East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicle of an On30 quarry railroad

July 2020

Purchased from New Castle

Piedmont-Standard recently purchased a few locomotives and some rolling stock.

NC-C-Co

The recent additions came from a small coal mining operation in Alabama.

I met Ted McCormack when we were both in the James River Division On30 module group. We have kept in touch over the years since that group disbanded.

Ted had been in N scale before joining the module group. The theme for his On30 modules and new home layout was the New Castle Coal Company, which had been a family operation. Ted had some really awesome old photos of the mining and rail operations that provided reference and inspiration for his excellent modeling.

Old.Puss.2

After a while Ted decided to get back into N scale, and called me to let me know that his On30 inventory was up for sale if I was interested. I was very interested, as Ted has impeccable taste when it comes to such things. He had outfitted the New Castle Coal Company with smaller industrial style equipment which is precisely my intent for the Piedmont-Standard.

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I posed some of what I bought from Ted on one of the longest sections of mainline remaining on my layout.

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I had the intention of possibly working up a new photo for the website's homepage.

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That may be a while in coming, as my wife is working from home nowadays so my computer time is restricted. At least that is my excuse.

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Building Turnouts

The revised track configuration for the Piedmont-Standard requires two new turnouts.


I initially assumed I would build the new turnouts in place and just drew the new shop siding on the plan without a lot of thought given to frog angles or track geometry.

200212_12

It occurred to me to pull out my old Fast Tracks fixtures to see if I could use any of them to build the shop siding turnouts. Using the fixtures is preferable to building the turnouts in place since they make it much easier to maintain consistent dimensions and tolerances. I have built turnouts in place but it is a long process of fitting, adjusting, and tuning. FasTrack fixtures get me 90% of the way toward a reliable turnout and allow working at my bench rather than reaching over the benchwork.

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My curved fixture with a #6 frog angle was close enough to what the shop siding needed for me to give it a try. Over ten years since the last time I used them, the instructions, tools, and materials still felt familiar and the process went fairly quickly.

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I built the turnouts with overly long stock rails coming off to tie into the existing track work, hoping that would give me some "wiggle room" to splice new track into old.

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Test fitting the new turnout for the shop siding west end.


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New turnout for shop siding east end sitting on top of the old Ariel Church siding.