Saturday, August 11, 2012
This is the same intersection today, but trains pass by infrequently and without much notice.
All in all, there's a lot going on here; Alpha Resins is definitely a high priority to model on the DTRR.
In my next post, I'll take a look at the Detroit Terminal East Industrial Track, mentioned near the beginning of this post. As always, thanks for reading.
Friday, August 10, 2012
The Union Branch runs due north before turning 90 degrees due east and, in the real world, terminates a few miles later. Conrail Union Branch jobs originate from Livernois Yard, just out of the picture to the south, and use the CSX Detroit Subdivision to access the Union Branch (just like the Dearborn Industrial Track).
On this map, you may be able to make out the route of the now-abandoned west end of the original Detroit Terminal. From the end of the Dearborn Industrial Track near the bottom right corner of this image, the right of way continues due north through another industrial area that starts at Joy Rd. The right-of-way continued north until Schoolcraft Road, where it curved to the northeast. Near Lyndon and Livernois, the DTRR crossed and then interchanged with what is now the Conrail Union Branch. In the heyday of the DTRR, the Union Branch was owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad and was a competitor to the DTRR.
According to Hollingsworth's website, it is a certified Native American company. Otherwise, despite the lengthy text, I couldn't tell you what they actually do!
The second spur parallels the mainline and serves Houghton International, which specializes in industrial lubricants. Tank cars are the only traffic here.
The longer spur serving PVS Nolwood would be impractical to model in its entirety on a shelf layout, but it could be respresented as an off-layout industry, with a spur disappearing behind a backdrop, hidden by the large Houghton warehouse structure. Houghton itself would be very easy to model - even if it would require a ton of silos! Here's a trackside shot of Houghton from Bing maps:
Here's a trackside shot courtesy of Bing maps:
Here's a trackside image from Bing maps:
There are actually two spurs serving this industry. The first goes into the J. Lewis Cooper warehouse through a roll-up door, while the other continues alongside the warehouse building. This second spur appears to have once served the warehouse just to the south, but now the rails peter out in the weeds. This track could be used to spot extra cars or for storage.
Here's a trackside image from Bing maps:
The primary purpose of this yard, however, used to be interchange with the CSX (formerly Chessie Sytem/Pere Marquette/etc.) More on that in just a moment.
The interesting detail in the following Bing maps image is the Conrail caboose. Though I'm not sure when the image was actually taken, it seems likely this was long after cabooses were all but extinct!
As you will see in the image below from Bing maps, building materials are delivered in 50' boxcars, spotted at various places along the spur. While the spur strays relatively far from the mainline, this industry naturally lends itself to filling empty space in a corner of the layout. With the help of some selective compression, it could work very well. For me, this scene is a priority to include in my DTRR model.
Here's the image from Bing maps, and you'll notice two boxcars - one in the bottom left corner, and another spotted at the curved building just to the left and above all the trucks.
Here is the end of the line, a relatively short passing siding and the spur serving Quaker Chemical Corporation. Their website is somewhat vague about what actually goes on at this location, but the Bing maps image below shows four tank cars spotted here:
After this, the tracks continue east to Wyoming Ave. where they currently terminate. Before this portion of the line was abandoned, it continued east to Livernois Ave., where the old Pennsy Union Railroad crossed the original DTRR and interchanged with it. Though I'm trying my best to avoid stretching the bounds of reality too far, I find the Wayne Bolt & Nut building that sits just north of this junction too tempting to resist.
You may be able to make out the vestiges of a rail spur running along the side of this building, and you can see the original (now abandoned) DTRR tracks to the south in the top left corner of this image. Below is a Google Streetview screenshot showing the front of the building:
In my next post, I'll continue moving clockwise around the theoretical modern-day Detroit Terminal Railroad and consider the Highland Park Industrial Track. Included along this right-of-way is the spot where the old DTRR Davison Street Yard once stood, the main yard and nerve center of the old railroad. Therefore, this will also mark the transition from the West End to the East End of the DTRR.