SACOM For Progress… September 2021

The season has changed, along with the weather, since we last provided an update about the layout. Several areas have seen some exciting progress.


Yardmaster Jesse Smith has continued his scenery work for Handley with the addition of foam board mountains that are in the process of receiving homemade foliage (first two photos). A little plaster cloth and foam blocks go along away to adding another dimension to the scenery at Handley (last photo). Paul Tabit and Steve Hardman worked on getting Handley on it’s own electrical circuit to prevent shorts from affecting mainline operations. The turntable’s rails have also been powered. Locomotives can now be turned on the table without loss of electrical power.

St. Albans

The west end of St. Albans is taking shape at Jim Butler has added additional scenery, a U.S. 60 bridge, and the Preiser facility to his section of the layout.

South Charleston

South Charleston Yard has been ripped up and is being relaid by Cory Claxon, Jesse Smith, Tyler Wylie and Tony Parrish. The “new” yard will be of similar style to Handley, without roadbed underneath yard tracks, the baseboard painted, and prototypical track spacing. The plan today is to feature five through tracks, two stub tracks on the east end, an engine terminal, several industries, and the tank car yard. For those that love switching, the new yard will be a switchers’ dream. Part of the Coal River Subdivision has also been uncovered to provide additional operating opportunities. Some form of coal loadout is the idea being passed around right now for this space.

Fun Times

Top left, Cory Claxon posed his steam locomotive fleet for a family photo at Handley. H-8 #1610, T-1 #3004, J3a #613, L-1 #491, and “C-17” #362 adorned the yard. Jesse Smith also recently brought his completely scratch built S.S. Spartan to the layout. Smith says he started the ship in the early 1980s before putting it on the backburner until the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year. With everything shutdown, this allowed Smith ample time to order parts, scratch built necessary parts, and assemble the vessel into a seaworthy ship. Smith’s plans call for motors and RC control to be added for remote operation. The ship is five-feet long and is an HO replica of the prototype. Smith will present a talk on this venture at the 2022 Modeler’s Meet. Registration forms are now available on this website.

We continue to meet every Friday evening around 6 p.m. Those interested in learning more about the layout or becoming a member are encouraged to attend one of these sessions.

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