Sugar Cane train in 1920 Haiti

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by Doctor G, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    105
    Hi,
    For several months I have been building a "mini" On30 layout based on the sugar cane trains of 1920 and 1930 Haiti.
    I am frequently in Haiti for medcal mission work and have been intrigued by their past history of steam powered trains working the sugar fields and mills.
    The effects of poverty,excessive sunshine and salty air really leads to extremes of prototypical weathering.
    The Porter is an On30 Bachmann model. The "bagasse" fuel/tender is scratchbuilt.
    The structures are scratchbuilt and include the HASCO mill with rusting corrugated metal roof and siding.
    Hope you all enjoy!!!
    Doctor G

    Attached Files:

  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. G---Welcome to The Gauge...it's great to see new folks dropping in and joining.....
    You may be a junior member, but your modeling is Master class...!!! Let's see some more....and a track plan if you can manage it...
  3. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    105
    More Photos from Doctor G

    Hi SteamHead,
    Thanks for your nice compliments.
    Actually my main layout is another industrial hauler......a 1920's logging line set in the mountains of Tennessee where I come from. It is HO scale and is loosely based on the Little River Railroad of Eastern Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains.
    The On 30 Haitian Sugar Train was my first foray in to another guage.
    I have attached a few pictures of the HO logger. I call it the C&S RR.
    Doctor G

    Attached Files:

  4. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great pictures..!! That looks like a VERY nice layout....

    Do I spy an Atlas turntable under that Shay..??
  5. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    105
    Turntable on the logging layout

    Hi Steamhead,
    Yes the turntable is an Atlas (very reliable) model. The "backwoods" engine house is a Walthers lumber store model that was reworked as a partial open air engine house as the layout is in the sunny south. THe shay is an MDC model and there is another MDC Shay poking its nose out from around the scratchbuilt roundhouse office. There is also one of the smooth running Rivarossi Heislers parked in the engine house.
    Thanks for the interest, Doctor G
  6. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    105
    More Photos and Info on the Sugar Cane Train

    Hi,
    I wanted to add a few other shots of the Port au Prince section of my On30 Mini layout.
    Here are two Porters working the HASCO (Haitian American Sugar Company) Sugar mill. The corrugated metal was made from aluminum foil pressed on a corrrugated styrene form and cut to scale size. A light coat of primer paint and weathering with acrylic paints was then used to make the appearance of rusted metal.
    The O scale structures were built using foam core board and covered with a thin layer of spackling compound before painting. Part of the fun of Haitian and Caribbean structures in general is the wonderful colors used on the prototype structures.

    Attached Files:

  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those are really great shots...!!! You've captured the look of the tropics perfectly..!! And those little Porters are just beautiful...Quite a different look from what we're used to...:thumb:

    BTW...How noisy is that Atlas TT of yours..?? I've got one, and it screams like a wounded banshee..!! :curse:
  8. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    105
    Hi Steamhead,
    Thanks for the compliments. I did want to go "completely different" in making the On30 mini. It was fun learning new techniques. Making palm trees is completely different than the hardwoods and conifers I have on the logging layout. All the information for these "new" techniques came from the Internet.
    In regards to the turntable it is "whisper quiet." That's because I got rid of the electric motor ( as you noted way too loud) and use the hand crank supplied with the TT. I scratchbuilt a very sturdy office building out of styrene to sit over the handcrank mechanism (the office is in one of the pics above). It is removeable by grasping its also very sturdy smokestack. After the table is spun and the locomotive is bedded down or sent on its way the mechanism is recovered by the office building. It has been a very reliable and simplistic way to turn the locomotives of the toothpick hauler.
    Peace, Doctor G
  9. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    105
    "Whisper Quiet" Atlas Turntable

    Hi Steamhead,
    In looking back at my previous shots of the turntable at RailCamp on my HO logging layout I realized I did not have any good shots of the finger powered mechanism that spins the table. So, I grabbed my trusty digital camera and headed on down to the RR room in the basement and grabbed these shots. I think they illustrate how I hid the handcrank within the office (dispatcher) at RailCamp.
    Peace, Dr G:wave:

    Attached Files:

  10. willy4

    willy4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very nice work. Seeing all this makes me want to finish my moduel.

    Bill
  11. mooreway

    mooreway Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Love what you are doing, I spent time in Guatemala and have been thinking of doing something similar..
  12. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Doc....Sorry I missed your post showing the "digital" mechanism on that turntable....Unfortunately on my t'table the motor is buried underneath centuries-old sandstone.....(under the mound at the left of the picture...)

    Attached Files:

  13. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    105
    More Haitian Sugar train pics.

    Hi guys,
    Appreciate the recent flurry of interest in my On30 layout. Thanks for the nice compliments. I have been working on the Port au Prince wharf section of this mini-layout and have included some shots.
    This is a warehouse, "depot" in Haitian kreyol. It is for receiving teh sacks of sugar and the barrels of "rhum" for export.
    Behind the depot is a pedesterian bridge and a sign for a French Steamship line. Haiti had been a French colony and I have scoured the Internet for French signs from the 1920's to put on the layout.
    Hope you like the pictures. Doc Tom

    Attached Files:

  14. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    105
    Over on the HO railroad

    Meanwhile over on the otherside of the RR room while the construction goes on on the Haitian RR a fast paced game of checkers is taking place on the HO C&S RR set in Eastern Tennessee.
    Doc Tom:wave:

    Attached Files:

  15. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,648
    Likes Received:
    0
    Current issue of Narrow Gauge Down Under has some good stuff on cane trains, including some cane cars with wood slats separated by brass pillars.

    Looks like you can have fun with a cane train without a ton of unnecessary effort.
  16. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,392
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's some wonderful stuff you're doing. Love those "mini-scenes"...:thumb:
    Keep at it...and show us your progress...
  17. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,756
    Likes Received:
    0
    I find this interesting. I don't know anything about Haitian trains, but it reminds me of similar operations in Cuba until recently and in Java to this day.
  18. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    105
    The trains in Haiti are all gone now and all that remains is the narrow guage tracks (30" guage ) in some of the streets in Port au Prince. In the 1920's and 1930's the railroads in Haiti hauled passengers, sugar cane, and processed sugar and rum.
    I am attaching some prototype pictures of a Porter (like on my model RR) hard at work, plus a map (I am modeling the line from Port au Prince to Leogane) and other locomotives in Haiti.
    I have a HO scale logging show (see the scattered pictures already posted) and the Haiti sugar train is On30. All buildings are scratchbuilt as you cannot find any kits that fit a Caribbean theme. This has been part of the fun.
    Doc Tom:wave:

    Attached Files:

  19. jesso

    jesso Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great looking layout! You did a great job on that turntable! I love your buildings and trees. Really nice job.
  20. butzi

    butzi butzi

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    nice job,, we had this golden era trains which we call iron dinosaurs which were owned by sugar mills,,, up to now some survives and restored,,,,,