RETURN TO INDEX
STR RAILROAD WEEKLY
NEWS OF THE RIDEAU VALLEY
WEEK OF APRIL 1, 1910
VOL 1 11/15/88
STR RAILROAD OPEN HOUSE, 1989 - Welcome to the S T R Railroad. This layout is the second, larger version of the STR and was started in 1970 even though the STR was created in 1960. The Railroad is a freelance eastern North American scene with reference to a railroad that existed in Eastern Ontario from 1889 to 1952. The name we refer to is the Brockville and Westport Railway. Most of the stations on the STR Railroad are scratch built copies from photographs of the actual stations along the B&W. The addition of a narrow gauge division has begun in Rock Jct. and is the Buells Creek Railway again related to the B&W territory in its name. Engines integrated from my father's collection of models have the B&W markings and the passenger equipment has the names of towns related to the B&W. The operation on the STR is run to a 5 minute hour, 24 hour days, on an on going basis from one session to the next and represents the time period of 1910. We have documented more than one full year of 1910 and have started over in 1910 again. The railroad is run in two divisions with branches served from Rock Junction. The terminals Stump-Gulch and Marysville each generate a morning and night way freight to run to Rock junction and back and serve online stations along the way. Also a through freight and two passenger trains originate each day from each terminal. The through freights are the only freight connection between divisions and also serve Rock Junction and related branches. The first section passenger trains carry a diner on the Stump-Gulch sub and handle head end milk cars along the run. There are two way freight crews, three yard crews and a branchline crew, and two elevated train crews. The Trainmaster and Dispatcher operate the office, the car traffic is controlled by computer with 140+ cars and 39 industries to shuffle. Each train is issued a printed switch list for each run. The station to station clearance is controlled by phone to the dispatcher. The main locomotive roster is steam with a variety of sizes of engines matched to the jobs required. We do have free license to run diesels even though it is 1910. This is to satisfy the diesel fans. The cars on the layout are a mix of kit and scratch with some leased equipment but mostly STR owned. The rolling stock and motive power date back as far as the 1940s models and kits. We hope you enjoy your tour today and feel free to ask questions of the STR Operators on duty. As president of the STR I invite you to ask questions on construction of such a railroad or the use of the computer system. The Management of the STR Railroad thanks you for riding with us and hope you will return soon. Please sign our guest book if you already haven't.
STR RAILROAD STORY - In 1960 the planning began for that ultimate in a model railroad. The original STR Railroad was constructed as a portable 2ft x 7ft module in 1960 and sufficed along with additions until 1970 when construction began on the STR Railroad as known today. The ultimate plan was to be suitable for any larger basement location with a one story bungalow on top. Of course that first bungalow did not sport a basement as large as imagination had defined. When construction began the definition of the railroad was squeezed to fit. As time went on (5yrs) it came time to move and the new location was larger but the decision was made to make a room comfortable for the layout already underway. The room is 12ft x 25ft for the layout and in addition a dispatchers office and a workshop adjoin it. The STR Railroad is HO and depicts railroading in eastern Canada in 1910. The prime industries are iron mining and eastern logging and is filled out with all the community needs using small industries and team tracks. Even though the STR is fictitious, as many of us do, the historical connection goes back to my childhood and beyond to a small 40 mile shortline that existed in eastern Ontario from 1888 to 1952. Called by various names but as I know it, The Brockville and Westport Railway. There are stations on the STR built and named from photos of the original B&W stations My model railroading roots go back to the 1940s when my father and I were building table top layouts using Lionel equipment and constructing scenery and structures from basic materials (scratch). In 1948 my father purchased his first car kit, three 3 ft lengths of track and a turnout in HO. It was HO from then on. I purchased my first equipment in HO shortly after and both of us enjoyed several layouts together and separately until 4 years ago when my father moved to a retirement home and gave up active modelling at age 80. All of my father's collection through four decades now is part of the STR but still has its own identity in that the locomotives are B&W and the passenger equipment bares the names of the communities along the original B&W.
The STR Railroad is a walk-in layout with adequate aisle space for operation which was the main consideration throughout the design. The track plan is point to point with a continuous cutoff option used for those visitor display times when you are the lone operator. Each end of the scale 26 mile line (5ft scale mile) has a terminal with passenger and freight yard functions, engine turning ability, engine servicing facilities and a switcher/yard master duty. The mainline is run on a two subdivision basis with a mid-junction where two branchlines meet the mainline. Each sub has two online stations, 3 with sidings and all with spurs to local industries. The headquarters of the railroad is at Stump-Gulch, one of the terminals. The other end of the line is at Marysville, the other terminal. The mid point junction is Rock Junction. The upper branch ends at Iron Pot Mine and the lower branch ends at Sandy Valley. The Stump-Gulch sub has Westport and Torent on line and Marysville sub has Sorrow and Athens on line. At the cutoff location are Forfar and Tack Point flag stops. Athens, Westport and Forfar are named from the B&W. Benchwork is the time proven L-girder method with spline and block roadbed and plywood in yard areas for support. The track board is all homosote cut , slotted and curved in our own shop. Layout height was set to have the mine branch station trackage as close to eye level as possible (60 in) for illusion of being up in the mountains and the lower branch station which is at water level route at 45 in. The two main terminals came out at about 55 in due to the various grades throughout the railroad.
The track is all handlaid code 100 NS rail with main ladder turnouts #8 and all others #6. The mainline is minimum 24 in radius curves with easements and super elevation on the main curves. The branchlines are 18 in radius. The grades are 2% max on the mainline and the upper branchline sports a hidden 7% grade.
Control is by DC so that all visitors who wish to run engines may do so. Conventional push button block control and two walkaround push button controlled (duplicated at each on line station panel location) TAT IV motor driven throttles handle the way freight work while the two elevated route cab (rotary block selection) engineers handle the through freight and the passenger work. The Twin-T mainline 3 color signal system provides trackside displays as well as elevated cab display and displatcher's office display. The junction yard has two walkaround portable throttles for local work, one of which handles the branchlines. The main terminals have switcher/yardmaster walkaround cabs and separate hostler cabs. The main yards and junction panels have overide control over incoming and outgoing trains. All panels and controls, including push-buttons and pilot lights, are built in the STR shops. The 75 turnouts are powered by Hammond and Morgan machines modified with micro switches and relays added.
These ar energized by three STR built capacitor/transistor discharge units. OPERATION: SCENERY:STRUCTURES:MOTIVE POWER: ROLLING STOCK:TRIP -all will be in continuing issues to follow.
This is the first issue of STR RAILROAD WEEKLY, but more will follow with news of the railroad and surrounding events as well as items from the past in modelling. Prez: Bill Ackland MMR
Back to top