Southeastern USA
   1920 (BLT). 1941 (Cha-Cha)


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Welcome to the Bolero, Lindy & Tango railroad and its subsidiary, the Cha-Cha Chesapeake Industrial railroad.

The BLT, as it is known to its hungry friends, is an L-shaped N-scale (1:160) layout in Mount Dora FL, where the magnate who owns it spends his winters. The Cha-Cha is a portable industrial zone on a one-foot by three-foot board at his summer home on Kent Island MD. It is a classic Timesaver design connected to a simple Inglenook Yard which he dubs a TimeNook -- but expansion plans are already underway.

As you might guess, the builder of the BLT and the Cha-Cha is an enthusiastic ballroom dancer who loves Argentine Tango. 


Chester Peake discovered ballroom dancing as a young adult, where it was an obvious gateway to meeting attractive girls, as it overcame his speech impediment -- stuttering. Throughout his life, this and his love of all forms of transportation would shape his course. After college, he launched boldly into railroading in 1:1 scale by raising capital for a short line that would serve an industrial park. When the lawyer asked what name to give the new corporation, Chester stuttered, "Cha-Cha-Chesapeake Industrial Railroad," and so it was. By happy coincidence, the name fit Chester's passion for dance, anyway. Later in life, his favorite phrase was, "Tango very much."


The Bolero, Lindy & Tango

At one end, the BLT features an urban yard (Boleromore), a dockside area (Cape Paso) on an estuary called Rum Bay, and a car ferry that makes the hop across to Lindy, off the layout.

One mainline from Bolero goes south through the little towns of Quickstep and Foxtrot, ending in a place that vaguely resembles rural central Florida. The other mainline stretches through the southern hills to Tangorine, in the citrus district. A switchback extends to the logging town of Argentine and into the hills beyond. Townspeople spread rumors of an extension of the Argentine branch back up to another level over the original city of Bolero, but the engineering will take some time.

Thus, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia are compressed into a few inches between Maryland and Florida. Hey, this is model railroading. Use your imagination.


The Cha-Cha Chesapeake Industrial Railroad

The Cha-Cha Chesapeake Industrial Railroad is a tiny short line that serves a waterfront industrial district somewhere in Maryland. It is not scenic (Unitrack on a bare countertop) but is a busy place. Crews make up trains in the Inglenook Yard section according to standard rules ( From there, a little switcher moves the cars to their destinations on the Timesaver portion of the layout. 

With either a Tab-On-Car or Waybill car routing system, operation is a constantly varying challenge. The owner is still trying to work it out...

Here's a schematic of the Cha-Cha Chesapeake Industrial Railroad:

CCC Industrial Railroad


Edited 3/13/10

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