Graphic: back to OSCO IndexNicholas Kalis to build a 1:20.3 diorma of Oahu Sugar Company railroad

Oahu Sugar Company

Building a 1:20.3 diorma of Oahu Sugar Company railroad


Modeled by Nicholas Kalis and Ben Hom

Must Have Scenes

  1. Oahu Sugar Company Mill in Waipahu
  2. Engine House
  3. Bombs stored in wooden racks in a cane field
  4. XT-10 Kipapa military materiel storage tunnel
  5. Kipapa Airport – fence for the airport with airport itself painted on backdrop?
  6. Gate guarded by sentries (sentries should be seated when officers are not looking so that the static scene is more plausible). As seen on page 247 of Next Stop Honolulu!
  7. German POW camp
  8. OSCO trestle as seen in Conde book
  9. Water Tower – with Miller sound chip

  1. Arakawa´s Plantation Store – if it is plausible to have it near tracks
  2. Downtown Waipahu

Oahu Sugar Company

Layout Name: Oahu Sugar Company
Builders: Nick Kalis and Ben Hom
Prototype Modeled: Oahu Sugar Company, 36” Gauge
Era: To match commercially available locomotive; most likely possibility is WWII era for the following reasons:
[1] Most photographs are available due to published books which utilize photographs taken by servicemen/railfans stationed in Hawaii during this period
[2] WWII era would permit us to model photogenic scenes of bombs stored in sugar cane fields – as documented in photographs of the era
Season: Summer
Weather: Clear skies
Locale: Hawaii, rural areas to predominate
Theme: Sugar Cane Plantation
Scale: F Scale (1:20.3)
Gauge Type: Narrow Gauge
Gauge Dimensions: 45mm
Track: Llagas Creek Railways
Ballast: None (this is verified by photographs
Turnouts: Brand? Quantity kept to a minimum for ease of maintenance
Code: 215 (scales to 65 pounds/yard)
Tie: primer, wire brush, brown paint, wire brush, black paint, wire brush
Switch stands: Harp Switch Stand by Grant´s Pass & Pacific Railroad
Motive Power: Bachmann Porter; weathered and lettered for prototype
Rolling Stock: Scratch built
Control: Digitrax DCC from previous layout or battery powered locomotive with radio control.
Layout: Around the wall shelf
Benchwork: Sectional;
Depth variable from 8 inches to 24 inches; one portable for shows
Width: Likely six (6) feet
Number of Sections: At least three (3); final number to be determined by size of room available at next home
Benchwork height: 58 inches (previous layout was too low at 54 inches)
Platform with steps and handrails: ask Albritton regarding a source for these features
Layout Design Elements:
1. Water tank
2. Sugar mill at Kepainu
3. Storage of bombs in sugar cane field
4. Gate to storage area for bombs
Sound: Combination of Phoenix (on board) and Dreamworks (stationary)
Lighting: Concealed behind valance and at rear of scene below ground level to illuminate the backdrop from the
Backdrop: Curved, concealed by wing; minimal scenery with low horizon; height is each backdrop will have two (2) artfully disguised penetrations allowing train to move from one scene to another
Fascia: Flat, 12 inch tall
Valance: decal of scale (1:20.3) is applied on unit that is portable
Wings: 8 inch wide for each section
Skirt: Luan, painted flat black
Figures: The number of figures will be minimized since their stationary poses require too much of a suspension of disbelief; any figures chosen and utilized will only be in resting poses
Vehicles: The number of vehicles will be minimized since their stationary poses require too much of a suspension of disbelief
Scenery Ideas: Verlinden 1:35 for forced perspective; Verlinden Palm Trees (No. 0078)
Challenges: A tender must be scratchbuilt or located to model Waikane #9 0-4-0T
References: Hawaiian Railway Album WW II Photographs Gale E. Treiber
Examples of What Is Possible in Large Scale Dioramas
An excellent example of the effects I will try to achieve
My portable unit will resemble Sutton Wharf

Many of you know me as the author of a long article on Sunnyside Yard published in The Keystone. Others of you might know that I with the help to Ted Tubbesing, Ed McGill, Monroe Stewart, Ed Johnson, and Martin Denlinger, I built an HO scale model layout whose theme was Sunnyside Yard. This layout appeared in the NMRA Bulletin (date I cannot recall). My Lower Montauk Branch of the LIRR was featured on the cover of the September 2007 Railroad Model Craftsman. I have had a few prototype and modeling articles published (see below).

