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3 "Spectacularly Realistic"
Scale Model Industrial Silo Facilities
to Make for HO, N, S, Z, or N Scale
Model Railroads


model railroad silos

model railroad silos $24.95

model railway silos $19.95

model train silos

silo scales sizes for model trains

silos scale sizing for model railways

How industrial and farm silos
will add interest and activity to

your model railroad scene... 


It is not uncommon to see several tall silos side by side in a model railroad scene, or against the backdrop. They not only add interest to a rail yard or farm, but they also provide a reason for trains to operate in that area, whether its transporting dry grain from a farm to a port or factory, or moving cement, or maybe transporting woodchips from a sawmill. 


The plans for these model railroad silos can be downloaded as PDF files, and can be saved on your computer hard drive, or USB memory stick ready for printing at any time. Multiple print-outs of the same silo design is permitted (without paying for additional downloads) - the only stipulation is the download and printouts much be exclusively for your own personal non-commercial use. Otherwise it's a serious breach of copyright. The PDFs can then be printed out on a home printer to the size you require (see chart below for guide).


silo size scale


Full instructions are included with assembly diagrams. Basically you glue the printed plans onto card (alternative materials are suggested too) and join the parts together. It is reasonably easy and fun to do. The assembled silos look amazingly life-like when built. Obviously the construction materials are not included, but they are inexpensive and easy to get (if you haven't already got them lying around the house). All buyers get a free construction tips manual to keep. Delivery of the PDFs is by download direct to your computer and is almost immediate depending on your internet speed.



scale model railroad silos $37.97

silo guarantee


What are silos used for? 


A tall silo structure can be likened to a vertical warehouse and is utilized for bulk storage of a variety of wet and dry materials ranging from: free-flowing sand, grain, pellets, soy, silage (fermented feed), coal, resin pellets, industrial plastic powders, carbon black, cement powder, recycled plastic flakes, lime, limestone, aggregates, minerals, fly ash, salt, woodchips, and sawdust, corn mash, potato starch, to various other food products. Tower silos are common as well as bag silos and bunker silos.


The bulk silos featured in these plans are for scaling to HO scale, OO gauge, N scale, Z scale, and S scale for use on model railroads. If they were full-sized real life structures the dimensions would be approximately as follows: Plan B530 - 82 foot (25 m) tall x 16 foot (5 M) wide, Plan B531 - height 72 ft (22 m) x 16 ft (5 m) width, Plan B532 - 62 ft (19 m) high x 32 ft (10 m) wide. These silo dimensions are approximate only.


From a model railroading perspective the possibilities for including farm or industrial silos on a layout are numerous. They provide a model railroader with a reason to include an industry, warehouses, a shipping port, and run a variety of car types including tank cars and hoppers. As an example; a layout could have a sand mining company that distributes fracking sand by rail to glassmakers as well as oil and gas fields.


How tall are silos and what are they made from?


Steel and concrete silos are the most common these days, but in days gone by, wooden silos were commonly used for agriculture. The problem with wood is the shorter lifespan (rotting timber), potential for insect infestation (less well sealed), bird contamination, and fire (combustible). Stainless steel silos are used for oils, fertilizer and chemicals. For safety reasons they are pressure tested, have back welded interior seams, and have leak proof fittings and valves.


Most silos on farms and at industries alongside railroads are at least 40 foot in height, with many towering to 60 foot, 80 foot, 100 foot, and in some cases even higher. In earlier times when silo towers were not as high, farmers were able to use sloped conveyors for filling.


These days, the tower height is typically higher so vertical elevator systems are used. One big advantage of height is that they take up less ground space which can be expensive to lease at ports and in industrial zones. A model railroader gets the same advantage, because being vertical; silos require less of the valuable layout real estate. In real life silo towers will have a diameter ranging from 30 foot to 300 foot.


Storage capacity varies with many silos having a liquid capacity of up to 80,000 gallons, 8 million gallons, and even 25 million gallons or more.


Grain elevators, which are basically concrete or timber silos, are used for grain storage. The grain is collected from surrounding farms and towns and stored for protection inside the grain elevator until it is transported by truck, train (or in some instances by barge) to a port for shipping, or to a factory for processing.


Silos containing cement powder, grain and woodchips can usually unload directly into lorries, railroad hoppers, and conveyors using augers (corkscrew machinery) or air slides.


Depending what is being stored a silo generally needs to be:


1. In good structural condition, and sufficiently reinforced to store the required load.


2. It will require a roof.


3. Be supported on a concrete floor, usually above the surrounding soil height, although concrete silos are often partially below ground level with floors raised above the outside earth.


4. The walls and doors will be fairly moisture tight and air tight.


5. If being used for grain storage it will have an aeration system to condition the dry grain.


6. It will have a fill-system to prevent grain damage.


7. It will have an unloading system to extract grain, sand, concrete (or whatever) from the center bottom point.


As a follow on to point #4; low oxygen silos are used to protect fermented products from decaying or developing mold. Many products require dry bulk silos to prevent damage to whatever is stored. They are only exposed to the atmosphere when initially being loaded; the tower is then sealed including the un-loader chute to prevent air getting in.


In summary; silos structures for bulk materials storage are the perfect prop to include as part of the scenery in a model railroad yard or near by an industry, port or farming scene on a layout. This is because storage structures like this are used for a variety of purposes ranging from storing silage (fermented feed) to liquids, pellets, and powders like cement or pulverised fuel ash. They look spectacular and very much at home in a model rail scene.






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