NEB&W Guide to Our Model Chateaugay Scene

From NEB&W Railroad Heritage Website
Jump to: navigation, search
NEB&W Layout Table of Contents


  • In location, Chateaugay is akin to Plattsburgh, NY. In Plattsburgh, the engine terminal was alongside the Saranac River where it empties into the lake. (And many of the areas are based on blocks in Plattsburgh. For information on this, see this section.

  • The center of Chateaugay is based on Chatham, NY, the entire wedge-shaped block with the distinctive clocktower on the point, as well as the some of the other buildings near the depot. (For info on the Chatham section, see this section.)

  • Overview of the Chateaugay scene, mostly looking south. This section includes an area based on Burlington, VT, along with freelanced sections too. (For info on the Burlington section, see this section.)

The Burlington, VT Section

The Chatham, NY Section

The Plattsburgh, NY Section

North End

  • The NEB&W main is in the background, the equally fictitious Oldensburg & Lake Richelieu's main is in the fore. As the tracks pass under the highway bridge, they go into a hidden turning loop, although in theory they are heading up toward the Canadian border.
    The road overpass was based on a local prototype - I can't remember from where. The girdger bridge is an Atlas one, with the ends curved down and a sidewalk and railings installed on the outside. (In two of the photos below, I used Photoshop to try and remove the dark "tunnel" look of the track going through the backdrop.)

Chateaugay Co-Op

  • Chateaugay Co-op is modeled as a mirror image of the Farmers Co-op in Lowville, NY. (I understand it was built c. 1920 and was still standing until just a few years ago.)
The reason the model was built as a mirror image was that we only had the one photo at the time. We flipped the image so the known side faced the aisle. This wound up making a very awkward arrangement as the spur should be next to the track and the wagon and truck side should be facing the opposite side, not squeezed in between the complex and the main.

Arendt's Lumber & Supply

  • Arendt's Lumber was a freelanced design. The main building constructed for the last layout, with the coal sheds, lumber rack and other buildings built for this layout.
See this section for more info.

A Composite Section

  • Wherever possible, we try to find A prototype, any prototype, rather than just totally make up stuff.

Diamond Match

  • Originally, we were just totally freelancing the paper mill here but in our redoing of Chateaugay (indeed, the reason we redid it), we are modeling Diamond Match from Plattsburgh. See this section.

Bellows Falls Shanty

  • The Margaret Street crossing. The brick building on the right is from the Burlington, VT section. The crossing shanty is based on the Rutland's from Bellows Falls, VT. The other buildings are kitbashed.

Bridge Street Crossing

  • Bridge St. is the street that runs through the Chatham block and across the bridge over the Chateaugay River to the north of the layout. In our reconstruction of the scene, we wound up with some empty space where this street crosses the main. In steam-era, vacant lots in the downtown area were unusual.

  • Looks like we are going to add a small freelanced diner where the interlocking tower used to be. See below.

  • In Plattsburgh was a collection of small railroad buildings. This could fit between the main and the industry lead.

Kitbashed Buildings

Blue House

  • The blue house in the background was kitbashed from a Revell farmhouse. If I did this again, I'd choose almost any color than blue.

Interlocking Tower

  • The O&LR main crosses the NEB&W past the interlocking tower to run through the back section of town. The interlocking tower is a kitbashed Alexander kit. The church was kitbashed from a Kibri church and two Bachmann HO scale cathedrals. The gas station was kitbashed from a Campbell Skuyll Valley depot.
Since then, we realized such a giant tower made no sense for a crossing with a railroad of just one or two trains a day. The Rutland's crossing of the D&H's main at Rouses Point had no interlocking.


  • In 2013, we thought about actually adding the signals for the interlocking, only to realize this was such a simple crossing of a railroad (O&LR) that wouldn't warrant a tower. (The entire Rutland crosses the D&H at Rouses Pt. with no tower, and in our case, the O&LR is just a branch of the theoretical road.) So we took the tower out. But so much open space in an urban setting back in steam days seemed odd. So in this case, we decided to add a small diner to serve the blue-collar works in the tiny industrial section. Trying for something different, we started with an Atlas signal tower.
For more info, see this section.

Gas Station

  • A close-up of the gas station, kitbashed by Carl Westerdahl.

Greek Revival Building

  • Always felt the Walthers kits like this cried out for some kitbashing. In this case, I removed the falsefront and added trim to make it into a Greek Revival type building. The was intended to sit next to the corner store from Burlington but I realized any building on this block needed to be greatly skewed, so I intend to place this kitbash between the gas station and the diner on the other side of the main.

