The CNR on Ferguson in 1:64 – Sketch 1

How does one design a layout to showcase a busy stretch of street running? That was my challenge as I considered how I would transform the Canadian National Railways line along nine blocks of Ferguson Avenue into an S scale model railway.

I sketched a number of possible configurations for my new space, using the templates I developed for this process. And this is the first one that I like enough to share publicly. Here’s the sketch, followed by some important notes that explain it:

You might want to right-click and open this image in a separate window…

First, let’s acknowledge that every modeller is different and this plan will not appeal to everyone. What I look for in a layout may not be what you desire, and vice versa. This layout is designed to achieve specific, personal goals.

Second, this is an interim plan. No – not even an interim plan: it’s a sketch. Some parts of it are very rough and subject to change, either as my thoughts develop or as I draw it to a larger scale and make decisions on what does or does not fit. Track may be added, deleted, or moved about. The same applies to structures. And trees. And so on.

What I’m doing at this point is assessing some general conditions and identifying areas for further contemplation.

Does it fit? Can I fit a reasonable representation of the prototype into my space in 1:64? Ferguson Avenue is only nine or so blocks long and my space is fairly generous. But even a small section of a real railroad is still huge, when scaled down.

Obviously, selective compression is required. Also on this point, can I incorporate suitable curves (48″ radius in S scale) into the space while still providing sufficient aisle widths to allow me, my wife, and visitors to navigate comfortably around the space.

The sketch tells me that yes, I can.

The tightest point is on the inside aisle at King Street (where the person in the green shirt is standing): That pinches down to about 30″ but quickly opens up to either side.

The corner between the two staging areas – behind the person in the green shirt – is difficult from a design perspective: the closer one gets to one of the walls, the further away the curve will end up on the adjacent wall. In the end, I found a compromise that works for me.

Can I reach? Access is critical: If you can’t reach it, you can’t maintain it. Having sketched this concept, I’m satisfied that I can reach to operate and maintain this layout if I decide to go ahead and build it.

I was particularly worried about the depth of the freight house scene. The prototype has more than twice as many tracks but I decided that by eliminating many of the spurs and compressing other elements, I could get this scene down to a reasonable width. Four spurs still give me plenty of opportunities to switch cars.

On this sketch, the freight house scene still comes out at four feet deep, but the freight shed structure occupies the centre of that depth, forcing the track closer to the aisles. Operators can reach in from both sides, and during operating sessions the crews would not have to switch sides that often: All work on the freight shed spurs would be done from inside the layout, where the two guys are standing. They can even do the transfer run from freight shed to Stuart Street Yard (staging) from there.

The deepest part of this scene – the track against the shed itself – should not require regular access during operating sessions: strings of cars can be uncoupled at the yard throat, where the reach-in access is better.

The balance of the layout is fairly skinny. Staging is not well-defined, but my plan is to build it long and thin by using crossovers to define spaces for storing trains, rather than stacking several shorter, parallel tracks to provide the capacity I would need.

Does it work? Does my plan support some semblance of the prototype operation on Ferguson? I’m pleased to report it does.

The sketch adequately represents the freight shed, even though I’ve had to reduce it to just four tracks. Those two spurs adjacent to the shed add up to something like 14 feet of track. They should accommodate 20-22 S scale 40-foot boxcars. The next pair of spurs add another 12 feet or so to a team track area for a mix of more boxcars plus gondolas, refrigerator cars, flat cars, and so on.

I’ve also managed to include a sampler of the railway’s customers along Ferguson Avenue. I have reduced Ferguson from nine blocks to five, and compressed the length of each block. I’ve also adjusted the track arrangements. The spurs along Ferguson tended to veer off at right angles to the main track. I was not able to accommodate that – it would’ve required space-eating curves and peninsulas – I’ve been able to locate the spurs far enough away from the avenue that I can still line much of Ferguson with houses and commercial buildings. And I did squeeze a peninsula in at the south (left) end of the avenue, to serve Maple Leaf Milling.

Would building this layout be satisfying yet achievable? I think it would. There are plenty of construction challenges in the form of buildings, in-street turnouts, and urban vignettes. Thanks to my previous layout (Port Rowan), I have what I need for locomotives and almost everything I would want for rolling stock: I could start operating as soon as the track is down and wired, although over time I would want to add more freight cars. There are one or two freight car types that I’d love to see produced, but none of them is a deal breaker.

