Saturday, July 9, 2016

Thinking Out Loud - Part 2

I'm actually in the process of selecting a contractor and shopping building materials for the new garage to be - hopefully - build later this summer. I've secured the municipal authorization and permit thus the project can move forward.

I've had a few discussions with Jérôme about the subject of the new layout. Simon Dunkley's recent comments are also similar in substance. In fact, everytime I bring out the subject of Temiscouata I meet a lot of enthusiasm. No wonder, Connors is the epitome of North American steam branchline that could be found anywhere and it can be easily turned into a fine layout.

A few months ago, I had a similar discussion on Big Blue Trains forum and on my other blog (Quebec South Shore Railway) .

Original discussion

To give some tooth to the discussion, I made a crude mock up that was used to see if a switching layout was feasible.

Connors mock up (as a switching layout)

I've explored many possibilities, but so far, the Connors Branch fit the space without having to bang my head on the walls for months trying to fit things I want.

Trevor Marshall was kind enough to send me very interesting information that comfort the idea Temiscouata can be turned into an Achiveable Layout (I just love that expression!).

In fact, I now have photographic evidence about the small flag stop that existed at Pelletier Mills (Little River Mills). And this is very interesting because that location served a saw mill, had a siding and a small station.

It means the layout would be a compression of the line, but a rendition of the last two stops on the branch. No need for psychological shortcuts. What you see is the real last few miles of the run.

I've made a very crude track plan based on these two locations.


  1. No surprises in me saying this is great.

    There is so much potential here, not just for now but for the future. This is such an achievable layout, but if the bug really bites you can start to wind the clock back and do research into early equipment, and start scratch building, and maybe move on to Proto:87 which wold be the best way to capture the spindly wheels on those 4-4-0s. And if you decide to move on to a new project, then you will have learned a lot without having made a major commitment.

    You can model diesels, etc, for use at the club!


    1. Simon, as I said this layout need zero brain to design! Another proof we should stay away from byzantine ideas. I don't need to look far because the Harlem Station layout is another very minimal layout without runaround and it's far to be boring.

      The club is indeed diesel oriented and I'm not going that way for another project, at least not now.

      I'm not sure if I'd go as far as Proto:87 but I definitely think this layout could be backdated as a turn of the century thing. The panoramic picture of Connors taken back in the early 1890s and some old the very old 4-4-0 give a good idea of this railway. I still have a few craftman cars of Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific that need to be built and would fit perfectly the era. Old boxcars are quite fun to model and modelling old Intercolonial, CPR and such roads would be nice.

      ! I'm not set yet in an era but the 1910s and the mid-40s would be equally interesting.

      In fact, 1909 is the sweet spot in term of motive power variety. The very old 4-4-0 were retired that year and the new 4-6-0 arrived at the same moment. In 1910, they bought a brand new 2-6-0 that lasted only a few month because it was performing as expected.

      Another good point about 1910 is that I have an exact idea of the track plan. Later, the freight station siding got its turnout moved to the East (left).

    2. Simon,

      About the early equipment, University of Moncton website list many pictures of Temiscouata Railway and the yard in Edmunston. Most of them were taken when the Transcontinental was built and are a great source to see what kind of cars were in use at that time. I know for sure Grand Trunk Pacific flat cars visited Connors at least once. Old pictures also show that cars on the Connors Branch came from all over North America. Even the mighty ATSF found its way in that backwood location.

    3. The University of Moncton pictures can be found here:

  2. Would the new-tooling Bachmann 4-4-0s be a good starting point for loco power here??

    1. Gene, are you talking about the old American one or the Modern 4-4-0. I already own one Modern 4-4-0 and it's a fine locomotive. I do plan to bash it into a Temiscouata locomotive. I also have an IHC Genoa. I'm tempted to graf the shell on a better mechanism such as the Rounhouse one as explained by Harold Minky.

  3. Matt....At first I thought the new tooling 4-4-0 American....but now that you mention it I guess the modern 4-4-0 Baldwin would probably be the better choice.

    1. Temiscouata operated many old American 4-4-0 in the early days and some survived until 1929. More on that in a next post later.