The New Woodstock LVRR depot still stands, serving as a museum for the New Woodstock Historical Society. The color scheme presently is grey-green siding with dark forest green trim.

Making a scale model of this depot was about the first thing I did for my HO-scale model railroad layout - meant to be an accurate recreation of New Woodstock and the LVRR in 1945. There were some close matches available in kit form, but as my model was to be as accurate a match as possible, I had to scratch-build it. While I could have taken dimensions directly from the standing structure, plans were published in Model Railroader in September 2002 as part of an article about the depot. Comparing their plans with photos of the actual building revealed some need to modify the plans.,

The Siding

The siding is today, and was always, what is called "novelty siding" (below, right). Several historic images confirm this, the best being the one below, from around 1930 (below, left).

Because of the way novelty siding overlaps (above, left) it creates a perfectly flat wall, as can be seen in the historic photo above where the siding abuts the trim board, unlike traditional clapboard (above, right)

Having used the correct siding, and going by the reference to "shingles" in the magazine for the roof, I thought the resulting model turned out pretty well (below).

The shingle roof was based on a mention in the MR article that while the modern depot has a metal roof, it would have "originally had a shingle roof." I loved that shingle roof, especially since it was the very first roof I had ever built for a model railroad.

But later as I examined historical photographs owned by the New Woodstock Historical Society (below) it became clear that the earlier roof was, in fact, a typical late 19th century "tin" roof (actually panels of interlocking iron sheets).

The Roofing

A common early 20th century industrial/commercial roofing was what is commonly called the "tin roof" (above, middle), which is actually made up of long iron sheets with interlocking ridges along each edge (above, right). The New Woodstock depot roof (above, left) clearly had this by the 1920s, and no doubt earlier.

While somewhat difficult to see, the same ridgelines of this type of roof are seen in an earlier c. 1900 photograph of the depot (below).

Of interest to me is that the wall of the white house facing the tracks in the distance, extreme left, is the location of the kitchen window through which I watched the trains go by as a 3-year old in 1945.

So with some reluctance, I tore off my shingle roof and re-roofed the depot correctly (see below).

I was very satisfied...until recently, when I learned that the color scheme I used was wrong. At the time I selected the colors, there were no color photos of this depot earlier than the 1980s, long after the LVRR abandoned this route. The several black and white photos available showed a building with light walls and dark trim. Someone thought it had been red at one time. So I had to make a decision, and at that time I did not have access to the resources I know now are out there.

In searching for LVRR depots in color, I located two (below). One was a modern photo of an original LVRR depot (below, left) and the other an image of the Cortland depot (below, right).

The Owego depot is yellow with brown trim and the Cortland depot is greenish-yellow with forest green trim, like the modern paint scheme at New Woodstock.

It appears to now be certain that the New Woodstock depot, along with all LVRR structures on the Cortland Branch, were painted light grey with darker grey trim, as is revealed in this 1950s photo of the depot at Cazenovia, just a couple stops north of New Woodstock on the same line.

This same depot also still exists, and has been repainted as a grey with grey-green (?) trim.

This appears to be a close match to the grey and green presently on the New Woodstock depot (below). A modern auxiliary building at left is in the grey on grey colors closer to the 1950s Cazenovia picture.

Even allowing for loss of color in the 1950s Cazenovia photo, it seems a stretch to interpret the trim as being a faded forest green instead of a darker grey. Confirmation depends on having additional color pictures or surviving LVRR buildings that have not been repainted.

As context for determining the correct color scheme for the New Woodstock depot in the 1940s, lets look at the black and white images we have, which have, over the years, become fairly numerous. Few are dated so dates are approximate.

#1: Taken c.1890? This seems to be the earliest known photo of the depot. Based on locomotive, it is late 19th century; possibly pre-LVRR? It shows the building with light walls, dark trim and no band around the base. (From NWHS collections)

#2: Taken c.1900?  Light walls, no dark wall band, and dark trim. Note the obvious "tin" roofing.  (Owner wishes to remain anonymous)
Comparison of my model to the prototype in shown above.

#3: An early 20th century view? The trim paint is pretty worn, but the trim seems to be the same color as the siding? Perhaps just the way the sun is hitting it. No dark wall band. (NWHS collections)

#4: Four views from the same photo, dated 1909. Light walls and dark trim, and although the light colors seem dark for the greys seen on the Cazenovia depot, the speeder shed in the background looks very much like that light grey and dark grey trim. (Owner wishes to remain anonymous)

#5: Taken around 1920, Here we have horizontal siding, a light wall color with a freshly painted (?) darker band around the bottom and dark trim. (From NWHS collections)
#6: Taken around 1930? Here we have a light wall color with a darker band around the bottom (fading?) and dark trim. (From NWHS collections)

#7: Dated 1937. Note power pole here, and not in the one above. Light walls, dark trim and possibly faded remains of the dark banding around the base of the walls (?). (From NWHS collections)

#8: A dated 1949 photograph showing a deteriorated light wall paint with dark trim. No dark wall band, but poor condition of paint suggestes the band faded away rather than having been repainted. Note color-coordinated LVRR outhouse in background, which I modeled. This is the closest in known date to my prototype date of 1945. (from ARHS archive)

#10: A dated 1951 photograph showing an aging light wall paint with dark trim. This is the closest color image to my prototype date of 1945. (from Mike Bednar, Lehigh Valley Facilities, Vol. 3 -Buffalo Division)

#11: Late 40s, early 50s showing same colors as the 1949 image above and also showing the outhouse again. (from NWHS collections)

#12: Dated photo taken in 1970. Here we have an aging light wall color with dark trim. The metal roof has been replaced with rolled roofing. (From NWHS collections)

#13: Dated photo taken in 1970s (?) after restoration by historical society. Here we have fresh light wall color with dark trim. (From NWHS collections)

#14: Color photo about the same age as above (1970s?). Trim appearsown but probably die to color changes in film.These are the current colors? (NWHS collections)

#15: The aerial photo from around 1980 shows a grey wall color, but not clear if the trim is grey or green. The NWHS can probably show whether this is when the depot was re-roofed and re-painted. If so, these are the current colors. (NWHS collections)
I was told that the present colors on the New Woodstock and Cazenovia depots are correct and were confirmed by sanding down the siding before it was repainted. I have posted below what seem to be the slightly different palettes for these buildings.