My biggest hesitation about whether this layout is achievable is the number of structures required. As I’ve said many times, the layout design as presented is a sketch: I must refine it to identify which structures I can build from kits already in my possession, which structures I can build from kits that I must acquire, and which structures would require scratch-building. I must also inventory things like street furniture – mailboxes, fire hydrants, utility poles, lamp posts, signs, benches, and so on – to determine whether I can acquire or build what I would need.

Would this layout support a range of operating scenarios? Again, I think it would – from solo operations to groups of five or six people. With its continuous-run configuration, featuring a single staging yard serving both ends of Ferguson Avenue, it would even allow me to fire up a train and let it loop the layout with minimal supervision when I just want to enjoy watching something run.

Ferguson Avenue Jobs

The plan supports two local switch crew shifts. Each shift would break its time between working the freight shed and team track yard, and working the local industries. The inside track on the turn back curve to the north (right) of the shed would be used to set off cars from Stuart Street Yard for Ferguson, and to collect cars from Ferguson headed back to Stuart Street.

The shed work would include receiving cars via a transfer run from Stuart Street Yard and lining those cars up against the shed doors so they can be unloaded, sorted, and reloaded.

While the labourers at the shed do their job, the local crew would collect cars from Stuart Street and set them out at the various industries along Ferguson Avenue. They would lift any cars that the industries are done with, and collect them for forwarding to Stuart Street. This would likely be done in two trips down the Avenue, since there are spurs facing in both directions.

While I have not drawn it, the CNR and the Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo Railway had a small interchange yard to the south of Hunter Street, where cars were exchanged between the two railroads. I could include a couple of spurs in the staging area to represent this (off the switch labelled Q4), and have the local crew run cars down the avenue to exchange with the TH&B off scene.

After the cars have been worked at the freight shed, the local switch crew would have to pull these cars, then sort them into blocks to expedite forwarding before setting out the sorted cars for the transfer run to Stuart Street.

This is a busy job but also an excellent opportunity to conduct one- or two-person operations on this layout. Then there are the through trains…

The Through Trains

As I’ve noted previously on this website, every CNR train headed south of Hamilton – whether to Caledonia, Hagersville, Jarvis, Simcoe, Port Rowan or Port Dover – started its journey with a trip down Ferguson Avenue. Those trains included:

  • A mixed train – M233/M238 – carrying passengers, less-than-carload-lot (LCL) freight, and express to all stations between Hamilton and the two ports, plus the occasional carloads of freight to Port Rowan and/or Port Dover.
  • The Simcoe Way Freight, which ran Hamilton to Simcoe and return. This train’s primary job was to switch the giant American Can Company plant in Simcoe, plus Aylmer Canners, the Norfolk Fruit Growers, and a number of smaller rail-served customers in the community.
  • The Jarvis Turn, which ran Hamilton to Caledonia with trips to Jarvis when required. The main task for this train was to serve the Canada Gypsum Lime and Alabastine Company in Caledonia.
  • The Day Hagersville and Night Hagersville: These two trains worked Hamilton to Hagersville and return, primarily to haul stone from three quarries around Hagersville – Halidmand Quarries, Canada Crushed Stone, and Hagersville Quarries.

On the concept sketch, each of these trains would start at Hamilton (staging) and make a southbound run (clockwise around the layout) to end up back in staging. Here, the staging yard operator would pull the locomotive and turn it on the turntable provided, then prepare the train for its return trip north (counterclockwise around the layout) to Hamilton. This might involve adding loads to gondolas or hoppers in stone service, swapping out cuts of freight cars to give the northbound train a different look, and moving the van (caboose) to the opposite end of the train.

(Using a single staging area to represent both ends of the line means I can re-use freight cars on several trains. This is a huge consideration in S scale, which does not have the firehose of product that one finds in HO. I’m not interested in building and maintaining two staging areas and doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling my freight car fleet just to have most of it spend most of the time sitting idle in staging yards.)

All told, this schedule adds five round-trips – 10 trains – to Ferguson Avenue each day. Then there are the helpers…

Climbing The Mountain

Just south of Ferguson Avenue, the railway encountered the Niagara Escarpment – a 90-metre (295-foot) climb out of the Lake Ontario basin. With only a few passenger cars in the consist, the Mixed Train M233 was able to manage this obstacle without assistance. But the freight trains required some extra muscle.

