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Cripple Creek Engine Works structure from Menards

A two-stall engine house in O scale
RELATED TOPICS: MENARDS | O GAUGE | STRUCTURES
Cripple Creek engine house from Menards
THE CRIPPLE CREEK ENGINE WORKS

Price: $89.99 Stock no.: 279-5926 Features: Assembled and decorated locomotive shop. One run-through stall and one dead-end stall. Exterior LED illumination. Illumination requires the Menards Plug & Play 4.5V power supply nos. 279-4061, 4062, or 4050, sold separately. Order online at Menards.com/Trains.

Locomotives - steam or diesel - require regular maintenance. There have been a few locomotive back shops offered in O gauge before, but the Cripple Creek Engine Works might just be the most stylish.

OPENING THE BOX
The Cripple Creek engine works is a two-stall engine house. Accordingly it has a sizable 19 x 12-inch footprint. There is one run through stall for larger locomotive, and a terminating stall suitable for smaller switcher or light steam.

The building is ready to go right out of the package. The base is fully decorated with grass and shrubs. The building has a gray stone foundation. Both the front and rear of the shop have double doors for employee entry. Above each door is a finely done laser-cut wooden sign reading Cripple Creek Engine Works. There’s also a single door on the right end of the shop.

The front has two workers engaged in a discussion. Jack is sitting comfortably in the grass. There are also pallets, a hand truck, and three barrels stacked nearby.

What really blew me away was all of the shop windows. Boy, are they tall. They remind me of the windows of my first elementary school. They ran up close to the ceiling, and the teacher needed a long pole to open or close the transoms. The front and rear shop walls each have four similar windows. Each window has 35 panes and the top two rows open for airflow. The wall on the right side has a matching window. All are placed in adistinctive green frame.

MORE DETAIL SURPRISES
But wait, there’s more: the front and rear roof slopes each have three large 48-pane skylights. If you are laboring on a locomotive, you need all the light you can get. These might be the best windows I’ve ever seen on a maintenance building.

Otherwise, the exterior is a pleasing tan with green accents on the corners and arches. The roof is tar paper black.

The right side of the roof has two large exhaust stacks. They are a clever addition because working on operating steamers or diesels is likely to generate some dangerous emissions for your 1:48 scale workers.

In the center of the roof is a raised section, with matching tan siding and a black roof. There are two flashing red lights positioned on the peak to warn off aircraft. And frankly, if you’re flying this low, you aren’t landing, you’re crashing!

Just below the roof peak on each end, you’ll see a wheel-shaped window. The thick spokes in the frame reminded me of a locomotive drive wheel.

I was really surprised when I was holding up the building and looking inside. There are two interior support arches and each has the round window design cut into the wood.

I also have to mention a surprise greenery detail. You will find some “ivy” growing on building’s corners!

There are nearly 90 prewired LEDs to brighten the scene. These are nestled under the roof eaves for exterior illumination. The building is designed for use with the Menards Plug & Play 4.5V power supply, sold separately.

HOW DOES IT PLAY WITH ENGINES?
The arches are a scale 24 feet tall and I positioned some of my larger scale-sized steamers inside the run-through. There was sufficient clearance to pose a few worker figures on or around an engine.

The dead-end stall is perfect for a small steamer such as a 2-6-0 or diesel switcher.

Each of the stall entrances is faintly weathered to duplicate the stains from steam locomotive smoke or diesel exhaust.

The Cripple Creek Engine Works building has lots of fun detail points and it’s a very convincing short-line or branch railroad back shop.

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