Short Description

The Blue Ridge and Southern (BRS) is a non-prototypical model railroad loosely modeled after the Murphy Branch of the Southern Railroad in the 50's and 60's. The BRS runs from Asheville to Murphy, NC passing through Canton, Waynesville, Sylva, Bryson City and Andrews all of which require substantial switching to service the many industries in each town.

There is a branch line, leaving Bryson City and going to Fontana, which handles freight for the towns of Fontana, Maggie Valley and Robbinsville.

The BRS connects to the outside world on the east, via the Southern RR, through Charlotte, NC; on the west, via the L&N RR, through Knoxville, TN; and to the deep south, via the Southern RR, through Atlanta, GA.

Route Map


Railroad Overview

Superintendent: Doug Farner
Scale: HO Scale
Era: 1950's and 1960's
Dispatching: Verbal and by signals (RR is fully signaled)
Control System: Rail Command
Car Forwarding: RailOP
Communications: Verbal
Mainline: The BRS covers approximately 650 sq. ft. and is fully sceniced
Crew Size: 6
Yardmaster: 1 yard operator and 1 permanent town operator
Road Crews: 4 road crews of 1 person each
Dispatcher: 1 person (Superintendent)

Layout Description:

General Information

The Blue Ridge and Southern (BRS) is a non-prototypical model railroad loosely modeled after the Murphy Branch of the Southern Railroad in the 50's and 60's. The BRS runs from Asheville to Murphy, NC passing through Canton, Waynesville, Sylva, Bryson City and Andrews all of which require substantial switching to service the many industries in each town. The BRS connects to the outside world on the east, via the Southern RR, through Charlotte, NC; on the west, via the L&N RR, through Knoxville, TN; and to the deep south, via the Southern RR, through Atlanta, GA.

There is a branch line, leaving Bryson City and going to Fontana, which handles freight for the towns of Fontana, Maggie Valley and Robbinsville.

The main yard is in Asheville with a smaller yard, serving the branch line, in Fontana. There are staging yards in Asheville and Murphy. The town of Sylva has a local switcher and crew assigned there due to the heavy workload. A typical session will find 6 operators plus the dispatcher using Rail Command control system and RailOP generated switch list to make up trains and move freight from place to place.

The BRS is fully signaled and is completely sceniced.

Canton

Canton is the first town west of Asheville and is home to Adler Paper Co.-Eastern Division, which requires lots of raw material ( including wood chips from the Bridgewater Chip Plant in Waynesville) coming in and many empty cars to ship out going product. Canton is also home to Drexel Furniture - Plant 7. Furniture is big business in this part of the country and requires wood, fabrics, and some chemicals to produce fine dining room furniture. There are also several other local industries that require railroad cars of various types.

Waynesville

Waynesville is the second town west of Asheville and the main industry is the Bridgewater Chip Plant, which needs empty wood chip cars and ships loaded cars to Adler Paper in Canton. There are several other industries including Highpeak Brewery and Distribution Co., Heritage Furniture, Abbott Milling and Baking, Weidman Ward, Heinz Pickle, Robinson Knitting and others. There is a local switch engine here to make work easier.

Sylva

Sylva is the third town west of Asheville and is busy enough to require a full time switcher and crew. Chamberlain Cold Storage, Phil's Icing, Broyhill Furniture, and Chornell Cement dominate the east side of town. Chamberlain Cold Storage is in an abandon BRS tunnel where freshly iced reefers (iced at Phil's Icing) are stored until ready to be added to a passing freight.

The center of Sylva is home to Henredon Furniture, McBee Metals and American Hardware Supply and the BRS passenger and freight station. The BRS home office occupies the second floor of the station.

On the west side of town you will find Bogan Windows, Tolson Manufacturing, Fuel storage for the local switcher, and a team track. The local crew is also responsible for Duke Power Co. which is located a short distance west of town.

Bryson City

Bryson City is the fourth town west of Ashville and has several industries to be switched from both directions. The main industries are Farmer's Coop, Morganton Furniture, Electrical Supply Co., Otteray Mills and Thomasville Chair. The Fontana branchline interchange track is also located here.

Andrews

Andrews is the last town heading west from Asheville towards Murphy. There is lots of switching here with the daily work consisting of pulling cars from industries, making a run to the Asheville Yard and then returning to place the cars at the various industries. Andrews is treated like a small branchline in that there are no thru trains to disturb the work being done.

Fontana Branch line

Fontana

Fontana is the central point of the Fontana Branch of the Blue Ridge and Southern. Although it is a branch of the BRS the Superintendent is extremely independent and just a little slow to adopt the new type of power called "Diesel". He has a policy against allowing any "Diesel" power on his trackage and as a result the BRS management will not allow any of those engines with "boilers and side rods" on it's mainline. Consequently all freight to or from Fontana, Maggie Valley, and Robbinsville must use the Fontana Branch Interchange at Bryson City.

All trains entering or leaving Fontana must cross the rickety wooden trestle which is 66 feet high and 352 feet long. The view of the valley below is spectacular.

Fontana Yard is the servicing yard for the entire branch line. Daily runs are made to Maggie Valley and Robbinsville. There are also a number of industries in Fontana which must be switched.

Maggie Valley

The train that comes to Maggie Valley has lots of challenges to face in order to switch the nine small industries. In addition to the tight switching areas there is a Branch Line rule that prohibits pushing any cars over the Fontana Trestle so the work crew must reverse the train before returning to Fontana Yard.

Robbinsville

Although the main reason the railroad is in Robbinsville is to switch Cone Mills, there is a canning operation and several other small industries which must be handled. The train must also be reversed before leaving in order to comply with Branch Line rule of not pushing cars across the Fontana Trestle.

Operating Scheme

Trains are controlled by Rail Command. RailOp is used to generate train manifest.

Trains

All trains are run as extras. They are mostly way freights, with some thru freights and an occasional passenger train.

Photographs
Asheville Yard Canton
Asheville Yard Canton
Waynesville Sylva
Waynesville Sylva
Bryson City Andrews
Bryson City Andrews
Fontana Maggie Valley
Fontana Maggie Valley
General 1 General 2
General 1 General 2
General 3 General 4
General 3 General 4

Last Updated: 05 November, 2014
Author: Ward Hammond
Copyright 2014