Rickety logging lines are a popular theme. The design shown above is a free lanced West Virginia logging branch set in the 1930’s or 1940’s. It’s an ideal canvas for building craftsman structure kits, bridges, and scenery. The line starts along a river bank at a town wedged between the water and a heavily wooded steep mountain face where there are some rudimentary service facilities, a station, a smattering of typical industries as well as an interchange connection to the outside world. A few barges are moored by the river bank. Leaving town, the branch begins a steep, three per cent, upward grade into the mountains where it services a spider web of logging camps. The route clings to the hillside as it traverses a variety of bridges that cross creeks running off the mountain face. At the summit is a small rail town for sorting cars and running around the train.
Locomotive power would be shays or light steamers. Operationally, a yard switcher would work the industries at the town at the bottom of the grade and exchange cars with the interchange track. Logging trains would also be assembled by the switcher for the trip up to the summit and back, working the various camps en route.
Track: Micro Engineering code 70 or code 55
Turnouts: Micro Engineering number 6
Maximum grade: 3%
Minimum radius: 24 inches