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Imperialist Guano Industries

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:51 am
by joe gilmartin
Merry Christmas to all
My Christmas present to myself arrived today and now I can
start something that just happened (like I need another project)


When Gnine came about I thought how cute little trains for little trains
but not something I was interested in
But like many others it kept rolling around up in the space between my ear's
until it crashed headlong in to a plan and some other ideas up there
I digress....

Dearest Alwin.....
Hope all goes well with you just a short note to let you know about a new venture down here on the Coast
and to inquire about the possibility of a advance on next years disbursement

As you know now that the War is over people all over the world are getting back to a more normal life Raising family's,returning to work and everyday pleasures such as Gardening

Guano a important ingredient in fertilizer, is abundant here ..the cliffs above the ocean are filled with nesting seabirds .... and even we here in the backwater of Honduras know not to just steal eggs and feathers from them (I mean it's 1949)
The problem has always been transporting the sh... droppings to the Port
to far and rugged to pack or carry, economically non viable ...

Several months ago I saw in a old copy of Life Magazine a small railway in an amusement park we all had a laugh at it but then someone said "I bet you could lay tracks that small up to the Cliffs" and a idea's started being offered up
"A switchback up to the point"
"transfer to the MCTL at Hookers on the river"
Well arguing went on but finally we agreed,Old catalog's were perused
planning commenced and orders sent
Tractors from S Bennett ,wagons also, used skips from K&B
and rail and sleepers from scrappers
After the inevitable wait for the freighter to arrive
Crates were unloaded and work commenced and last some of the track work has arrived which means the plate layers can stop causing trouble
with the Mechanics
Here are some photos of the progress they've made

Ivor (Design stolen from S.Bennett)

Ivor & Idris

We've named them Idris & Ivor and for some reason little cartoons have appeared on shop walls (must clean off that rubbish)
None the less much work remains
Skips to re-gauge ,wagons to build,complete the loco's paint scheme,
grade the route ,build a platform and most likely a trestle

Sorry for being so long winded but I wanted to show you why the advance is important
Must go.. the Shop has fallen silent (not a good sign)

Your faithfully
Jos Gilmartin

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:52 am
by underworld
Awesome find on the AHM Minitrains crossing!!! Those things in original packaging are crazy rare these days....don't throw away the card!!! Awesome work on the guano locos!!!!! :mrgreen:



Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:59 am
by joe gilmartin
Hi Underworld...
I actually won the auction for two
so I have one in the pkg.. and one not
will save the complete one as momento ........unless
I need it of course


Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:34 am
by teetrix
Great story! "There is no other chance as such a tiny thing..." And nice work on the locos! Which chassis you will use for the locos?

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:49 am
by Steve Bennett
Like the story Joe, works well to fit in both gauges.

Loco's look pretty good too :wink:


Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:20 pm
by joe gilmartin
Dearest Alwin.....
Just a short note to Update you on some small amount of progress made..
The land at Hookers on the River has been purchased (from the H. Depot family)....
and a survey for the proposed interchange between the IGI and MCTL
has been carried out
Please find the inclosed photos for your review...



Work will commence (depending upon the advance spoken of earlier)
directly. As you are well aware this is the rainy season and we do expect some few setbacks but we will better gauge the height of the River now
Again timeliness is urged..

Yours Faithfully
Jos Gilmartin

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:23 pm
by underworld
Looks like a great track plan! I've noticed the H. Depot family has much land in pink and also in blue. I understand those lands are rich in styrofoam deposits. That could prove to be a lucrative secondary mining operation for you!!! :wink:


Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:04 am
by JT Previa

Very cool crossing find. Have you determined to have any gates or an SR&RL ball signal to protect it yet? Great story and locos too, you're working fast!

Hookers Tarpon lodge

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:31 pm
by joe gilmartin
Hookers Tarpon Lodge
Moskito Coast ,Honduras

My Dear Chloe
After a laborious trip up the River by boat we've arrived at the
the Lodge for some fishing
It appears there is a great amount of work being done, it no longer is the sleepy collection of small shacks surrounding the quaint Lodge as before
The Railway has discovered some resource and are installing not only trackage to exploit it but extending the Coast line to carry it back to
the Port
I've sent some photo's for your pleasure




The locals seem to be working very hard and producing results
quickly (suprisingly)
The good point is possibly next year the work will be finished and it
mean a train journey to the Lodge
We will see you soon wish me good fishing

All my love to you

forwarded by
Jos Gilmartin


Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:28 pm
by joe gilmartin
To Whom it may Concern..

