The Wabash Railroad
in Southern Ontario, circa 1951
ABOUT MY RAILROAD...
Until the Autumn of 2008 I was building a layout based on the Canadian National Railway’s branch line hub in Palmerston, Ontario. Then, I had the opportunity to visit Bill Darnaby’s well-known HO scale model railroad, The Maumee Route. The experience had a profound effect on me and caused me to rethink everything I was attempting to do in my train room. After some careful thinking about options for the space, I settled upon modeling something that was in my own backyard. The Wabash Railroad had a significant operation across Southern Ontario that just begs to be modeled. The Buffalo Division was primarily a single-track bridge line established to reduce shipping times between Buffalo, New York, and Detroit, Michigan.
I am building a double-decked layout featuring selected towns and signature scenes on the Wabash Railroad’s 240-mile Buffalo Division. My layout models the segment between Aylmer and Cayuga, Ontario. This 60-mile stretch of the Wabash includes a number of online customers typical of small-town Ontario, as well as a section of the mainline shared with the Canadian National Railways’s Hagersville Sub. Since I am modeling 1951 it will be neat to see the little CNR 2-6-0s sharing the rails with the paired F7A units used on the Wabash Red Ball freights. I’ll be posting regular updates and photos of my progress on this blog.
The SP and subsidiaries had 7200 of these cars built for them in 1924. The Sunshine Models kit does a lovely job of recreating these unique cars, right down to the neat etched ladders. I did replace the sill steps with etched ones from my own line as well as laser cut running boards, mostly so I didn't have to deflash the resin cast ones. To my eye I've found that Scalecoat boxcar Red II to be a good choice for the SP car colour. The weathering was a fun departure for me. I've been working with enamel washes from AK Interactive for a few different effects and the weathering on these cars shows some of that experimentation. I dampen the surface with enamel thinner, then dab some of the AK colour onto the damp surface. The colour wicks along edges and flows into cracks and grooves, a little cleanup with a flat brush to get rid of the obvious blotches and we let that dry. The process takes time as each surface needs to dry before moving onto then other side and the paint needs to be fully cured so that the enamel thinner doesn't lift the colour layer(ask me how I know). A little overspray for dust and we ready to go. I'll be demonstrating this technique next time I get into the Trainmasters TV studio.