East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

A Major Tuneup

A train runs up the newly extended mainline. The unballasted section will eventually be cut out for a bridge.

When the mainline was extended to Ariel Church, it became clear that the P&EBR was ready to begin limited operations.

Entering the Town Track. Shops Yard will extend from this turnout over the crossties in the foreground.

Trains can use the hidden extension off the end of the Town track as a staging area for out and back operation.

The problem with this idea was the condition of the previously built handlaid track on the layout. I had been hasty to build and move on, and there were dead spots, dips and rises, and out of gauge sections throughout. Unreliable operation was one of the major factors leading to the death of my old Dry Fork layout. So I decided now was the time to do whatever it took to get the Piedmont & East Blue Ridge running like it should.

A close inspection of a variety of locomotives and cars running over all the track pointed up problems that required hours to resolve.

Watching and listening for clicks, rocking, binding, electrical dropouts. Running fast and slow, coupling light cars to heavy cars, long cars to short, pushing and pulling trains through all the turnouts.

Dozens of new electrical connections and hundreds of new spikes later, the railroad is almost ready for regular operations to begin.