Until recently, Baker had been the smallest named place on the layout. It was nothing more than a spur with Greene County Co-op at the end. From a scenic point, it filled an otherwise empty corner. More recently, however, Baker has expanded considerably. A nearby aisle was just aching for some sort of industrial development. This was a low traffic aisle that led to the throat of Wheeling yard at the end of the Wheeling Branch. With a width of three feet, it was generous as aisles go. After much lobbying from the operating crew, I generated designs for a 12 inch deep shelf along the aisle. Several iterations later, we had something that felt very comfortable. This area will be switched, at most, once every operating session. Due to its location on the main line near Wheeling Junction, it is highly unlikely that it will be switched while someone would be using the aisle to operate a Wheeling Branch train. Click here to see a track plan
The new Baker still is home to Greene County Co-op. This place receives two inbound loaded boxcars as well as an inbound covered hopper with chicken feed or whatever sort of stuff a place like that would sell. The hopper car track extends to an unloading facility for General Molding. This industry receives covered hoppers of plastic pellets. There was no room for the full facility so we just imagine it is somewhere unmodeled across the aisle. The pellets are conveyed pneumatically to the molding plant.
This new area has an interesting backdrop. In its previous home, the layout extended right to a basement wall and the aisle would have been under the front yard. The size of the new layout room led to many changes including the need for access to the corner. Also, there is a large window along the aisle and I did not want to block that window. As a result, the hole end of the layout was covered with a large hardboard fascia. The upper part of that fascia forms the backdrop for this industrial park. The yard throat and switch machines for the yard at Wheeling are behind this backdrop. I plan to cut a hole in the backdrop to allow access to the switches for maintenance. A large structure, Doyle Hardware, a warehouse and distribution facility, will extend for several feet along the backdrop hiding the hole. Doyle Hardware is named for Jerry Doyle, the main advocate of developing this space. Another track near the front will serve Summers Specialty Chemicals. They will receive boxcars of bagged dry chemicals and tank cars of liquid chemicals. All products are shipped by truck.
In order to facilitate switching, the lead from the main line continues down the center of the shelf and, in theory, extends some distance past the end of the modeled area. Right now, the shelf just ends. Future plans are to erect a backdrop across the end with a mirror on the bottom four or five inches. This will give the illusion of the lead extending some distance. The current plan is to build a bridge of the sort that carries pipes in a chemical plant across the tracks to hid the seam between the mirror and the backdrop.
Pennsylvania Southern Railroad
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