BC&G LAYOUT by Brooks Stover, MMR*
For the last 30 years I have been modeling the BC&G in "S" scale. On this series of pages are representative photographs of my third "S" gauge layout depiciting the Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad as it existed, with some liberties, in the late 1950's. Click on the link Modeling in "S" to see more details of how I created each BC&G and ERC&L locomotive and piece rolling stock in "S" scale.
Swandale and Cressmont are reversed on the layout from their prototype positions along the BC&G. The name "Lilly Fork" is used on the layout for a logging camp, not the entire logging branch line for clarity for the operators. The names of Starcher and Taylor Creek were added as a result of the research for this webiste.
This layout has been under construction for about 10 years, although some of the structures date from my first BC&G layout and are nearly nearly 30 years old.
The layout utilizes American Models flexible track and turnouts. All locomotives and rolling stock are equipped with hi-rail wheels and Kadee #802 couplers are used exclusively. All the structures on the layout are scratchbuilt.
Control is by North Coast Engineering DCC Wireless and all locomotives are equipped with Soundtraxx sound.
Layout dimensions: 44' by 25'
Illustration by Ken Lawrence RMC
1. Looking down into the 'Dundon alcove'. The door to the room is on the left.
2. Swandale on the left, Cressmont on right
3. View when entering layout room. Widen is out of view to the right. Dundon is to the left.
4. That's me standing in the Dundon alcove. Like the rest of the layout, this part is now completed
This is the way the room looked at the beginning of construction. Notice that the sky has been painted but the carpet is not yet down. The ceiling and lighting is under construction. Compare with Photo 1!
The last section of track had been laid the month before. On this visit by Paul Sullivan of Colorado (left) and Frank Criswell of Indiana (right) the first train made a complete run from Dundon to Widen. It was an event well worth celebrating with two great modeling buddies!
The Dundon shops are visible on the right. The Dundon company store will eventually be just behind my right elbow. The B&O mainline and interchange track with a string of empty hoppers is visible on the left. The basic construction of the supporting 'benchwork' can be seen as can the scenery profiles on the walls to which the mountain land forms will be attached.
The MAGIC OF MODEL RAILROADING
Part of the fun of model railroading is photographing a layout and describing the photos with captions as if the pictures were of 'real' places and events, as is done with these photos taken at Dundon on my layout.
"It was the summer of 1959. The ERC&L Company had been sold, but the BC&G was still alive and well. I had the chance to spend the better part of a day in the area of the Dundon Shops, and what a great time it was! The hillsides were covered in summer foliage and the sun was warm, maybe warmer than I would have liked, as the combination of the humid mountain air and hot steam from the engines just about got to me. I watched as the crews positioned BC&G's #4 under the sand tower in preparation for the day's work. Engine #14 was steamed up following some maintenance and was looking good!"
"I had visited the BC&G frequently during the past several years and was always made welcome by the crews...as long as I didn't get in the way...and if I asked permission before doing anything that might be construed as dangerous. On this day I asked Jobe Young if I could climb on #14 and get a photo of #4 at the sand tower. Much to my surprise, he agreed! I climbed up on the coal pile in the tender and got this great shot."
"By now I was starting to feel lucky and I got really bold...I asked if I could ride in the cab as Bobby Caruthers hostled the engines around the yard. Well, always the gracious host, Bobby agreed. It was always amazing to me how long the boiler of even a modest sized engine looks when viewed from the cab! It's a good thing someone was spotting for us or we'd have clobbered Motor 'A' sitting on the track directly in front of us!"
"Before I knew it the sun had dipped below the ridge and shadows had fallen across the Dundon Shops. By now Consolidation #4 had returned from the day's trip to Widen and was back in the yard. I was presented with a unique opportunity to see the entire BC&G motive power roster in one place at one time! Even Motor 'A' was in this great BC&G family portrait!"
Be sure and visit the other pages covering my layout, and the layout of Phil Bonzon, and look for other "The MAGIC OF MODEL RAILROADING" photos and captions!
* In September 2009, Brooks was certified as a Master Model Railroader (MMR) by the National Model Railroad Association. He became the 428th modeler to be so certified since the Achievement Program's inception 48 years ago.
I have been writing articles about my modeling efforts for over 30 years. The first one appeared in in the Nov/Dec 1979 issue S GAUGIAN, a magazine dedicated to modeling in "S" gauge. This, my third layout, has been featured in a number of publications. The most notable articles are referenced below.
A four part series on the construction of the layout began in the September/October 2001 issue of S GAUGIAN
The layout was featured in a 9 page article in the December 2006 RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN.
In the December 2009 issue of MODEL RAILROADER I described the operating scheme I developed to use on the BC&G layout. The conductor's orders that direct the crews are loosely based on actual BC&G conductor's orders.
One of the most satisfying of all the articles I've had published was the one that appeared in the September 2009 issue RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN. That article described this website (!) how it came to be and acknowledged the contributions of the many great folks who have made this site what it is. My model of BC&G #4 graced the cover of that issue of RMC.
NOT SHOWN: A 16 page article on the layout appeared in the February 2007 RAILMODEL JOURNAL.
NOT SHOWN: The layout was featured in the 2011 issue of GREAT MODEL RAILROADS published by Kalmbach. The story appeared on pages 26 -35.
An article entitled "Modeling Dundon Shops In Reverse" appeared in the August 2011 issue of NMRA MAGAZINE. It described how I modeled the scene to accurately match the prototype Dundon Shops, including structures and track plan.
An articled entitle "Two West Virginia Railroads In S Gauge" was published in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of NARROW GAUGE & SHORTLINE GAZETTE. The article covered both the BC&G coal operations and the ERC&L logging operations of the layout.
An article titled "How To Make Tree-Covered Hills" appeared in the November 2012 issue of MODEL RAILROADER. It described how I made the foreground and background trees which cover the layout.
An article on the prototype Swandale Company store and the model I built of it appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of NARROW GAUGE & SHORTLINE GAZETTE. The article includes a 3-view drawing of the model structure.
The November 2014 issue of NMRA MAGAZINE included an article on how I built a model of ERC&L 3-truck Climax #4 by modifying a Bachmann On30 2-truck Climax.
Due to a move to a new home the BC&G layout shown on these pages
has been dismantled - February 2017. When the new layout is started I'll post photos.