At Marshall (MN) there is a cluster of small industries along W. Fairview Road that represent good options for inclusion on my DME model railroad. All but one are rail-served.
The largest of the industries in this cluster is the grain elevator (now ADM but I think may have been something else several years ago). This is not the giant ADM processing facility that used to be Minnesota Soy Co-operative (MSC).
Reinhart Food Services is situated on the other side of the tracks to the grain elevator and is not rail-served. Nevertheless, it is a nice looking industrial building and I am likely to include it on the layout.
Across the road from Reinhart is Alter Metal Recycling with a rail-served spur for loading scrap metal into gondolas. This is a great industry for the model railroad.
Across the rail line from the scrapyard is a nice looking wooden dock. I don’t know the name of the business that used this dock so I plan on creating a small industry that would receive loads in box cars. Alternatively, I could possibly use it as a team track.
Lastly, just around the corner from these industries is the iconic Marshall water tower which I will look at fitting on the layout. Water towers are great signposts for towns on model railroads.
W. Fairview Road with this little quadrant of industries offers a great variety of operational interest for the model railroad.
My US trip has focused largely on model railroading. However, today was my day to see some prototype train action. Once again, Waseca was the place where I saw some main line and switching action. First up was AC4400 locomotive CEFX 1025 and Canadian Pacific ES44AC locomotive number 8708. They were initially setting out a grain car at the western end of Waseca beyond the grade crossing. They were later to take a very long train, comprising mainly covered hoppers, out east. In town was DME 4005 sporting it’s DME blue and gold livery switching on the branch just near the Waseca station building.
As the morning was surprisingly sunny, I also took the opportunity to take some building photos. These photos will form the inspiration for several industries on the model railroad. First up was the Birds Eye factory with it’s terrific assortment of building structures almost the length of a street. I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of guys from the plant who explained that some product still comes in and goes out by rail. In my time period of 1995-96 there was even greater rail traffic with the plant. I also took photos of various grain elevators and feed mills. I noticed that Brown Printing is now Quad Graphics and this remains an interesting building, albeit hard to photograph well.
I drove west to Mankato and had a scout around before ending up at Applebees. I took a few photos of the building as a possible structure to model, although by this time it was overcast. I met a couple of guys there who were surprised that Applebees were not in Australia.
I continued west and decided to spend overnight at New Ulm at my usual hotel chain. There is an Applebees restaurant close by but I decided that I would save the experience until later in the week, perhaps in Marshall (MN). I might go to the Schell Brewery if a tour is available.
Tomorrow I will go back to Waseca to catch up with a chap who hopefully will introduce me to a former DME engineer. I hope this can happen because I need to get a better understanding of prototype operation in the mid-1990s.
The rest of the week is forecast to be overcast with some rain. This is not ideal but I just have to deal with the weather as it plays out.
There are lots of reasons, both good and bad, as to why this blog is not as active as it should be. I’d like to say it was because of all the time I pour into the layout that prevents me from blogging. Alas, this is not the case.
What I can say is that the layout (lower deck) is operational. I have had a few small operating sessions where trains have been run and some problems identified and corrected. It is still very much “plywood junction” but that’s ok for now. The upper deck remains unfinished and the incline is still without power. One of my friends is always lobbying me to forget the upper deck all together!
At the same time, there is some uncertainty in our household whether to move house or make some substantial renovations to the current house. This is not model railroad related but one of the key renovations could mean moving the model railroad from its current location in the double garage. A decision on all of this is yet to be made.
However, the really exciting news is that I am off to the US again in just over a week’s time. I will be visiting a friend in Kansas City before heading over to Ames, Iowa for the Thousand Lakes Region/Mid-Continent Region NMRA convention. It has been a few years now since I last went to a TLR Convention. I have made many friends from these convention visits and I hope to catch up with people this year in Ames.
After the convention I am getting a lift with a friend to Minneapolis. From here, I will hire a car for ten days to drive around DME/CP territory in southwest Minnesota. Although this will be my third visit to the prototype DME, I have more time this trip. More time means not rushing around and driving hundreds of miles each day. I intend to spend some time in Waseca as this location never disappoints for seeing DME trains. I anticipate going as far west as Brookings (SD) and east as far as Rochester.
If you’re out and about in Ames, or in DME territory, I hope to say g’day!