Category Archives: Duncan Mills Scene

PC&N Duncan Mills Scene – Sawmill & Wood Products

This is the small sawmill shown in the Duncan Mills track plan (top center).  Why build a small sawmill when later I’ll have a big one?  To provide an industry while Duncan Mills is functioning as a switching pike.  Besides, Duncan Mills actually supported at lest four sawmills, one in town.

I am going to assume this was a small mill serving a woods products industry (moulding, sash, etc.)  Incoming loads will be logs.  Outgoing loads will be box cars.



The sawmill will model the structure without the water wheel of Mabry Mill, a real mill in Virginia.  Here are some prototype photos.  The first is a distance shot of the mill.

Mabry Mill


The second shows the flume.

Mabry Flume

This is a cutaway showing internal operations.

Mabry Cutaway

A HO kit was produced by Muir Models.

Mabry Kit 1


And internal sawmill equipment is available from Woodland Scenics.

Woodland Scenics Sawmill Equipment

I wood model without the fume and divert the fume to Patriot Paper in Point Reyes Station.

The wood products manufacturing facility would be a face frame structure – source to be determined.

NPC Turntables & Roundhouses

Atlas Turntable Bash 1

This is an example of the turntable I plan to install in the Quarry section of the layout.  This is a bash of an Atlas HO turntable.  Douglas van Veelan sells the H Frame Gallows Turntable that is sitting on top of the Atlas turntable in this photo.  He also sells an A Frame Gallows Version.  I picked up the HOn3 version from him in kit form.  If you are interested, you can reach him at .

H Gallows Turntable

I also ran across an Atlas HO turntable including an indexing motor and a roundhouse in water damaged boxes for $35.00.

Atlas Turntable

The motor drive is continued in a cheap looking building enclosure.  The railroader who bashed the Atlas turntable bashed it into this.  The structure covers the power unit that powers the Atlas turntable.

Atlas Turntable Bash 2

I’m not sure I can match his craftsmanship but I’m sure going to try.

A second option for the roundhouse is the RDA Stone Roundhouse.  This would be more likely to be found in a quarry spur.  It is also spectacular.  Envision it with the roundhouse implementation pictured at the top of this post.

RDA Stone Roundhouse

RDA also offers a small stone engine house.  I may also consider working this in, possibly in the Mining area.

RDA Engine House

A third option for the roundhouse is the Banta Sargent’s Roundhouse.  Two of these would make sense in the Sausalito yards as they are similar to the actual roundhouses/engine houses that existed on the prototype.

Banta Sargents Roundhouse

The three stall roundhouse is perfect for the Sausalito Shops location.  Size fits.  Style fits.  Number of stalls fit.

As I work on individual projects links to builders logs will be shown below.

PC&N Duncan Mills Scene – Russian River Bridge


The Russian River Bridge as constructed to serve the lumber mills on the other side of the river from Duncan Mills.  This bridge was 300′ long which would convert to around 6′ in O scale.  Because this bridge will play the role of connecting two sides of one lf the layout rooms across a door way, I’ll shorten the length to around 35″.

A set of plans would be really helpful.  A few years ago, I purchased a Howe Bridge Jig from Black Bear Construction Company.  In poking around the Black Bear web site I came across a Truss Bridge Clinic conducted by Michael Barrett.  In his clinic he used a Fox River Bridge kit once offered by Midwest Products as an example of an early well thought out kit.  Here is a drawing of the bridge.  This is Figure 1 of his clinic which was taken from the kit instructions.  The similarity of the bridge in this kit to the Russian River Bridge is amazing.  The two portals are different but the rest of the bridge is nearly identical.  The portal issue is easily solved by modifying portal construction to match the Russian River Bridge.

Fox River Bridge

In his clinic Michael compared the Fox River Bridge to a number of others as shown in Figure 3.

Fox Rv Bdg Scale

At this point I had a parts list (except for quantity and a drawing,  But I didn’t have step by step construction.  So I went on eBay and ran a search on this kit which has been out of production for years.  I found an unopened package for $35.

Midwst Prod - Fox Brdg

Now I have the instruction book to build my bridge.  What about the HO scale parts included in the kit?  I’m going to build this bridge as described in the kit with the HO parts and place it in an appropriate section of the layout.

The kit has arrived and is complete.  I’ll post a step by step covering its construction, then use the jigs developed to build the kit to build the longer Russian River bridge.