Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

Dedicated to Sharing the Heritage of Redwood Empire Railroading

I just posted a few photos of a slowly building group of rolling stock and one vintage SPMW ("SPO") service truck to my Photos page. The more complicated work was scratchbuilt styrene sides for an Espee GS gon turned into a wood chip car.


I'm gradually building HO replicas of interchange cars and related equipment that might have shown up at Willits (bound to and from Fort Bragg, for instance) on any given day from the mid-1950s through the early '60s. So far, it's only a handful, but feel free to take a look.

I may begin trying to scratchbuild some of the earlier 50' chip cars with plywood sides and steel ends plus drop-bottom doors.  Those cars are still locked firmly into my memory, especially the sight of a dozen or more in Cal Western eastbound freights, all releasing their woody perfume as they passed through the redwood groves along the Noyo River en route to Calpella.

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Very nice models, sir! Thanks for sharing! I wonder if that "woody perfume" smell, as you call it, could be simulated on a model(without making a mess!). I imagined the smell of the wood chips from my chainsaw when I read that line(ah, what a wonderful fresh scent that is).


Zachary M. Toler

Thanks for the compliments, Zachary. I'll bet the scent could be "modeled"...visit a shop that sells essential oils and put a very tiny bit of some pine/fir oil (if they have it, which I'd bet they might) on a miniature wood load and...


Of course, my crystal clear scent memory has the recollection whiffed-in every day, every August for 14 summers running at CWR's milepost 8.9, just west of the "Company Ranch" where our rental summer cabin sat beneath a grove of 2nd growth redwoods. Mix in the scent of duff, loamy soil with a large vegetable crop, apples ripening on trees nearby, blackberries just picked, a little sea breeze blown-upriver, the aroma of the railroad's 4 Baldwin diesels, dampened ballast and ties from the diesels' track spray units...ahhhhhhhhhhh! Don't think that lot can be modeled.


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