Bruce Faulkner's CSXT Shenandoah Division is an N scale model railroad designed for prototypical operations. This 17' x 43' double-decked layout features a mainline run of 280 feet (about 8.5 scale miles) from one end to the other. The layout reflects Bruce's interest in the former Clinchfield Railroad. Accordingly, the layout has been built to run long trains on a busy single-track mainline, and makes maximum use of the advantages of N scale for realistic operations. Pushers are used on many trains due to heavy tonnage and steep grades. The layout features motive power in a variety of paint schemes from the CSXT merger era of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Construction of the current layout began in January 2002, and limited operating sessions have been held since March 2005. This model railroad features many innovative design and construction techniques as well. Be sure to attend the clinic "Designing the CSXT Shenandoah Division" to learn more about this railroad before seeing it for yourself.
The benchwork is complete. Track crews have finished all the mainline, passing siding, staging yard, and most industry trackage, with the major classification yard to be finished in the future. Visible track is predominantly Atlas code 55, with code 80 used in the staging yards. The layout is DCC equipped using Digitrax components, including block occupancy detection, with CTC signal installation to come. The dispatcher controls traffic movements via CATS/JMRI software from a PC. Currently, the only scenery on the layout is on a peninsula salvaged from a prior version of the Shenandoah Division. The scenery represents the fall season in the Appalachian Mountains.
The prototype-freelanced CSXT Shenandoah Division represents the 1986-1994 era of what was the Shenandoah Valley Line Railroad prior to the CSXT merger. The Shenandoah Division route forms the shape of a "Y". One leg of the "Y" originates at Connellsville, Pa., and travels through the mountains of the Virginias to arrive at Salem, Va. before terminating in Wadesboro, NC The other leg of the "Y" originates in Winchester, Va. and intersects the first leg near Covington, Va. In addition, Norfolk Southern shares joint trackage from Shenandoah Junction, Va. to Roanoke Junction in Salem. As a result, the heaviest traffic over the Shenandoah Division traverses the line between Covington and Salem, which is reflected in the modeled segment.
Today's Shenandoah Division is an important freight route for CSXT from the Midwest and Northeast to the South. Since CSXT single-tracked the former ACL between Richmond and Rocky Mount, some of the New York and Philadelphia area to Atlanta traffic now moves via the Shenandoah Division. In addition, Midwest (Chicago, Detroit, and Cincinnati area) traffic moves over the Shenandoah Division because of congestion on the busy ex-L&N routes from Cincinnati to Atlanta. West Virginia coal tonnage continues to be shipped over the Shenandoah Division to both power plant and export customers.
Note: This layout is NOT wheelchair accessible, and does require climbing stairs to the second story layout room.
For more information, visit the CSXT Shenandoah Division on the web at www.shendiv.com.