Thursday, November 12, 2015

E. L. Moore's Norfolk and Southern Yard Office

[E. L. Moore's Norfolk and Southern Yard Office; J. Collier collection]

E. L. Moore's Norfolk and Southern Yard Office was published in the February 1966 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.
This little model looks like it’s had a hard life. The external surfaces are a bit rough and worn, but the design is interesting, although quite simple. A rebuild with new and modern materials would no doubt yield a modest, yet handsome and useable model.
Even though the outside is worn, the inside is in good shape and, for some strange reason, it made me realize that a lot of Mr. Moore’s models have at least a minimal interior that could stage further detailing and lighting even if the only way an observer could see them was to remove the roof. 
How many of the posts in this series show my hand holding the freed roof of some model? Lots. And those roofs are not prissy things that are easily broken. No, they’re robust things made of balsa sheet reinforced by thick gussets. They’re designed to be removed and replaced as a common and regular event.
It’s not like many of the interiors could be viewed by just looking in the windows. His Uncle Peabody’s Machine Shop, which appeared in the June '72 issue of Railroad Modeler, had big windows to let viewers see all the machine tools inside, but that was something of an exception. There’s a whole inner world to his models that sometimes has been fully realized – like in the Brick Enginehouse and the Apple Cider Mill and The Clarabel Hotel and The Bookery to name just a few – and others that are patiently awaiting detail – like this one and the Branch Line Station and Major Hopple’s Warehouse and the Small Mfg Plant among others. 
What was he thinking doing all that hidden work? All I can speculate is that to him a model building was more than just a decorated prop that played a supporting role in railroad operations, but was a small world unto itself, even if that world was at times incomplete.


  1. The ends remind me of the style of structures at, and perhaps the paper model techniques from that site could be used to create an updated version of this handsome building.

    1. You're right, they do seem similar. I especially like that workshop with both the rectangular and circular windows above the door - well, maybe that circular opening is a vent, but it still looks good.