Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Update 2024 - Rebuilding a Better Pine Valley Yard: Part 1

It's been a while since an update to say the least, 2021? Wow!  I think we all know that life happens and sometimes hobbies get put on the back burner for a bit. So with that out of the way here's what's been happening on the Adena Railroad.

Tear Out

In the spring of 2023 while the layout was mostly mothballed, the water line to my refrigerator sprung a leak. Luckily the damage was limited but the repair work required the removal of a section of my Pine Valley Yard at Dillionvale, OH. I had been mildly unhappy with the design for a while so tearing it all out wasn't too painful. The yard passed through stair supports and then jutted out as a peninsula into the near middle of the laundry side of the basement that over time proved to be just too cramped.

Pine Valley tear out in May 2023

It wasn't too hard to find a new home for the Pine Valley, an old layout plan had the yard in a sort of J shape along a far basement wall, but required a swing gate in front of the stairs. This required 15-20 feet more mainline between Adena yard and Pine Valley yard and the chance to model some of the hills and a tunnel between the two points. This addition came with the expense of a coal branch being drastically shortened in place of the new yard location.

The new plan also allowed me to better capture the prototypical track plan of the real Pine Valley yard, thereby enhancing operations to produce the need for a fulltime yardmaster position.

W&LE Pine Valley Yard Valuation Map, partially colored for my own visual reference


In November 2023 I started the construction of the new mainline from Adena to Pine Valley. I began with completely rebuilding a section that ran behind the furnace to make it easier to remove if necessary. The new mainline needed a constant 1.25% grade from Adena to Pine Valley to allow the main to exit to staging at a particular height to clear some existing benchwork. This also helped to replicate the grade out of the Ohio River Valley and will require double headed steam just like the prototype.

By January 2024 I had the new mainline in place. Scenery will include two bridges over the Short Creek and the Long Run tunnel. The natural spot for the tunnel was where the mainline snaked it's way through the basement stair supports.

New mainline section.

New mainline section, one of the many Short Creek bridges, this one is easily removable for the electrical panel access.

New mainline, Long Run Tunnel and Short Creek bridge section.

In April I made the removable section across the stairs that will eventually become a swing gate. The section slips into place with slots routed out to fit the ends of metal 2x2 L-brackets on each side.

Swing gate section

Surprisingly it's very sturdy 

My Son's last High School baseball season slowed down work but by the end of May, I had completed the box frames for the new and improved Pine Valley yard. I'd love to provide a nice looking track plan of all the changes but I usually work with pencil and paper plus large scale templates, but I'll try to get something together to show.

Pine Valley yard - Freight House/Station area

Pine Valley yard - Yard Office area

Pine Valley yard - yard, rip track, start of engine terminal

Pine Valley yard - Engine Terminal area

If you made it this far thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Chris! Lots of expansion, indeed! Thanks for sharing your progress!