Nicholas Kalis

  1. “A Quick Start to Using Situation Cards for Your Layout.” Cannon Ball, Summer 1998 Vol. 28 No. 2, 4.
  2. "ABCs of Electric Railway Dates." NMRA Bulletin, May 1992, 23-24.
  3. “A Great Source of Scratchbuilding Supplies in the Potomac Division.” The Potomac Flyer, 2001 , 6.
  4. “A Great Source of Scratchbuilding Supplies in the Potomac Division.” The Potomac Flyer, 2002 , 11.
  5. "A Visit to the Suitland Archives - A modeler's Paradise." Semaphore, February 1995, 6-7.
  6. “A Whiff of the Long Island – Pennsylvania Glory, Volume 1” The Transfer, No. 20, 27.
  7. “Amtrak´s Sunnyside Yard as Seen in January 1961.” (Photo) The Observation Car, Winter 1998, 3.
  8. “An Old Friend Needs Help” Trolley Talk, May-June 2001 Issue No. 254, 14-15.
  9. “Answer and photo, 60th Anniversary Survey.” Model Railroader, February 1994, page unknown.
  10. “Arch Street Freight House Operations” Dispatcher´s Office 2002
  11. “Book review, Building the Independent Subway.” Transfer, No. 14 (April-June 1995), 36.
  12. “Book review, Long Island Railroad 1955 (sic) Calendar.” Transfer, No. 16 1995, 18. Correction published in next issue.
  13. “Building Mockups” The Potomac Flyer, November 2002-January 2003 (Winter Quarter), 3.
  14. “Feedback on Dominoes?” Layout Design Journal, Vol. Unknown, 27.
  15. “Finding the Prototype to Model Your Dream Layout in Any Scale.” The Cannonball, Vol. 28, No.3 Fall 1998, 4-5.
  16. "Getting Published in the Hobby Press." The Local, September-October 1995 Volume 50, Number 5.
  17. “Getting Started With Your Benchwork.” The Potomac Flyer, 2001, 8. Discusses Colonial Hardwoods
  18. “Getting Started With Your Sectional Benchwork.” The Potomac Flyer, 2001, 8. Discusses Ed Bjarnason
  19. “Getting Started With Your Track Plan.” The Potomac Flyer, 2001, 8.
  20. “I Built it Myself.” The Potomac Flyer, 2000, 11.
  21. “Improving the Appearance of Ready-To-Run Vehicles.” The Cannonball, 1998, 5.
  22. “Inexpensive Ballast.” The Potomac Flyer, Fall 2001, 8.
  23. "Layout Tour: Hooch Junction Railroad." Railmodel Journal, August 1992, 44-49.
  24. "Letter to the Editor." (postscript to B-1 article) Mainline Modeler, November 1994, 16.
  25. "Letter to the Editor." Lineside, Vol. XI, No. 4, 24. Poses question on Van Iderstine
  26. “LIRR Freight Sidings Along Yard A.” Lineside, Vol. XI no. 1, 5-6.
  27. "LIRR Parlor Cars in HO Scale." Semaphore, September 1995, 6.
  28. "Long Island City Float Yard" The Keystone, Vol. 26, No. 2, Summer 1993, 54-62.
  29. "Long Island City Float Yard Operations." Tug Bitts, Vol. III, No.1, page unknown.
  30. "Long Island City Float Yard." The Transfer (published by Rail/Marine Information Group) No. 10, 1994
  31. "Long Island Float Yard Operations, An Update, 5/94." The Transfer, No. 11 July - Sept. 1994, 5.
  32. "Long Island Diesels in the North Shore Yards during the 1960s." NMRA Bulletin, August 2001, page unknown.
  33. “Long Island RR Interlockings, “M” and “Bliss”.” Clear Block, Winter 200 Vol. 5, No. 2, 9.
  34. “Magazine Reviews.” The Hell Gate Connection, Volume 2, Number 3, 4.
  35. “Memories of The New York Connecting Railroad.” The Connecting, Vol. I, No. 12, 2.
  36. "Model Railroading and Baseball Cards." The Potomac Flyer, Winter 1994/95, 4.
  37. "Model Railroad Priorities." The Cannon Ball, Summer 2002 Vol. 32, No. 2, 3, 6.
  38. “Modeling Industries on the Long Island Railroad.” The Semaphore, June 2001, 6. Covers Louis Sherry.
  39. “Modeling Industries on the Long Island Railroad.” The Semaphore, June 2001, 7. Covers National Casket.
  40. "Modeling LIRR Non-Revenue Operations." MER Local, January-February 1996 Vol 51, Number 1, 4-5.
  41. "Modeling LIRR Operations." Semaphore, October 1993, 9.
  42. “Modeling LIRR Reacher Cars, The Long Island Railroad Modeler.” The Semaphore, June 2001, 5-6.
  43. "Modeling the LIRR” The Potomac Flyer, August 2002 – October 2002 Fall Quarter, 11.
  44. "Obtaining Data From ICC Railroad Valuation Records.” Semaphore, May 1995, 6. I edited this material.
  45. “Operating Sunnyside Yard in the ‘60s.” The Dispatcher´s Office, April 1997, 13.
  46. “Potomac Division Layout Tours.” The Potomac Flyer, 5.
  47. “Product Review LIRR C-Liners.” The Cannonball, Summer 1998, 4.
  48. "Protecting Your Models." MER Local, November-December 1994, 4.
  49. "Prototype Modeling Help in the Nation's Capital." 1:87 Scale (Published by Railroad Prototype Modelers), March/April 1992, 8-9.
  50. "Prototype Modeling's Overlooked Research Tool." Model Railroading, May 1993, 38.
  51. "PRR B-1 Switcher." Mainline Modeler, July 1994, 25-29.
  52. “Replicating Scenes and Jobs from the 60s – Long Island Railroad in HO.” Layout Design Journal, Winter 2000, LDJ-23, 18.
  53. “Review New York City Subways Calendar 1998.” Transfer, No. 22, 31.
  54. "Schaefer Creek Coal Company", N-Scale November/ December 1991, pp.41-42.
  55. “Selecting and Installing Caboose Ground Throws.” The Potomac Flyer , February 2002 –April 2002, Spring Quarter, 4.
  56. “September Swap Meet Goes Well But Underattended.” The Potomac Flyer, Nov 1999 – Jan 2000, Fall Quarter, 1.
  57. "Sunnyside: The World´s Greatest Passenger Railroad Yards. " Keystone, Vol. 29, No. 1, Spring 1996, 15-62.
  58. “Sunnyside Yard in HO Scale.” Rail Model Journal, July 1998, 26-37.
  59. “The Lighter Side.” The Potomac Flyer February 2002 –April 2002, Spring Quarter, 3.
  60. “The Search for Pliobond.” The Potomac Flyer, Spring? 2001, 8.
  61. “The Trolley to Welfare Island.” NMRA The Local, September – October 1998, 5.
  62. “Thoughts on the Popular Keller Videos.” NMRA The Local, November – December 2002, 14.
  63. “Tip, "MR Workshop." Model Railroader, November 1991, page unknown.
  64. "Trucks of New York's Long Island Railroad." Wheels of Time, Vol. 16, No. 5 September/October 1995, 28-29.
  65. "Trucks of the Long Island Rail Road." Semaphore, January 1996, 6.
  66. “Urban Rail Fan.” (Letter to the Editor) Model Railroader, July 1998, 10.
  67. “Your Top Tips.” The Cannonball, Summer 1998, 4.
  68. “The Worst Model Contest.” The Potomac Flyer Fall 2004 page 5
  69. Book Review – LIRR 1925-1975 by Lynch and Keller RMC October 2004

