Aerial tour of the layout….

In response to a few inquiries about the track layout and operations, I took some photos of the layout yesterday to help answer these. I’ve never been good at drawing or drafting, so a track plan drawn to scale was out. We’ll start at the left edge of the extended part of the layout, and work through the original 4×8, then we’ll cover the right hand side. The original layout of course is a 4×8, with modules extending down both corners along the walls making the current layout a U shape. Again, we’ll start with photos on the left side:

In the above photos, the top left photo shows an extension built by good friend Tom to enable a locomotive and more cars to clear the lead into Allied Chemical. There are two tracks that go into Allied Chemical, one is a storage track, while one is the loading track. The main goes down the middle onto the extension.The bottom left photo shows the switching lead into Allied, which also extends further up the module becoming the two tracks going into Holsum Baking. In the middle photo is shown the siding that comes off the main going into Paxton-Sullivan scrap. Another view of the overall area:

The left photo below shows the main with now limestone ballast curving to the left, plus the start of the runaround track, the extension of which eventually leads into the siding for Davis Wholesale, the area grocery distributor. This photo also shows the Nitro yard office which is the building with the white roof, and the two tracks heading off to the right that go into Holsum Baking, shown in the right photo. Finally, in the left photo is Doug’s Hideout, the small grey building at the top in the photo, which is a local bar, and at the bottom of the photo where the parking area sits, is the security office for Allied Chemical.

The right photo shows Holsum, with the inside track mainly for syrup tank unloading, but also with the loading door can accommodate the occasional boxcar. The outside track is for unloading hopper cars. Behind Holsum is the long runaround track.

The photo top left shows Davis Wholesale, which receives boxcars and refrigerator cars. The road in front continuing through the parking area and across the tracks goes into Armitage Furniture, the tall brown building in the right of the photo. The photo top right shows the mainline connection with the actual Kanawha Secondary, plus the lead into Spring Street yard. The small building with the rusty corrugated roof is Sam and Mickey’s bar and grill. Armitage Furniture is in the right side of the photo. Also in the right photo is the start of the Hitop Secondary proper, with the dark ballast, curving off around Armitage and disappearing into the tunnel. The mainline with the limestone ballast heads into the left tunnel. Finally, the grade of the Hitop Secondary actually starts on the curve, and continues all the way to MP 31.1.

This is Spring Street yard, with the Armitage Furniture Company siding in the left corner, and the caboose and engine service track as the last yard track. In the foreground is the yard lead with the weigh scale. Even though I did not install the actual electronic scale from Boulder Creek Engineering, all coal loads must come through this scale and be “weighed”. The top right photo shows the main curving around to DB Tower and beyond. The switch to Spring Street and the yard lead is just off camera to the left.

As this will be longer than I expected, stay tuned for part two coming soon where I’ll cover the back side of the original layout…..

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