10 Intervale Ave.

  • Had this bare lot at the end of the Burlington block. Not knowing what had been there, looked around for other prototypes from Burlington (and Plattsburgh and Chatham). Found this odd corner store which I tried to scratchbuild. Next to it, needed another building. First I started with a Walthers building (see above) but made it rectangular. Needed one with a skew so I went back to Walthers and started with a similar kit. In this case, I somewhat tried to follow the second building seen in the '41 prototype photo.
See this section for more information.

Ford Co. Kitbash

  • Struggling to fill the end of the block of Vermont Fruit. Latest attempt is a kitbashed Heljan Ford Motor Co. building to suggest what seems to have been a two-story garage for the produce delivery trucks.
See this section for more information.

White House

  • The white house was kitbashed from an AHM Aunt Millie's house kit, with Campbell windows and a scratchbuilt side addition. (Model photos by James Lauser.)

Red House

  • The red house was also a Revell farmhouse kitbash. Model photos by James Lauser.

Kitbashed Church

  • A close-up of the kitbashed church, vaguely based on one in Shelburne, VT. (The offset tower, the rear cross-section, the steeple.)

Blocks of Store

  • A block of totally kitbashed freelanced stores.

  • Further south on Lake Street, a block of freelanced stores.


  • The fire house is kitbashed from two Heljan fire houses (later available from Walthers), and our model is based on one in Albany, NY. The most noticeable change was to add a Romanesque hip roof. The tower had to be extended up, I think, by using wall sections from the second kit. The back addition was also from a second kit, with the arches from a Vollmer kit.

NEB&W Freight House

  • The NEB&W brick freight house was copied after the D&H's at Whitehall, NY, mainly because we had a plan for this prototype. See this section for more info.

Team Track

Coal Dealer

  • Although this coal dealer is not part of the same block as the other buildings from Burlington, nonetheless, it is from Burlington.
See this section.

Engine Terminal

  • The NEB&W engine terminal. Coaling and sand towers scratchbuilt by Bill Mischler. The terminal is akin to the Burlington, VT one in that it is next to the lake. The turntable at Burlington was a through-girder, probably because the water table was so high, they couldn't dig the pit deep enough for a deck girder. Tony Steele scratchbuilt the turntable.
    In our revitalization of Chateaugay, we are trying to model the engine terminal much closer to Burlington. See this section for more info.

  • The Chateaugay roundhouse was scratchbuilt by Tony Steele from balsa wood, using a wood-burning tool to emboss the bricks. (He actually started this for the last layout in 1970 or '71, back before we knew about Holgate & Reynolds embossed vinyl brick sheets. At the time, the only brick scratchbuilding material was printed brick, completely flat with no mortar relief.)

The NEB&W Depot

  • The depot on the model was scratchbuilt by Bill Mischler for our last layout. See this section.

The Freelanced Yard

  • The track arrangement here was totally freelanced.

O&LR Freight House

  • This freight house was based on a CNW prototype that was featured in a Paul Larson article in Railroad Model Craftsman in the 1960's. Paul Hubbs heavily modified the plans and scratchbuilt this model - I think his first.
    The O&LR freight house with the creamery behind it. (The creamery was based on plans for an O&W creamery.)

At The South End

Fuel Dealer

  • The fuel dealer was kitbashed by Tony Steele from several oil tanks (Kibri, Alexander, Williams Bros.) and an Timberline Edwards warehouse. There are lots of storage tanks in Burlington, VT (and I think also Plattsburgh), but as far as I know, the complex is not based closely on any specific prototype. At the time this was built, the era of the layout was not too well defined, but I think if we did this again, the tanks would not be light gray, they'd be either silver or white.


  • Chateaugay is supposed to be right along the shore of the lake, mainly based on how Burlington is. At first, the Chateaugay scene only showed the shoreline by the roundhouse and again, at the south end. Many people didn't understand this was supposed to be continuous, with most of it off the layout. So one thing in our revitalization of the scene was to cut away the edge of the yard the entire length. This makes the modeling of the shoreline even more important.

Ice House

  • The ice house at Burlington, VT was just south of the yard. It was 200 feet long by 24 feet wide.
See this section for more info.

"Hastings Bay" Drawbridge

  • Hastings Bay at the south end of Chateaugay.

  • We were inspired by these Phil Hastings photos in Jim Shaughnessy's The Rutland Road for this bay, even though it would have to be a mirror image. In fact, since the prototype inlet had no name, we named our model after this legendary photographer.
We still haven't modeled the distinctive draw bridge. (Alas, some day. . .)

Scale House

  • The scale house in Burlington, VT was located just south of the yard, just beyond the little drawbridge and next to the ice house. There wasn't even an enclosed house, but the scale mechanism was enclosed.

South Junction

Chateaugay Layout Guide

On the Layout

Early Views

Model Kitbashing For Chateaugay