Saturday, September 19, 2015

E. L. Moore's Elizabethton Depot

[E. L. Moore's Elizabethton Depot; J. R. Fisher collection]

The Elizabeth Valley RR., was still in the wilderness, half completed, when I began my search for a depot for Elizabethton, my village-to-be.
[E. L. Moore begins his Down by the depot article in the December 1964 issue of Model Railroader.]
I noted that the model was signed on the bottom by E. L. Moore and appeared to be dated as 1967. However, pictures began to appear of his Elizabeth Valley RR with this depot in the late1950s, and a construction article in 1964.
If you compare this model to pictures in the article you'll note that the door paneling is painted two-tone, the shingling of this model has finer engraving, there is no mounting hole for the signal, there doesn't appear to be sufficient room for the station sign under the clock, Mr. Moore states he painted the model light green but the model appears medium green, the roof underside is green and not red, and so on. Mr. Moore was known to make multiple versions of models, and this may have been a later version, or possibly a renovation of the original. In my opinion it's a little more refined than the one that appeared in the 1964 construction article.
That's the wire for the lighting poking out of the bottom.
In this side view you can see that the lighting rod like decoration on the bay window roof has broken off and taken a small piece of the roof with it.
The central roof section lifts off to reveal a fully detailed interior. The inside roof peaks have short copper strips with wires soldered on that go out the bottom of the building. Peering inside you can see that the front door on the left is missing - as can also be seen in the opening photo - but I noted while taking the picture that it was around and just needs to be glued back in place.
I think the above part is the missing door.
The roof unit has matching copper strips that contact the power strips in the peak in order to deliver power to the interior lights. I didn't have a battery to try out the lights, but the roof fit snug on the building, so at least contact appeared good.
The picture below is a little closer look at the electrical contact used for the interior lighting system.
And here's a look at the other end of roof for completeness.
As you can see, the roof itself is a sturdy sub-assembly and shows no warping or distortions. Mr. Moore used the wood burning tool technique to scribe the shingle pattern into a sheet of balsa.
On page 72 of the construction article, you can see an outhouse off to the left in the photo at the top of the page. The photo below shows that it was built to match the depot.
Its construction was not mentioned in the article, so here are some shots from all sides so you can get an idea of the overall shape.
The back wall is very simple, but one roof decoration is missing.
Here's the opposite entrance. There's a crescent moon on that end too.
Even the interior has some detail. Note the toilet paper rolls!
Overall, the model is still in quite good condition even given it's cartoon roots :-)

[Note, I updated this post on 20 September to include the additional roof detail photos, the missing door photo, and the matching outhouse (that I just realized was part of this depot)]


  1. I have to thank you for the time and effort you've put into your E. L. Moore articles.
    For many years I've wanted to build an E. L. Moore structure, and this article may have finally gotten me to get off my duff and do it. I have a copy of the Dec. 1964 MR and tonight I looked over the article and made some measurements. I hope you don't mind if I use your pictures for reference as the pictures and labeling in the magazine seem on the skimpy side.
    Thank you for the inspiration.


    1. Thank you for the kind words and I'm glad you've found them interesting. It's been fun walking down the E. L. Moore trail. Yes, please use the photos as reference.