Aerial tour part two…..

Here is part two of the aerial tour of the layout. Today we’ll start on the backside of the original layout. Starting with the photo below showing the start of the actual Hitop branch proper, coming out of Spring Street yard.

In the above photo, a train will enter the branch, swing around behind Armitage Furniture into one of the tunnels on the branch. Exiting the other side is the train shown below. This train is about to cross the road into the tiny hamlet of Hitop itself:

The same scene at ground level:

Just through this crossing the grade up to Morris Fork really starts in earnest. Here is a photo of PNC 3403 coming downgrade:

Here the branch goes behind the Kanawha Valley Feed and Seed, starts upgrade curving around the Hitop Baptist Church, another company house, then a sharp curve around the Hitop mine as the branch gains elevation. Below are aerial photos of the area:

After curving around the mountain above at MP 33.1, the grade levels off just before the runaround track and siding into Morris Fork. Below are some trains in this area:

In the photo above, the Hitop turn works the Hitop mine, while up above on the branch sits a
string of hoppers ready to come out of Morris Fork. The end of track stops at MP 34.2 shown below. The siding is to the truck dumps of Union Carbide’s Morris Fork mine, and the Morris Fork Hardware and Farm Supply:

Finally, on the lower part of the Hitop Secondary trains swing around Blue Creek as shown below, here of course at ground level:

Next up, part three where I’ll cover the right hand side of the layout. Stay tuned…..

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