Section House - N Scale
Blair Line

N scale Section House, Two Story, 30' x 30'

Regular price $39.95 $0.00 Unit price per

N Scale Section House, Two Story, 30’ x 30’

From the earliest days of the Great Northern through about 1950, most track maintenance was performed by a crew that worked an assigned ‘section’ of the railroad. As of circa 1900 single track sections were typically about 10 miles long. The work was performed by ‘section men’ under the direction of the ‘section foreman’. Even if the section headquarters was located in a town, the railroad typically supplied housing for both the foreman and his crew. In addition to housing, the section typically had a shed for tools and a hand car, or later, a gasoline powered speeder.

The smallest and most common two story section house was the 16x32 foot, four-room house, a design that dated back to at least 1898. The building had a combined living and dining area, with a stove for heating and cooking, and one bedroom downstairs, with two unheated bedrooms upstairs. These houses were originally intended for the section foreman and his family, but they also came to be used for section crews as well.  Using bunk beds, up to eight men could be accommodated. The earliest versions (pre-1900) were built with vertical board and batten siding, later many were either built or re-clad using novelty horizontal siding. Window placement varied widely.  Modifications were often made, for example, at Skykomish an extra window was installed to the left of the front door, a front porch was added, and a 15 foot deep kitchen was added to the rear. Over time, most of the 16x32 foot houses had a 15x32 foot kitchen added across the back, and most were retrofitted with a poured concrete or concrete block foundation.

A new standard 30x30 section house was introduced during the 1920s. The new design included a kitchen and poured concrete or concrete block foundations as an integral feature. The 30x30 houses looked very much like the older 16x32 foot houses with a 15x32 foot addition across the back.

When section houses outlived their usefulness in the 1950s and 1960s, the railroad demolished them or sold them with the requirement that they be moved off railroad property. They made good bunk houses or storage buildings on farms or ranches, and some were used as homes.

Our model is of the standard 30x30 section house produced by Blair Line Models, which has produced laser cut kits since 1997. Structural parts are laser cut and etched plywood with peel-n-stick trim and shingles.

Foot print is 2.25 inches square in N scale.

For more information see GNRHS Reference Sheet 392, December 2014 by Don Pavia.