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 Eastern Shore RR in HO

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Grubes Posted - 09/25/2011 : 9:06:45 PM
Welcome to the Eastern Shore Railroad in HO. Many were nice enough to follow my Eastern Shore Railroad in N gauge and that thread explains why Iíve moved to HO, but for those who may not be familiar with the prototype a brief overview.

The Eastern Shore Railroad (now the Bay Shore RR) is a 65-mile shortline that runs from Pocomoke, MD, to Cape Charles, VA with a car ferry that crosses the Chesapeake Bay and terminates at Little Creek, VA just adjacent to Norfolk. The railroad has an interesting history and was once part of the Pennsylvania RR system. I wonít go into the ESHRís story, however, it is available in the book, ďThe Eastern Shore RailroadĒ by Chris Dickon (available through Amazon).

In recent times the ESHR has struggled to survive facing bankruptcy on more that one occasion. Yet the single-track right of way still carries freight up and down the MD/VA eastern shore today. It is the combination of the Eastern Shore mystique along with a personal attraction to the railroad that I established while in the Navy making the occasional trek from Naval Air Station Norfolk along Rt 13 to visit family in Philadelphia that created my desire to model the operation. Iíve photographed the ESHR since 1983 and have visited the entire right-of-way, so I have a lot of visuals to assist me.

I have taken some license in my trackplan as I have included Willis Wharf as a destination (Map below). The real ESHR never served the town, however, for operational reasons and aesthetic reasons Iíve taken modelerís license. Iíve included my trackplan below and welcome comments.

Operations would start at Cape Charles with a consist just off the ferry. Passing Cheliton and using the entirety of the loop counter-clockwise to simulate distance the train would pass Exmore, Willis Wharf and Cape Charles prior to switching the first destination, the Exmore Granary. Again going around the loop, the next switching moves would occur at Willis Wharf. Finally, after another trip around the loop, the destination would be the passing siding at Willis Wharf that simulates Pocomoke. The train would then reverse direction and repeat the sequence backwards copying the once a day Cape Charles to Pocomoke and return run of the prototype.

I had originally planned on building my railroad using Proto 87 standards and had already completed 3 highly detailed turnouts. However, the possibility of a future job opportunity that might include a move changed my thoughts for two reasons. First, scratchbuilding the turnouts was exceptionally time consuming and I want to (finally) get some trains running. Second, I did not want to run the risk of laying the turnouts and the hand-laid track and risk damage to the trackwork with the possibility of a move looming. Instead, Iíve decided on Code 83 Walthers turnouts and Atlas flextrack.

Iíve included some pictures of my Proto 87 turnouts and my weathered Walthers turnouts and flextrack. Iím curious what Forum members think about the differences and down the road whether it would be worth the significant extra effort to go Proto 87. I really have always believed that realistic trackwork was one of the major factors in satisfying my desires to watch a train up close and not be distracted by plastic ties and large rail so it will be a difficult decision should I start over.

In my next post, Iíll show some pictures of my progress.


Proto:87 Switches

Comparison of Proto:87 and Walthers Code 83

Atlas Code 83 Flextrack: new and weathered

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Railrunner130 Posted - 07/29/2019 : 12:25:32 PM
I just returned from vacation in Cape Charles. The railroad is gone, but the historical society now owns the remaining locomotive and cars in addition to the passenger station.
Steam Nut Posted - 12/04/2013 : 2:42:33 PM
Leave New Jersey? Someone was smart! Dave nice to see your going to build another layout. As you can see from my layout thread your back drops will live on.
deemery Posted - 12/04/2013 : 10:09:19 AM
There's a great On30 module group in Austin, the "On30 Hill Country Outlaws". They have a Yahoo Group, On30HCOutlaws You should check them out.

Dutchman Posted - 12/04/2013 : 08:48:39 AM
Originally posted by Grubes

I have torn town the layout due to a move to Austin, Texas.

Dave (AKA Grubes)

Wait a minute! We are allowed to leave New Jersey?

