A decision on the section house

Those who have just read about the turntable build may have noted yet another mock-up of the section house next to the approach track. If you missed it, have another look:

Port Rowan section house

This is section house #6 – and the one I’m going to build.

Pierre Oliver and I went back and forth on the section house several times by email and phone – trading sketches and photos, and drawing on Pierre’s knowledge of building practices. We originally thought the section house featured a dormer, as seen on some of the previous mock-ups:

Previous section house mock ups

But in the end, we determined it’s most likely the roof on an adjacent shed:

Section house mock up with separate oil house

The problem was that in order to get a roofline that looked like the one on the prototype…

Detail of section house roof lines

…the dormer roof had to be a different pitch than the main roof. As Pierre says, that’s incredibly difficult to do – it’s a lot of math. While such challenging rooflines might be built on significant structures – on a major passenger station, for example – it’s unlikely the bridge and building department would have specified such a complex roof for a section house. It would have slowed down construction, and increased labour costs, for no benefit.

Once we decided it was two structures, designing a suitable pair of structures was easy peasy:

Section house and oil house

(Thanks for all the help on this, Pierre!)

3 thoughts on “A decision on the section house

  1. Trevor,
    You left out what is arguably the most important part of the story. When all else fails refer to the real estate survey map. It clearly showed 2 structures in the location in question. We both got too obsessed over an idea. It looks much better now.

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