the sides and on top of the parapet.


I did a few very quick, NOT TO SCALE, drawings of what I had in mind. Not only are the drawings not to scale, but they are also not very representational. By now you should realize that I tend to build first and plan later. 

As my model is an Army warehouse at "Los Alamos Junction", home of the Manhattan Project, it has WW II propaganda posters including post war posters. At some point I will include a guard shack and Army guards. 

I included some drawings of what it might look like if it were brick or cinder block.

Not including the dock, in F Scale the building will be 36” by ~14” by ~9” (~11"). Approximately 9" above floor/dock and ~ 11" above grade. In HO Scale it would be ~8” by ~3.3” by ~2” (~2.55").

Loading dock height for standard gauge is roughly four feet above the top of the rail. For narrow gauge it's just under three feet from the top of the rail. Obviously, that will determine door placement and overall height of the building. In the "What's New" section of this website I show how my warehouse was built.

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At least two door in the back are required

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The following provides the dimension of the building in inches for F scale. 

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Back Side F scale.png
Roof F scale.png
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The above photos is Ernie Barney's nearly finished O scale version of the Warehouse. He chose to go with a cut stone construction. It looks amazing for mostly 2 dimensional photo walls. Ernie will be adding the stairs and ramp.

To see progress on my warehouse click on the button.