Bigelow Engine House – References and Modeling Ideas

I’m making a push to move forward on completing my Bigelow Module. One of the most significant gaps in the module is the Bigelow Engine House. This post may get updates.

The Engine house was built in early 1900’s, was 3 stalls, and had a water tank at the rear. There are a few photos of the engine house, but as near as I know, no plans. It’s not even evident that it was used for much at all.


Many of the photos appear in multiple sources. I’ll capture all sources when time permits. GR=Guy Ruix

  • GR-Kingfield p195 Top – The rear of the engine house is show. The water tank is clearly a box structure on the rear of the engine house. The exhaust stack is visible over the first stall. There is one window at the end of the first stall abutted to the water tank. There might be a door at the back of the water tank. There is piping at the rear of the structure. Might be a water feed or run off. The trim is dark, but the main coloring is hard to determine. It is not as pale as the depot. The wood is darker than the wood on the freight house.
  • GR-Kingfield p195 Bottom – A distant approach view to Bigelow. Shows the new engine house to the left. The tank can be seen rising above the engine house. The color of the tank seems lighter than the other colors on the engine house.
  • GR-Kingfield p196 – Closeup of the engine house front. This early view might pre-date tracks into the engine house (so under construction). Three windows can be seen down each side of the engine house. The three exhaust stacks above each stall are clear in view. This might be the best single view of the engine house (certainly of the doors). The distance between the doors is quite narrow. Probably a single post, but it’s not clear how the trim boards were handled around the door. The doors are at angles to each other, so it’s not a single “flat front”.
  • GR-Kingfield p197 Top – Does not actually show the engine house, but it does show the Section House and the servicing facilities and final turntable. The final turntable is “typical” SR&RL design. It does have a few differences: 1) no angled board to each center post. 2) The horizontal boards between the three posts are nearly if not horizontal. That means they are not parallel to the truss rods. Only one truss rod is visible in the photos and that is the top truss rod.
  • GR-Kingfield p271 Top – This overall photos of the approach to Bigelow. Shows the freight house, depot, boarding house/store, Sawmill, and first stall of the engine house. The three windows on the north wall are clear. It’s still apparent that the north wall covers a portion of the foundation (4-5 extra boards). In earlier photos, it’s clear that the engine house was built up above ground and the ground was never filled in. The colors still remain a mystery. The main color is similar to that of other structures in town, as if the engine house was painted like the structures for the company workers.

Modeling Thoughts

  • Objective: Include all three engine doors. This will be a tight fit.
  • Objective: To have the approach track go to the middle stall (this simply might not be possible)
  • Objective: To have three windows along right side
  • Objective: To include water tank
  • Objective: To fit completely on the first module
  • Expectation is to get three engine house doors, but to slice the engine house so that there is no left wall. The slice will go from left engine door frame, to center of back center wall.
  • No expectation to have an interior. Just to have to have operating tracks into the right two most tracks. The right most track should handle a 2-6-2 sticking out the door the center track should handle a small forney and maybe a larger forney. The left track is a dummy and the doors will not work at all. The left stall will be cut off because it would extend being the module.
  • A portal on the fascia will enable operators to spy on the locomotives in the engine house.
For reference this photo shows the location of the in progress engine house. The track and structure locations are faithful to the prototype.
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2 Responses to Bigelow Engine House – References and Modeling Ideas

  1. I honestly don’t remember how the engine shed looked or where it was located. I guess I’ll have to pull out some of my old reference material so I can follow along.

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