QN Cabin, HO Scale Kit
This is an iconic C&O Structure!
HO Laser-cut kit for QN Cabin at Quinnimont, West Virginia
This was a unique structure. It was similar to others being built at about the same time in 14 or 15 locations, mostly along the Alleghany and New River Subdivision main line. However, the one at Quinnimont was different in several ways.
Quinnimont is located at milepost 378.7 on the New River Subdivision. It is 1.3 miles from the important passenger station at Prince, where the Piney Creek Subdivision enters the main line. The Laurel Creek Subdivision ran out of Quinnimont toward the north to service mines there and the yard here was as a terminal for both the Laurel Creek and Piney Creek lines. It was constructed in a wye configuration.
The QN Cabin structure combines a C&O frame station building of the 1892 standard design with a signal tower (“cabin” in C&O terminology); the latter simply superimposed on top of the former’s roof. This served to combine two structures into one with the features of an agent and a separate operator but in the same building. It also gave the operator an extended view of the railway’s operation because of its second-story construction.
The other station/cabin combined structures used the 1880s-era octagonal cabin design, whereas the Quinnimont structure used a rectangular style when it was built in 1895, at the very same time that the octangular style was being built at other locations. Ultimately, the rectangular design cabin was adopted as a standard to replace the octagonal one for the separate cabin structures, about 1900, we think. At any rate, the Quinnimont structure seems to be unique at the time of its construction and it remained so.
The board-and-batten building had a16x16-foot waiting room and another 16x16-foot freight room. The tower (cabin) was placed exactly between these, with the agent’s office below it. A bay window was intended for use below the tower at the agent’s office (it is on the original drawing) but it was not used when built, so the structure lacked a bay window. Windows on the lower floor were double hung with eight lights. Access to the cabin was by exterior stairs. The cabin portion of the structure had long rectangular single-light windows. It also had a skirt of shingle-style cut boards and a decorative comb at the roof peak.
The structure must have been in use for only a very short time because a separate passenger station and a freight station were built not long thereafter. It was at this time that the combined station/cabin seems to have been repurposed as a yard office for the growing traffic entering and exiting the yard from the mines both on the Laurel Creek and the Piney Creek branches. The structure continued in use as a yard office even after the operator was removed from the tower portion.
In fact, the structure continued in use until the mid-1970s and was finally demolished in 1981. It was the last station/cabin combined building left at the time it was retired. Because it existed into such modern times, the railfan and modeling community adopted it as an iconic C&O building. This was especially the case since all the other combined station/tower structures had been demolished by the mid-1960s.
Because of its longevity, the modeler of almost any era can use it prototypically.