East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Making Contact

Steve Sherrill's Shady Grove & Sherrill On30 layout | January 2006

August 7, 2004

Finally making contact with Garth Groff, author of book on Virginia soapstone and its railroads:

Subject: FW: Virginia Soapstone Railroads

Mark Chase wrote:

I am a model railroader who is interested in learning more about the
railroads that served the soapstone industry in Nelson and Albermarle
counties. I have the Alberene Soapstone and its Railroads book and the
August Thieme video of the Nelson and Albermarle. Over the years I have
committed serious trespass to photograph the inside of the mill buildings at
Schuyler, and many of the quarries at Damon, Alberene, and Piedmont. I have
hiked just about the entire grade of the old N&A railroad, and have spoken
with folks who worked for Alberene Soapstone.

I am most interested in the later history of the N&A railroad, which would
be the transition from steam to diesel. I am designing an On30 layout, and
am considering a freelanced soapstone industrial tram/narrow gauge
operations scenario.

I would appreciate any information you might be able to offer. It would be
great to get together with someone who knows something about this very
interesting industry and its rail operations.

Mark Chase