Friday, January 20, 2012

0017 Savannah Central - The Port of Savannah

The photos and drawings that I've seen of Savannah in the cotton hauling days are amazing.  Cotton was brought to the market, weighed and sold, and then loaded on to barges that look it out in the river to the ships.  What fun!  This is seldom modeled stuff.

So let's start on the port, which will be the focal point of the railroad and the first thing you see when you come through the door.  Its a busy place with carts, people, trains, and all other types of activity.  The flagship structure is the Cotton Exchange will still stands today.

 All of the track at the Port will be hand laid.  Part of this is because that I'm using the layout to get my AP Civil certificate and secondly because all the track is set in ballast stone pavement.  Oh, fun!  First I'll put in the 1" deep +/- building facades.  Most of these structures still exist and I've seen them many times.  However, I'm only after getting the flavor of Savannah, not detail modeling.  One thing I'm putting in is a stone bridge.  More on that later.

 We have to be mindful of the pinch point here in the aisle.  It CANNOT go below 1 1/2'.  We'll have to push the stone bridge back in its place.  The purpose of the stone bridge (which is NOT prototype) is to have a reason to through a gantlet (not gauntlet) turnout into the trackage.  I have always wanted to build one.  The three way turnout is another space saver on a tight dock, and it has a turnout and a crossover to let the loco run around to move cars.

 So we pushed the bridge back, but that didn't set will with the other tracks and that pesky 3-way turnout.  So we took the trackage and skewed it a bit which adds a LOT of fun and interest to the port.  Hey, this looks cool!  There is a big brick building (all of these buildings are red Georgia clay brick) on the right that is a tunnel (which is prototype now, but not back then) where the train can disappear to the layout.  The entire port section is 10 feet long, so we'll have two ~5 foot sections that we'll make removable so that we can detail it easily on the workbench.  What fun!

Here is the AP Civil trackage and the finished design.  This will be photogenic and fun for the switch engine that comes down to handle freight movements.

We may start this section before we even build the benchwork for the layout!!!


  1. Scott,

    Loving it! Do you realize that is you build this I'll probably have to come out to visit you to see it and operate on it? Just a warning..................


  2. We have a spare bedroom, or you can sleep under the benchwork. Come on out!


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