Large Scale Central

The Cedar Mountain Railroad

In the words of General MacArthur…" I Have Returned!" Its been a long while since I’ve done much railroady, real life gets in the way, work, health problems, a divorce etc etc all conspired to keep me outta The Shop and away from the rails. A heart condition diagnosed in February and also renal problems (yes I was a bad diabetic for far too long) have pretty much ruled out me doing any heavy work thats gonna be needed to repair and maintain my 1:20 scale line outdoors this year, but I am feeling well enough that I NEED to railroad. My On30 collection is the answer.

Some of you may remember previous efforts that I started for both freestanding On30 layouts and a layout around the walls of my Shop in the basement. these projects never got very far because I was having to make too many compromises in the railroad that I want to build. I looked at doing a complete indoor line utilizing my living room/ dining room area and even started drawing up track plans to fit the space, then lost interest again, I wanted to be outside.

I needed to move my old 7/8 scale display layout from its storage area, and I was wondering what to do with it. None of the rolling stock I have now will run on the tight curves that it was laid with, and it dawned on my I could recycle the benchwork into an On30 modular line! I also realized I have a seldom used sunporch adjacent to my carport that tends to collect junk more than anything I could use… It was brilliant I could set up the loop and design a loads in/empties out arrangment on one end and do some mining and logging industries along the way. its could be semi outdoors, yet undercover too. But I had forgotten how big the damn thing was!!! 10x18 feet would barely fit on the carport let alone in the smaller sunporch (roughly 17 x 11 feet) so a redesign was in order.

Instead of a portable layout I theorized that I could expand the benchwork make it an around the walls walk in line. I spent about a month drawing plan after plan on paper, making changes, starting over, tryig to work in all the things I wanted on a perfect railroad, It wasn’t until I was chatting with our good friend Boomer one night that things started to click. He pointed out that theres was no way I could do everything I wanted to do in the space availible, and he was right. The rest of the chat gang with helpful with suggestions and ideas, which if not useable sent me down avenues towards ideas I would never have thought of.

Note that there are two swinging bridges across doorways into the the room. These are gonna be constructed similar to the bridge that Andy has on his Bluestone Sourtherns Indoor division to allow walk through access. the bottom swing is a must have. the one to the right is a “would like to have” to complete a running loop to allow for locomotive breakin running and testing, and just general running equipment that would not normally be associated with the operation of the railroad.

The line is being influenced heavily by the Manns Creek Railway down in the New River Gorge. While its not gonna be a faithful copy there is a lot of inspiration in there.Im also borrowing ideas from the EBT and ET&WNC lines as well. Now I’m inspired its time for construction to begin.

I decided to start construction in the areas where the switchback and mining areas will be so that I can set the grades appropriately to let the equipment to operate reliably (model locomotives tend to buck going down super steep grades due to the way their drive trains are designed) and the first section installed , with the help of my lovely assistant Courtney, was a corner module that was set up and srewed to the walls.

Yes the layout is short, but necessity made it so because it needed to be below the leverl of the sunporch windows. I’m not planning any sort of back drop other than the sceniced hills so light a and air can circulate. It is an Outdoor Railroad after all…A really neat thing happened after I got this section in was the general height will allow me to expand from the Sunporch to a shelf out on the carport without major grade changes. this led me to ideas that finally helped me sort out a few problems on the track plan (more on that later). By the end of the evening we had installed and leveled two sections and I was very happy.

The 45mm track will be removed and most of the scenery stuff scraped off , then a new deck starting with 1" polystyrene foam insulation will be built up from there. the foam insulation is stiff enough that it should bridge that gap with no problems. then I will build up and shape the lanscape from there.

The Adventure Continues…

Looks good and Welcome Back - know what it means and feels like to be side track from the RR for too long.

Welcome back.

I’ve raised my railroad, not as high as yours and I truly enjoy being an ‘Armchair Modeler’, 'cept it’s a light weight folding one.

Put rollers under your chair and you’re good to go.


Well actually I had planned on using a desk chair since my workshop is immediately adjacent to the layout now and the height is perfect for sitting and scooting around while working on things…

Very good start to a nice looking layout. Looking forward to more updates. Doc Tom

Woke up with no TV or Internet this morning so I thought I’d get some railroad benchwork installed before work.

This is the section that will support the Cedar Junction interchange and the last of the curved sections to go in.

And the first two of three straight sections that will eventually support Switchback. I gotta cut down an exisiting module by about 3" to get it to fit before I can install it.

Construction is Molly approved!

I’m keeping an eye out for a narrow-ish rolling stool for my On30. The aisle between the storage shelves and the layout is too narrow for a desk chair, but where the chair does fit, it’s a delight to operate sitting down at near eye-level with the railroad.

I look forward to seeing your progress!



This will be fun to watch, Bart.

Bart? What was the last name again? Salmons? HMMMM, seems like I saw a name like that down at the Post Office on the wall. Anybody gotta a picture of this guy that claims to be a long, lost friend?


Ahhh, the pencil sketches looks like the Bart I knew. I’ve got some spare parts off of a 7/8th Shay that tried to make it around the old KVRwy. Can you produce the engine those parts fell off of?


Our lives strain, change and blend back together again. Good to hear from you and as always like your ideas.

Maybe Ken can drag you west again.

Ric Golding said:

I saw a name like that down at the Post Office on the wall. Anybody gotta a picture of this guy that claims to be a long, lost friend?

Ric Golding said:

Maybe Ken can drag you west again.

I keep tryin…(

Not looking good for this year…the first trip to the hospital has pretty much burned my sick and vacation days for the year…mebbe next Spring lol


No pressure, no schedule, no timeline. However, doesn’t mean we wouldn’t want to see ya. Glad your back.

Havnt gotten any layout work done lately…STUFF keeps coming up, and Ive almost got the house and yardwork caught up ( I mowed the grass and found a railroad back there! Whodathunk???) I did get round to installing a ceiling fan in On30 world…sometime its the little victories…

“Sometimes its the little victories”


I have set a deadline for myself…the mainline loop will be operational by July 1…that includes assembling a rather intricate bridge across the Coalfield River…and I have revised the trackplan a bit for more of an operational flavor…I did this painitng inspired by the Manns Creek Railway… “Switchin’ the Strip Tipple”

Glad to see you posting again Bart. Been keeping up o FB, but somehow didn’t see this thread until today. What a killer idea!!! I’ll be watching.

P.S. I really should drop in on chat, but when I do the conversation usually is moving so slow I fall asleep so I haven’t been by in years.

" Rooster " said:

Still one of the best pictures of Ken ever taken

Its missing his middle finger…

I had two days off in a row for the first time in a while and felt like I was on vacation. I made a little bit of progress. The benchwork was modified and I started putting down a layer of 1" and 1/2" foamboard for a scenery base. Also yes…thats a TT pit…

I have pulled up the large scale rails and am fitting out the layout with realeastate and started track work. This is the main yard at Cedar Mountain…the operational heart of the RR. I tried to keep from having tracks parallel to the edge of the layout…

Just to see how things looked…I sptted a couple average length trains in the yard to check capacity…