Seaboard Systems (CSX)    Seaboard Systems (CSX)
   North Carolina
   1980's
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Sunrise Feed/Seed

The Forestdale Branch is a freelance (9.5’ x 9.5’ around the walls with 2' deep benchwork) layout based loosely on the Thermal Belt Railway of Rutherford County, NC. The name, Forestdale, is a combination of Forest City and Spindale, both of Rutherford County. The Thermal Belt Railway operates out of Bostic Yard in Bostic, NC. Bostic Yard is former Clinchfield, now CSX. Motive power is basically, Seaboard Systems and early CSX "repaints" of Family Lines locos. There are 3 switching locations on the layout with 9 industries plus the yard service spots. 1. Bostic Yard (freelanced version) includes a roundhouse & turntable, engine service, RIP track, caboose track, and yard tracks. A grocery distributer, “Wholesome Foods,” is served from a track off the yard. Also, a pulpwood loading track is at the end of an extended yard track. (There is pulpwood loading at the real Bostic Yard.) 2. Henrietta has a spur with “Moore’s Fuels” and “Roger’s Home Building Supplies.” Along the mainline near Henrietta is an interchange track with Norfolk-Southern. (Henrietta is a real textile mill town in southeastern Rutherford County.) 3. Forestdale hosts a textile mill named for the town, “Heritage Furniture,” “Sunrise Feed & Seed,” and “Caroleen Freight & Storage.” Forestdale and Bostic both have a passenger station. Forestdale also has a mainline track which connects to a 2' x 8’ staging/fiddle yard representing the rest of the CSX line. Most of the industries names have a story behind them: The textile mill is from Rutherford County being a major textile manufacturing center until the late 1990's - early 2000's. The furniture mill represents the Drexel Heritage Co. of Morganton, NC. The fuel dealer is reminiscent of a friend's fuel dealership from the 1960's-1970's. The Caroleen structure is a scale replica of a freight depot which still stands in Caroleen, NC and is a progression from the freight houses to bulk transfer points in most major towns. The feed/seed mill represents one that was in operation between Forest City and Spindale until the 1980's. The building supply dealer is named for my brother, Roger, a retired general contractor with whom I worked in my twenties. The Caroleen Freight and the interchange bring on a variety of car types and increase operations. I run the layout with DCC using the PIKO SmartControl system. I am currently converting existing locos to DCC. One loco has sound from a Digitrax Sound Bug. For ambient sound: I play "Sound Effects of Heavy Industry," by Quickar Electronics, Inc. I use an MP3 player connected to 2 computer speakers under the layout below the textile mill and the furniture plant (pictured above). I also have an MRC Sound Station 312 which produces generic railroad sounds.  

 
 
 
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