Articles accepted for publication

  1. “A Quick and Easy Fascia Holster for Your DCC Throttle.” The Potomac Flyer
  2. “A Step in the Right Direction.” The Potomac Flyer
  3. “Book Review of Iain Rice.” The Potomac Flyer
  4. “Car 601.” The Street Railway Reporter
  5. “Getting Started With Your Layout Room.” Discussion of Barzdukas and Blevins The Potomac Flyer
  6. "LIRR MOW Products." The Semaphore
  7. “LIRR Vehicles.” Keystone expected 2002
  8. “Modeling the LIRR.” with Photos The Cannonball
  9. “Modeling Waterfront Scenes with Envirotex.” The Potomac Flyer
  10. “What´s Stopping You From Building Your Layout?” The Potomac Flyer
  11. “Getting Started With Your Backdrop.” The Potomac Flyer
  12. “Painting Structures in Proper LIRR Colors.” The Semaphore
  13. “The Lifetime Layout.” Layout Design Journal
  14. “Long Island Railroad (LIRR) Photographic Archives.” The Semaphore
  15. “Prototype Track/Industry Maps as A Design Resource.” Layout Design Journal
  16. “Modeling Yard A – A Reference Photo.” The Semaphore
  17. “Installing Caboose Ground Throws” The Potomac Flyer Discussion of wood screws

