Out with the HO, in with the N.
I've made the decision this week to focus on the St. Charles part of the layout as that needs some immediate work which - when those jobs are finished - will allow me to run a full ops session on the layout whilst I work on the scenery and such.

At least it'll allow me to play trains as a break from all the building work!

I have decided to add a small expansion to the front of the board on the coal mine side of the layout, just adding about an inch to the layout width in one place. This will allow me to add a short spur to the lower track after it crosses the river bridge, which will allow me to represent the small loading point/truck dump at Valee. There was a small branch off of the Bonny Blue/Mayflower branch on the line which served two small loading points - Valee and Dominion. Whilst I don't have room for Dominion, I can represent Valee, at least, with a short spur to fit two or three cars in.

In the mean time, I've been working on applying decals to some locomotive repaints during my lunch breaks at work. This is the current state of the first one, a Bachmann SD45 repainted from Conrail. It needs touch ups on the paint where it's chipped, and the white warning stripes on the pilots. I was originally going to add the Southern Railway crest to the hood ends as per the prototype, but I found a 1968 photo of the locomotive I'm modelling which didn't have them, so I've decided to leave those off.

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This arrived today from the USA. $35 plus $25 shipping and customs fee.

Hornby Arnold U25C. I've got another in L&N colours on the way to go with it. I'm told that the L&N favoured the U25C in consists of 3 to haul the heavy coal drags out of the Kentucky coalfields. Due St. Charles being pretty much sat on top of the Virginia/Kentucky border, I'm using modellers licence to have them run the mine trains on my layout too. The L&N used to lease a lot of power from the Penn Central, so this locomotive being in the consist isn't all that far fetched either. Smile

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