That muscle came in the form of a crew working in helper service. The crew would command a much larger engine – typically, a 2-8-2 – that would be added to southbound freights at Stuart Street Yard. Because these freight trains all operated as extras, and because extras are identified by the number on the lead locomotive, the helper engine would be added behind the road engine.

Somewhere at the top of the Niagara Escarpment – typically at Rymal or Glanford, but sometimes at Caledonia – the train would stop and the helper engine would be cut out and run into a siding. Once the train continued its journey south, the helper crew would run tender-first back down the mountain and along Ferguson Avenue to Stuart Street to await its next assignment.

On the concept sketch, the use of a single staging area means I’m able to model the helper operation without having to model the climb itself. (It’s a personal perference, but I’m not a fan of grades – especially when combined with steam locomotives.)

The light helper movements add a further four “trains” northbound on Ferguson each day.

Crewing Options

For an operating session, I see several options:

  • One- or two-person operation: Switching the Ferguson Avenue Freight Shed and/or the local railway customers along the Avenue.
  • Three-person operation: add a staging yard operator who would prepare blocks of cars for the Freight Shed and the Avenue, and would also operate transfer runs from Stuart Street Yard to the north end of Ferguson Avenue. If this operator had time, they could also run through trains and helpers.
  • Four-person operation: split the staging yard operator’s role, with one person responsible for train preparation and the other responsible for running the through trains, helpers, and transfer runs.
  • Five-person operation: split the through-train operator’s role, with the fifth person taking on helper crew duties.

I have included a number of notes on the concept sketch that require some explanation.

First, the staging yards are both labelled “interim sketch”. The scale of this drawing – one square to 12″, and reduced to print on a single page – means the squares work out to approximately 3/16″ when printed. That’s too small to reliably draw parallel tracks at proper spacing.

Instead, my goal here was to assign space in the room to staging – for example, a curved yard with a minimum radius of 48″ in the Staging Area 1 space, and a shelf roughly 15″ deep along the Staging Area 2 space. I’ll work out the details later.

I did suggest some trackage, based on the need for space to store one short passenger train, 3-4 decent-sized freights, and a cut of cars feeding from Stuart Street to the north end of Ferguson Avenue. But they are only suggestions at this point. I will think in more detail about the staging requirements and plan accordingly. I expect more tracks will be added to both locations.

I have taken liberties with the arrangement of cross streets along Ferguson Avenue. For example, at the intersection of Ferguson and King, I have the private right of way extending to the north of King Street. It should be to the south. I would model the buildings at this intersection so that they’re in the correct relationship to the street and private right of way, which means rotating the entire intersection 180 degrees from reality. The buildings labelled Q2 and Q3 appear in many photographs so putting them in the right relationship with the T-intersection is more important that putting them on the proper corner. As long as it looks right in photographs, I can live with that.

In a similar vein, there’s a well-known building (Alexanian Carpet Cleaners) at the corner of Ferguson and Rebecca. But I can’t fit it there on my plan. I may move it to Hunter Street (labelled as Q1). The spur curves the wrong direction in front of it there. I need to decide if I’m happy with that.

I have not drawn the TH&B interchange, but the tracks for that could go in the space in the upper left corner of Staging Area 1 (labelled Q4).

I have not thought about storage tracks for extra locomotives, non-revenue equipment, and other pieces. There’s plenty of space (labelled Q5) near the turntable in staging.

The crossover at Ferguson and Barton (Q6) is backwards on this plan, but fits better into the curve this way. It would mean keeping the inside track on the curve clear near the crossover so the switch crew could use the runaround in Ferguson Avenue to set up cars for switching the local customers. Since that inside track is also used to exchange cars with the Stuart Street transfer run, I should consider flipping the crossover to its proper orientation.

I’ve labelled the turnback curve between Ferguson and Staging Area 2 as a duck under (Q7). I would build the layout fairly high, while also respecting the need to reach-in to the freight shed scene to couple, uncouple, and (hopefully not too often) re-rail equipment. I should consider whether this curve can incorporate a swing-out gate instead of a duck-under.

Finally, I had real challenges envisioning a layout in my new space until I added some people to my sketches to give me a proper sense of scale. For these, I used PhotoShop to lift some “operators” from layout plans drawn for Model Railroader magazine, then used the grids from the MR plans to rescale the people to match the grid on my sketch. If you’re having similar challenges, try adding people to your drawings.

