BUFFALO CREEK & GAULEY RR
BUFFALO CREEK & GAULEY RR
"Keeping the Memory Alive"
The BC&G was an 18.6 mile long coal-hauling shortline that operated in central West VIrginia in its original form from 1904 through 1965. It has been reincarnated on several occassions since. It was a fascinating railroad and an ideal railroad for modeling. This website represents the compilation of all the information gathered over a period of nearly 30 years, information that was gathered to aid in the construction of an "S" gauge model railroad depicting the BC&G as it appeared in the late 1950s.
The information on this website will be of value to those with an interest in the BC&G, logging lines and Appalachian shortlines in general, but it's particularly aimed at those interested in modeling the BC&G and the logging railroad of the Elk River Coal & Lumber Company.
Over the past 45+ years I have been collecting information about the BC&G and the logging line of its parent ERC&L Co. to assist me in creating a model railroad representing the lines as they appeared in the late 1950's. I have discovered that there are others, including other model railroaders, and former employees of the ERC&L Co. who are also in possession of historical information about the BC&G and who like me, are concerned that if it is not collected in one spot will soon be lost.
The purpose of this site is to create a single collection point for information about the BC&G and the ERC&L, particularly previously unpublished information. This site, in fact, contains a significant number of new photos, drawings and stories about the railroad that have not previously been in the public domain. Collectively the information presented here will allow modelers to construct and operate accurate layouts of this fascinating railroad. Some of the contributors are named below.
The site is a living document, so If you have comments, questions or information to add to this collection, please go to the CONTACT ME page. I'd love to hear from you!
If you have questions or comments about this site, or information or photos to add to it, I'd love to hear from you. Please click here..............................
Connie Acree has identified the crewmemembers in the original photo (above left) taken on February 27,1965, the last day of operations.
L to R: Ralph Acree (Connie's dad), Jobe Young, Ab Wilson (Connie's great uncle), Carsel Hamrick, Moon Mullins and Sammy Burkhammer. The fellow on the far right is unknown.
Climax #2 Derelict At Swandale
John Phillips Photo - 1958
On November 4, 1995 an event was held at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC commorating the 30th anniversary of BC&G Engine #4's final run from Swandale (photo near right). Engine #4 was at the NCTM in tourist service lettered as Southern #604. For the reunion, she was restored to her BC&G livery and several hundred BC&G faithful enjoyed seeing the engine in service again. The photo on the far right was taken that weekend with members of the organizing effort poised to duplicate the famous photo on the left taken 30 years earlier. Amazingly, both photos were taken by the same photographer, Larry Fellure. In the reproduction photo, Bob Withers is second from left, Frank Criswell third from left and Brooks Stover is at the far right. It was a weekend all in attendance will long remember!
BC&G #4 Underway At Spencer
Sign and View GUEST BOOK Here !
IF YOU ENJOY THIS SITE, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ON THE GUEST BOOK!
You can send me an email (HERE) and let me know if you find the site useful or interesting.
11/21 - An annoucement about Cody Burdette's new book has been posted near the top of this page
8/18/23 - I've added some additional aircraft models, most recently the Grumman F3F-3
3/6/23 - I added a link (above) to the new BC&G YouTube Channel
11/1/22 - I posted a notice above that my BC&G layout is featured on the cover of the November 2022 Railroad Model Craftsman
4/4/22 - I have updated the section on RAILFAN TRIPS adding more photos and generally rearranging the information and pictures in chronological order. Man, it must have been a blast in 1958 to ride behind the Shay out on Lilly Fork! 2/10/22 - Posted announcement on this page about #4's restoration and fundraising at www.steamthe4.com 1/12/22 - HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! I've added a new image at the top of this page and a couple of new images, one at Swandale and one at Dundon, that feature a couple of new boxcars recently added to the layout. 11/3/21 - It's been a busy news day! Nick Fisher provided the earliest image yet of the Rich Run Mine. I have updated the listing of articles I've had published in model railroading magazines, now totaling 47 since 1993. Cody Burdette reports that a new boiler is going to be purchased for the restoration of #4 at a cost of $250,000. Finally, Wayne Laepple has provided a photo of the recently repainted Motor "A" and an update on the restoration. 6/8/21 - I've added a link to my MODELER'S GUIDE TO DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY and a new lead photo at the top of this home page. I've also added a one-of-a-kind photo of Climax #1 provided by Leonard Brown.
