East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Blue Ridge Mountains

Logging Railroad in the Blue Ridge

Last March, I attended a tour of old logging railroad grades led by Aubrey Wiley and the Blue Ridge Chapter of the NRHS.

This narrow gauge Climax cab is on display near the sawmill site of South River Lumber Company. SRLC once had an extensive network of lines in the mountains of eastern Rockbridge and western Amherst counties. The mainline left the company town of Cornwall and followed Irish Creek up into the Blue Ridge.

A short section of the grade is restored along the Blue Ridge Parkway at Yankee Horse Ridge.

The old grades wind around the hollers and along the ridges above Pedlar River and Statons Creek.

Blue Ridge Scenic Inspiration

My P&EBR layout is set in the Piedmont foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.

Soapstone deposits are in a narrow ribbon running northeast to southwest, with the Blue Ridge rising on the western horizon.

The scenery makes for very enjoyable daytrips along winding back roads.

Having adopted this setting for my model railroad has increased the layout’s “justification,” as it makes the layout an even more effective recreational pursuit.

It is not particularly easy to model this type of scenery, but the reward is an environment in which it is always a cool, clear autumn day in the Blue Ridge Mountains.