SOU Monarch Branch, VA track plan HO

SOU Monarch Branch, VA HO scale track plan
  • Size: 15′ x 20′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 27″ 
  • Minimum Aisle Width: N/A
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Southern LogoThe Southern Railway’s branch to Monarch, VA was a leg of the coal-producing St. Charles Branch west of Appalachia, VA. The L&N had (and CSX still has) trackage rights on the branch, so mine runs from both railroads worked the major mines on the line including Blue Diamond’s Monarch Mine, Benedict and Kemmerer Gem.

The Layout

L&N LogoThis track plan represents the Monarch Branch and Kemmerer Branch of the St. Charles line as they appeared in the … Read more

SOU Brevard Branch, NC track plan HO

SOU Brevard Branch, NC HO scale track plan by Dan Bourque
  • Size: 6′ x 22′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 22″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: N/A″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Southern LogoThe Southern’s Brevard Branch stretched from Hendersonville, NC to Lake Toxaway, NC in the foothills of the Appalachians. The largest customer on the line was the paper mill in Ecusta, and in the 1980s the line was cut back to Ecusta, just short of the line’s namesake, Brevard. This branch was far from the coal fields, but a power plant at the mill received coal, so hoppers were a common sight along with tank cars and boxcars. The mill at Ecusta made fine paper for Bibles and cigarettes from … Read more

SOU St Charles Branch, VA bedroom track plan HO

Southern St Charles Branch track plan HO scale by Dan Bourque
  • Size: 13′ x 14′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 24″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 33″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Southern LogoThe St Charles branch can be found in extreme southwestern Virginia. A neighbor of the Interstate Railroad, the lines of this branch extended from the Southern’s yard at Appalachia, Virginia, down the Powell River, and then fingered out along several creeks up toward the Kentucky border. Like many other Southern Railway coal lines, it was jointly operated with the L&N who had trackage rights on the St Charles branch from its connection at Pocket, VA. Traffic and tipples ebbed and flowed over the years, but CSX and NS unit trains continue to load … Read more

SOU Oneida, Tennessee and Brimstone, TN track plan HO

Oneida, Tennessee and Brimstone HO scale track plan - lower level
  • Size: 27′ x 30′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Mainline Radius: 30″ (27″ Brimstone)
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 32″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Southern LogoOne of the Southern Railway’s most famous lines is its Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific (CNO&TP) main through Tennessee and Kentucky where it was known as “the Rathole” for all its tunnels and bridges. Though this busy line ran through the heart of Tennessee coal country, it didn’t serve the coal operators directly. Instead, the CNO&TP interchanged with several short lines that ventured down into the valleys full of tipples to bring the coal up the slopes of the Cumberland Plateau to its mainline. These short lines included the Read more

SOU Murphy Branch, NC track plan HO

Track plan SOU Murphy Branch, NC HO scale
  • Size: 13′ x 14′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Mainline Radius: 24″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Southern Logo (plain)While not a coal branch, the Southern’s Murphy Branch in western North Carolina was certainly set in the Appalachians. The branch, which struck out westward from the Southern’s large yard at Asheville, NC, was loaded with great Appalachian industries such as pulpwood loading, paper mills, coal dealers, fuel oil dealers, furniture plants, etc. and even an interchange with the L&N’s own Murphy Branch at the line’s terminus in Murphy, NC. The use of old F-units and first-generation geeps into the early ’70s added to the branch’s charm in … Read more

K&T Diesel Era track plan N

Track plan K&T diesel era N scale
  • Size: 10′ x 10′
  • Scale: N
  • Minimum Mainline Radius: 13.5″ (18″ for Southern)
  • Minimum Aisle Width: N/A
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

K&T Logo PlainThe Kentucky & Tennessee in the diesel era was a simple operation. A handful of used Alco S2 switchers moved coal hoppers between the connection with the Southern at Stearns, KY to the lone tipple at Justus, about 3 miles from Stearns. Justus loaded about 30 Southern 100T hoppers per day via a small flood loader directly over the main. The hoppers were picked up and dropped off in the ample interchange yard in Stearns where the K&T interchanged with the Southern’s busy CNO&TP mainline. Despite the simplicity, … 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

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

Southwestern Virginia track plan HO

Track plan Southwestern Virginia HO scale - Upper
  • Size: 28′ x 30′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 30″ (avg. 36″)
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

L&N Logo PlainMany railroads tangled in the Appalachians, but few areas featured as many railroads coming together as southwestern Virginia where the L&N, N&W, Interstate, Southern and Clinchfield all interchanged within a few miles.

The Layout

N&W Logo blue PlainThis was one of the track plans designed for Stu Thayer’s basement before he moved. It downplays the coal branches but captures most of the interactions and interchanges between the five railroads dominating the Western … Read more

SOU St Charles Branch, VA track plan HO

Track plan SOU St Charles, VA HO scale - Upper
  • Size: 19′ x 33′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 30″ (24″ in helix to Monarch)
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Southern Logo (plain)The St. Charles Branch was a tree-shaped branch of the Southern northwest of Appalachia, VA. The Southern owned the branch, but the L&N (and the CSX today) had trackage rights over the entire branch.  It appears that a Southern mine run was operated out of St. Charles (two mine runs in the 70s) and served all of the mines up the branch lines.  The coal would then be moved south through Pocket and over to the yard at Appalachia (later Andover), VA.   The … Read more