Saturday, September 26, 2015

E. L. Moore's Home for Small Locos and Yard Blacksmith Shop

[E. L. Moore's Home for Small Locos; J. R. Fisher collection]

Since I’m on the subject of enginehouses, as well as the brick enginehouse, E. L. Moore’s Home for Small Locos, which appeared in the March 1973 issue of Railroad Modeler, was present. I’ve often thought his Railroad Modeler projects were a little odd, even though I was fascinated enough by Caleb’s Cabbage Company to go so far as to build it. However, upon seeing this engine house, I changed my opinion - much as I've done with many of the originals I saw.
The single-stall enginehouse seems a lot more utilitarian than the brick one. It makes no pretensions about being anything much more than a big box to house a locomotive. I guess in that regard it seems more akin to similar structures in our era than the friendlier red bricked, densely windowed, ivy-covered, and hipped-roof-with-ventilators structure that was the centerpiece of his 1900-era shortline terminal.
The contrast between the greyed and weathered board and batten siding against the natural stone foundation - made simply from stone paper - is striking.
Propping open the upper portions of a few windows is a nice touch.
With the back and front doors open you can see right through. Mr. Moore notes at the end of the article that he didn't add lights, but as with the brick enginehouse, I'm curious to see what it would look like lit in a night scene.
The roof painting is simple, but effective. The rust is Floquil's rust.
Like many of his buildings, the roof can be lifted off to expose a finished interior.
I looked for a signature on the bottom, but didn't find one in this case.
On page 17 of the Railroad Modeler article there's a beauty shot of the enginehouse set up in a simple locomotive yard diorama. Included in that scene is a blacksmith shop that looks a lot like this one.
[E. L. Moore's Yard Blacksmith Shop; J. Collier collection]

This little building was written up in E. L. Moore's article Yard Blacksmith Shop that appeared in the October 1965 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. The one shown in the Railroad Modeler diorama is very similar to this one, but the cupola is different. E. L. Moore was known to make multiples of some of his buildings, and appears to have made a variation on the Railroad Model Craftsman blacksmith for the display.
Most of the interior detailing that was present in the article was missing from the model.
Mr. Moore mentions in the article that it's built from materials he had around, and recommended the reader do the same.
There's also a water tower of some sort in the Railroad Modeler diorama, but a similar one wasn't present in the collections.


  1. A fabulous, utilitarian, no-frills structure. And yet EL captured what it was that made it charming- it also seems to be very believable.

    1. I agree. It's quite good. Much better than the RM pictures suggested it would be.