Lumber Camp

So I got as far as having the frame and skids built when I found out that the sheds will be too tall to clear my tunnels. Funny, I thought I built the portals to the same standards as all of the bridges. Not the case the tunnels are a full inch and a half shorter. I will now have to redraw my plans and begin again with smaller dimensions. I will  pick up this build again in a couple of months. For now I need to get started on a project I hope to take to the NGRC in Tulsa.


I have for a long time wanted to build some set off shacks to carry on my skeleton log cars. I have decided that this is the summer for that to happen. The project will include the rolling stock, shacks, people and equipment, all of which will make up the lumber camp as well as the log train. The train consists of 7 skeleton log cars, 3 flats, one boxcar, one tank car and a caboose. Ultimately this will be pulled by the four truck shay but for now I will drag it around with #34.

Here are all the build-logs. I will add to each one as I go along.

Set Off Shacks

There was little standardization between railroads for these portable buildings other than the common carpentry design of the period and the size restrictions. Some shacks were quickly built for short term use and then abandoned. Items like stoves and furniture would be taken but the materials for the basic structures were easily replaced at the new location. Large railroad logging operations would mount their shacks on old flatcars and move them between sites on temporary spurs.

The set off style was most common on rugged terrain where flat land was at a premium and the cost of track construction expensive. Being able to load and unload the shacks kept them portable and adaptable to the terrain. My shacks will be this type known as skid style, meaning they are mounted on large wooden skids for transport over the rails or for movement on the site.

I am using the short skeleton cars by Accucraft so my shacks will be have a footprint 14″ x 6″ on 16″ skids.


Construction will be rough hew lumber in post and beam framing style commonly found in barns and other agricultural buildings. The walls will be sheathed in board and bat with the roofs corrugated metal or wood shingle.

Because these will have full interiors I need to build them with detail inside and out. This calls for a plan. The basic shacks will all be pretty much the same with the largest differences in window and door locations.

Click on the pics below to get a larger view.


Rolling Stock and Motive Power


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