GLW heraldPCMRC graphic

Rockford water tower

Water tower


Buildings & Other Structures for the GLW

Buildings and other model railroad constructions are called structures.  Many modelers find building structures to be the most satisfying part of the hobby.   Structures can be from kits, kit bashed (combining part of several kits), or free lanced from aLoew's Movie Houseny variety of materials.  Some modelers enjoy assembling wooden buildings stick by stick, while others build in styrene, plaster, metal and even cardboard.

The Great Lakes Western RR offers many opportunities to build structures.   We have an entire layout waiting to be populated.

How to Get Involved.  Scan the list of structures for each town.   Find one that is not spoken for and then volunteer to build it.  We ask only that you discuss it with the railroad superintendent to get his OK and make sure that the webmaster knows to assign that structure to you.  Of course we are looking for good craftsmanship so reserve the right to not place inadequate buildings on the layout.  But there are plenty of club members with the talent to help out if you get in trouble, or even "enhance" a project.  Good weathering can do wonders.

Structure Lists.  The GLW town pages on this website list all structures (click here to see the route map).  These buildings are also referenced in the PCMRC "Holy Book" in much more details with references to kit structures from the Walter's catalog and prices.  There's even a picture of each structure.

Have Other Ideas?  Nothing is absolutely fixed in "cement" on the GLW so discuss your idea with other club members and the GLW Superintendent.  Just remember that lots of thought has been done on the current design in terms of size, track design, and position of buildings.  Also as an "operational pike" the GLW needs to have many businesses and industries that generate and receive carloads of freight.

Naming Rights.  It's an established policy that those who build an industry get some say in the naming of that company.  But name changes may not happen overnight since we will be tying waybills to individual sources and destinations.  Changing them takes time.  The Chief Dispatcher has the final say in industry names.  Talk to him.

Walthers buildingSome Fine Print.  PCMRC owns some structures on the layout and others are on loan from their builders. 

Currently there are a few "club or member owned" unassembled kits in storage that are waiting for someone to build.  The idea is for members to buy these from the club and build them for the pike.  PCMRC bought them only because they were likely to become unavailable in the future when they would actually be needed.

Damage can occur to structures on the layout.  It's like an "act of God" in the real world.  We don't hold anyone responsible and the solution is to simply to make repairs.  Over time worn and tired structures will be replaced by newer models.

Structure Era -- The Great Lakes Western is set in the the Chicago area, circa 1960.  All structures have to be prototypical for that era and cultural setting.  That covers a wide range of styles because 100-year old buildings are not uncommon.   However, it does eliminate the ultra modern, the extremely European, western frontier, and other distinctly "out of character" structures.