East is West :: Artistic Licence

 photo StW-Trackside_zps8c19ec9d.jpg
(Extra 1532 West at St. Williams :: On the prototype, this train would be headed East)

I used the above photo to illustrate a previous post, which prompted regular reader (and St. Williams resident) Monte Reeves to ask…

Isn’t your train eastbound as the station was on north side of track? Shouldn’t it be Extra 1531 East?

That’s an astute observation, Monte – and very few people would pick up on that. Well spotted.

But no – this train is headed west because of some artistic licence on my part.

When designing the layout, I realized that if I built St. Williams correctly, the station would be located between the track and the layout fascia. Viewers would look at the station from the rear.

Normally, I would’ve been fine with that. But here’s the problem: I have only ever seen one photo of the St. Williams station as it appeared in the era I model, and that photo was taken from trackside:

 photo PtR-StWilliamsDepot_zpsfcb72781.jpg
(I like this scene as rendered on my layout and I’m not willing to lose it…)

And isn’t this photo is a great one? I think so. It shows the Mixed Train to Port Rowan (M233) arriving at the station, with the station agent on the platform and a baggage cart ready to receive LCL and express. It includes the station signboard… the Canadian National Express and CN Telegraph signs… and the roof-mounted train order signal.

There’s so much information conveyed to the viewer in this photo that I wanted to replicate it on the layout – and the only way to do the modelled station justice was to rotate the town 180 degrees so that the station front faces the aisle.

(There’s a practical consideration, too: I had no photo of the back of the station – but if I built it this way, it wouldn’t matter. In fact, the model has a blank wall at the rear.)

These are the sorts of decisions one must make when designing a prototype-based layout. And I’m happy with the decision. While I’ve written previously about rethinking St. Williams to make it more prototypical, I’m not willing to lose this strong connection between modelled scene and the prototype photo that inspired it.

Compasses must be adjusted accordingly…

 photo BrassCompass_zps1019d499.jpg

4 thoughts on “East is West :: Artistic Licence

  1. CN train crews know that when a train leaves Hamilton on the Grimsby or Oakville Subdivisions, it’s always going east. But a The Daily Effort first travels east on the Grimsby Sub., then west up Ferguson Ave. on the Hagersville Sub. to Jarvis.

    Confused yet? 🙂

  2. Hi Trevor,
    Forgive me my dear friend as I love this picture of St. Williams too as it shows so much detail. However a few missing pieces here. The man on the platform is a local farmer by the name of “Juddy” Ayres who frequented the station on a regular basis. You have to remember that in those days the station was a great gathering place for news both local and outside of Norfolk County. We don’t know but it is possible that the crew brought newspapers from Hamilton, Toronto, Buffalo or other places to share. The station agent at St.Williams was Richard “Dickie” Thompson whose duties also included training new operators on the key with the Morse Code. He trained my cousin Elon Hoover and Ross Wood… Ross dated my younger sister and through his kindness to me arranged my first ride on an engine, a 1200 working the Day Job at Hagersville in 1962. John Halifax was the hogger on this job and through my connections with other railroaders I heard that he operated 6167 and 6218 on Michigan Railroad Club excursions over the Cayuga Sub. It was said of john that he loved steam engines and that he let those engines loose between Aylmer and Tillsonburg where the track is straight easily in the vicinity of the century mark on the speedometer.
    The original St.Williams station was an elaborate affair much like Pt. Rowan with living quarters upstairs. It burned in the 1930’s and the station in this picture is actually the baggage room from the Forrestville Sation which was moved by rail to the site.
    To conclude I appreciate your efforts Trevor in creating this one of a kind structure! I will be attempting to repicate Cayuga Bridge on my layout but not in Cayuga thanks to my artistic licence too!

    • Hi Monte:
      Thanks for the clarifications and there’s nothing to forgive. I’m always pleased to learn about the line.
      More anon…

  3. T-
    Thank you for the timely post. I’m have hit the “reboot” button on my home layout. I’m scrapping the David Barrow South Plains layout (in S) for a mostly prototype rendering of Lapel, Indiana (in S). Plotting out each element of the Lapel required changing the compass points and flipping AND re-sequencing of the 4 elements. The following photo…
    Drives the entire new layout design. It not so much as the photo, it really is the only person interested in the train. A boy on his shiny red bicycle its the only one interested! This scene is a must.
    Added to the photo of the fire and police department next to the depot it has become an absolute must have.
    Come on! You gota have S scale fire trucks and police cars!
    Hmmm…this reply has the makings of a great posting on MRH?
    Again, thank you for your postings.

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