East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

The G&PC Remembered - II

It is April again, and that means it is time to dig out some more photos of Dan George’s HO scale Spring Creek Lumber Company layout.

The SCL was abandoned and dismantled on April of 2005.

Chadwick and East Chadwick

This woman on the back porch is wondering why she let herself get talked into moving to Chadwick, West Virginia.

The two sections of town were separated by a backdrop and deep gulley. The built up scenes with mare’s nests of track were a scenic and operational sharp contrast to the rest of the layout.

Working these tight sidings was the responsiblity of the Town Job, The Town Job was a source of agony for the crews, and perverse delight for Dan George. This overlength Shay with permanently attached sound car was assigned to the Town Job, complicating moves that required using tail tracks.

Dan modeled the history of Chadwick. Structures reflected generations of revisions and modifications. Old shop buildings had become the storage sheds for new shop buildings. Obsolete tools and equipment were pushed into the weeds and forgotten, but were still part of the scene. Foundations and stoops of buildings long since gone lined the tracks.

The scale model workers in Chadwick, who spent long hours each day toiling away at the sawmill or tannery or kindling mill, could look forward to being jolted out of bed each night by the sound of slack running in and out of long strings of cars being switched.

The local train worked Chadwick at night, and on Dan’s layout night was dark. Pitch black and moonless. His operating crews were thankful for the invention of small LED flashlights that they clipped on the bill of their caps. The compact flashlights made it possible to rifle through a pile of car cards, read waybills, and attempt to pickup and setoff cars. The Town Job also came with a sheet of scrawled handwritten instructions that I only referred to in crisis situations.

The drying yards at the band sawmill were selectively compressed. The stacks of drying lumber were compressed completely out of the scene, with available space used only for docks and railroad spurs.

Kindling mills were such a fire hazard that none survived more than a few years. Dan scratchbuilt his mill referring to one or two old photographs.