East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

An Idea for Ariel Church

A problem I have made for myself by building a layout that goes from room to room to room is dealing scenically with holes in the walls. Track passes through four holes, requiring eight solutions for the same problem of making the holes as inconspicuous as possible.


The long hidden track connecting Piedmont Mill to Ariel Church passes through a hole in the wall. Initially I planned to run the track through a tunnel under a ridge along the wall. But I really did not want a long stretch of inaccessible track to worry about. Quizzing fellow modelers on how to keep hidden track clean did not put my fears to rest.

It occurred to me that it really was not necessary for the hidden track to be completely inaccessible. The back profile board for the scenery could just hop over from the back to the front of the hidden track. Though hidden, the track would still be vaguely accessible from directly above. Even though access would be difficult, being able to possibly reach the track for cleaning or clearing derailments made me much more comfortable with the whole arrangement.


I decided to mock up a back profile board that crossed in front of the hidden track at Ariel Church.


I taped together large sheets of scrap cardstock and placed them on the layout where the new back profile would go from behind Shops around the corner to Ariel Church.


I drew a ridgeline on the cardstock that complimented the height and shape of the scenery coming into Ariel Church from the right. I took the cardstock down, cut it to the ridge line, then reinstalled it. It looked like it would be feasible to hide the break in the back profile where the track ran through it. Also, the mockup did not seem to appreciably reduce the apparent size of the layout or the amount of space available for scenery and structures.


I threw together a quick mockup of a possible scene for the point where the hidden track transitions from the front to the back of the scenery. A tipple here would definitely work, but trees and underbrush alone may be all that is needed to disguise the transition.