Rail – Marine Series
New - January 17, 2014
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An Introduction to the Series
The Covered Barge was the Rail-Marine equivalent of the Railroad Boxcar. Many of the United States' "Eastern" Railroads maintained huge "Railroad Navies". The NYC, PRR, LV, CNJ, Erie, DL&W, NH and others all had a variety of craft on their rosters, everything from Railroad Harbor Tugboats, to Stick Lighters, Scows, Floating Livestock "Yards" , Station Floats, Car Floats and Ferries. There were even Floating Grain Elevators, which to the inexperienced are some of the most ungainly water craft imaginable.
Many of these barges roamed the Northern East Coast, from Maine, southward to the Carolinas, all carrying Railroad Freight. Large concentrations of activity could be found in Portland, Maine and Philadelphia, with the biggest operation centered around New York City. Railroad Tugs pushed, pulled and maneuvered all these craft from the piers of New York and New Jersey, and up the Hudson River. The historical records of tonnage moved by the Rail-Marine craft are astonishing. In most cases, this "tonnage" was called "lighterage" by the rail-marine folks. Lighterage was, simply put, just about anything the railroad navies hauled from one freight dock to another. Many times Barges and Stick Lighters were tied up alongside ocean going ships in order to load the lighterage on board, often, as the ship was imminently ready to sail. Freight was transported this way from the late 1800s up until the 1960s.
The "Inspiration" for our line of Rail-Marine Kits was a two part article, written by Don Spiro, that appeared in the December, 2002 and January, 2003 issues of Railroad Model Craftsman. For any model railroader who is not aware of the aspects of Rail-Marine operation, an incredible surprise awaits them as there was an interesting variety of equipment used, not to mention the interaction between railroad navies and their respective land based counterparts. For those who already know the "treasures" of this fascinating world, we at AMB hope to provide you with the largest variety of high quality Rail-Marine models to be produced. We also hope that our kits will find their way to the workbenches of the "uninitiated" modelers and that they, too, will discover the Rail-Marine World.
For additional information on barges, click here.
HO Scale Kit No.
#8000 Bump End Barge
Our first kit in this HO scale series, #8000, is considered to be a "typical" Covered Barge. Almost all of the Rail-Marine craft had a "Captain's Cabin", usually located at the Stern of the craft. This Cabin was often nothing more than a small room with a stove, small cupboard and a piece of furniture that resembled a bed. There were Captains, however, that apparently did have their wife and children reside on-board. Some Barges had the Cabin built into the main "house"; others had the Cabins on the barge's roof, while this type of barge's Cabin projected out from the Stern end of the house. Some folks referred to this configuration as a "Bump End" barge. Our kit features quality laser-cut wood parts that utilize our proven Tab & Slot and Peel & Stick construction techniques. The 15-inch long marine craft is fitted with a waterline hull, custom scribed plywood deck, and basswood superstructure with open interior. Numerous resin and white metal detail parts are also included as are sliding shutters on the cabin windows, positional freight doors, and opening rooftop loading hatches. A twenty page, fully illustrated instruction booklet accompanies the kit offering a step-by-step guide for assembling and finishing the Bump End Barge. Available today at your local LASERKIT© Dealer.
Kit #8001 New York Central Harbor Barge
Kit #8001 is just one type of New York Central Railroad Covered Barge. It has a captain's cabin located at the stern of the craft. This cabin was often nothing more than a small room with a stove, small cupboard, and a piece of furniture that resembled a bed. There were captains, however, that apparently did have their families reside on-board as well. Our latest addition to the Rail-Marine Series features 100% laser-cut materials, uses Tab & Slot and Peel & Stick technology for ease of assembly, and includes cast resin and white metal detail parts. As per the prototype, this HO scale barge's water line hull displays both sheer and camber as well as laser-scribed plywood decking. For those modelers who wish to decorate their barge as an authentic New York Central harbor craft, custom NYC decals are also being produced for separate sale direct from the manufacturer (SEE THE LINK BELOW). The assembled model measures 14" long x 4.25" wide x 3" tall.
NYC Harbor Barge Decal SetHO Kit No. #8002 Deck Scow
HO Kit No. 8003 Cabin Scow
The Rail-Marine line continues to grow with this latest offering of a typical Cabin Scow. The Cabin Scow was the Rail-Marine equivalent of the Railroad Flatcar. Kit #8003 features a “captain’s cabin” built on-deck with a large wooden bulkhead constructed in front of the cabin, which protected the prototype’s superstructure and its occupants from the dangers of shifting loads. Additionally, this kit’s waterline hull has both realistic camber and sheer, as did most of the prototype barges and scows. Camber is the upward curve that runs across the deck (side to side) while sheer is the long, graceful curve that is, at its lowest point, at the middle of the deck. The sheer runs the length of the barge/scow. The laser-cut kit, which measures about 15 inches long, also includes custom scribed wood decking, both Tab & Slot and Peel & Stick construction, and numerous cast resin detail parts.