Langley Fruit Packing – layout planning

Yesterday I had the pleasure of exchanging emails with Steve Hunter. Our topic was the Langley Fruit siding and it’s whereabouts. Steve pointed out an aerial photograph of the area taken in 1974 that clearly shows the siding and the plant (warehouse?). I’ve been by this area several times and it’s amazing how overgrown the area alongside the tracks has become and how much it obscures any trace of where the siding might have been. The next time I’m in Montague I’ll drive along the road instead to see if the buildings are still there.

Here’s a link to the aerial shot that really helped me to understand what we are talking about:

In the above-linked picture Langley Fruit is actually circled in marker and tagged with the letter “A”. I don’t know why it is. Comparing the aerial shot with the area as it is today would show that the siding started almost exactly between the two bridges that one crosses as you leave town along the line. These aren’t really bridges in real life, more fills, but you get the idea.

I just finished a quick sketch in AutoCAD based on that aerial photograph to get a sense of how this industry would work for my own N scale layout. This is the sketch I came up with:

I really don’t know if what I drew is even close to the actual site in terms of scale. The only reference point I had was based on a CN notation regarding the length of the siding – twenty cars. Basically I traced the parts of the aerial shot that I figured would help and then scaled the lot upward until the Langley siding was 20 forty-foot cars in length. As drawn the whole scene could be modelled in a space of 36×84″. Since that feels really extravagant there are obviously opportunities to “selectively compress” the scene. As some of my earlier posts on my own layout and it’s design allude I really need to keep the scenes as shallow as possible. I’ve drawn in an alternate location for the Langley siding on my drawing using a shorter dashed line with the turnout in the same location and a length of about ten cars. Looking at the aerial photo you can see that the original siding cut through some pretty dense trees. I thought it would be easy enough to just have the siding parallel the mainline once through the trees instead. This would allow me to narrow the scene quite a bit while still allowing me to ship cars to this industry.

On the topic of shipping cars into Langley I imagine this might be one of those rare Island industries where conceivably they could ship or receive cars. Outbound would be packaged fruit and inbound loads would be packaging supplies (e.g. pallets). What kind of fruit? I don’t know why but I imagine this place to ship apples. There are a couple of decent-sized orchards in Montague still and I hope they are indicators of what was there in when the Langley siding was first built.



  1. The building in the photo circled “A” seems about right. The grey circle you have South of that building is a 40ft diameter wastewater circular clarifier.

    1. Hello

      Thanks for the confirmation on the building location. I’d sure like to meet someone who remembers Langley being rail served. What kinds of cars and loads in and similar, outbound.

      Ultimately too, how much rail traffic did Langley generate on the Montague subdivision?

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