East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Site Prep

A Place for Everything

For years I made frequent trips to the Quarry Gardens at Schuyler

I worked on the Railroad Display in the Visitor Center there.

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Still in Quarry Garden mode one year later

While at the Visitor Center, I would compile a list of items I needed to bring with me on my next trip. Back in my shop, I stocked a shelf rack with the tools and supplies that regularly showed up on the list. The night before heading back to Schuyler, I would use my list to pull what I needed and load the blue box at the bottom of the photo. Upon my return I would unload the box back onto the shelves.

One year after the last trip I made to the Quarry Gardens to work on the Railroad Display, the shelf rack and blue box still looked like I was planning to go back to Schuyler the next morning.

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What a pile of stuff!

The day finally came to clear the shelves and put everything away. A complete rethink of my storage system was required.

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Organized and arranged on the walls

I bought clear plastic containers, choosing sizes that both accommodate the contents and efficiently fill the space under the layout once construction progresses to the point that I can move them there. The taller containers will go on the floor, with two short containers stacked on top, total height coming up to 3 inches from the bottom of the benchwork. Something to keep in mind when installing the fascia.

For now, everything is organized and put away on shelves around the perimeter of the shop. So far I have been able to find things quickly.

Fascia Mockup

Eventually blocks were added to all the joists to support the fascia. Along the front of the Ariel Church and Horse Mountain sections of the layout, I approximated the height of the fascia at each joist and cut posts for each location.

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I attached the posts to the joists temporarily, and tiled together a large piece of cardstock to create a pattern for the fascia.

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Everything was taped and thumb tacked together in a flimsy fashion.

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I sketched a profile line along the cardstock and trimmed it out. Then left it like that for a while to look at it over time.

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The more I looked at the fascia mockup, the less I liked the places where it rose up high.

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Over time I trimmed the peaks down lower and lower until I was happy with the profile.

Thinking about the Fascia

The 18 inch gauge tram for the talc dump crosses over the 30 inch gauge line. I felt like the time had come to get serious about the fascia.

My plan for the fascia is for it to be constantly curving, with the top edge constantly rising or dropping with the profile of the foreground scenery.

Way back when I built the benchwork for the layout, I cut the joists to the length I estimated necessary to support the fascia, at an angle approximating the angle of the fascia at that point.

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A butt joint connection to the end of a 1 by 4 joist was not going to provide adequate support for the fascia, but that was not a problem I had to deal with back then. Now the time had come to deal with it. I decided to add small blocks to the top and bottom of each joist to turn them into I-beams with more surface area for making a connection.

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Adding blocks to each joist was a severe test for my clamp inventory. But now the joists provide better connection points for firring strip posts that will in turn support the fascia.

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precut blocks wait for clamps to be freed up so they can be attached to joists