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Discussion Starter #1
Gathering up materials for a scratch build of Montreal's Center Station, and Place Bonaventure. Wondering what would be an efficient material to build with, styrene, balsa wood, Styrofoam? Essentially central station is a parking garage with that station underneath similar to New York's Penn Station, if I'm correct by using Google satellite imagery and street view

Additionally, wondering if I could enlist the help of any Canadian modelers to take pictures of central station/ Place Bonaventure specifically the platforms/ surrounding areas to ensure my model is accurate. I am willing to offer compensation in the form of food to those who are willing to assist.

The width alone of the model is 72"!!! (Measured from satellite images from Rue Mansfield to Boulevard Robert Bourassa (6336 inches/87 =72
.82
Photos to come soon!
 

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Well, you're right about NYC's Penn Station. It's all underground. The above ground part was a beautiful Greek Revival structure that was razed to build Madison Square Garden. Fortunately for those of us who use it, they are rehabilitating the former central post office building across 8th Avenue to be used as the new concourse.

Anyway, as far as building materials, there is no "best" choice, only the one that you prefer. As far as the availability of custom shapes and patterns, I would have to say that styrene is probably the best choice. Many modelers, though, prefer basswood for its workability and the option to use gentler adhesives. In fact, I have a friend who builds post and beam buildings for a living and likes to make exact miniature versions out of stripwood.

Styrofoam isn't a very good medium, unless you mean artist's foamcore. I have used this extensively in the building of models of theatre sets, and it is very nice to work with. It can be covered with printed images or textured papers for very satisfying results. If you're going this route, you should consider a product called Gatorfoam, which is basically foamcore made with a thin veneer (like 1/64") of wood rather than paper. This makes it much more resistant to water-based paints and adhesives.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
CT Valley RR, thank you for the reply. Thinking of a thin (.020") for the facade work and inter structures of strip or balsa wood. If I'm looking at this correctly, from left to right it's CN head quarters, a parking garage (Gare Centrale), Central Station, and then a Tim Hortons?

The parking garage will be easiest to model, I suspect, as it's just concrete structure. I'll build that layer by layer (read: parking level by parking level) from that I see on Google street view it's 3, maybe 4 levels? Having someone send pictures en lieu of making a trip myself would be great. However, if no one decides on the offer of a free lunch or dinner, I'll make the trip up myself and document the garage, and central station.

Regarding the styrene, is there a company you recommend? This large scale of a building would make shipping such large sheets rather complicated.
 

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Scratch building a station

CT Valley RR, thank you for the reply. Thinking of a thin (.020") for the facade work and inter structures of strip or balsa wood. If I'm looking at this correctly, from left to right it's CN head quarters, a parking garage (Gare Centrale), Central Station, and then a Tim Hortons?

The parking garage will be easiest to model, I suspect, as it's just concrete structure. I'll build that layer by layer (read: parking level by parking level) from that I see on Google street view it's 3, maybe 4 levels? Having someone send pictures en lieu of making a trip myself would be great. However, if no one decides on the offer of a free lunch or dinner, I'll make the trip up myself and document the garage, and central station.

Regarding the styrene, is there a company you recommend? This large scale of a building would make shipping such large sheets rather complicated.
86swonavy;

That sounds like quite a project! Evergreen makes all sorts of styrene sheets and shapes. They sell through hobby shops, and online. If you need a lot of pieces, or large pieces, it's worthwhile to google "styrene sheets" online. You may be able to get better prices from an industrial supplier. Hobby material typically comes in small pieces with bigger price tags!:eek:

I built my N-scale model of Seattle Union Station from sheet styrene, styrene shapes, Design Preservation Models wall sections, and Holgate-Reynolds plastic brick sheet.

Good luck, and post photos of your model when you can.

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:

Seattle Union Station concourse end 2.JPG

Seattle Union Station side view.JPG

Seattle Union Station 5.JPG

Seattle Union Station top view.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That is a beauty!

So update: I put together my shotty workbench to get started. I'll have to take satellite measurements to verify the starting measurements for the bench. I did purchase 1" foam from Home Depot for the model. I'll cute the foam board down to size and probably double up as Gare Centrale and Place Bonaventure are not on level ground, in addition the tracks enter a tunnel starting at Place Bonaventure. One of my questions I have is how does AMTRAK re-position the locomotive after it arrived at Central Station..Is it a de-coupling?
 

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There is a video on Youtube showing an Amtrak train arriving
at Washington DC terminal with a diesel at the head end.
It is uncoupled and replaced by an Amtrak electric to
complete it's journey to NYC and Boston.

It's been a while since seeing that video, I may have
the locos reversed, but the point is made. Yes, they
do change locos at passenger stations when required.

I rode the Sunset Limited from LA to Jacksonville some
years back. Amtrak changed locos in New Orleans for refueling
and other service during a long layover in their passenger
station.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've finally decided to start using the pile of scrap piled up in the garage. So this will be the start of my layout. It's not much but its a start. Using Google Earth and many calculators to get the measurements correct I hope I have the right dimensions. I have a couple of concerns because the track will be run underneath this. Prior to starting, I'm going to acquire more foam insulation boards to build up the area. It seems the high point is the upper LEFT corner and everything slopes down to the bottom RIGHT corner.

What would yall recommend, material-wise, for the actual structures themselves? What about sidewalks? road surfaces?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and the random markings on the board are from my daughter who "helped" me do the initial outline, as best a 2 year old could do.
 

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As discussed before, styrene, basswood, or foam core (Gatorfoam) are all good building materials for structures. Sidewalks can be made of the same materials.

I have had good results using a thin layer of drywall mud for roads. The texture is perfect for asphalt; paint it anything from light gray to almost black, depending on the age of the pavement.

On your question about repositioning, Penn Central is a "through" station, meaning that the train simply continues straight ahead to leave the station. Hudson Yard is about a quarter mile further West: trains are made up and sorted here on about 26 tracks (not counting the 4 "through" tracks).

The entire Northeast Corridor from Newport News to Boston is electrified; barring mechanical failure, no Amtrack trains change locos in route. They do swap locos in Harrisburg, PA, where the line from Philly to Pittsburgh changes from electrified to non-electrified.
 

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One of my questions I have is how does AMTRAK re-position the locomotive after it arrived at Central Station..Is it a de-coupling?
It's my understanding that trains back in and out of the station. The VIA maintenance facilities are nearby across the canal and feature a number of wye tracks where trains can be turned. The station tracks won't be used for parking and storing trains.
 
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