Coal Shed at Thornbury

coal shed at ThornburyThe current front of the coal shed at Thornbury.

This wooden structure still exists near the rail bridge at Thornbury, Ontario. It has been repurposed as a storage shed.  Our Nottawasaga Model Railway club is building a replica of the CNR line from Barrie to Meaford in the mid 1950s. This structure has a long history and was built some time before that period. It is an interesting structure as the board construction is random and trees were used as uprights outside the walls. It now sports a metal roof and the doors are painted red. We don't have colour photos of the original building.  Building a model of the coal shed was my April, 2017 project.

coal shed rail sideThis is the wall that faced the railway siding.
blue coal sign on original coal shedThe Blue coal advertising sign on the coal shed.

Blue Coal was the advertising slogan for anthracite that had been sprayed blue as a marketing tactic. This part of the structure has been rebuilt. The door does not date to the 1950s. There is also the same sign on the end of the building.


My model of the coal shed

ho blue coal signThe modelled sign on the coal shed
blue coal sign modelThe original sign beside my Photoshop sign

I Photoshopped the sign from a photo Martin Alborough took while measuring and photographing the structure. He drew the plans and built a cardboard mockup. I used his mockup to make the structure.  I was trying to make a reasonable representation of the coal shed as it might have looked in the 1950s. I retained the red paint scheme to make it more interesting. It was probably not painted when it was built and was left to weather naturally. I used a mixture of Northeastern scale strip wood in 4-inch to 12-inch widths to give a random appearance to the walls. I pre-stained the strip wood with Hunterline, Micro-Mark and alcohol/india ink so that the boards would have a weathered look. I glued the boards directly to the cardboard mockup.  The various doors were cut from scribed sheathing. The tree pillars on the outside of the walls were cut from wooden skewers on my chopper.

ho model of coal shed at thornburyThe front side of the model as it might have looked in the 1950s.
ho coal shed rear side facing sidingThe coal shed side facing the track siding. The pigeons have been busy.

I opted for a rolled tarpaper roof using the stick-on rolled roofing AMB Part #286 from American Model Builders laid on scribed wood sheathing to help maintain the spacing and to provide rigidity to the structure. I also added interior bracing in the four corners and cross bracing at six places between the long walls. I used carpenter's yellow wood glue applied with a tooth pick from a puddle on a sheet of waxed paper.

The coal shed now sits beside a short rail siding at the edge of the benchwork to the right of the railway bridge at Thornbury.  My project responsibility is to build the representation of the Thornbury area around the dam on our HO club layout. We are trying to find photos of the other buildings in the vicinity. We know there was a small fruit warehouse next to the coal shed and a hotel across the road.



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