Building a complete 1841 Depot. roundhouse, shops, train shed and station.

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by toptrain1, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Capture - S.JPG

    * This roundhouse is one that was in service on or before 1838. Located in Jersey City NJ. It was built by the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company. This structure isn't just a roundhouse but also a machine shop and a Locomotive assembly and repair shop. Three different purposes shops all interconnected. I have this view taken from a lithograph on a 1841 map. It is found in a map of that year of Jersey City and Hoboken. It is in the Rutgers Historical Map collection of their library in New Brunswick NJ.

    1st depot.JPG

    * This is the partial enlarged view from that map. It shows a revealing view of both the Roundhouse and the locomotive manufactory building. The only place I found information on this building is the footprint of it that is on the 1848 map of Jersey City. This new roundhouse view from a 1841 map is a recent addition to my info. The reason I used the word revealing is that from this view many important facts are gotten. Enough so that I can make a reasonable copy of the building. Information gained here is the type roofs and their detail. The fact that the locomotive Manufactory section is two stories high. The roundhouse has 9 stalls and not the 8 shown on the 1848 map drawing. Most important is that the small view of the Depot inself show a completed terminal building on this 1841 map. This predates all other information on the depot by a minimum of 8 years. Still missing are a few answers, was the Machine shop one or two stories high? What type roof did it have, and what did it look like? Were there windows on the other not seen side of the Locomotive Manufactory section. What style of windows were on the rear wall of the Roundhouse and machine shop. The search for information goes on. With something like this it may never stop.
    frank

    * In this view of the 1841 depot are shown are four train guards or security guards. Two on each side of the roundhouse. They have very fancy military looking uniforms with top hat and tails. They must be from a policing or a railroad security force.

    *About the train seen in this lithograph; What was it doing? Did the artist just draw it here to add detail to this lithograph. If the artist didn't, this train is being pushed back to the terminal by a yard locomotive in preparation to a scheduled departure. An inbound train on this track would have the locomotive on the other end of the train. Because it is on the left inbound track and the New Jersey Railroad ran its trains on the left side. That means that train of cars is on a inbound track which must be cleared soon. Having a depot in a city, switching moves must be made in a way to avoid disturbance of traffic on streets the trains will cross. Terminal switching moves are continuous and will not be tolerated on all street crossings. All depot switching must be done east of Washington street and west of Hudson street. When viewing the 1848 street layout you can a switch on the west side of Washington street. This made no sense to me for it extended the yard limit another block. All it accomplished was tiring up another cross street in a unneeded way. Limiting this switching train traffic interference at this time to only Green street. This would be within the yard limits of the depot. All switches for terminal switching would have been within this two block area and not three blocks. A simple replacement of the turntable entrance track removes this problem.

    This attachment is a section of the 1848 map showing the railroad depot at that time.
    View attachment 166959
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  2. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    Hi Frank,

    Looks good. Are you planning on building the roundhouse? Would make a nice model.
    Doc Tom
  3. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Yes Tom that is a part of my plain. But I am going to make the whole thing. First the roundhouse workshop building, then the can maintaining building, last the depot itself with headhouse and train shed. It all will be interconnected with a track system to allow it to work as a terminal. I may even make the ferry terminal with a ferry.

    Well Doc.,I have almost 2 weeks building it. Here at the start I copied the foundation drawing found in a 1848 map of Jersey City.

    IMG_2993 - S.JPG

    In this view I have added and glued down a wood curb to allow for attaching the walls to.
    IMG_2998 -S.JPG

    frank
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  4. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Here a is a later view. I have made the first two wall sections. 1 the roundhouse end wall and the locomotive assembly and repair section. These are glued to the foundation curb.
    frank
    IMG_3089 - S.JPG

    A look at these first two walls without all the supporting things.
    frank

    IMG_3113 - Copy.JPG
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
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  5. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Another latter view
    frank
    IMG_3090 - S.JPG
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  6. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Another more recent view .
    frank
    IMG_3098 - S.JPG
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  7. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Then I started on the machine shop section. You can see the other 2 walls.
    frank

    IMG_3132 - S.JPG
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
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  8. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Yesterday I put up the other 2 walls. I am looking at the roundhouse section rear wall. Just getting it curved will be hard, never mind putting in curved windows. I will try to make the curved wall first. The wide radius of this curve may allow me to directly install the windows I have for this wall. I may have to make it like I am planning to do the front wall in separate small sections.
    *Here is also the machine shop section with all three walls up.

    IMG_3142 - S.JPG

    frank
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
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  9. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Seven roundhouse sections end in this rear round house wall. All nine are in the front. I have to see what kind of windows I have for the rear wall. I'll need seven. I am still not sure of and how I will do these walls.
  10. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    WOW!!! That is coming along very nicely. You got a lot done in a couple of weeks.Using the actual foundation drawing of the original is a really nice touch. Going to enjoy following along with your progress.

    Doc Tom
  11. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    That looks cool! Thank you for sharing this with us! :)
  12. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    *Tom without people like yourself, Zathros and the Revell guy offering support as you have, a large project like this one would be easy to walk away from. Please keep helping me.
    *Yesterday and today I didn't and won't be touching the project. Tomorrow I will start on the roundhouse back wall.

    frank
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
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  13. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Roundhouses are amazing. I lived in Branchville Ct. where there was a roundhouse around 100 years ago. It was used to send the train up to Ridgefield Ct., a spur off of the Norwalk to Danbury Ct.
  14. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    I started framing the roundhouse to support a rear curved wall. I hope I can put windows in it.
    frank
    IMG_3152 - S.JPG
  15. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    It is saturday and I am done for the day. Here is a couple of photos of what it now looks like. The upper curved frame came out Ok. I hope it doesn't pull itself apart. IMG_3154 -M.JPG IMG_3156 -M.JPG IMG_3157 -M.JPG IMG_3159 -M.JPG
    frank
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  16. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    Framework looks good.Seems like everything is coming together nicely.

    Doc Tom
  17. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Tom, I liked the way the rear wall went together. By notching the uprights in the rear wall at the top to give the curved top beam a place to sit and align, all the uprights became well aligned. I am going to do the same to the top of the front wall. I have removed the roof rafters and the front uprights and will start replacing them today.
    frank
  18. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    The framework is so solid. This structure will endure for many decades, if not longer, to come! When I built the pergola off of the back of my house, I notched the 4 x 4's the same way. Last week a Tornado dropped a tree on it, it blew apart like match sticks but protected the house by taking the tree (150 feet tall) away from the house. I had a 9" inch limb go through the roof, but it could have been much worse. :)
  19. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    The top front board didn't work and brook loose the 2 side walls and rafter supports of the roundhouse. I have been fixing the damage and am now ready to attempt to build the front again.

    IMG_3173 - s.JPG

    On this second photo is seen a piece cardstock i've drawn the curve for the front on, and a parallel curve 4' back. I can use this as a template to make the same thing out of a thin piece of wood. Maybe I can just build the front door section on the wood base and just when done slide it right in. I may get lucky.

    IMG_3170 - s.JPG
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
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  20. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Here is the curved piece of cardstock closer up. IMG_3175 - s.JPG
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