One of the benefits of modelling a long-gone, poorly documented prototype is that occasionally you get to choose. Maybe you could call it a “benefit.” I’m not so sure, it tends to send me into a whirlpool of research, trying to find typical practices to inform my decision. So it was today when I started to think about making the pit for the turntable. How was the pit wall likely to have been constructed?
The obvious choice would be concrete. The PS employed concrete in the abutments and piers for the crossing of the Bonnechere River at Golden Lake. So, we know that this was possible.
However, wouldn’t it be fun if it looked like this one at Orangeville (from http://trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/whatsnew_2010.htm)? This one looks like a timber pit wall (note also the frogs on the near three tracks).
So, I abandoned the styrene for now, and went back to the virtual world. First I had to figure out the height of the pit wall. I figure on using some 28″ N scale wheels for the ring rail, which scale out to about 15.25″ in HO. So, the overall height of the wall comes out to about 2’4″.
The timbers change from 12×12 to 8×8 about half-way along. I think it looks closer to the Orangeville photo with 8×8 timbers. But in either case, the Orangeville pit looks deeper.
Timber construction like this makes me wonder about the footing for the ring rail. Unfortunately, all the turntables in Bush’s book have concrete or masonry pit walls. He doesn’t indicate much about pit construction at all.