JVRR Mountains


I have decided after watching several YouTube videos to build my mountain range by stacking up wadded up newspaper and packing paper.  I needed to have access to the tunnel I built in the event that a derailment occurs.  I saw one approach using chicken wire.  It proved to be more effort than I wanted to wrestle with.  So I opted to simply cut out access points in the back of the “mountain range”.  These openings should allow me to to clean track and retrieve any derailed cars.  Now remember, that this is the first time I have ever attempted anything like this.  There is a lot of trial and error going on.


After stacking my wadded up paper, it occurred to me to use the shipping foam I already had to build up the base and put the paper wads on top of the foam base.  Then I started to overlay the plaster cloth on top of the paper wads.


This corner of the range is where the White Water Falls will be created.  A lot more work has to be done to build the rockwork.  The falls will come down and flow into the White Water river just to the left of the tunnel curving to the lower right.



Bryson City RR Museum

My wife and I recently took a trip to Bryson City NC to see the railroad museum and take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain RR.  We think the colors of trees had just peaked the week before but it was still a very interesting ride.

The museum layout you see from these images are Lionel gauge or “O” scale.  We talked at length with one of the men that helped to build the layout.  We had a good conversation with him and learned some very interesting ways to create scenery without breaking the bank.

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Since my last post, I have finished the tunnel system made from 1/4″ styrofoam board from Woodland Scenics.  I have made several test runs with my Southern 2229 to make sure the track is functioning 100%.
Last night I made the first run with rolling stock attached to 2229.  2229 is a switcher engine, meaning that it is designed to move cars from sidings to the main line and other yard jobs.  It is not strong enough to pull 40 cars up the side of a mountain.  I found out that my 2229 can pull up to seven(7) cars before it stalls out on the inclines.

I have converted an older Atlas SD-35 diesel loco from DC to DCC.  I have to fine tune the chip but over all it performs nicely.  I have not determined how many cars it can pull before it stalls out.  BUT, it is nice to have two DCC locos to play with.

The next phase is going to be very exciting.  My wife and I start to create the actual landscape to include a waterfall and river.

JVRR-Southern 2229 test run

Please forgive the quality of the video and sound. I shot this with my mobile phone.  This little engine is a DCC Southern 2229, a gift from my brother-in-law. My initial entry into Digital Command Control railroading.  Since my track is new but very old, it took a lot of prep work to get this engine to run flawlessly.  I bought all my track, loco’s and rolling stock from an estate sale in Jan.’15.  I also had to thoroughly clean the loco’s wheels to get a good contact with the track.

1st JVRR Video

This is my very first video taken with my cell phone.  You can see that the track is laid on top of risers I bought from Woodland Scenic.  Landscaping will eventually be brought right up to the track so the risers will never be seen.

And away we go…

I started my project in January 2015, not really knowing what I was doing.  I did a good bit of research on-line and bought several books on N scale that looked to be useful.  I already had a modeling table that I built that I figured could be used for the base of my platform which ended up being 48″x72″.  I knew from the start that this project would have to be paid as I went along.

I started pricing locomotives and rolling stock. Wow. They could be very pricey.  I started looking at eBay and even Craig’s List for 2nd hand equipment.  I knew from what I read that I wanted to go digital.  Although I wasn’t sure what that all entailed.  Deb is an excellent researcher.  She found a source on Craig’s List that was selling several lots of loco’s and cars.

That source turned out to be a gentleman who was selling N scale from an estate.  Long story short, I bought all he had and ended up with a small fortune in just track alone.  I walked away with about 20 loco’s and over 100 cars.  I was in hog heaven.  Now the task of trying to figure out exactly what I was going to model.  What era and location would I model.  Some model railroaders build exact models of real prototypes.  While others go more freelance.

My project will definately be freelance.

Welcome to my Jocassee Valley Railroad Project

I decided to start this blog to simply provide my family an easy way to see the progress being made on my N scale model railroad.  Recently, three of my grandchildren, Avi, Ben, Eddie and even Annabelle showed a very keen interest in my modeling project.  Avi and Ben actually  helped me with the project when they were visiting us a while back.

My blog is a first for me.  My wife, Debbie, is a published author and family historian.  I doubt I will win any prize for my writing abilities.  Hopefully, my images and videos will tell my story for me.

I decided to start to build my model railroad while we were on vacation over last Christmas.  Because space was a bit of an issue, I chose to N scale which is 1/160 of the real life “prototype.”  As a boy in New Jersey, my Dad had a large HO platform in the basement of our home.  We have no such basement in our home so N scale was the size of choice. Z scale was just too small for my big hands to work on.

And so my story begins….