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Building the Piedmont -and- East Blue Ridge Railroad

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  • Building the Piedmont -and- East Blue Ridge Railroad

    My previous thread on construction of my layout is

    which reported on my experiences hand laying track. I love hand laying track ... almost as much as I love having it all done! [:-bouncy]

    This new thread will cover all aspects of construction of the P&EBR going forward from completion of track and track power.

    The Piedmont & East Blue Ridge is a freelanced industrial line in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Prototype inspiration provided by the Nelson & Albemarle. Time frame is about 1945-1955. The railroad's reason for being is to move soapstone from quarry to mill for its parent company, Piedmont-Standard Soapstone Corporation.

    The layout occupies a 12 by 14 foot room, punching through walls onto shelves in 2 adjoining rooms. Minimum radius is about 24 inches. DCC by Digitrax.

    Let's run some trains!

    Mark Chase

    Richmond VA

  • #2
    This should be fun to watch.
    Follow along as my dog and I travel the country in our van.
    FaceBook link:


    • #3
      If your trackwork and backscenes are anything to go by, this is going to be a railroad to be proud of.

      I look forward to watching you progress.

      By the way, what is that little saddle tank loco I see in some of your photos? Is it an 0-6-0? I've been looking for a little loco for my line and that looks good.
      Evan Gardner

      Christchurch, New Zealand


      • #4

        Look forward to this new thread. Really enjoyed following your progress on the last one.



        • #5

          Originally posted by evangardner

          By the way, what is that little saddle tank loco I see in some of your photos? Is it an 0-6-0? I've been looking for a little loco for my line and that looks good.


          Thanks for the comments.

          Check out:

          But hurry ... supplies are limited



          • #6
            After attending two very fun operating sessions over the weekend, I was itching to get the P&EBR running under some sort of car forwarding system. The systems used by the hosts of the two op sessions I attended were very different, each had its strong points. After a long discussion of car cards, waybills, switch lists, and train orders with Brian Bond, I sat down and designed a spread sheet of possible car requests, with attendant car cards and waybills. These were the basics I needed to impart some sense of purpose to running trains. A random number generator picked the first 4 requests for cars, and the P&EBR was in business! [:-propeller]

            The first revenue train on the East Blue Ridge left Winwood with a string of boxcars. Here it is at Glade Junction, northbound past the Meridian quarry.

            The first setout was at the Dust Mill yard track. (Note to self: do a better job of blocking cars :erm: )

            At the top of the grade, the train crosses Cedar Creek and passes the small town of Ariel Church.

            The train is dropped on the Shops Yard track, and the crew moves the teakettle to the ash pit, terminating their run. I then turned the waybills in the car cards to reveal the next move for each car.

            The next crew rolls out of the engine track and couples up to the boxcars on the yard track.

            They pull the cars out of the yard and on up the line.

            The boxcars are set out at the Piedmont Mill track, soon to be loaded with crates of world famous "Nelsonite" fixtures and appliances.

            The little Davenport then ran light all the way to the Dust Mill to spot the remaining boxcar at the loading dock. This car will be loaded with bags of talc.

            The work was completed without incident, and I got through it with just a few issues that must be dealt with as soon as possible:

            Mark Chase

            Richmond VA


            • #7
              Mark --

              Kudos on reaching "the next stage" ... it's already a pleasure watching your layout develop, and obviously much more of that to come. Terrific!


              Chambers Gas & Oil -- structure build

              Quality craftsmanship with a sense of humor! []


              • #8
                Thanks, Dallas

                I am looking forward to breaking into the shipment of BVM goodies I received a few months back. I have Verne Niner's boxcar to use as a guide for building several more.



                • #9
                  Looking good Mark.

                  I admire your trackwork and really like your concept and track plan so i'm looking forward to seeing how the scenery works out.

                  Built a waterfront HO layout in Ireland but now making a start in On30 in Australia


                  • #10
                    Mark, I enjoyed following along on your past thread and am looking forward to seeing your work here. I like your track plan. It will give you plenty of operation challenges.


                    • #11
                      Looks really good Mark! For me, the only thing better than building something is watching it come to life, and that's just what you've done - brought it to life.


                      • #12
                        May the Piedmont and East Blue Ridge run long and's great to see your progress, Mark! This next thread will be another fascinating journey as we observe your railroad coming to life.


                        • #13
                          Hey Mark, your first operating sesion has got too be great watching your dream evolve.



                          • #14
                            I love your plan, Mark. That should be a fine and interesting layout, with lots of nice spots.


                            • #15
                              Thanks for all the comments and well wishes.

                              Getting a car forwarding system in place and giving some structure to running trains has been a primary inspiration for the construction of the layout. An operation oriented layout has to run consistently and reliably. Without that goal, track laying could have gone quicker, but the wrecking ball would probably have come quicker also.

                              Thanks again,

                              Mark Chase

                              Richmond VA