The Freight House
This part of the Ilchester railroad infrastructure seems to be fairly short-lived, it was around in my era of 1950, and very camera shy. It appears in parts in only a few photos I can find after years of searching. It is the raised Freight House on the left side of the photo, railroad east of the station. The B&O always ran east to west and always had a north side and south side of the tracks, regardless of what a compass indicated. On the B&O, Washington, DC was not south of Baltimore, but west.
This might be the best picture that exists and it appears to be from August 1952 according to one caption. The board and batten siding and peaked roof are not things found on many eastern B&O structures.
My guess is that this station, its freight house, and coal trestle were originally built to serve the local community. Baltimore had some of the earliest “suburbs” in the nation. Areas like Roland Park were built in the 1890s and even had one of the first shopping centers. It was served by street cars and I suspect it served as a model for future possibilities. Pure conjecture, but early photos of Ilchester show long wood passenger platforms on both sides of the rail along with the coal trestle that could serve local coal deliveries. I wonder if the B&O thought Ilchester could become the next suburb served by passenger trains into the city? The station and infrastructure were built after the 1903-05 realignment, maybe adding the station was hoped to serve more than the boarding school or convent on the top the hill behind the station. The history of this area is not well documented and the effort of several modelers have served to add to the knowledge base. County historians look to fellow B&O modeler John Teichmoeller for definitive information about this community.
How to model this elusive freight structure? Photos show board and batten siding and the building on a raised platform. The overhead view shows a peaked roof structure about 1/4 the length of the station and half its width. Their are standard B&O plans for a 16’x 20′ freight house, so maybe that size is appropriate. I know modelers build on less information and this may be all I ever find, so that’s what I am going with. On the up side, as soon as I complete the structure we all know a new photo will turn up. If so, at least the historical record can be set straight and I’ll have another structure to build.
There is a similar freight house at Dickerson, MD on the Metropolitan Subdivision and I used photos of it to supplement the photos of Illchester I found.
Using the rough dimensions from the overhead photo, I constructed the 15’ x 24’ raised wood platform from an old plastic kit from an unknown manufacturer. It was very close to the construction and dimensions of the platform in the standard B&O plans book available from the B&O Railroad Historical Society. The plastic kit was supplemented with scale Evergreen “lumber” to enclose the lower part of the structure which was painted a dark grey/black brown.
The steps were from an old Campbell kit, but these are easy to replicate with styrene or scale lumber. They were painted the same color as the platform.
For the structure, I found another very old kit at a train show that had lots of board and batten sided parts along with a bunch of windows and doors for future projects. It took a while, but it’s always good to have something inexpensive to find at a train show or new hobby shop.
I cut the siding pieces to create 23’ x 12’ structure with a 8’ x 8’ opening for the door. I used scribed siding for the door. The doors is Evergreen scribed siding and matched the roof pitch on the Station building. The trim boards are Evergreen strip.
The roof is .060 styrene with the edges painted black to represent the trim boards.
The roof was covered with faded black construction paper to simulate tar paper roofing.
I used the same paint colors as those on the station for my rendition of the Cream and Black colors I remember seeing on old structures painted in this combination. It also matches favorably the Cream color shown on a 1939 paint chip card I received in an email some years ago. To match it, I airbrushed Vallejo Model Air 71.270 White (it is not a pure white) mixed with 10 drops of Vallejo Model Air 71.244 Sand Beige added to the almost full bottle. For the Black trim I used Vallejo Model Air 71.251NATO Black, it is a weathered flat black that has a slight brown hue that matches my recollection of the color.