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Chessie System

C&O Mountain Subdivision

Bryan Williams


          Concept:                     HO Scale Model Railroad depicting the Chessie System in August 1984. The Mountain Subdivision started in Charlottesville, Va. And extended over the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley to Clifton Forge, Va. My layout will start in Charlottesville and end in Staunton, Va.


                                                            The layout is a point to point design with staging at each end. The design allows both sets of staging to sit one on top of the other. Starting track height is 48” and ends at 56” with a high point of 57” at Waynesboro.


                                                            The former C&O line passed through many small towns on the single tracked line. Towns that I plan to model are Charlottesville (C&O Yard and station)(Southern Rwy crossing), Crozet, Va., Afton, Waynesboro (C&O Station and N&W Interchange), Staunton (Chesapeake Western interchange).


                                                            The main focus of this line was to move empty coal and grain trains west over the mountainous route. Locals worked from Richmond to Charlottesville, and Clifton Forge to Charlottesville. Amtrak’s Cardinal also makes a tri-weekly showing.


            Construction:             The layout was started shortly after we moved into our new home in 1999. The basement was prepped and partition walls were constructed.


                                        Benchwork: Open Gridwork style - ¾” AC Plywood ripped into 3” strips


                                                            Roadbed: ¾” Plywood with ½” Homosote on top in yard areas.


                                                            Track: Atlas code 83 flex and #6 turnouts. Walthers 83 in some areas.

                                                                            Chesapeake Western and all sidings – Micro Engineering Code 70.

                                                                            Tortoise switch machines will be used.


                                                            Control: NCE Powerhouse Pro DCC.