Tuesday 4 March 2014


An Eastbound freight idles in the siding at the Midway station.  It is unlikely that the Nelson-bound train-crew has their Clearance because there are no extra flags displayed.  The consist of this freight would have mostly originated in Penticton, destined for the East.  With the fresh crew coming on duty, they would have tacked on their conductor's caboose and perhaps a few loads from the local sawmills.  For short freights out of Penticton, single diesel units were not unusual in the latter years of the railway as numerous photos in Kettle Valley books evince.  The centre-line of the Station building is Mile "0" for the Kettle Valley and Mile 126.6 of the Boundary Sub, this being the mileage from Nelson. 


This is Scott Calvert's Midway Yard on his former layout which has been demolished but you can see what used to be at: http://www.cprboundarysub.ca/.  A new and larger version of the CPR's Boundary Subdivision is under construction in the basement of his new home.  Nice fascia and graphics and a well executed backdrop make for a nice scene which does justice to the prototype.  Rene' Gourley painted this backdrop and did much other good work on the old layout.  Scott is a very good modeler and promoter of the hobby.  His new layout has every potential to become a Great Model Railroad.

It still hurts a little to think that the real rails are gone forever.  There is some consolation in the right-of-way being preserved as part of the Trans-Canada Trail with many of the bridges and a few of the station buildings still in place.  Equally consoling is the experience of seeing and operating model versions of the now-truncated Southern Mainline.  Another fine layout featuring the Boundary Sub is that of Mark Dance in N-scale.  It has been published many times and is readily accessible through Flicker: https://www.flickr.com/photos/27907618@N02/sets/72157624106602402/  For videos of his C&W Railway: http://www.youtube.com/user/markdance63

For many years, my father-in-law, Joe Palac, ranged the whole of the Kootenay Subdivision as the Foreman of the Extra Gang with responsibility for major track-work.  A hard worker, at times his crew could number upwards of 50 men and often in very remote places where his word was law.  Building switches was his specialty.  He loved his job but had only mild contempt for his son-in-law, a grown man, playing with toy trains.  To him it was a complete waste of time.  I confess that in this regard, I have no regrets in continuing to disappoint him.

As promised, here is a floor plan of the CPR No. 5 Standard Station at Midway drawn from field measurements and compared with the railway's Standard Station drawings. 

For instructions on how to reproduce this drawing in HO scale, see the previous post.  Of course, the drawings can be reproduced in N-scale using the same method - and other scales.  In any case, just remember to measure the building walls and not the "extension lines" when scaling this drawing.

Here is another view from Scott's camera of the station in 1:87 which I built shortly after completing the drawings in 1984.
That is to say, I built the walls and floors.  For 15 years or more, the model station did not have a roof.  No, I did not adapt the CPR plan for an open-air version for a California layout.  Rather, it loomed as a daunting challenge for my first major structure built from scratch.  Secondly, my modeling focus had changed so much that I did not have a place on the layout for that building.  It found its way to Scott's layout and eventually I finished the roof.  It turned out that the roof was not all that difficult to fabricate.  Today, the only things lacking on it are the upper storey rafter tails and the window glazing.  One of these days...

Layout View (aka Helicopter view):
Here are a few other images taken by Scott as an aid to modeling.  Click to enlarge and copy.  Main Floor without the floor: i e, the base with floor is a separate component and would be installed permanently in the layout.

Main Roof with second floor attached:

Unfortunately, the second floor plan view has gone missing from my files.  Not completely accurate, it was drawn up from basic measurements, the standard plans and extrapolated due my not being able to access theupstairs interior of the building.  However, the overall dimensions are correct.  You can see from the photo above how I arranged the partitions into 4 bedrooms.  There should be the top of a staircase in the rear.

Upper Roof rear view with chimney attached:

My own father spent his early years growing up in a No. 5 station in Vulcan AB.  He commented that he went to sleep every night with the red and green lights of the Train Order Board shining outside his window.  In the case of Midway, the station did not have a Train Order Board as it was a terminal and all incoming trains would stop there for a crew change.  A new crew could not leave without a Clearance; thus, there would be no need for a "stop" signal.  Eastward Freight Trains for the Kootenays would require a "Run Order" as well because no scheduled freights ran east of Midway.  Westward Trains for the KV were usually scheduled, often requiring only a Clearance to get under way.   

Some notes on the modeling will follow in the next post along with the track plans for Midway as it existed in the 40's and the 50's.  Now, back to my Water Tower...

Happy modeling.  Till next Wednesday:

Coquihalla Man


  1. Hey Anthony,

    Thanks for the callout on the backdrop.

    I think that may have been a scheduled freight. You'll recall we had a hot freight in either direction, although it dropped shorts in Midway, Castlegar and Nelson, so it actually wound up doing a fair amount of switching.


  2. Thank you Rene'. Nice to have a comment.