My next step is to draw the space to a larger scale, then refine the plan. I’ll add benchwork edges, double-check reach-in distances, and further develop the staging areas.

(I’m indebted to two sources for prototype information. These are “Hamilton’s Other Railway” by Charles Cooper and “Steam Echoes of Hamilton” by Ian Wilson. Both are excellent books and I’m grateful the authors wrote them.)

As a bonus, I think I can use at least some of the space over or under the staging areas to build a shelf layout or two that will allow me to operate and enjoy some of the models I have in different scales.

All in all, I’m pleased with my progress. While I am not yet ready to say “This is the way”, it’s very promising indeed.

Published by Trevor

Lifelong model railway enthusiast and retired amateur shepherd who trained a border collie to work sheep. Professional writer and editor, with some podcasting and Internet TV presenting work thrown in for good measure.

19 thoughts on “The CNR on Ferguson in 1:64 – Sketch 1

  1. Trevor, it looks an interesting sketch / plan. My only comment about it would be the duck-unders. How high would the layout be, how wide would they be and how many times in a session would they be used. I have a lift-out bridge, it’s less than 6” deep and 48” high but I wish at times I could avoid it. Perhaps if you’re going to have a regular group for operating, see what they say. As you get older you want to bend less.


      1. Trevor I was about to ask the very same question. So Brian and I are on the same wave length. Many of the modelers I consider to be experts, all say the same thing. Stay away from duckunders as much as possible. If you have any operators or visitors who are up in age, even mid to late 60s, negotiating a duck under is a major obstacle to be avoided. Building a swing gate or lift bridge isn’t the easiest thing to get right, but when you consider the alternative…….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s not my first rodeo with duckunders. In any case, I will think on this before I commit. A continuous run is going to require a means to get into the middle of the space – and I would like the opportunity to just watch a train roll.

        I also know from my previous layouts that it’s rare for me to have visitors. Mostly, this will be a one person affair…


  2. Trevor, this initial plan shows promise. You mentioned the duck-under could possibly be a swing gate. I HIGHLY recommend that you do the gate . . . it will be well worth the time to design and build it. Regards, -Jack Shall



    1. Thanks Jack.
      Richard Chrysler had an amazing swing gate on his layout. It was welded up so it never shifted out of alignment. Fortunately I know the guy who built that one for him…


  3. Hi Trevor,

    I like your first draft of the plan for your layout space. I agree with everything said about duckunders, so I will not go into that more. I have one, and at 70 it is a real pain.

    I like that you have a loop of track, even if it is not used in formal operations. Also your use of staging, out and in from both ends is great. I do the same with mine and also have a turntable there as you do.

    I’ll be watching for your larger scale plan, and I’m sure there might be revisions.

    Your operations plan really sounds interesting to me.

    Mike S.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike:
      Thanks for the comments. I think a single staging area to serve multiple functions makes so much sense, particularly when working in a scale where locomotives and rolling stock is scarce and/or expensive. The ability to re-use equipment pays for itself. Ideally, I would add storage drawers below part of the staging yard too – as I did for my Port Rowan layout – which would give me even more flexibility to make up trains.


  4. Trevor, I opened the layout plan on a second computer so I could follow along your narration easier. There are so many fun components here. I particularly like the crossing to Hamilton Machine and Thomas coal and oil. Neat operation and a great spot to challenge yourself with some fun trackwork. It looks like great fun to operate and I like to imagine I have completed my shift shunting the freighthouse and I am relaxing at the bar watching a freight with a helper come down the avenue and curving in front of me. Good fun, Regards, Ken ZIeska

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ken:
      Thanks for the feedback. That’s exactly how I envision it too. I think that sitting at the bar with a nice cold beverage and watching a train crawl up Ferguson en route to Stuart Street would be an ideal way to reward oneself after a shift at the freight shed.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I LOVE your layout concept, so much so I’m tempted to steal it! It’d be a joy to operate with a mix of through freight and local switching along a city street.

    As for the duckunder. To me, that only becomes an issue if you need to use it frequently while operating the layout. When I had a duckunder the track base was high (over 48”), and the duckunder was thin and wide (almost 4 feet). As you point out in your follow-on post, no need to “waddle” up to it with one’s back hunched over, just turn slightly sideways and throw one’s torso under (I may creak but I’m still limber!). That said, if I had to do so every few minutes as opposed to, say, five or ten, then even that might be annoying. To my mind lift gates are more hassle than they’re worth.

