VGN Mullens to Matoaka, WV track plan HO

Track plan VGN Mullens to Matoaka, WV HO scale
  • Size: 34′ x 37′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 36″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

VGN Logo (plain)Elmore, WV was the heart of the Virginian Railway’s coal operations. Besides being the major coal marshaling yard and and the base for mine runs and helpers, Elmore (along with nearby Mullens) was home to large facilities for big steam working the coal branches and mainline west and the electrics working the helper grade east and mainline to the Virginia coast. It was precisely for these attributes that a friend wanted to model this area.

The Layout

This large layout was designed for a friend who had a very … 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

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

SOU CRR Clinchcross, NC track plan HO

Track plan SOU CRR Clinchcross, NC HO scale
  • Size: 14′ x 20′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 28″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Southern Logo (plain)Clinchcross, near Marion, NC, was a major interchange point between the Southern and Clinchfield.  Besides playing host to several coal trains per day (particularly on the Clinchfield), Marion was a busy switching area for both roads.  The Clinchfield stationed a switcher at Marion for years (don’t know about the Southern) to work the four-track interchange yard and industries which included a concrete block plant, a scrap dealer and a piggyback track among others.   On the Southern side, the main industries were furniture plants which would see lumber in/furniture … Read more

CRR Kingsport, TN track plan HO

Track plan CRR Kingsport, TN HO scale
  • Size: 7′ x 20′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 27″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 27″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

CRR Logo PlainThis track plan is a little different for ARM because it doesn’t have a single coal loader. Instead, it focuses on Kingsport, Tennessee, an industrial area along the Clinchfield mainline. Despite the lack of coal loaders, this area still had plenty of hills and tunnels, and the mainline still offered plenty of coal trains moving through. Still, the large industries in Kingsport are what kept the railroad busy. The largest customer in Kingsport was (and still is) Eastman Kodak (now Eastman Chemical). In fact, Eastman basically occupies the entire west side … Read more

L&N K&A Coal Fields track plan HO

Track plan L&N K&A Coal Fields HO scale - upper
  • Size: 22′ x 22′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 27″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

L&N Logo PlainThis layout represents the L&N’s former Knoxville & Atlanta division south of Corbin. This area is a fantastic blend of coal, mainline traffic and fantastic scenery, and the L&N shared a coal branch with the Southern Railway.

The Layout

Southern Logo (plain)The layout is designed to represent operations in the ’70s, though some of the loaders like Roosevelt were probably inactive or gone by this time. The lower level represents the mainline from Lot, … Read more

CRR North End track plan HO

Track plan CRR North End HO scale - Lower
  • Size: 22′ x 40′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 28″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

CRR Logo PlainThe Clinchfield’s coal loaders were mostly located north of Dante, VA, and that’s the focus here.  Three primary branches, the Freemont Branch, the Nora Spur and the Haysi, were all served by mine shifters (mine runs) and dumped hundreds of coal loads onto the mainline every day.  The Haysi Railroad, operated as a Clinchfield branch line, is renowned among coal field fans for the radio controlled B-unit that worked its tracks.  Dozens of loaders on the mainline and seven loaders in … Read more

C&O New River District, WV track plan HO

Track Plan C&O New River District, WV HO scale - Lower
  • Size: 28′ x 30′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 30″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

C&O Logo PlainThe Chesapeake & Ohio’s New River District was enormous and encompassed numerous coal marshaling yards and dozens of branches (“subs” in C&O lingo).  The C&O’s double-track mainline ran through the heart of the New River District from Deepwater, WV to Hinton, WV.  The marshaling yard at Thurmond, WV sat on the mainline in the middle of the district.  It served not only as a yard but also as a base for numerous nearby branches including the South Side Branch, the Loup Creek Sub, the White Oak Sub, Keeney’s Creek Sub, Hawks Nest … Read more

INT Dorchester and Dixiana Branch, VA track plan HO

Track plan INT Dorchester and Dixiana Branch HO scale - Upper
  • Size: 21′ x 28′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 30″ (visible)
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 36″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Dorchester & Dixiana Branch logoThe Interstate’s operations in and around Norton, VA and up the the Dixiana Branch were busy and interesting. In addition to the massive amounts of coal being generated on the branch, the mainline also saw a lot of movement of interchange traffic, particularly between the L&N at Dorchester Jct. and the Clinchfield at Miller Yard, the eastern end of the Interstate’s mainline. This layout (currently being built in my basement) is designed … Read more