JVL 12 switching CSX grain hoppers at Graham Grain in Terre Haute, IN

In my last post about Prince Street as a grain terminal, this is sort of what I had in mind. It may sound silly to ask but I don’t know: are the cars switched in any particular order based on the type of grain inside?




  1. Chris, since you’re talking shelf layout-sized believable grain terminals, here’s one that’s decidedly model railroadish looking, in Portland, Oregon:


    It’s the North Steel Bridge on Interstate Avenue in Portland. It’s been featured in TRAINS magazine. A main line passes nearby, and a Trackmobile moves cars around the elevator on a very tight radius track.

    Regarding grain types and grades, that’s a bit of a mystery to me, although I think it would have to do with the various silos at the concrete terminal elevators each being designated for a different type/grade, once the grain is dumped from the cars. I’ve seen such diagrams at country elevators, and I’m sure they’re even more involved at terminals, whether inland or at ports.

    Is this anything?

    1. Thanks for that link Eric. That operation would make for an interesting layout.

      I really don’t know anything about grain elevators and how they loaded cars. I know that I love looking through all those great Charles Bohi photos of CN and CP grain branches and that last finished layout I refer to was based on what I thought grain branches looked like. If I did follow through with the grain terminal idea I think it would be more interesting if I learned more about how a real elevator or terminal worked and then tried to cycle cars through my operation in a similar fashion. On my old layout I just had a bunch of scratchbuilt elevators and forty foot boxcars and I just kept cycling cars in and out with little consideration about the loads.

      Perhaps a grain elevator focusses on loading one type of train per string of cars…at a time?

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