East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Site Prep

Fascia Mockup

Eventually blocks were added to all the joists to support the fascia. Along the front of the Ariel Church and Horse Mountain sections of the layout, I approximated the height of the fascia at each joist and cut posts for each location.


I attached the posts to the joists temporarily, and tiled together a large piece of cardstock to create a pattern for the fascia.


Everything was taped and thumb tacked together in a flimsy fashion.


I sketched a profile line along the cardstock and trimmed it out. Then left it like that for a while to look at it over time.


The more I looked at the fascia mockup, the less I liked the places where it rose up high.


Over time I trimmed the peaks down lower and lower until I was happy with the profile.

Thinking about the Fascia

The 18 inch gauge tram for the talc dump crosses over the 30 inch gauge line. I felt like the time had come to get serious about the fascia.

My plan for the fascia is for it to be constantly curving, with the top edge constantly rising or dropping with the profile of the foreground scenery.

Way back when I built the benchwork for the layout, I cut the joists to the length I estimated necessary to support the fascia, at an angle approximating the angle of the fascia at that point.


A butt joint connection to the end of a 1 by 4 joist was not going to provide adequate support for the fascia, but that was not a problem I had to deal with back then. Now the time had come to deal with it. I decided to add small blocks to the top and bottom of each joist to turn them into I-beams with more surface area for making a connection.


Adding blocks to each joist was a severe test for my clamp inventory. But now the joists provide better connection points for firring strip posts that will in turn support the fascia.

precut blocks wait for clamps to be freed up so they can be attached to joists

Planning for Talc - 2

One thing is leading to another around the talc dump. I felt like I needed to have a better idea of the arrangement of the buildings before proceeding with the scenery.


Since many of the talc dump buildings were to be connected by the On18 tram, I built a section of right of way. Since the tram will not actually run, all track components including the roadbed itself are styrene. I used Grandt Line 18 inch sectional mining track as a guide for gauge, crosstie placement and length.


Using sheet styrene for roadbed will allow the tram tracks to undulate along the uneven surface of the ground at the dump site.


I mocked up a suitable arrangement of buildings for the scene.


With the arrangement of the buildings determined, I was comfortable with the idea of continuing with base scenery to the left of the talc dump.


Rather than use Gypsolite to cover the plaster cloth on this hill, I tried Fusion Fiber. I found it to be very easy to use with easy cleanup. The ground surface is not as brittle or prone to cracking.