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Marsh Creek Lumber Company

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  • Marsh Creek Lumber Company

    New guy here...lookin for some help. I recently converted from N scale, and unfortunately, I can only squeeze a 4x8 into the basement. I'd love an around the walls shelf, but that's not possible.

    Here's the idea:

    1920-1930, Logging in Pennsylvania. I have the table mounted on casters, making it easy to push out of the way, so I am thinking of splitting it down the middle, with one side having a SMALL Mill (based on the Keystone Danby) The other side, a small town.

    By this time, most of the Hemlock in PA had been logged off. There were still operations running for pulp wood, chemical wood, hardwood, and prop timbers for the many coal mines. I'm thinking that The Marsh Creek Lumber Company was a shoestring operation logging areas previously logged off in the 1880s/90s either cutting props, or pulp wood for the paper or chemical industry, and a small mill to cut the lumber grade logs for local sale.

    I hate trackplanning. I'm not much for the canned stuff that is all track, with no room for structures and scenery, which is why I switched to be able to build and detail smaller scenes. I'm also not an operations guy, I'm perfectly content to watch a train just lazily do loops through scenes.

    Here is the first draft of the plan:

    Hoping to get some advice...


  • #2
    Might want to add passing siding/runaround on the saw mill side. Maybe put the car storage spur in the right corner to cut down on all the switch back stuff. Engine house could be in a corner too leaving more room for sawmill.

    Bill Uffelman

    Las Vegas NV


    • #3

      Welcome to the forum.

      I think Bill's idea is good. Moving the track storage to the bottom right corner makes sense.



      • #4
        Rich, Welcome aboard.

        I think the area for the sawmill and lumber storage is going to be too small. There is a small sawmill thread going on the forum, check it out, lots of good ideas there. I too, am a former N-gauger, and the biggest problem I had was getting use to the HUGE size of O gauge buildings. I got some card board boxes that were approximately the size of my buildings and placed them on the layout to get an idea of the space they will need. It was a real eye opener. You have a good start, this is the place to be for what you are planning to do.


        • #5

          Welcome aboard ....

          Track plan looks good with the minor changes suggested. The size of the buildings (Jim's comments) is what will get you in trouble. I just built a small sawmill that occupies 24" by 18".

          Scratch building will be the way to go so you can make the structures fit into the space that you can allocate to them.

          Great start ..... enjoy .....
          Tom M.


          • #6
            Welcome aboard Rich,

            I to am an ex-N scaler (you will find a lot of us here) and as Jim and Tom has already stated, getting used to the sizes of buildings in O scale is a major adjustment. As for using the Danby sawmill it is a little too small to warrant rail service so you might want to think of doing a larger operation.

            This will be a fun layout to watch develop.
            Ron Newby

            General Manager

            Clearwater Valley Railway Co.



            • #7
              Rich, welcome aboard.

              Layout planning is not one of my strong suits, but it looks like you're getting good help from the others.

              Keep us posted as you start construction and make progress.


              • #8
                Thanks for the replies guys.

                I've taken some of the advice and translated it into a couple new plans, I just have to get them up here and posted. I'm basically flipping the layout "over" so that the passing siding is on the mill side. The idea here is that the sawmill isn't the only source of revenue, and traffic on the layout...the main source of income is in prop timbers, and possibly pulpwood, or small hardwood for a chemical factory, both operations wouldn't be modeled on the layout, although it gives me opportunities to build other freight cars.

                Hopefully tonight I'll get a revised plan up.



                • #9
                  Looking forward to what you do Rich.

                  Im in the exact situation as you are at the moment. make sure to post alot of pics.

                  I will be watching closely.


                  • #10

                    I've found a way, thanks to the suggestions of others, to greatly increase the useable space for a sawmill. It would still be a very small mill compared to some of the bigger bandsaw mills in PA, but I gotta take what I can get. I still have no idea what I want to do on the other side of the layout, I might just make it a scenic deal, with maybe a trestle...who knows.

                    With this setup, the logs are unloaded into the pond off of the passing siding, and the spur is for lumber loading. I'm not planning on jumping right into this project...still have to gather materials, and make a decision about the other side, but I'm liking this as my best option so far.



                    • #11
                      Ahhh so this is why your selling the N scale... ; )

                      This is a cool little On30 logging layout:



                      • #12
                        You got it Chris...unlike you and DKS, I decided to go MUCH bigger, rather than smaller

                        That is a SUPER cool little layout...I wish I had 2 extra feet on each side I might be able to squeeze an extra foot or two on the long end. Hmmm.

                        Well, back to the drawing board...


                        • #13
                          Rich, good improvement.

                          FYI, not all sawmills had a log pond. It will take up a lot of realestate. The log ponds came about because the mills where built along rivers that were used to float the logs down from the from the logging areas to the mills. But not all logging camps had convienent access to rivers, so the logs were carted to the mills on sleds or shipped by rail. If you look around at the layouts being build here, we all have reasonably small sawmills and very few, if any, of us have a pond. The logs are railed in and dumped onto a rack. Some areas, like where I live, didn't even have rail service, so the logs were pulled out the woods on sleds, first my horses, then by steam tractors and later, by bulldozers to the nearest railroad landing, where they were loaded on to log cars.

                          The track plan looks lot better. The engine house is a little small. It would fit a Porter but not a shay, climax or 2-6-02. The sawmill imprint looks about the right size. The track plan with the different sidings should give you some operation fun, moving cars around from point to point and the thru track loop will allow you to run trains continous.

                          Keep up the good work.


                          • #14
                            I like this allot more, the only "suggestion" would be to twist the mill a little so it is not parallel with the front of the layout.
                            Sitting along side the orignal Central Pacific Rail Road.

                            Home of The Great On30 Barn Meet, that will be held May 16th 2015


                            • #15
                              Welcome to the forum Rich!

                              Your sawmill plan looks great, quite similar to my layout, only mine is a terminus. Even if you are not an operations guy, you could do quite a lot on that plan if you change your mind.

                              I will enjoy watching this progress.

                              Max (another eastern logger)