East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Show & Tell

Last February, I attended a meeting of narrow gauge modelers for the first time since November 2017.


The primary activity of the day was to participate in an operating session on Tom Sullivan's Sheepscot & Sandy River. But everyone was supposed to bring a modeling project to show the group.

190222_01
Bryan Brown's Sierra West diorama

I brought a rendering of the track plan for my revised Piedmont - Standard layout.

190221_Trackplan

I assumed I had preconceived notions about what I was planning to do that were blinding me to possibilities that didn't fit those preconceptions. Someone else might bring those possibilities to my attention. The layout should be visually and operationally recognizable as being based on a real place, but objective verification of whether I was on the right track has to come from someone else. Having started this layout long ago, it is difficult to see beyond old conclusions I have drawn regarding what will work and how things have to be.

Prototype information is the best basis for discussing preliminary layout plans with someone else because it puts everyone on the same page. We discussed the prototype workflow involved in quarrying soapstone for dimensional stone and for talc production. All the production elements represented to scale would not fit on this or even a much larger layout. Opinions of informed peers help determine what really needs to be included.

190222_02
Tom Sullivan's On30 Sheepscot & Sandy River

Running trains on Tom's layout was a great way to end a long dry spell. I came away from the experience with renewed friendships and some good ideas for my layout design.