East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Snap out of it!

For a full year, I regularly ran trains on my new layout,
But did very little in the way of new construction or revisions.

When I switched from HO scale to On30, I figured I was leaving the world of Ready-To-Run, prebuilt models behind. I assumed a far simpler O scale layout would be marginally interesting to operate, and more modeling time would be taken up with scratchbuilding. But once all the track was in and I had a reasonable inventory of locomotives and rolling stock, I was completely caught by surprise. Small locomotives pulling short trains around a winding industrial line captivated me beyond all expectations. All I wanted to do was run trains. I suddenly found myself in the segment of model railroaders who never get around to building scenery on their layouts.

I needed a convicting experience that would make me believe that the full potential of the layout would only be reached if I continued building, and modeling time would be better spent doing something constructive. On a mild January day I drove to Nelson County and hiked to a few old quarry sites. I came away feeling that my layout could be greatly improved by representing some of these beautiful scenes.

I decided to start scenery construction in the far corner of the layout. No towns, mills or quarries were planned for this area, so I thought it would be a good place to experiment and determine how I would build scenery.

I don’t want the scenery to be attached directly to the backdrop, so I developed these posts to support a Masonite profile board immediately in front of, but not touching, the backdrop.

The posts are attached to the same benchwork joists that support the roadbed risers. 2x2 blocks against the wall maintain a gap that will put the back profile board about an inch in front of the backdrop. The height of the posts indicate the planned height of the back profile board at that location. 1x2 blocks on the front of each post at the bottom will support the back profile board.