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Catalog  >  Model Kits  >  Structures  >  HO Scale Structures

GN 30x60' Standard Depot - HO Scale
GN 30x60' Standard Depot - HO Scale

List price: $74.95
Member price: $59.95
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This model of a 30’ by 60’ Great Northern standard depot features clapboard siding, peel and stick tabbed shingle strips. Walls and roof are easy to assemble, with clear and concise instructions provided. Dimensions: 8.25 inches long, 4.125 inches wide, 3.25 inches high.

The model represents a myriad of small-town depots along the Great Northern Railway. The majority of the frame depots followed one of two basic standard designs.  The simpler of the two was used prior to 1909, but its exact design date is unknown.  The plan on which this kit is based was designed in 1909 and revised in 1930.  This standard design was used for new construction until a depot modernization program featuring new designs began in 1949.

The 1909 depot featured architectural treatments missing from the earlier design such as angled bay sides, enclosed eaves with special corner treatment, and an external wainscoting, which separated the different types of wall siding.  Depots of this design were constructed in several standard sizes:  24’ x 48’; 30’ x 60’ (as this kit is modeled); and 30’ x 64’ (with a warm room in the freight end).  Larger depots were built when necessary, usually by enlarging the freight and baggage room. The design also featured reversible waiting and freight rooms, so that the waiting room could be placed on the end closest to public access.


Starting in 1909, a two-tone yellow paint scheme was utilized which included medium yellow/ochre on the large wall sections with a darker ocher trim on windows, doors, belt rails, and corner posts. Beginning in September 1930 wood frame depots were painted light gray with darker gray trim. In the 1950s the standard colors became white with green trim.


Great Northern depots typically had a wooden platform between the building and the track for the length of the building. The edge of wooden platforms was 5 foot, 6 inches from the centerline of the track, four inches above the top of the rail and extended 16 feet from the front wall of the main body of the depot, not the bay window, to the edge of the platform. Planks were three inches wide.  As built, most depots also had a 12-foot wide cinder platform at least 100 feet long off both ends of the wooden platform to provide level and safe areas for passengers to walk to and from their train and to get on and off the cars. As originally built, cinder platforms had a 4x12 on edge on both sides to keep the edge of the platform at the proper height. Over time these edge boards were replaced by poured in place 12”x12” concrete curbs. Later, the wood platforms and cinder extensions were replaced with asphalt.


Depots like this were placed at small towns. In many cases the Great Northern located their depot, and the towns grew up around them. In undeveloped areas stations, meaning points shown in the timetable, and typically equipped with a siding or passing track, were usually placed at intervals of 8-10 miles. Depots of this general size were placed at those stations at or near a town.


Depots were used for both traffic control and railroad business purposes. The traffic control function was performed by the telegraph operator, and at most small stations the Agent performed that duty. Physically the Agent’s/operator’s office was in the center portion of the depot, between the passenger waiting room and the freight room, and had a bay window facing the track. A manually operated signal indicated to train and engine crews that train orders were, or were not, available for them to pick up. Toward one end of the depot there was a passenger waiting room with a ticket window between the office and the waiting room so passengers could buy their tickets. The other end of the depot was the freight room where freight was kept after it was received and before it was sent on or delivered to customers.


Most depots serving a town were soon equipped with a house track behind the depot where box cars of merchandise could be spotted. The Agent and/or the Telegraph Operator would unload the merchandise, contact the consignee, and they would come and get their goods. Less than carload shipments also often arrived as “way freight” in the local freight or mixed train, and these shipments were placed on a baggage wagon and placed in the freight end of the depot. Less than carload lots originating from the town were handled to the depot and then to a boxcar, but more likely to the local freight. The Agent was the railroad’s local representative to the community.      

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