    The only concern I might have about the trackplan is the area by the peninsula. The Thomas Myles Coal & Oil and the Hamilton Machine Co. are switched from different leads. If a crew needs to switch both industries, then going back and forth around the peninsula might be a pain. If the peninsula were moved more towards the curve to Caledonia (with a narrow aisle on the left side just for maintenance), it might still be a feature without being disruptive to the switching. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bill:
      Good point about the peninsula and the two industries there. I thought about this when I was designing the layout and I’ll offer the following…
      I strongly suspect that industries along Ferguson were not switched with a single move. With so many level crossings, plus road vehicles dashing up and down either side of the track along Ferguson itself, I think burying the locomotive in the middle of the train and or shoving long cuts back and forth would be a recipe for disaster.
      From a safety perspective, I think working each industry separately might be better, with frequent trips back to the north end of the Avenue to drop lifts and pick up the next cars to set out. At a minimum, separating the work into spurs facing north and spurs facing south makes sense.
      That’s how I would advise operators to work the layout, anyway…
      If they follow my advice, then crew members would walk around the peninsula to work the coal dealer (and perhaps Maple Leaf Milling). On the next trip down the Avenue, they might stay to the right of the peninsula to switch the machine tool company.


  6. Another grand thing about running down Ferguson — the myriad ways to slow down operations. Aside from trains traveling at 10 miles per hour, imagine all the semi-realistic activities layout crews will need to do, especially while switching. Crews will need creative ways to replicate flagging. Gates at industries would need to be opened. And did you scavenge the switchstand locks from Port Rowan? And one can imagine (if in mind if nowhere else) the whistle blasts and havoc in the street as a returning helper runs down Ferguson with autos and pedestrians trying to sneak around the lone engine. Indeed, you might never get an operating session finished before it’s time for beer and pizza!

    As you mention, the number of structures could be daunting. Since Ferguson Ave. on the layout will be freestanding, there’s no cheating, no half reliefs against a wall. But Port Rowan lived for many years with mockups. Pasting photo reproductions on shells might work for some structures — if you could find the proper photos! Houses can be trickier to “get right” and, oddly, can take more work than industries, so I might give more frontage to scenic’d yards around homes and other miscellaneous structures to reduce their number yet still capture their flavor.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Bill:
      You’re absolutely right – there’s lots of atmosphere to add into the layout.
      I did indeed save those switch stands. In fact, I have 15 of them (8 from Port Rowan and 7 they I’ve never used). By design, the Ferguson Avenue plan has 15 switches outside of staging…
      It’s possible I can do half reliefs with structures ending at the layout edge, by shariah the fascia to create the aisle-side wall. I’ll experiment with that when I get that far.
      And yes – proper spacing of houses and other buildings can help reduce the number that I’ll need. I certainly would use cardstock mock-ups again, and am comfortable with scratch-building structures.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Trevor, I really like this proposal for your new layout. As much as I loved Port Rowan, I think Ferguson Avenue offers so much more operating potential. Besides, who doesn’t love street running? And there’s much to be said for modelling a single location and giving it room to breath as you have in this design. The view up the street will be something to behold. I’m sure you will find creative solutions to the duck-under/lift-up and any other problems that will need to be solved.

    Disappointed to hear that you’ve moved west, though, just as the Joint Line is starting to take shape in my basement. I was counting on getting you on the seniority list once it becomes operational. Have fun and take care.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jim:
      Thanks for the comment and the vote of confidence – I’m sure there will be problems to solve!
      Yeah – I’m sorry I’m going to miss out on the fun on the Joint Line. However, it’s great to hear you’re building it – and I do plan to get back to southern Ontario for visits at some point…


  8. Hey Trevor,
    I won’t flog the duckunder dead horse, you know what you’re doing, and I really like the desire to have a train running continuously.

