DAMAR Southern Railroad

1-1/2" Scale Model Railroading

Water Tower at Fairfield Railroad (Summer 2004)

 This past summer I got a little bored and decided to make an authentic water tower for the Fairfield Railroad switching yard. We've been working on a new scale engine house and I figured it would look in the same area. Using some rough plans that I borrowed from a member of the Midsouth club in Tennessee (Jo Ed Gaddes), I started in making the thing.

The first thing I discovered that there was no "off the shelf" lumber that would work for the scale sized lumber that I would need. So all the pieces had to be sawn from larger pieces. Most of the bracing and other structural parts were cut out of 4x6 pressure treated posts. Some of the tank parts, most notably the staves, were obtained by ripping 5/4 pressure treated decking planks into 0.4" miniature planks with the correct beveled edge to make them as water-tight as possible.  The "plumbing" parts such as the tank valve had to be fabricated from various fixtures I found at the hardware store. The shutoff valve is a standard toilet tank float valve attached to a length of 1/2" galvanized pipe.

The roof was especially tedious getting the pie-shaped tin pieces to fit and look good. I hand-formed the spout out of some copper sheet from an old piece of duct work that I scavenged a few years ago and tucked away for a rainy day. When in doubt about something, I just made it look like the real thing from pictures (I've never actually seen a real water tower!).

Overall, it was a fun project but it took a great deal of time. The results were worth the effort as it looks really nice sitting in the yard. We've got it temporarily placed for now and intend to locate it to a more permanent spot when other changes to the area have been completed.

Take a look at the pictures below to see it come to life!

Getting Started        Taking Shape        Footing Pillars        Main Beams

Tank Staves            Floor Joists            Main Valve            Tank Start

Rod Joiners            Bracing Start        Brace Rod Detail       Braces Complete

Roof Rafters            Water Feed            Spout                    Roof Done

Spout mounted        On the Road        At Fairfield                Looks Big!!
but still looking
for the right weights

Aaaaaahhhh!            At work                Looks good!