Monday, September 21, 2015

E. L. Moore's 1900 era shortline terminal yard

[E. L. Moore's Two Stall Brick Enginehouse; J. R. Fisher collection]

One of the most surprising finds was that both collections contained amongst them all the principal buildings in E. L. Moore's shortline terminal yard - a separate part of his Elizabeth Valley Railroad - that was featured in his article Turn backward, O Time, that appeared in the January 1967 issue of Model Railroader magazine. This project is arguably his masterwork, and even though he produced other buildings with somewhat better quality construction, this project captures the essence of his methods and approach to model railroading. The large, brick two-stall engine house was the centrepiece of the diorama. The details of its construction are outlined in Brick Enginehouse that appeared in the March 1967 issue of Model Railroader
[E. L. Moore's Coal Loading Derrick; J.R. Fisher collection]

The yard is composed of a number of buildings and structures. There's a coal loading derrick, and the one used was featured in Mr. Moore's article Coaling Up! that appeared in the March 1961 issue of Model Trains.
[E. L. Moore's Icehouse; J. R. Fisher collection]

Also along the service track with the coaling derrick is the Icehouse. I've always admired the proportions of this little building.
[E. L. Moore's Sandhouse; J. R. Fisher collection]

The service track includes a Sandhouse that's near the Icehouse, but on the opposite side of the track. When I first saw this building, I didn't know what it was - possibly because the sand delivery equipment, located on the tower, is missing - but there's a clear picture in the article that confirms its identity.
[E. L. Moore's Yard Office; J. R. Fisher collection]

Dead centre in the diorama, and in front of the enginehouse, is this little yard office. I like that broom beside the door.
[E. L. Moore's McGee Lumber Co.; J. Collier collection]

On the far right of the facility is a siding that services a number of businesses. At the very end, down by the enginehouse, is McGee Lumber Co. It may have been a precursor to Cal's Lumberyard that appeared in the April 1973 issue of Model Railroader.
[E. L. Moore's Dilly Manufacturing Co.; J. Collier collection]

Next in line along the siding, beside McGee Lumber, is Dilly Manufacturing. I like the shape of the building, and the weigh-scale on the loading dock is a nice touch.
[E. L. Moore's Central Warehouse; J. Collier collection]

Beside Dilly Manufacturing on the same siding is the Central Warehouse. Hilarious.

Well, that's it. So, what's missing? First, there is no watertower. It appears that the watertower used in this facility is the one E. L. Moore wrote about in the article, Octagonal Water Tower, that appeared in the August 1963 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. However, there is this water tower that could be used as a substitute. 
[A watertower in J. Collier's collection attributed to E. L. Moore]

Unfortunately, I can't find a reference article for this watertower although it looks like the main water tower in Elizabethton on the Elizabeth Valley RR - however, I might be overlooking a build article and I'll keep digging.

As well as a missing watertower, the handcar shed is missing. E. L. Moore used the one he described in Handcar and its shed in the February 1964 issue of Model Railroader. Way back in one of the early posts in the E. L. Moore's Legacy in the 21st Century series I built that shed as part of a post on building with balsa. If I may be so bold to suggest, but that one could be used in a recreation of the facility.
[My build of E. L. Moore's handcar shed]

There's an ashpit hoist across from the handcar shed that's missing, as well as Ma Spumoni's house and outhouse. It wouldn't be too difficult to build the hoist. It's very similar to the main coaling derrick. The picture of Ma Spumoni's house only shows its back and no other elevations, so some creativity will be needed to make a replacement. Well, all the major pieces have survived around 50 years - which is an incredible feat in itself - and could be used to build a reproduction of E. L. Moore's masterwork.


  1. Every new post is a delight and a revelation. Or two or three of each.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks Dan. I'm finding them just as surprising. Debra and I were going over the building count in our notebook, and we think we miscounted and there are 62 in total - 54 or 62, maybe I should have paid more attention to Sesame Street, but either way it'll take a while to post pictures of them all.

  2. Yeah, I completely agree with Dan, these new EL Moores are fabulous. So nice to see they have survived particularly as I have read some of the original articles.I know he used "Templates" for some of his designs as his "Dilly mfg" structure is very like his "8 Ball Loco Works" which I copied back in the eighties. It was an article in the MRC I think. Anyway, what a fabulous series, thank you!

    1. Thanks Ian. Seeing them in person, and being able to take colour photos, gave me a whole new perspective on his work. I did a little digging on the '8 Ball Locomotive Works" and searches suggest it was an article by Bob Hayden; however. I'm going to try and find a copy - I wouldn't be surprised if there was an ELM influence.

  3. I thought 8 Ball Loco Works went further back to Bill Livingston?

    1. You're right, it does. Turns out there is a long and complicated story behind it that I didn't know at the time of this post. I'm hoping to write about it in the fall, but the plans appear to trace back to Bill Livingston.