Change of Pace

With the signature scene of The Hills Line complete, it’s time to switch gears and model some of the industrial aspects of the industrial spur.


The portion of Iowa City south of downtown is a motley collection of commercial and light-industrial warehouses. This is a change from the IAIS Grimes Line, which I always referred to as a “suburban shortline” due to the sheer amount of green space the industrial track passed through to get to Grimes. The Hills Line, at least in Iowa City, is about as close as you’re going to get to a brick canyon in Eastern Iowa.


To start, I built the core structures at City Carton Recycling, including the receiving and tool warehouses. The prototype industry, before it burned down in 2015, was far larger that I could reasonably include on the layout. While unfortunate, I was able to focus on the rail-served portions of the complex, which helps narrow my efforts into something achievable.


Two other warehouses face the backside of City Carton north of the industrial spur. The Johnson Country Sheriff’s Department occupies the larger one; the smaller is part of MidAmerican Energy’s nearby substation. Both were easily kitbashed from Rix Products excellently-adaptable Pikestuff product line. Expect to see a lot of Pikestuff warehouses find a spot on The Hills Line.


A few evenings with an X-ACTO knife, some superglue, and maybe a sliced finger or two, and I’m ready to move on to paint and details.


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