The 50s
As im in the modern era of growing up I have a shout of doubt of what the golden era rail industries were other than coal dealers - lumber and grain. Can anyone paint a picture of what was back then? Also what they shipped and or received.
Harry Check out my blog at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->
More commodities went by rail because it was faster than trucks before the interstates were built.
All the raw materials for steel making in inland mills were handled by railroads.
Automobiles were shipped in boxcars, livestock was shipped on the hoof because reliable mechanical refrigeration cars had not made the scene.
Our local grocery store (A&P) had a siding where they got carloads of dry goods and carloads of produce.
Potteries shipped their ware, and received the specialty clays from all over the country, This included feldspar from Maine, silica's from central Ohio, kaolin from Georgia, and ball clay from Tennessee to name a few.
Bricks were made in many local plants all over the country and shipped by rail.
Beer, wine, whiskey, soda, and fruit juices were shipped by rail.
Specialty gases including helium went by rail.
Military equipment, gasoline, oil, ethanol (not a new commodity for the railroad) coke, and ashes as well as sand gravel and other stone materials.
The railroads did a great job. The 4 and 5 man crews were a necessity before radios. A forty car train was the norm because there were Babbitt bearings on the cars and no hot box detectors so the crew had to watch for smoke.
Take away long haul trucks today and all of that would be back on the railroad, and the railroad could handle it. Take away the railroad today and throw all the merchandise on the highway and nothing would move.
I hope that answers some of your questions.
They fun we have with GERN industries really is not that far from fact.
Pulpwood, pallets, furniture, paper making and textiles to name a few other common industries back then.

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
Cars, trucks, buses, streetcars, farm equipment all on flatcars; well maybe some cars in boxcars.
Our town had a perfume/soap factory and medicine factory with sidings.
Most food products.
Major industrial fabrications --boilers, transformers, pipes.

I think a few special cars, like pickles, were obsolete.
Moderato ma non troppo
Perth & Exeter Railway Company
Esquesing & Chinguacousy Radial Railway
In model railroading, there are between six and two hundred ways of performing a given task.
Most modellers can get two of them to work.
Think of it this way...if you needed it in bulk it was moving by rail. A lot of railway express activity, too, and passenger services both long-haul and short.
Good information all. Here is a structure that im trying to give a business to just not sure what tho........

Attached Files Image(s)
Harry Check out my blog at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->
Looks like a typical small manufacturing outfit. Machine tool and die, perhaps. Steel sheet and rod in...crates of finished tools out?

Furniture maker?

Leather goods?

Shoe factory?

Textile mill?
Judging by the number of windows, it was an industrial building in which people worked,
or if you made it look like bluestone then it could pass as one of the school buildings I work in.
Could we have some more photos of the building showing all 4 sides without the covered hopper obscuring anything?
Fake It till you Make It, then Fake It some More
There were thousands of rail customers many overlooked by modelers.


Food & Beverage distributors

Produce Distributors

Hardware distributors

Lumber companies



Manufacturers of all kinds including steel grave vaults,glass bottle companies.

Telephone poles treatment companies-in raw poles out treated telephone poles.

Steel casting companies

Steel drum manufacturers

Paint manufacturers

Chemical plants

Shoe manufacturers

Bakeries like Kroger,A&P and other National Bakeries.

Auto plant manufacturers-bumpers,springs,dashboard etc.


Cardboard box companies.

The list goes on.

Your building looks like a bakery for local (say) IGA store brand bake goods-in flour/out empties

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
I was looking on the bay last night and found who made it and what they say it is. <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... 2228247752</a><!-- m -->
Harry Check out my blog at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->
Harry,I would use that small building as a print shop and drop off boxcar loaded with paper twice a week.

This company specializes in printing local food market sale flyers.

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.

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