Paper plants have tons of piping and tanks to handle the process of morphing wood into a liquid slurry so the fibres can be manipulated into paper. I’m amazed at the complexity of it all, and I really only understand the broad strokes of it.
The photos that I have of the International Paper plant on Tonawanda Island (a factory that faded into history long ago) are taken from a great distance and show only the general arrangement of buildings. I have no close shots of what the details of the piping and tanks looked like, so I’m faking it by referring to photos from other paper plants. The challenge with this approach is the fact that, like any industrial process, paper making has always been in constant evolution. I have to try to avoid anachronisms by being alert to practices that seem more modern than my era. I’ve found very few photos of paper plants from before the early ’70s, so I’m not to concerned with reproducing practices that were out of date by the early 1970s.
Here are some photos of the progress I’ve made to date on the area of the paper plant where tank cars are unloaded. One thing that I’ve noticed is that tank car unloading was a much less sophisticated process back then. Hoses were dragged along the ground and connected to the appropriate fittings the car and then the contents were pumped out. So that’s the impression I’m trying to create in this area of my layout: a dirty and cramped space where everyone has to be paying attention while trains move along at walking speed.