Hello I am getting ready to scratch build a three bay steam engine house.

Can you guys post some pics of what you have created? Can be scratch built- kit (bashed) or pre made.

I would like to get some plausable ideas. I need to fit three articulated engines in it.

I was thinking of making one side plexiglass to be able to see in and make it well lit.

Should it be equipped with an overhead crane?

Do I need finished flooring in it?

Footprint aprox. 48"x24"

My layout is fastrack-should I transition to Gar Graves in the engine house?

Thanks. Nick

No such thing as over kill-do it RIGHT.                                                                                                                             

Original Post
I think the answer to your questions is "Yes" or "it Depends" And RR that has articulateds probably is big enough to have a turntable and a well built roundhouse. However, a shortline might have somehting that looks like a wooden shed. Also if at the end of a coal branch, it might be just a small engine house. Again a shortline would probably not bother with a turntable because of the cost and more maintenance. For 3 stalls it is a toss up. I think I would build a two stall building with a track next to it for #3 perhaps with just a pole barn cover. As for floor, any decent RR would have a floor to make it easier for the mechanics to do maintenance and inspections. A bigger facility would have a drop pit in one stall. I don't think most roundhouses had overhead cranes, just the way built. That would be in a bigger shops building where they actually remove boilers. There might be some small jib cranes. As part of this you want an Ashpit and sandtower and water tower. If y ou want to do just 2 tracks you could make each one long enough for two locos, Then have the house cover the ends of the both tracks and have two locos in the open by the water tower etc. Heljan, AHM, and I think recently Atlas O have offered a two stall brick engine house kit that is 27 inches long and about 11 inches wide for 2 tracks. I think I still have an unopened kit from the ahm offering. It might do what you want or be a start to kit bash. I have one I shortened to 21 inches on my layout.

Scratchbuilt using  mostly pink foam. I only built half of it and used a mirror:





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And better friends I'll not be knowing;

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Photos (5)

Colorado's Great Western RR used a three stall engine shed, but their largest steamer was #90 now on the Strasburg.  I hope to build a similar shed and use reverse loop and wye to turn larger locos, with a smaller armstrong turntable for shorter locos.  That shed did not look much different from one of the car barn kits that could be bashed wider, taller, and longer.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

It seems like this conversation is missing the key point that an engine house is primarily for maintenance, not for storing engines.

A one horse short line might have a one stall engine house if in an area of cold winters.  Storing the engine when not being maintained would make sense as an efficient use of track length.

On a railroad with many engines, most would be on outside ready tracks and those few needing maintenance in the house.

A three engine short line would make do with a one stall engine house.


Even financially precarious short line had turntables.  Otherwise a wye would be needed and that requires a lot more land and wouldn't work along a river in a narrow valley. 



Korber products.  (An OGR Forum sponsor)   There are a lot of different options to a roundhouse.    The Korber products have been around for some time.  Assembly and modeling requires above average skills, IMO.  Mike CT.

Pictured is a Korber 304 kit with one additional stall added.   Roof was fabricated from 1/4" luan board. 

A lot of shortlines used the roundhouse/engine house to store locos because they did not run continuously. The big RRs like the Pennsy, NYC, UP etc were 24/7 operations. Many shortlines were daytime only and maybe not 7 days a week especially as passenger service dwindled. Consider the EBT, they have an 8 stall engine house, and they store 6 steamers, and the Gas Electric in it and who knows waht else. I think they have a smalle diesel or 2. I think were many back woods shortlines run/ran, land was cheaper than hardware. This is just an opinion, but I think they would find it cheaper and easier to maintain a few switches and track than a turntable. and it would probably be easier to buy the land than the TT. Most of these places are pretty rural, not urban, and prior WWII say, land was pretty cheap.

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