Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vestiges of the Past On The M & M Sub., Or How To Make A Filled-In Turntable Pit

Gp38-2 3002 crosses the old turntable pit in the
Fort Frances engine terminal.

Although the CP Rail Manitoba & Minnesota Subdivision is set in the early to mid-1990s, there is a vestige from the past in the Fort Frances engine terminal area—the old turntable pit.

The pit is filled in now, of course, and tracks are laid across it. But you can still see the outline of the concrete foundation; if you close your eyes you might even be able to imagine the days when steam locomotives ruled these rails, stopping on the turntable to be turned and then head off to their next assignment.

The filled-in pit was easy to make. I took a large pizza pan and traced an outline on to a thin piece of cardboard, cut out the cardboard outline, painted it grey and then glued it to the subroadbed. When the glue was dry, I laid track over it, applied ballast and added "grass" to the old pit area to simulate how it had been filled in with earth.

(Only half of the "pit" is actually represented; it runs up to the edge of the layout, allowing me to imagine that any evidence of the old roundhouse is out there somewhere, too.)

Now, when visitors view the engine terminal, they don't just see the line-up of diesel power; they get a sense of history—there was a time when it looked very different than it does today.

Another shot of the "filled-in" turntable pit, showing
how it runs off the edge of the layout.

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