Right to left: The Bellinatrop, finished and painted. View into the Bellinadrop. Norwalk Mills model for Winnipauk.
Right to left: New fascia up along Winnipauk benchwork. The Still River bridge over the mill pond at Winnipauk. Bellinadrop, left side. Bellinadrop, right side.
Right to left: Long view of Winnipauk. Ties down on spline roadbed in Winnipauk. Rails down in Winnipauk.
Prototype: Winnipauk was a small town just north of South Norwalk, and it supported several large mills that were served by the railroad. Both were textile producers. One was a large mill run by the Norwalk Mills company, the other -- well I need to go back to the maps and get the name. I know where they were and how they were laid out, thanks to several ICC Valuation maps the New Haven prepared in 1915. There were many small homes near the mills which no doubt housed many of the workers in those mills; they will be represented in the scene.
On the Model: Winnipauk will be primarily represented by two mills, both served by the railroad. Norwalk Mills is particularly interesting in that it has a mill pond, and appears to have its foundation located over the edge of it. A scenic dam sits next to the building and one can easily imagine a two to three story building with large arches beneath where the water flows in at the high end and out at the lower end. A scenic iron bridge runs across the canal and mill pond here, right up front. I expect it will be one of the signature scenes on the layout, in time. Norwalk Mills will be made from the same parts we used to build the Iron Works model in South Norwalk, but heavily modified to conceal its origin.
The other mill also used water power, and a raceway runs along the side of it. This mill will be made from a kitbash of several Railway Design Associates Easton Mill kits. It needs to be a narrow model and the Easton Mill kit fits right into the space, and has a good 'New England' mill look about it. Extending the model may not hide its origin but it should look different enough to get the feel we're looking for.
In the background (Winnipauk is a pretty deep scene) we plan to model a couple of streets with small homes on it, showing how the mill workers lived near their work. One or two larger houses on the street will be for the mill foremen, the rest fairly modest homes. I believe it should be a wonderful scene that will capture what life was like in a New England mill town at the turn of the century. I'm also thinking of placing a small church on one of the streets, but I'm not sure where yet.
Besides the two mills and houses, Winnipauk also has a train-length passing siding, though not as long as the one at Dock Yard. The next major siding will not be until Branchville, so the dispatcher will need to be careful about what he tried to meet between here and there. Just past Winnipauk is also the steepest grade on thr layout, which will make it a challenge for some trains to make t up ther hill. When that happens, the extra length of the mill sidings may be important as crews try to double the hill up to Wilton or Georgetown.
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