Achievable layout · Layout Construction · Track Plan · Trackwork

Just Around the Corner

With a few days off over the holidays, track bed has pushed forward around the corner from St. George. Laying out the last two turnouts at the south end of St. George requires that the 52″ radius curve at the end of the room be precisely set. That entailed construction of the first section of benchwork on the opposite wall up to the outside entry door and then a hanging section spanning the end of the room connecting the two sides. The new benchwork is a traditional four legged L-Girder table 10′-6″ long and varies from 3′ down to 2′ in width. I didn’t trust wall supports here as the framing for this wall is hung on the concrete foundation with power nails. It was never intended to support much more than the drywall. The hanging section at the end of the room is lighter 1″ x 3″ L-Girders mounted to the outer 1″ x 4″ L-Girders of the opposite walls. No legs.

New benchwork looking from site of covered bridge. .


Trammel in operation on connecting benchwork. St. George is to the right.

A joist was strung across the room at the approximate radius center from the end wall and a trammel erected. With the trammel, laying out the curve and plywood roadbed was easy. My trammel is a piece of lath with holes drilled at various inch intervals.

I didn’t intend to get into all this benchwork right now but that curve controls everything and needed to be set. You could argue that I should have started with it. The curve dominates the track plan on the opposite side of the room. I’m still working out the details but the main line will “S” curve to parallel with the wall and stop squarely at the end of benchwork. The basement entryway will need a removable span and I’m favoring a covered bridge — there were so many on these Northern New England short lines.

A long spur will be constructed back towards the inside of the curve. For what I’ve yet to determine. A quarry or a lumber and coal business? A hilly, scruffy area or a village setting? Hmmm. (Although I have a general idea of how the layout will evolve, I enjoy letting it grow organically around the room.)




The quarry I have in mind (based somewhat on Trap Rock Quarry on the W&OD) would have a loader track, a couple of storage tracks and handle six or eight cars easily. That would require an additional dozen or so gondolas and hoppers on the roster. Maybe too much.


The lumber yard is winning out. I’m leaning toward a village setting named Nottingham. A second shorter spur would fit nicely on the backside of the “S”. Could site a creamery there. Another milk car every day. Shades of the nearby Montpelier & Wells River.

Well, that’s all a ways off. This area will serve as poor man’s staging area for a while. Lots still to do in St. George.

So, after straightening up the room, I’ll be back on the trackwork in St. George and build the river crossings. But I want to lay the roadbed on the curve and mark out guide lines for the ties before I dismantle the trammel. Unfortunately, I ran out of Homasote roadbed and need to order another batch from Cascade Rail Supply.


2 thoughts on “Just Around the Corner

  1. As a former Reston VA resident with an office along the W&OD ROW I like the quarry. As an operator I like your alternate with lumber and creamer. It is your RR!


  2. I remember hiking by the quarry on a Vienna to Leesburg stroll probably in 1965. These things stick in your mind. Met the east end train in Herndon that day. Still have my field notes somewhere.


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