East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Shady Grove & Sherrill - II

Ted and I took a long look at Steve Sherrill’s layout at the West Virginia Mini Meet.

Ted had not seen the layout before. He brought a lot of details to my attention that I lost track of over my visits.

Steve’s layout impresses me for several reasons. Back when I was regularly driving around on the backroads of West Virginia to see the sights, I would stop in small towns like Philippi, Belington, or Lewisburg, looking for things that tied the town to the setting. If, on one of my trips, I had driven down an alley behind a block of old warehouses and stumbled upon a small narrow gauge railroad yard crammed in between old industrial buildings, I would have had a heart attack and happily died on the spot.

The SG&S is that Holy Grail found, or at least a model of it.

The layout does an excellent job of depicting a small rail operation that follows an improbable route along creeks and rushing rivers to connect small lumber and mining operations to the outside world.

The layout has an overall look that consistently reflects the setting and operational concept.

It is an excellent portrayal of obscure industrial history, which is what Ted and I want our layouts to be.

And it all looks achievable. Not a collection of master models all built to “stand alone” standards, it all works as whole, depending on the context to imply the missing details.

When the time comes for my annual visit to the SG&S, I have a new list of current issues I am dealing with on my layout. So, I am looking looking closely at a different list of specific situations to see how Steve handled it.