Took a dugout up to Hookers on the weekend
to check on what ever progress had been made...
(after organizing a crew at the Shop to fit out
one of our old Loco frames into some semblance
of a crane for the 9" line)
Was very Glad to discover much effort has gone into the earthwork
and the area appears to be suitable for platelaying...



Which will begin..... as soon as the crane is completed
I the meantime material can be shipped upriver to
facilitate speed

Yours Truly
Jos Gilmartin


Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:28 pm
by joe gilmartin
Dear Alwin......

I am sending you photo's of the progress made over the Holiday in
hopes that you will feel compelled to release some more of my allotment
Knowing that you have been a friend of the Family besides Mother's solicitor
for these many years please do not let previous experience color your
decision on the andvance

Track laid


factory transfer platform & Engine house


Tipper dock


Hookers Tarpon Lodge


Overall view


As you can well see work is continuing at s feverish pace (no pun intended)
Please review my proposal once again
if the advance does not arrive we will be in dire straights

Jos Gilmartin

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:11 pm
by Willow Creek Traction
Had no idea such a crossing was ever made.
That's going to be quite a layout.
With a "living history" 8)

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:40 pm
by Trevor Coburn
Forest, mixed gauge crossings were quite common, heres one I made earlier!
Though I'm not sure about narrow gauges crossing. But I expect someone will come up with one.
Sorry for the hijack Joe!

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:31 am
by rockershovel
no pictures, but I have seen 60cm gauge lines crossing 3ft 6in ( Cape Gauge ) in Angola - the 60cm gauge served a sugar refinery in the Catumbela area

Loco in background

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:10 am
by Mike Lee

Nice looking layout, coming along well :)

Going off at a tangent a bit :wink: On your original post, Sun Dec 27, there is a loco with an open frame bonnet in the background on the Ivor + Idris photo :arrow: Have you got any more photos + details on the loco please :?:

Regards Mike Lee


Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:44 pm
by joe gilmartin
Thank you I'm just working along
The Loco in the background is a yet unfinished Tom Yorke kit
Maule #1




stiil have aome work to do
It will be the "Big" motive power on the Moskito Coast Transfer Line

Les built a beautiful version and Scott B scrathbuilt a version you can see here

(can't figure out how to make the link work....any help?)
Thanks Simon!!

thanks for looking

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:32 pm
by Cross Kitter
Hi Joe,

The link isn't working because you have the out tag before the in tag :shock:

What I mean is you need the [url]before the link and the[/url] after the link and then you will get a link

Maule #1

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:58 pm
by Mike Lee

Thanks for the info, I have come across this kit before just did'nt recogmise it :!: Just wish I had bought one at the time :( I think Tom had a few others at the time, Gnute and an 18T??? :?:

Regards Mike Lee


Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:02 pm
by joe gilmartin
Mike ...
I've found Tom does some wonderful kits ...but you must order
right away because they are very limited production runs ..and go for astronomical price on the secondary market

I never got Gnute allthouh I have the flieshman drive train
I had his brookeville (now Richard's)
but i do have the Maule and his Smallspoor conversion for the Davenport




He also produced some small flat cars in steel and wood
I some of each

Steel deck

With Yorke tank




nice easy fast will do 2 more with wood decks
and the wood framed wagon will be a tool car

There was also a boxcar/shed that Iwill use as a weighbridge hut
on the IGI



MY story and railway take place in Honduras along the coast post WW2
so I get to use both British and American outline Equipment

thanks for your interest


Save me!

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:02 pm
by joe gilmartin
Hello All.....
special thanks to Andy G...
because of him this is where I am!


really things are going well with the wiring as I move along

J Gilmartin

Re: Imperialist Guano Industries

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:26 pm
by southpier
any updates for this layout?

didn't want you to think we'd forgotten!

Re: Imperialist Guano Industries

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:36 pm
by southpier
i'm taking this as a "no"