P&EBR Workflows: Hauling Supplies

Piedmont-Standard Soapstone Company depends on its railroad, the Piedmont & East Blue Ridge, to haul the supplies necessary to do maintenance and repairs.

Supplies are picked up at the green track in Winwood and set out at the red tracks in Ariel Church, Shops, or Piedmont

The daily operation of the Company requires a wide range of repairs and maintenance. The quarries require new drill bits and cable, pipe and pumps. Trucks and cranes working at the quarry sites are in constant need of repair due to the extreme wear and tear of working with stone. Piedmont Mill requires new gangsaw blades and sand for cutting stone, as well as bandsaw blades, hydraulic fluid and pumps. And the railroad itself requires everything from lube oil to paint to railroad spikes in order to keep running.

Parts and supplies are hauled where they are needed in narrow gauge boxcars.

Supplies might be handled in regular boxcars or smaller, 4 wheel boxcars

Winwood Transfer Warehouse is where barrels of lube oil, kegs of nails and railroad spikes, buckets of paint and pitch, and cases of hardware and plumbing fixtures arrive on the C&O Railroad and are transferred to the P&EBR Railroad.

Winwood Transfer Warehouse

Supplies are forwarded from Winwood to three destinations:

Piedmont Mill is where parts necessary for the cutting and polishing of stone, and assembly of finished products are consigned. Sand, saw blades, pitch, bolts, and belts to run the machinery from overhead shafts are just a few of the many things needed at the Mill.

Piedmont Mill

Supplies needed for operation of the quarries are delivered to the Shops Platform track. At Shops, parts and supplies are stored until needed either for repair and maintenance of the railroad locomotives and rolling stock, or for a repair at a quarry site, in which case the necessary parts will either be loaded in a truck or railroad car for the trip to the quarry.

“RIP” track and platform at The Shops

While repairs and maintenance of locomotives and rolling stock are done at Shops, the supplies needed for work on the right of way itself are kept in a storage area at Ariel Church. Here is where the railroad stockpiles rail, crossties, rail joiners, and spikes.

Ariel Church “house track” and maintenance sheds

When the train crew picks up a loaded boxcar of supplies at Winwood Transfer Warehouse, they will have to check the switchlist to determine whether that car is to be set out at Piedmont Mill, the Shops Platform Track, or Ariel Church Maintenance Shed.