Roaring Run

An On30 Layout Built by Henry Sullivan


Henry Sullivan has been kind enough to allow me to publish some photo's of his beautiful On30 layout, the Roaring Run. He writes:
"The Roaring Run Branch of the Lillyfork Railroad represents open pit iron ore mining which was prevalent around the turn of the 20th century on the Southwestern slopes of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. The track is hand laid code 70 on 6' commercial ties with stub switches. The curves are 8.5" radius. The track is laid directly on blue foam. The base is a box made of 3/8" plywood measuring approximately 25" by 45"."


Roaring Run is lit by three 12 volt spotlights which are focused on scenes on the layout.


A repair shed, which will always be under construction, helps to hide the loop effect of a small layout.


The loop is set diagonally on the rectangular layout. There is a 1" difference in elevation from the front of the layout to the back. A cut hides the loop on the left side.


The Porter arrives with a load of empties.


The Porter's original cab was destroyed in a fire. A new cover was fabricated from pipe, structural steel, and corrugated roofing. The tender hides the sound system.


Lots of trees help disguise the size of the layout and provide a back drop for the locomotives and rolling stock. Spring was selected because I didn't have to do much with the available caspia and other dried weeds I was able to find. I planted them in clumps just as they came from the cellophane wrapping.


The inspiration for the MOW crane was a photo of a steam engine with a crane fitted to the smoke stack. I scratched the superstructure over a Walthers HO motorized crane. It is noisy as all get out -- but not a bad sound effect. The flat car is another one of those British wagons, Americanized.


All of the commercial shays were too big and would not negotiate the tight radius. This shay is a conversion of the HO MDC shay. I turned new domes and a smoke box, altered the shape of the boiler, used some of those Bachmann British spoked wheels and fashioned a shay based upon the ones which operated on the Gilpin Tramway. It just makes it around the curves!


The nice thing about the British wagons is that they look good right out of the box.


The modified Bachmann Porter descends with a load through a cut.


I had to lengthen the Bachmann Porter 0-4-2 to fit a sound system. The rear truck actually supports the weight of the extra length. The trailing truck was moved to the pilot position and the pilot beam was extended forward to accommodate the truck. It's a sorta Phorney.


The Mud Bug was my first On30 styrene project. It fits over the ever-popular HO GE 44 ton power truck. Here, the mine manager and the foreman are discussing rebuilding a sliding door which was recently torn away by a low hanging branch.



And so ends our tour of the Roaring Run. My thanks to Henry for providing us with a glimpse of his excellent work!

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This page updated April 4, 2006
Webpage ©
Larry Rickert
Photographs and text © Henry Sullivan