DRC&C : On18

Moving Coal via On18
DRCCI used Hill Valley Coke Company at first as a joke. To my surprise I found that there had been a “Laurel Hill Valley Coal & Coke Company” in Pennsylvania.

I think though that since I have the Deep River Railroad as my On30 line that it would make sense to re-name the coke company to the Deep River Coal & Coke Company.

I’ve managed to narrow down the location of the Hill Valley Deep River Coke Company to the area of the Deep River Coal Field in North Carolina. The area along the Deep River, which forms the border of Chatham and Lee County and Randolph county In North Carolina was a major coal-producing area between the Revolutionary War and the Great Depression. It was called the Deep River Coal Field. The communities of Carbonton and Cumnock (formerly called Egypt in Lee County) originated with development of the coal mining industry. Much of the coal mined in the field during the Civil War was used to fuel Confederate operations. Frequent flooding from the Deep River and several accidents from gas explosions resulted in the mines closing in the 1940’s.

That’s the history. I’m modifying it just a bit by adding a mine that didn’t exist in the ‘real world’ but set in the same area. I’ll create a new town for that mine – again situated in the same general area as Carbonton and Cumnock. I had to come up with a reason for my narrow gauge railroad(s) and am at this point:

In 18__ a group of men created a company to extract minerals in South America. In _______ they mined. In the meantime the company purchased the mineral rights in North and South Carolina.

In 18__ the mine in ______ played out. The ________ had the 30″ gauge locomotives and equipment shipped back to North Carolina (creating the On30 Deep River RR) to move the aggregates there down (haven’t figured this out yet) to an interchange with the standard gauge LC&NRR

Lots of blanks to fill in but it’s a start.

I said – ‘railroad(s)’. The HVCC DRCC (shown in red here) is a VERY narrow gauge railroad having a 18″ gauge. It’s purpose is to bring coal from a mine (off the layout) to the Raw Coal Bin. The coal is processed and ends up in a Washed Coal Tipple which supplies a larry which in turn charges the ovens of the coke oven bank. The finished coke is then transported by the On30 Deep River RR to the LC&NRR at a distant point.

I show the LC&NRR coming into the area .. represented by some ties/and or roadbed. Something to the effect that it’s not finished yet. Could be abandoned track. The story being that the standard gage either had not been completed or that a bridge had washed out and not been replaced. In any case, gives reason for the On30 line still getting the coke.

Re-working the track
I was talking to my friend Gary Wise last night, pointing out what I was thinking about doing to the On18 track. We started tossing out ideas and this pretty much came up.

  1. This is a fiddle yard. I think I can come up with a way for it to fold out of the way when not in use. Just the height from the track-level of the On30 to the top of the upper fascia is about 28″. That would add quite a bit of operational possibility to the On18 portion.
  2. A Sector Plate at this location would switch between at minimum, two fiddle yard leads
  3. A Peco E492 right-hand HOn30 switch.
  4. Siding. This is important for the operation. The critter will pull up on the main and stop with the coal cars between the two switches. This means that they have to fit within the 20″ approximate space but this is plenty for the small On18 coal cars. I could probably fit 5 cars in the space and that would be plenty coming from the mine at one time. After cutting the coal cars loose, the engine then runs around the cars and comes up behind them to push them.
  5. A Peco E491 left-hand HOn30 switch.
  6. A Peco E492 right-hand HOn30 switch.
  7. A Peco E492 right-hand HOn30 switch.
  8. Stub yard. The engine will park the loaded cars in this yard and the push one at a time to the right of the layout to the coal bin. Empty cars will also be brought back and stored here. Right now there is not enough room to put the 5 coal cars on one lead .. but this is the first design. Not having enough room can be a ‘good thing’ since possibly adding an additional siding nearby would allow for a switching puzzle.
  9. This is as far as the On18 extends currently.
  10. The dashed lines represents the track that will extend over the coal bin.


DRC&C : On18 — 5 Comments

  1. Hi:

    I am building an 18 inch gauge module in 1/2 inch scale I am very interested in seeing more information on your Hill Valey Coke Co. line. Please keep me informed on its progress.

    Cordially Jon

    • Jon,
      If you click the “Subscribe to Blog by eMail” link on the left you should get updates .. at least when I ‘blog’ (WordPress sees a difference between blogs and pages). I will try to ‘blog’ when I update a page in the future so subscribers get an alert.

      I will be adding to the On18 in a bit .. a trestle

  2. Your modeling projects reminds me a lot of what was going on the Clifton, Morenci area. At one point there were three gauges in the area, standard gauge (Arizona &New Mexico, Southern Pacific), three footer (Morenci Southern), and 20-inch gauge (Arizona Copper, Detroit Copper, Shannon Copper).

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