2:PC&N Duncan Mills Scene

Prototype Research

Duncan Mills (or Duncan’s) is a community along the Russian River that was the primary staging area for lumber shipments from the redwood mills in the area to the Sausalito Docks and via ferry to San Francisco.  It was also the site of a spectacular Howe Truss bridge that spanned the Russian River.

This is a relatively early photo of Duncan Mills showing the gallows turntable, some railroad structures and the surrounding community.  Barely visible, the Russian River bridge is in the upper far right section of the photo.


The Howe Truss bridge was later replaced with a steel truss bridge and is now a highway.


The track plan in Duncans Mills is shown in this drawing.  It is a somewhat later drawing after the Howe Truss bridge was damaged by flooding of the Russian River and replaced with a steel truss span.


Track Modeling

Duncan Mills was located on the north side of the Russian River with the Russian River Bridge connecting Duncan Mills with the southern portion of the layout.  The placement of Duncan Mills in the model railroad is consistent with the prototype.  The track layout in the model railroad is as similar from the standpoint of functionality to the prototype as a 16″ wide shelf allows.  It supports a wood product industry and mill as well as serving as a clearing area for both the magnesite mine and the major lumber mill across the river.  Track exits to the North to Cazadero, the end of the line.

PCN Layout 7_Duncan Mills

Railroad and Other Structures

I intend to model the Howe Truss timber bridge as shown in the earlier photo.  In addition I plan to model the station (which is still standing) the freight and section houses and the store close to the tracks.  The biggest industry is the wood products sawmill and plant.  The following bullets provide details on structures.

  • Russian River Bridge – See the post on this bridge.  Note that the bridge won’t be installed until the upper level is nearly complete.
  • Engine House – A bash of the RDA Stone Engine House.
  • Turntable – An Atlas 9″ Turntable with an A Frame gallows based on the one I have in stock.
  • Sawmill & Wood Products – See post that follows
  • Station
  • Freight House
  • Store

Railroad Consists

Some of the consists will be through consists traveling between Sausalito and Cazadero.  The yards will serve as an assembly area for supplies to and from the Lumber Mill scene and the mining scene.  Engines assigned to the Lumber Mill Scene will be seen at this location.  There will be a switch engine assigned to the scene.

The construction  of this scene will be detailed through a series of posts that will be added to this area as they are completed.

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