Oahu Sugar Company, Waipahu


  • 1849 – German ship captain Heinrich Hackfeld docked his boat in Hawaii
  • 1894 - Benjamin F. Dillingham founds Oahu Sugar Company on 20 acres of lands leased from James Campbell in the vicinity of Waipahu; elevation 10 feet Waipio Peninsula to 700 feet at Waiahole Ditch;
  • 94% of land used for cane was leased. H. Hackfeld & Co. served as factors since its inception
  • 1897 – Oahu Sugar Company incorporated; its Board of Directors named the sugar mill site to be at Waipahu
  • 1897 - First locomotive Waipahu arrived
  • 1897 – A. Ahrens becomes first manager
  • 1899 – First sugar cane of OSC harvested
  • 1900 – Sugar mill appears in photograph with 170-foot high smokestack (originally 225 feet tall); one of two, one was demolished in 1970
  • 1900 – Portable Track cars acquired
  • 1900 - Second and third locomotives Waikele and Waiawa respectively arrive
  • 1908 - Fourth locomotive Waikane arrives in January Fifth Waikakalaua arrives in June
  • 1910 – Field 19 Water Tower Acquired
  • 1912 – First plantation to install a 12 roller mill
  • 1913 – Construction started on water tunnels
  • 1916 - Tunnel brings millions of gallons of water from Windward Coast
  • 1917 – US Navy requisitioned Ford Island
  • 1917 – Rearrangement and enlargement of mill yard to provide sufficient track space for increased number of can cars required when operating two mills simultaneously.
  • 1917 - Sixth locomotive, Koalipea (0-6-0T) arrives
  • 1920s – New cane cars being added to keep up with increasing sugar production
  • 1920 – 45-lb rails imported to replace lighter rails
  • 1920 – Japanese strike in Oahu
  • 1921 – Oil Tank Car acquired (retired 1951)
  • 1921 - New shop building constructed “with facilities to overhaul locomotives and steam plows”
  • 1922 – Waiawa cut-off built
  • 1924 - Seventh and final locomotive Hoaeae (No. 8) arrives
  • 1924 – Field Superintendent Hans L'Orange convinced the company to give up several acres of cane field to create the Oahu Sugar Co. Field as a recreation area for Oahu Sugar Co. workers.
  • 1925 – Railroad signal acquired
  • 1925 – Population of plantation ranged between 9,500 – 10,000 people with 2,850 on payroll
  • 1926 – Mud Press Cars [Mud Press is juice sediment often used on the cane fields for fertilizer] and Gregg Flat Cars acquired
  • 1927 – Grade crossing eliminated at Government Road by which railroad crossed below the road; concrete bridge went over the cut
  • 1930s – OSC provided garbage collection, street cleaning and sewage disposal
  • 1931 – 984 cars total and one mile of permanent flume; mules and tractors haul cars over the portable tracks
  • 1936 – Grab loading method of filling rail car appears in photograph dated that year
  • 1937 – Hans L´Orange becomes manager
  • 1938 – Weed Burn car acquired
  • 1939 - Railway reaches 60 miles of three-foot gauge track plus unspecified amount of portable track on which operated 939 plantation cars (860 four-ton cane cars, fifty flat cars, and 29 other cars
  • World War II - around Waipahu alone over 2,800 acres commandeered from Oahu Sugar for POW Camp for German prisoners, airport assembly and staging areas for barges, pontoons, and landing craft and Bobs and munitions were stored in cane fields and tunnels.
  • 1944 - (April) Kipapa Airport operational
  • 1944 – Ammunition trains run
  • 1946 – Low trestle on Oahu Sugar Company tracks appears in photograph of that year
  • 1946 – Oahu Sugar began using large cane trucks
  • 1947 – OR&L abandoned its main line at the end of this year
  • 1947 - Oahu Sugar Company absorbed Honolulu Plantation Company
  • Late 1950 - Railway system eliminated
  • 1970 - Oahu Sugar acquired much of the land of closed Ewa Plantation
  • 1994 - Operations ended in anticipation of end in 1996 of agricultural leases

Prepared by Nicholas Kalis Revised July 5 2008

Photo orange hibiscus

Copyright Judy Vorfeld.
Any reproduction or editing by any means mechanical or electronic
without the express written permission of the copyright holder is strictly prohibited