Click on the highlighted phrases to connect to the pages with new information then look for the with the date corresponding to the posting.
The BUFFALO CREEK & GAULEY in COLOR
By Bob Withers and R. Brooks Stover
Published by Morning Sun Books
The book "The BC&G in COLOR" is published by Morning Sun Books. It is available at book retailers and directly from their website, www.morningsunbooks.com. For more information go to REFERENCES - Books.
The Buffalo Creek & Gauley RR
The 'odometer' has rolled over. Add 100,000 to this number!
The industrious folks in Clay, WV have made it possible to once again ride the rails of the BC&G....on pedal-powered 'Rail Riders".
For reservations call: 304-618-7992
For more information and photos go to:
Click to enlarge these images...
BC&G #13 is pulling a cut of cars off the B&O interchange at Dundon. The action takes place on Brooks' layout representing the BC&G and the ERC&L logging activities as they were in 1963-65. For the full story of the new compact layout click here. If you enjoy this website, please post a comment on the Guest Book (below). Thanks!
Other BC&G Model Railroads
RESTORATION OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY
For nearly 40 years, CLIMAX #3 has been in storage at the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Railroad in Felton, CA. Recently the RWH Foundation has been formed for the purpose of restoring the locomotive to service on the RC&BT! For the full story go to rwhfoundation.com. Here you can read about the project and make a contribution to this exciting project!!!
You can help! Contribute to this great effort now!
I have prepared an illustrated MODEL RAILROADER'S GUIDE TO DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY to assist other modelers in photographing their models and layouts. Click on the link to the left to access the 34-page GUIDE which covers all aspects of model photography from definitions and principles to a hands-on guide to camera settings.
WANT TIPS FOR TAKING BETTER LAYOUT & MODEL PHOTOGRAPHS?
Number 4 is currently owned by the Durbin & Greenbriar RR of West Virginia, the firm that now operates the Cass Scenic Rwy. #4 is undergoing a complete renovation and Cody Burdette reports that a new boiler is going to be constructed for the locomotive.
RESTORATION OF #4 UNDERWAY
THE RESTORATION OF #4 IS UNDERWAY!!!
Durbin and Greenbrier Valley RR has officially launched a fund raising program to complete the restoration of BC&G #4. For complete information and to donate go to:
GREAT NEWS FOR BC&G FANS!
Jared Bryson has just released a great video on the history #4 as another tool promoting the restoration:
The NOVEMBER 2022 issue of RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN includes a feature article about my current BC&G S scale model railroad. Be sure an check it out!
The 8-page article includes photographs taken on railfan visits to the railroad in the summer of 1964, each taken from a vantage point not normally visible to viewers looking at the layout.
The BC&G in RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTMAN
The BC&G is also featured in Kalmbach's GREAT MODEL RAILROADS 2023!
Consolidation #13 is switching the sawmill at Swandale in the summer of 1964. In just a few short months steam operations will cease on the BC&G. But through the magic of model railroading, even today Consolidations are hauling cut lumber and woodchips to the B&O interchange at Dundon!
BC&G LAYOUT is NOW on YouTube!
Watch a series of short videos covering all the major scenes and trains on the layout!
Be sure and leave a comment if you see something you like!
ERC&L #4 simmers quietly between moves while shuffling cars at the Swandale sawmill. The engine started out as a Bachmann On30 Climax. The L&N boxcar is from American Models, custom painted with Tichy decals.
Mechanical issues caused a delay in getting out of Swandale today and it's getting dark by the time #13 has finished setting out the loads on the interchange. Just another day on the BC&G. Maybe things will go more smoothly tomorrow!
The NORTH AMERICAN F-100 Super Sabre is the latest addition to my growing fleet of aircraft. The 1/72 model was built from a AMT kit. For more, click here.
"My book is about growing up in a railroad family. My Dad was a railroad engineer so I got to do what most boys dream of...I got to ride in steam locomotives cabs with my Dad. He would even let me run them sometimes. I went to work on the railroad right out of high school in 1956. I ended my railroad career on the Cass Scenic Railroad in W.Va. I collect and restore old steam locomotive whistles." Cody Burdette
CODY BURDETTE has written a book!
Former Elk River Coal & Lumber employee and long-time contributor to this website, Cody Burdette, has published a book about his life with railroading. The book is available now on Amazon.