Saturday, March 22, 2014

St. Lawrence Cement Plant

Yesterday, we discussed a lot about my "Murray Bay Sub" project. I found Louis-Marie had the same questions about our Canardière Road overpass: lots of work and the scene doesn't match up with the prototype. There's something lacking. Also, by the end of the evening, Jérôme also pointed out we didn't need a real "yard" for our operating patterns. A stub-ended one, with a few storage tracks would be enough for our needs and would leave more space for interesting scenes like St. Lawrence Cement plant.

Switching moves at the cement plant while CN freight train 522-523 is passing by.

Nothing is set in concrete, but I think the three of us are fully aware we have to address a few issues before investing too much time in things that won't work for the best. Managing our time is more and more important. We can't afford to waste months trying to replicate things that don't make the layout better... and futher more, running!

I had a good talk with Louis-Marie about that and we agreed we should strive to get the most iconic scenes together with little effort. That means only modelling purposeful industries, having a layout plan that depicts a railray work day routine and simplified topography. It doesn't mean to go cheap and tkae shortcut, only reduce the number of parameters to better control their quality. In that respect, I think it's the good choice to make.

By the way, my model of the layout really paid off yesterday. No place for misunderstanding, everything was clear and discussions were positive because most unknown factors were physically displayed. I intend to continue using this strategy to develop ideas in the future. Next time, I'll have to do the other layout's room. That one is gonna be a scenic challenge and we all think redeveloping it won't be a piece of cake.

Thus, after all that chatting, fellow club members allowed me to test my concept. First of all, better start with an historic picture to be able to analyse if the layout catch the feeling of the real prototype. This one is taken from Joseph Testagrose Collection, available on Old Time Trains website:

CN 226 pulling a cut of gypsum hopper cars at Villeneuve in the late 50s

And the same picture shot on the layout from the same spot.

A general view of the property. Note there should/will be an abandonned double mainline near the fascia is this configuration is agreed on.

This view is taken from the crossing too. I like the industrial look of a bunch of tracks running between telegraph and power lines.

This one is very nostalgic. When I was a kid in the 80s, it was the classic view we had on the train while lunching at the diner located just in front of the cement Plant every Saturday.

A general bird view from the East, looking west.

Overall shot of the scene. The plant may be huge but it doesn't overpower the scene. I really like the result, particularly the main line in front of the scene.

Conclusion? Positive results! This scene do looks like the real Murray Sub as it could be seen in Villeneuve from the 60s to the mid-90s.

Stay tuned!


  1. C'est très beau de même... Je t'ai envoyé une batch de photos en dedans de la cimenterie aussi si ça peut aider... :) Pis faudra une switcher en blanc saupoudré de farine... ;) Les canisses, ça vient de quoi spécifiquement?

    1. Les canisses comme tu dis, ce sont des raccords de plomberie pour drainage de toilette de 4". On en colle deux ensemble. Va falloir les couper pour avoir la bonne hauteur.