 The 1950s Cazenovia colors on left appear as two shades of grey; one modern image of the repainted Cazenovia depot, 2nd from left, appears to have a greenish grey siding and dark green-grey trim; another picture of the same (second from right) looks more like shades of grey; and the New Woodstock depot, far right, definitely looks like a grey-green siding and dark green trim.

Following added 2/11/12

A bookseller attached this text to an ad for Vol 2 of Mike Bednar's books on LVRR facilities:

"This is Volume Two of a three volume series on the facilities in use on the Lehigh Valley Railroad The Lehigh Valley used a standard paint scheme on their wood-frame buildings. Most were painted "medium-gray" with a dark gray, almost black trim. It's been 31 years since the Lehigh Valley passed into history, and the unfortunate part is that the buildings and facilities are fast disappearing. Hard Cover."

This suggests a darker wall color than what we might call "light grey" and seems to confirm a statement above about black trim.

The 1949 color photo of the Athens tower on page 50 of "Trackside around Sayre...." (below) seems to be in this color scheme.

If we look at an earlier black and white photo (below), we see the values of grey mimic those we see in black and white photos of the New Woodstock depot.

Note the 1949 photo above appears to show a relatively new paint job, not one worn out by wartime deferred maintenance.

Photo: Penn Haven, Pa. Junction where the mainline met the coal traffic of the Hazleton Branch. LVRR in Color-Vol 2, Robert J. Yanosey; posted online by

If this is the condition of the paint in the mid-1950s, it may be reasonable to assume this is a war-era paint job. Given the level of deterioration, it seems this color palette would appliy to New Woodstock as it was in 1945, at the end of the war but before the post-war refurbishing that seems to have started soon after.

Added 2/13.12

Comments received from two experts confirm the color scheme.

Russ Grills, retired historian with a Cazenovia State Historic Site states: "In answer to his question, the LV stations were painted a light grey body with dark gray trim. I can't tell you specific shades."

Rich Jahn, Archivist and railroad historian for the Antracite Railroads Historical Society states: "Any combination that shows a noticeable difference between the two shades of gray could be correct. The paint was not high quality and it "chalked" badly. Thus the appearance was lighter with age. When I leaned up against one of the buildings with my dark blue parka many years ago I wound up with a good-sized white (or light gray) patch on the back of the coat. Between chalking, weathering, age, etc. the exact shade could be anything. Eventually on some structures most of the paint came off leaving the dark wood color."

This comment underscore the color scheme used on the Anthracite RR Historical Society's LVRR depot model (below).

A close examination of the Penn Haven tower above appears to show a very deteriorated medium grey paint peeling away to reveal a lighter grey underneath (below).

Given what Rich said about the chalking of this paint, making it lighter with age, is the lighter grey the result of this weathering, and the newer, but still war era, paint is more a medium grey?


My objective was to determine the color scheme on the LVRR branchline depot at New Woodstock (NY) in 1945... my prototype location and my prototype year.

Most color photographs taken on the LVRR were taken in the 1960s, with a few in the 1950s. The earliest known color photograph of the New Woodstock depot was taken in the summer of 1951 (below).

From Mike Bednar, "Lehigh Valley Facilities in  Color
- Vol 3 - Buffalo Division

I tended to discount color photos taken in the 1950s, even this early, as unreliable. It was assumed that after the neglect of the war years (1941 - 1945) these buildings were refurbished. So the paint shown above could be post-war, and not reflect the color in 1945.

However, evidence is now in hand that this color photograph captures the pre-War paint scheme used on this depot, and is reliable, therefore, for my 1945 modeling project.

The key comes in comparing (below) this 1951 color photo with one taken of the same side in 1949 (courtesy of Rich Jahn, ARHS Archive). The 1949 image clearly shows a deteriorated paint job, with numerous stained and mildewed boards. There is no doubt this is a pre-War paint job, since only four years between this image and the hypotheicized repainting in 1945 or so would not be long enough for this degree of decay.

While not immediately apparent, staining is also present on the boards in the 1951 image, and careful examination shows the pattern in both images is EXACTLY the same! (See key image below)

Ironically, this staining shows more clearly in the black and white image than in the color image, but it is shown, by this evidence, that the 1951 color photo captures a paint scheme that was also there in 1949. And given the degree of deterioration in the 1949 paint job, it is virtually certain this paint predates 1945 and is probably the pre-War paint job on this depot.

In fact, at least some of these same stained boards appear in the 1937 image below, suggesting this paint job dates back into the 1920s..

That about wraps it up.....

Below is the depot, repainted.

Paint formula (made up of greys available from two local crafts stores):

SIDING: Equal parts of Americana "Slate Grey" (DA068)  and Apple Barrel "Granite Gray" (21392).
TRIM: Equal parts of Folk Art "Wrought Iron: (925) and Apple Barrel "Pewter Grey" (20580).

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