Adding a "cool" industry to your layout...
#1
Here's an industry that no longer exists, but if you model the period between 1900 and 1960, there may be a place for it on your layout.
Back in the days before mechanical refrigeration, and even after it was introduced, ice was used to preserve food, both during shipping and during storage, and the railroad played a big part in this. Many of you may have seen some of the various ice houses on my layout, and for those of you that haven't, I'll try to explain their various functions.
The long, white structure in the background (I never seem to have a photo of only the item that I want to show) is the origin of the ice used in the towns and cities on my layout, at least as far as the railroad is concerned. While this ice house supposedly sits on or near the shore of Lake Erie, the true origin of the ice blocks that it ships is unspecified.
   

   

   

This facility supplies ice to all of the other icehouses on my railroad, and can also ship it to other nearby railroads, when required. In the second photo, those refrigerator cars are being loaded with blocks of ice (as cargo, through the side doors, not through the ice hatches, which have been sealed). From here, ice will be distributed to other ice houses along the route, either smaller ones that supply residential and commercial concerns, or larger ones that use large quantities of ice, but are not equipped to produce or harvest it themselves. The cars shown are in designated service as ice cars and are not used for any other purpose. Ice was also moved in regular reefers and also in boxcars, particularily in colder weather.
In the second photo, you can also see a reefer spotted at the platform for icing. This is a feature of most modelled icehouses, but the one here is only for icing the occasional car that passes through and requires icing. At the platform, ice is usually only added through the ice hatches, to replenish the bunkers. Crushed ice can also be added to cargo that requires "top icing", but that is seldom required here. Many main ice houses have no provision for icing cars: their sole function is to provide ice for other icehouses. This facility, however, also supplies ice to many local customers, by truck or wagon. Most homes and businesses have iceboxes, even though refrigerators are in use in other areas, so home delivery of ice is an important business. The main commercial customer for ice in this area is Finlay Fresh Fish, which ships carload-lots of fresh fish requiring "top icing".
   

Hoffentoth Bros. deliver block ice daily, by truck, to Finlay's, where it is used in storage coolers and also crushed for distributing directlly over the open-top crates of fish after they are loaded into the reefer.

When a carload of ice leaves the main storage facility in Lowbanks, it can be destined for any town on the layout, as all have some type of ice facility. Most are small structures that supply ice for domestic use, and have no car icing platform.
Here's the icehouse in Elfrida, built to the common design used in all towns requiring this type of service.
   

   

This simple structure is 12'x24', with a door and platform at trackside, and another door and platform on the other side for loading the delivery trucks or wagons. Depending on demand, the entire carload may be transferred to this ice house, or the car may be left spotted here to allow transfer as the icehouse requires replenishment. Another option is for part of the ice to be unloaded from the car here, then the next train through town will pick up the car and take it to the next icehouse that needs ice.

The largest icehouse currently on the line (there'll be another once the northern part of the railroad gets built), other than the storage facility in Lowbanks, is this structure in Dunnville.
   

Here's an view from the south....
   

...and another from the north:
   

...and an aerial view, courtesy of Secord Air Services:
   

This is the Walthers kit, with some add-on platforms. It is the main car-icing site on the layout, and does pre-icing for most cars destined to be loaded on-line. It also re-ices loads from other railroads, as required, that are headed to on-line destinations or that are passing through, in interchange, to other roads. In addition, this is the main distribution facility for residential and commercial use in Dunnville, with ice being delivered by truck. An icehouse this size and this busy requires a constant supply of fresh ice, so at least one carload of it is delivered here daily.

You don't need to model all of the different types of ice houses that I've shown, but the addition of any, along with an "ice-service only" reefer, can add operational interest to any layout of the era. If you don't have room for the main storage and shipping facility, simply bring in a carload of ice from a staging yard, or spot it on an interchange track, where a connecting line has left it for pick-up.

Wayne
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#2
Those ARE cool in both concept AND execution on your layout Wayne! Very nice!!!!! :tada:
Ralph
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#3
Thanks, Ralph. I bought this and a couple of others over from the "old place", something which I've been meaning to do for a long time. Goldth

Wayne
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#4
I noticed the other threads which did look familiar but I didn't remember the ice houses. Do you actually model ice blocks for any of the service locations?
I'm thinking cubes of acrylic plastic?

Ralph
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#5
Hi Doc---looks like a customer might get short-changed on their ice delivery---by the time that freight passes, the blocks of ice on that Hoffentoth delivery truck will be reduced in size under the hot sun


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#6
Walthers includes a set of ice blocks with their icehouse, and also with the add-on platforms. They're okay, but the large surfaces (top and bottom) have a "dimple" due to shrinkage in the casting process. I sanded mine on a sheet of sandpaper taped to the workbench - they still look pretty "icy" to me. Wink

Wayne
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#7
Hi Wayne,

:yup: excellent work thanks for showing us the pics the overall view looks really cool with the front of the layouts flowing and curving.
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#8
Thanks, upnick. :mrgreen: You may have already seen this, but there's lots more "flowing and curving" HERE. Goldth

Wayne
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#9
Great job on a unique industry! There was an operational ice house near me at Palmer Lake that cut and stored ice blocks each winter to fill the bunkers of the steady stream of produce reefers during the summer. It was quite the operation according to the local history.

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.ci.palmer-lake.co.us/plhs/images/icehouse.jpg">http://www.ci.palmer-lake.co.us/plhs/im ... ehouse.jpg</a><!-- m -->

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#10
Hi Wayne,

Thanks for the link but all i get is a message ........... No posts exist inside this topic for the selected time frame. :o could you try and post it again please.
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#11
Try the link now - it works for me, and I also had someone else try it and it worked.

Wayne
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#12
Hi Wayne,

Tried again and nothing still i opened the site in IE as well thinking Firefox might be blocking something still no luck :roll:
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#13
Hmmm. I tried it in both Firefox and IE, with no problems. I've just now moved the thread in that link from the Shutterbug Forum to the Layouts Forum, and re-done the link. If that still doesn't work for you, the thread in question is on Page Two of the Layouts section, and is entitled "Layout (room) tour, with lots of photos...".

Wayne
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#14
Very nice as usual Doc. Your backdrops remind me of the grey drab winter skies I remember from when I used to live near the lake in Toledo years ago. Do you have any plans to add anything more to them or are they in their finished state?
Scotland shall rise again!
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#15
Hi Wayne,

Got it now many thanks :bounce1: i remember seeing the thread now.
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