L&N Loyall-Varilla, KY track plan N

Track plan L&N Loyall-Varilla, KY N scale
  • Size: 12′ x 12′
  • Scale: N
  • Minimum Mainline Radius: 15″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 27″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

L&N Logo PlainLoyall, Kentucky was the heart of the L&N’s Cumberland Valley (CV) Division. The CV was a spider of coal branches, many of which were worked by mine runs out of Loyall. The vast majority of these mine runs went South and East (also railroad South) from Loyall, but one, the Loyall-Varilla Mine Run, served a handful of loaders and short branches west (railroad North) of Loyall along the mainline between Loyall and the large yard and division terminus at Corbin, KY.

The Layout

This layout captures most of the branches … Read more

C&I Nanty Glo Branch, PA track plan N

Track plan C&I PRR Nanty Glo, PA N scale
  • Size: 10′ x 12′
  • Scale: N
  • Minimum Radius: 18″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

C&I Logo PlainThe C&I’s Nanty Glo Branch (later renamed the Cambria Branch) extended from Regan Jct. near Colver, PA to Revloc, PA (later Beth, PA after an extension in 1963). In addition to serving a handful of coal tipples, the line also offered a second connection with the Pennsy at Nanty Glo, PA in addition to the original connection a few miles west at Rexis, PA. The most interesting feature of the branch was the track arrangement to serve the tipple at Nanty Glo. A spur from the C&I branch to Revloc crossed over … Read more

C&I Colver, PA track plan HO

Track plan C&I Colver, PA HO scale
  • Size: 12′ x 18′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Mainline Radius: 30″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 48″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

C&I Logo PlainThe heart of the Cambria & Indiana Railroad was Colver, PA. Even though it was located on the end of a short branch line, Colver was home to the C&I’s engine house, car shops, a prep plant and tipple, and a small yard where C&I mine runs originated. In addition to serving the C&I’s own massive fleet of coal hoppers, the C&I shops regularly performed maintenance and repairs for other railroads as well, so this adds even more variety to the area. The compact arrangements of these elements make this a … Read more

N&W North Fork Branch, WV track plan HO

Track plan N&W North Fork Branch, WV HO scale
  • Size: 10′ x 16′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 24″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 24″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

N&W Logo tuscan PlainThe Norfolk & Western had coal branches all across southern West Virginia. The North Fork Branch stemmed from the busy Bluefield-Williamson mainline of the Pocahontas Division. Like most branches, the North Fork was filled with loaders and a variety of track arrangements to serve them. This is what makes branch line modeling so great for those who love switching. This line was active into the NS era, though I am not sure which loaders remained active.

The Layout

This layout is designed to fit into a medium-sized bedroom and accomodate … Read more

B&O and MGA Paw Paw Branch, WV track plan HO

Track plan B&O MGA Paw Paw Branch, WV HO scale
  • Size: 12′ x 18′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 27″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

B&O Logo (plain)The Paw Paw Branch, a 13 mile coal branch, was situated near the West Virginia/Pennsylvania border. It was jointly operated by the B&O and Monongahela railroads and their successors. The branch left the Monongahela river at Rivesville, WV where the B&O’s Paw Paw Branch joined with the end of the Monongahela’s trackage along the river at Catawba Jct.  The B&O entered the area via its large yard at Fairmont, WV, just a few miles south of Rivesville. The Monongahela’s trackage extended along the river to the main yard at … Read more

CRR Fremont Branch, VA track plan N

Track plan CRR Fremont Branch, VA N scale
  • Size: 7′ x 11′
  • Scale: N
  • Minimum Radius: 15″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 28″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

CRR Logo PlainFew branches in the Appalachians saw more coal than the Clinchfield’s Fremont Branch. Like every other coal branch, it was lined with loaders of various sizes, but at the end of the branch lay the massive Moss No. 1 prep plant.  There are many characteristics that made the Fremont Branch interesting.   First, the profile of the branch climbed a ridgeline from the CRR main, punched through Bear Penn Gap Tunnel, and then descended most of the way to the end of the line at Moss.  Second, Moss was a loads-in/loads-out … Read more

INT Dorchester Branch, VA track plan HO

Track plan INT Dorchester Branch HO scale
  • Size: 11′ x 14′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 30″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Interstate Logo PlainIt’s difficult to get a lot of operation into a small bedroom. The most common solution is to build a switching layout to get enough operation since a small slice of mainline or branchline is often too compressed for much operation. The Interstate Railroad’s Dorchester Branch, however, packs a lot of operation into a short branch with some interesting switching challenges making it a great prototype for a bedroom layout.

From Dorchester Jct., the Dorchester Branch crosses the … Read more

MGA Waynesburg & Southern track plan N

Track plan MGA Wayesburg & Southern N scale - Lower
  • Size: 10′ x 15′
  • Scale: N
  • Minimum Radius: 18″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

MGA Logo PlainIf you like unit trains, big loaders and lots of different railroads, this is a great plan for you!  The Waynesburg & Southern was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad (a 1/3 shareholder in the Monongahela) and opened in 1968 to serve three large coal loaders being built around Blacksville, WV.  From its inception, it was operated as a branch of the Monongahela.  The Monongahela had its own branch to Blacksville, but it was too old, too steep and too full of curves to operate unit trains, so it was abandoned east … Read more

L&N Martins Fork, KY track plan N

Track plan L&N Martins Fork, KY N scale
  • Size: 11′ x 13′
  • Scale: N
  • Minimum Radius: 18″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 27″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

L&N Logo PlainThe Martins Fork Branch, despite its name, was actually a mainline on the L&N’s Cumberland Valley Division.  The line extends from Loyall, KY to Smiley, VA where it goes through the Hagans Switchback to meet up with the old CV main.  As a mainline, it handled most of the coal traffic from Loyall bound for the Southern, Clinchfield, and N&W.  In addition to being a mainline, it was also home to several loaders and other, smaller coal branches, including the Crummies Creek Branch with its Lick Branch Spur which came off … Read more

INT Norton and Dixiana Branch track plan N

Track plan INT Norton and Dixiana N scale
  • Size: 9′ x 9′
  • Scale: N
  • Minimum Radius: 12″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 48″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Interstate Logo PlainThe Interstate’s Dixiana branch north of Norton, VA was home to several coal loaders and served by two mine runs per day.  A small yard at Norton was used by the Interstate’s first and third mine runs and “Hill Crews” bound for the Clinchfield at Miller Yard to sort cars bound for the Southern and L&N (west) from those bound for the Clinchfield (east) and the N&W at Norton.  The N&W’s medium-sized yard at Norton was shared … Read more