East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Schwenk's Mill - Design

I am a member of the James River Division, Mid East Region of the NMRA. The JRD has formed an On30 modular group, and I plan to build 2 modules as part of my participation.

Our modules are build to standards similar to those used by the Mid Atlantic On30 Module Group, so that the two groups could possibly have combined meets and exhibitions. Local modeler Mike Dunn graciously allowed the JRD to set up a module production line in his wood shop, making for very uniform and well constructed modules.

My first module features one long siding. The siding will serve a mill where waste slate from a distant quarry operation is milled into granules for use in roofing and masonry. The waste slate will be delivered to the mill in 18 inch gauge dump cars, and the final product will be bagged, palletized, and loaded into 30 inch gauge boxcars.

The plan that inspired my mill is available from Tom Yorke Studios. Tom did a quick sketch and one elevation for a mill he called “Grand Barbosa.” I determined the space available for my mill on the modue, and used Tom’s sketch to mock up the basic structural components.

The mill has three main sections. The size and arrangement of the sections was determined by the footprint sketched on my module, and the shape of each section was determined by Tom’s sketch.

The receiving side of the mill, showing the shed where dump cars of waste slate will be unloaded. The 18 inch dump cars will be considerably smaller than the 30 inch gauge dumpers shown, which are an extremely tight fit.

The shipping side of the mill, showing the loading area for boxcars spotted on the siding.

I have ordered castings for doors, windows, and other details. I am also testing several methods for creating corrugated metal siding. The tests shown are drawing paper with the corrugations embossed in them from a sheet of corrugated styrene. Model Masters aluminum paint appears to be a good base coat, with various grays lightly sprayed on for variety.