Dave, good to hear from you. Post progress when you can.
MarkF Posted - 12/01/2013 : 9:32:05 PM
Dave, it's good to hear from you. I knew you had moved but didn't know where to. Sounds like you've settled in and are already well underway in your new project. I can't wait to see some pictures.
jbvb Posted - 12/01/2013 : 7:12:17 PM
Looking at the NMRA's model railroad club listings, I find Austin NTrak: http://www.austntrak.org/

It might also be worth asking around at the Austin Steam Train Assoc. http://www.austinsteamtrain.org/

I liked your HO effort, and look forward to seeing some postings about the N layout.
Grubes Posted - 12/01/2013 : 6:06:21 PM
Originally posted by ChipC

Just wanted to boost this post -- interested to know if any more progress has been made?


Thanks very much for your interest in my progress. As SteamNut noted, I have torn town the layout due to a move to Austin, Texas.

Although I regret not having finished the HO layout, I can say that I've started an N gauge shelf layout that will continue the DELMARVA peninsula theme. I've been lurking on Railroad Lines Forum and I hope to start posting sometime around the end of the year on the progress of this new effort.

Just some quick info on what I'm planning; N gauge, handlaid high detailed track (I've already built three turnouts with tie plates and detailing from Proto 87}, about 2' x 9', and with an eastern shore taste.

I expect my progress to be very slow due to the workload of my new job which is why I've "downsized" my layout in scale and complexity.

I miss the NJ model rrs and wondered if there is an Austin group.

Dave (AKA Grubes)
Steam Nut Posted - 11/27/2013 : 3:08:18 PM
I don't want to jump in on Dave here but I don't know if he is still a member here or not. I know the layout was torn down and I think he moved. His great back drops will live on as I now have them on my layout.
ChipC Posted - 11/27/2013 : 12:20:40 PM
Just wanted to boost this post -- interested to know if any more progress has been made?
Dutchman Posted - 05/04/2012 : 06:39:35 AM
Dave, we were in Cape Charles yesterday and took some pics. Among them is a huge gun off the USS Missouri that is sitting in the yard. Two came over on the rail barge, one will stay in a Nat. Wildlife Refuge near the cape, and the other went up to Delaware by rail. So, a huge gun on a flat car would still be prototypical in 2012!

Besides pictures, there are some neat videos in this link, including a hand-cranked swing bridge.

quarryman Posted - 04/23/2012 : 08:00:54 AM

The scenery is coming along nicely. The brooding sky and winter foliage give your layout a lot of character and bring cold days by the Bay immediately to mind.

Mark Chase
Richmond VA
Harsco Posted - 04/22/2012 : 9:14:41 PM
Very nicely done, Dave....love the "tunnel" effect through the trees....and the foreground and background blending is really outstanding....
Grubes Posted - 04/22/2012 : 5:28:42 PM
It's amazing how many trees it takes to make a small forest, especially when there's no canopy to hide behind. I've been adding more, and, consistent with James' suggestion, I'm trying to get away from the uniform look that came across in the last pictures.

I've added some underbrush and most recently have put in some pine trees which really help. I'm about tree'd out, so after doing some house cleaning on the layout and layout room, I'm going to try my hand at a few small buildings, add a road crossing with flashers, and finish the overpass.

Below are a few shots of the wooded area and new pines.

jbvb Posted - 04/02/2012 : 07:26:48 AM
Maybe I pay more attention to trees than most (easily possible), or maybe I don't know what they look like in the Delmarva area (having never been there), but I think your patches of foreground forest would look better if there was more variation in height and trunk diameter. Height would be easiest to change, and would be most visible from a distance (as in your last photo). Diameter would be tougher: Could you dip the lower parts of some of the weeds you're using in glue, plaster or something like that to bulk them up before final painting?
Grubes Posted - 04/01/2012 : 8:20:50 PM
Thanks for all the positive comments.

Continuing to add trees and landscaping to the area around Cheriton. Iíd like to forest about another two feet then Iím going to finish the bridge that crosses the Cape Charles yard throat, build the abandoned train station (although itís more a shed than a station at Cheriton) and then my first major build, the maintenance building at Cape Charles.

Some additional pictures below:

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