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Converting an HO Scale Module for the Lackawanna's Andover Passenger& Freight Station

© Dave Rutan 2006

I belong to a modular railroad club and recently I purchased 2 modules from a member with the serious intent of stripping them and recreating one into the DL&W Andover station area. (The other is slated to become Sparta station on the NYS&W)

I chose Andover because my friend, Don Spiro sold me the model of the Andover passenger depot which he built while writing an article for RMC on 'your first scratchbuilding project' (using styrene.) So here I had this great model of the station and nowhere to put it. I had no space for it on the attic layout, so thought of putting it on a module.

Having secured the modules, the first thing I did was begin building the freight house which lived next to the passenger station. It's a simple structure, but has a lot of charming details which really make it an interesting project to me.

Incidentally, one of the modules I purchased had 3 semaphores on it. What a boon! as Andover had blocking signal semaphores at the Smith street crossing. (My 1950 era photo shows them as absent, but who's to know?) (I have since relegated those semaphores to my attic layout where they will mark the entrance to Newton.)

The Andover freight house is deceiving. It's a very simple structure, but has a few very interesting, modelgenic features. The available photos of this building will lead one to believe it was square, but with the footprint dimension from the 1918 Val maps, you find it was about the same size as the passenger station beside which it sat. The drawings I made for this structure have it measuring 32 feet by 15 feet. The drawings are here:

Could the freight house measure 30' x 15' as does the passenger station? Easily! The lines on the val maps are about 3 scale feet thick, but what the heck? Small differences make life interesting.

So, I'm starting with Evergreen styrene board & Batten sheets # 4542. I carefully measure out the 4 sides, score them with a sharp # 11 blade (in handle) and snap them out. Next I dive in to create the two long sides. They happen to be identical.

First I measure on the front and score a line with my knife at the point where the board & batten ends. Then I flip the piece over and measure out where the door will go. I drill holes inside each corner of the door and using a ruler, score between the holes till I cut completely through.


Being as I had none in my parts box, I thought to myself, 'I can scratch build these and not have to leave the house and burn up gas!' So I took out some 2x6 styrene strip, cut it to size with my chopper and glued together two door frames, 7' x 8'. To make the doors themselves, I took some 4x8 strip and glued it together in lengths 1 foot over the doorways, making sure they ended up wider. My door openings needed some custom enlarging with a knife, but once the frames fit, I set them aside. Back to the wall

Remember that line I scored on the front? Well now I took my chisel bladed knife and removed the battens below the line. 1x6 strip styrene created the horizontal boards from the line to the bottom of the door frame. 4x10 strip was used below the door frame to the bottom of the wall. This adds some texture to the building as well. 1x6 strip was applied to the top of the wall as trim as well as between the 4x10s and the top strip on the edges. Lastly, I turned over the piece and added bracing top and bottom to keep it from bowing. Vertical bracing will be included when the end walls are glued on. Now take the door made from 4x8s and glue it in place on the back of the frame.

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