East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

November 2015

The talc operation

This section of the layout is shaping to be nothing like what I originally planned.
Backing away from initial assumptions has been a source of both anxiety and excitement. In many ways the section of the layout I call Ariel Church has become the "newest" section of the layout in my mind. The town scene initially planned would not fit, which caused me to question my ability to pre-visualize scenes. But learning from Jim Farrar about talc mineral deposits in Nelson County opened up a very interesting possibility for Ariel Church.


This is the part of the layout in question. I have been using blocks, boxes, and anything else at hand to help lay out the scene.


This concept sketch shows my ideas for the scene from about the same angle as the photograph. The fascia follows the profile of a high ridge that forms an effective view block separating the developed scene to the left from the remote, rugged scene to the right. An 18 inch gauge tram enters the scene high above the creek, crosses over the 30 inch gauge railroad, then curves hard to the left to enter a crusher and tipple scene. The tipple is over a siding that runs into a deep cut.

Working out the angle and various levels of this scene made it seem complicated, but it actually is simpler than the town scene that I assumed would go here when I planned the layout.