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Electric freight in North America. Wait what? This is the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad, a line isolated from the rest of the North American rail network. Its exclusive cargo is coal from a mine near Kayenta, Arizona going to the Navajo Generating Station in Page. Unfortunately it looks like the power plant will shutdown, and if that happens there will be no purpose for the line. Since there's no connection to any other line, the GE E60 locomotives and cars will likely be scrapped on site. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Mesa_and_Lake_Powell_Railroad https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GE_E60 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navajo_Generating_Station
Remarkably it is now ten years since 'Cuyahoga' my Nickel Plate Railroad layout first appeared in public. Based on the Cuyahoga Flats area of Cleveland Ohio where the Cuyahoga river meets Lake Erie it was an attempt to capture an area where industry, the lake and the railroad meet. I had always wanted to construct a Nickel plate railroad layout since I first read John Rehor's 'The Nickel Plate Story' book as a teenager and had had a go in various scales from H0 up to gauge 1 without success. The plan was for the layout to make its debut at Zedex 2008, which that year was away from its usual Oxfordshire base and was instead at Northampton. Approaching the show it was touch and go if it would be ready and to be honest it was a bit too raw for my own liking but it ran well and people seemed to like it. The rolling stock as a bit of a mish-mash as it was all I had at the time and the future coach servicing area had to be done as a container terminal to fill the space Looking very bare! Guest operator Colin Burns finds his way around the trackplan. At this stage the control panel had a paper front! Constant development continued and it started to clock up a large number of show appearances on the U.K model railway circuit even continuing to get bookings after my other two layouts 'Shasta' and 'Republic Steel' came online. Appearances in Z-Track and Continental Modeller magazines followed and it has featured a lot on my youtube channel and on many of the Z forums The principal improvements were the development of the high line that runs along the divider between the visible part of the layout and the hidden sidings, the carriage servicing facility and more and more detail everywhere I could think of. The track plan has stayed pretty consistent throughout with Marklin turnouts at the rear and Peter Wright turnouts on the visible section with a couple of Marklin double slips in the dock area. The rest of the track is Peco Streamline and to be honest nobody notices the more European tie spacing at shows. Power was supplied by Marklin Controllers although the Universal power pack that operates all my layouts now has switchable DCC to both inner and outer circuits. More soon Kev