Line description and Operational Concepts

The RC&G represents a fictional narrow gauge railroad operating in the mid nineteen twenties. Somewhat unusual is that it represents a profitable and thriving line. Although there has been no attempt to duplicate it, the line does borrow its main concept, that of being primarily a coal hauling line, from the East Broad Top Railroad. It also uses a lot of rolling stock and structures that were used on the EBT as well as some rolling stock that was found on the  ET&WCN or Tweetsie railroad.  

The line is located in south central Ohio and runs from the fictional town of Summit, the highest point on the line to the also fictional town of Bucks Landing on the Ohio River.
Its primary commodity is hauled from the mine located at Rockhill to a barge load out located near Bucks Landing. The town of Summit is not modeled, only the bad side of the tracks which contains the station, freight office, an oil distributor, a retail coal outlet and a meat packing plant. Traveling south from Summit the line descends through  Raccoon Gully. At the end of the Gully the line passes under itself and at that point is Grinders Switch where a spur serves a grist mill and a cooperage. Once it has passed under itself it passes the main engine facilities and power plant and continues down hill to Lynville. Lynville will be the only town that will be modeled on the line with a block of stores and businesses as well a feed and grain dealer, oil distributor, a shoe factory, machine works and a freight loading and unloading platform. At the north end of Lynville the Rockhill mine #1 is located which is the source of most of the revenue for the railroad.  Next area south of Lynville is Union where a brick plant and tannery are located and it is also the site of a dual gauge interchange,  here products move in and out to a connection with the West Virginia & Kentucky standard gauge railroad. Incoming products include clay for the brick plant and general merchandise for the area as well as machinery. Outgoing products include bricks, shoes, leather products, meat products, lumber, barrels, and a variety of other locally produced products. From Union the line continues south with the next interchange being at Paiute Junction. This is where the Paiute Lumber Company interchanges with the RC&G. Only a minimal part of the lumber companies logging and milling operation will be modeled.  The next stop after Paiute Junction is Bucks Landing, the end of the line. This is the destination of the coal turn trains that dump their loads into  a bunker than feeds barges located on the river. Bucks Landing is also a regular stop for packet boats on the Ohio River and a great deal of merchandise flows in and out through this route creating plenty of traffic for the RC&G.

From an operational standpoint the line is basically a loop to loop configuration. The upper loop at the summit end has been somewhat disguised by flipping the tail inward and by connecting the curved sections coming off the tail, a wye has been created that also functions to create a continuous loop for testing equipment. The line can be run continuously for observation purposes as both loop switches are controlled by air cylinders which are controlled by magnetic sensors in the track triggered by magnets on the locomotives. Other than that the line was built to operate with the loops at each end serving to turn the train as there is only the wye at Summit and no other engine turning devices on the line.

There are enough industries on the line to keep a couple of local freights busy. At this time no computerized programs are being used and all switch lists / manifests are generated by hand in advance. Currently I have no operators other than myself and trains are limited to locals. If the time ever comes that operators are available, I would let them operate the locals and I would then run the coal turns and passenger trains to make their life more interesting.

The coal turns still require switching as there is no dedicated switcher at either the mine or load out. A coal turn starts in the yard at Summit with a loaded coal train which arrived at the end of the previous turn. The crew takes the train straight through to Bucks Landing where it exchanges the loaded cars on the bunker and picks up the empties from the previous turn. The train then heads north stopping at the Rockhill mine where it exchanges empties for loads then continues on to Summit to end the run with a train of loads for the next turn.  Obviously this part of the operation would be boring as it just repeats over and over but coal trains have the right of way over all other trains including passenger train so it keeps the locals on their toes to get out of the way. Currently passenger trains are not scheduled.

The dual gauge interchange is also meant to be fully operational and a standard gauge 0-6-0 is in the works and eventually there will be four or five standard gauge cars, most likely three box cars a flat and maybe a reefer. The standard gauge junction itself is not modeled and the standard gauge line just disappears into a tunnel. The tunnel which is about 10' long will be sealed when not in use and used to store the standard gauge cars. Trains will arrive at Union which will be typically two or three cars pushed up the 3-4% grade by the switcher and shunted to the required location. The interesting issue here will be dealing with narrow gauge cars which may already be spotted there as all three sidings are dual gauged. The switcher would then collect any out bound cars and proceed back down grade to the junction.

Until such time as the main line is completed there may be some additional industries located on the line.

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Updated 4/10/19