    I’m having trouble making good suggestions, so how about some of these thoughts:
    1) is the turntable too far back from the aisle (ie: will you e able to easily determine when the turntable and the tracks line up?
    2) will all that staging area be scenicked? if not, it’s too bad that the turntable isn’t scenicked. Was there a turntable ‘there’, or is it totally just for staging?
    3) is the duckunder by King Street too close to the wall and the furnace room door? could people accidentally bounce off the wall if leaving the layout?
    4) What do the Qs signify?
    5) hat’s the purpose of Q4? home for a ‘spare’ engine?
    6) There’s some pretty fancy trackwork embedded in the road, but I’m sure you’re up to the challenge.
    7) Do you need one track going from the staging Area 2 to your workspace?
    8) That’s a lot of structures, but meh, no rush.
    9) Do you need two coal companies? Maybe you do, I don’t know.
    10) Is the door opening out into the room from the stairs, going to hit people switching nort of Cannon Street? Maybe you don’t want a door there, or have it open inward.

    Finally, have you considered a ferry dock at one end of your layout? It’s not like you’re up on top of the mountain…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Regan:

      The duck-under has indeed been well-flogged. As mentioned, I’ll do a lot of testing on this before I go ahead.

      As for your other thoughts – great questions! Here are some quick answer…

      1 – Is the turntable too far back from the aisle? Probably. The sketch is just a sketch at this point – everything is subject to change. Mostly, what I was doing with this was a proof of concept: how could I get a mainline loop of track into the space, with adequate curves and sufficient access? All of the tracks – including the turntable – are subject to change. The next step with this plan is to draw it at a larger scale – something I’ve been meaning to do for many days now, but I’ve been busy with other, more important things. When I do that, I will gauge the location of the turntable. You’re right – being able to determine whether tracks are properly aligned is important.

      2a – Will the staging area be scenicked? That’s depends on whether I use the space over the staging area to build some shelf-switchers in other scales. I have a large and diverse collection – including some beautiful British O scale (7mm) equipment for the Great Western Railway in the Edwardian Era. A shelf layout like Brian Dickey’s “Roweham” would easily fit above Staging Area 2 and give me a place to enjoy that.

      2b – Was there a turntable there or is this made up? It’s staging – it’s made up. There were means to turn equipment at several locations along the line: Turntables at Hamilton, Simcoe, Port Rowan, and Port Dover. Wyes at Caledonia, Hagersville, and Jarvis. Since staging represents both ends of the run – Hamilton to the north, and the other locations mentioned to the south – I need a means to turn the road engines* on through trains. (The helpers did not turn – they backed down the Escarpment.) The turntable also provides an easy way to access a bunch of on-layout storage tracks for extra locomotives, etc.

      3 – The duck-under by King Street: I’ll figure out the exact location if/when I build this layout. I don’t expect that duck-under to be used often during operating sessions with groups. But I think it’s important to have one there because that’s a long aisle and if I did have a small group of friends over I would like a second entry/exit point in case of a problem. Maybe I need to get past someone. Maybe we all need to leave the room quickly because the layout’s on fire… (WHAT?!?) It occurs to me that adding discrete lighting to the duck-unders would be a good idea, too…

      4 – The Qs are mostly a way for me to identify buildings or features over which I have questions. Naturally, I then forgot to refer to them when I was describing the layout, which leads to your next question…

      5 – “Q4” is a possible location for the TH&B Interchange. I’ve now edited my post to include that. Thanks for pointing that out!

      6 – I’m looking for some challenges. Track in the streets is one. I already have some ideas about that – thanks in part to the work I did on those in-street turnouts for your layout.

      7 – The workspace is actually my home office – not my hobby workbench, which is in the area labelled “To Workshop”. So no. Although…

      8 – Yes, it’s a lot of structures. I do have some starting points for many of these. And there are lots of options for doing the others – including custom commissions for laser cutting walls or 3D printed windows, doors, and trim. I think a Cricut paper cutting tool could also be useful. And I have friends who have volunteered to help solve this particular problem…

      9 – I don’t – but there were actually more of them along the street than I’ve modelled. Even small towns often had competing coal dealers – and a city like Hamilton would have a lot of them. Most layouts set in North America in the steam era do not have enough of them, I think. And they would require the operators to pay attention to the paperwork, instead of just saying “It’s a hopper full of coal – of course it’s going to Ferry”…

      10 – Will the door hit people? If they’re naughty, yes. 🙂 But good point. There’s probably a regulation about which way the door has to open, so someone can’t get trapped in the basement. That said, there’s a second exit through the garage – and I have not yet shut the door in the few months that I’ve lived here. To be honest, it’s so far open that it’s partially blocking the passage to the workshop. So perhaps it can just come off and get stored in the furnace room.

      No ferry dock – just ferry coal.



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