I need to build an engine house to have a place to store the train engine and keep it out of the weather. Most trains that I’ve seen have a separate switch spur that allows the engine to roll into the house. For now, I’m going to take a simpler approach and just build the engine house on top of the main loop of the track. This way, I don’t have to add more track and build a switch. Of course, this means that the engine house will need doors at both the track entrance and exit to allow the train to roll through.
I looked on Google at a number of pictures of engine houses, trying to get a flavor of what the architecture might look like. Unfortunately, most of the pictures of engine houses are of structures that are rather plain and utilitarian. So there doesn’t seem to be a lot of latitude in how to design the structure to look “railroadish”.
I did get a few ideas, though. By incorporating these into a design, this is sort of what I have in mind for my engine house:
I’m going to make it bigger than necessary for housing the engine. That way I’ll have some storage capacity for parts and spares related to maintaining the railroad.
I initially was planning on a shed that was ten by twelve feet. But the proximity of the track to some trees that I’m unwilling to cut means that the largest I can make it will be ten by ten.
The shed floor can’t span the entire width of the house, as the track needs to be exposed inside the house. So to maximize storage capacity, I’ll have the track running along one side of the house to leave as much area as possible for the floor in the remainder of the shed. That’s why you see the track going into the side of the house instead of into the middle.
To preserve a look of symmetry, I’ll have a real door over the track entrance and exit, and a faux door on the other side of the structure that won’t be functional. And to keep it from looking too plain, I plan to have a “chicken coop” along the roof ridge. I’m sure there’s an architectural term for this, but I don’t know what it is. But I did see this feature in a number of the pictures of engine houses, so “I’ll have one of what she’s having!”.