M&K Junction Railroad

M&K Junction Railroad
Another train of eastbound coal crosses the Cheat River

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wheels Turn!

By February of 2008 I had laid track on one side of the Cheat River gap (unfortunately, no in-progress pictures) and I was itching to run a train; well not a train precisely, but at least a locomotive. So after careful consideration of which locomotive that might be, I threw caution to the wind and selected one of my brass locos, a USRA Light 2-10-2, as the first test subject. This was risky because just beyond where you see the loco stop in the video was a sheer drop to the concrete floor.

I ran this first-for-the-camera run quite fast because there was a dead frog on the turnout nearest the camera (in spite of wiring the frog to the contacts on the Tortoise switch machine); and this early Korean loco (open frame motor) doesn't do anything less than Warp 1.

A few days after I shot this, I was testing the switches and frogs using the shortest wheelbase loco that I had, an old AHM 4-wheel Plymouth, and it did take a trip to the floor. A few chips and a couple of broken couplers later, it's still running.

Those are Atlas #7 1/2 switches in the crossovers and, yes, they're facing point. This area is supposed to be the B&O helper station at M&K Junction (Rowlesburg, WV) and although I don't have anywhere near the room to even hint at the actual trackage, the arrangement must permit the three tracks coming off of the Cranberry Grade (in the distance) to reduce to two tracks to go over the Cheat River Bridge (behind the camera). I also tried to make it possible to tie on helpers going in either direction as the prototype did at this location.

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