The Cost of Compromise

I came across a couple of photos of the earlier era Calais waterfront relating to sail making. They do not apply to my current modeling efforts because the reflect the days of coastal schooners and steam engines. The era I chose is after all that got shut down.

Waterfront in St Stephen in background. Eaton Long Wharf, bottom of Calais Avenue

Waterfront in St Stephen in background. Eaton Long Wharf, bottom of Calais Avenue

What caught my attention is exactly how much real estate was devoted to shipping between the St. Croix River and the rail yard. Since I have very strong early memories of growing up near such tidal shipping served by rail, I would love to model that whole harbor area. Can’t you see the myriad of details resting there?

Calais waterfront, covered bridge

Calais waterfront, covered bridge

In the era shown tracks curved at right angles from the yard onto piers for loading the ships. In my era, the buildings have all disappeared, the wharves are gone and a few bulges from the landscape into the river bank is all that is left from the scene above.

I figure that I would have to add another six feet in width between my current rail yard and the river bank. I have only two feet. Such are the compromises required for modeling especially in O Scale.

Across the river is St. Stephen New Brunswick that had its own rail and wharf connections. Well, I can dream can’t I ?


4 thoughts on “The Cost of Compromise

  1. The rail water interface is always a great draw for modeling. My earliest memories are the Willamette River waterfront in Portland Oregon down by Union Station. Big grain elevators with tracks crossing the streets on tight curves.

  2. Hi Bill,
    My only chance at a rail/wharf scene on this railroad will be at Eastport. I have more than enough ship models to fill the amount of real estate I am allowed. Therefore the ships are all waterline models can be staged for different scenarios.
    I would assume the street trackage you mentioned is all gone today. Both Boston and Providence had the same except no grain elevators. All of that is gone as well, but I’m glad I got to see it.

  3. Ben,

    Nice photos. It’s amazing what it looked way back then. Compromise or not your layout will be fantastic from all that I’ve seem so far. I can’t wait to see some of that weed overgrown track reflective of the branch in its waning years. As always I enjoy reading you posts.


  4. Hi Bob,
    One of the interesting things about those photos is that when I look at the present rail yard space I can see that they had a real problem as well with fitting everything in. I can’t wait to start on the grass, too. Thanks for your comments.

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