East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

December 2018

On30 Railroad that Shrinks - 2

As much as removing the Winwood shadowbox seemed like the right thing to do, I was even more determined to remove the Piedmont section of the layout from my office.




Breaking the electrical, track, and roadbed connections between Piedmont and the main body of the layout was easier than I expected.



The Piedmont section of benchwork was soon removed from the cabinets, where a section of one layout or another had been for 20 years



Next task was to remove the backdrop, also done quickly and easily.



After wall repairs and painting, my office will have a lot more space available.

The On30 Layout That Shrinks

I can remember when Kalmbach Publishing released this book:


HO Railroad that grows

The assumption being that a bigger model railroad was a better model railroad.


After working in my shop for a few years on a big project, I started getting the impression that my layout was too big. There were terminal sections in two rooms adjacent to the room the layout occupied. Operationally, extending the layout into the office and shop was a great idea, and that was how things remained for over 10 years. During that time, I saw my entire shop building's primary purpose as being to house the layout, with some space allocated for other things.

Over the last year I could not operate the layout at all, spending all my shop time constructing a display for a garden in Nelson County. When time allowed me to once again turn on the track power and run some trains, I found I had gotten out of the mood to operate, and was much more interested in building. There would be plenty to build in the train room alone. I considered deleting Winwood and Piedmont, and operated the layout as if they were gone. The truncated track plan still accommodates a reasonable amount of interesting operation, and I could have a lot more free space in my office and my shop.

Winwood no backdrop
Winwood loses its backdrop

Initially, I had been planning on making revisions to Winwood that required rebuilding the shadowbox. But when I took the old shadowbox down, I decided I liked the shop better without a Winwood shadowbox at all.


Winwood no shadowbox
Winwood loses its shadowbox

So the demolition began, and is currently in full swing.