Keeney Creek? Abandoned or just growing weeds

Good question, we seemed to have left Keeney Creek for the moment.

Well at the moment, it is collecting dust. After looking at the 12 inch deep prototype C, Graham and I decided to rebuild the Keeney Creek using the C design. We are keeping the original module working though. Makes for a fun evening switching cars if we do not want to build anything. Biggest problem is that we have to set the module up on our desk to run it.

I am still working on the number of coal loads that a branch the size of Keeney Creek would have generated. Considering the size of the mines I do not think Keeney Creek saw a regular daily mine run. That said, operating Keeney Creek is perfect for the person who has limited time to spend with their model trains. One or two short operating sessions a week would be about all the branch probably saw. I have not confirmed this yet, but I can not imagine much more work for the shifter in our time period. An occasional boxcar for Lookout, or a load of automobiles on a flat car for the local car dealer.

We have two Bachmann 2-8-0s, we just need to get them new couplers and in working order. We have a steel C&O caboose. What we really need is to start acquiring C&O hoppers. Considering that the branch has a low turnover of hoppers, I would imagine the yard would send out only C&O hoppers, which we have none of at the moment. Since we are modeling post WWII until early 1950s we need to find suitable hoppers in N scale for that time period.

Next up: C&O hoppers in N scale and where to find them. I told Graham that if we has modeled in HO we could get a new release of hoppers through C&O Historical society. If you are in HO scale and need C&O hoppers, check the Society website for more information. They are offering 6 pack sets of different AAR hoppers.

Indian Hill Railways

Recently I had lunch with a co-worker who was born and raised in India. We talked about her home state, Indian food, and then on to tea. From tea we took a side step to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a favorite two foot railway of mine. My friend asked me had I ever read or seen photographs of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway or of the Shimla Railway. I had heard of the Nilgiri, but never of the Shimla, and I have never really seen many photographs or read anything about the history of either line. I did discover that BBC had a series titled “Indian Hill Railways”, but I could not watch it on their site.

However, I did find several video on YouTube on each of the Indian Hill Railways. Enjoy if you watch them, they are stories of the railway, the people who work on them, and the people and towns that use each of the railways. They are about an hour-long each.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway. I had not idea that it was a partial cog railway. Very interesting bridge construction as well. The scenery is unbelievable, and instead of cows on the track one has to beware of elephants!

Kalka-Shimla Railway. This one is new to me. The station and the town of Shimla is amazing. A piece of England in India.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Ever since I read about this railway in Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette I have been fascinated by its use of loops and switchbacks to gain elevation, it route through towns right at store fronts, and the B class locomotives. I have never seen a crew of 4-5 on such a small locomotive. Certainly an imagineering project for the future!