Piedmont Southern

imageThis page and its subsidiary pages will feature content about the history, design, construction, and operation of my layout. You’ll see more about this in articles in Model Railroader as the years fly by and I’ll fill in the rest of the story here as construction progresses. Right now I have most of the upper deck installed, about 10′ sceniced, and am in the middle of finishing off a big corner filled with the industrial switching area north of Charlottesville, Virginia.

I model the Southern Railway mainline between Charlottesville and Lynchburg, Virginia where it interchanged with the N&W and the C&O. This allows me to include operations for two of my favorite railroads. The operations are further enhanced at Monroe Yard, just north of Lynchburg, where Southern passenger trains heading west across N&W territory switched power. Up until the end of 1957 this meant running behind one the N&W streamlined 4-8-4 J class locomotives. The reverse process took place on the return trip with the steam loco being replaced by diesels. Also, during that last year of steam operations, the N&W ran several steam excursions out of Lynchburg and I continue that practice on the Piedmont Southern using a variety of “preserved” steam locomotives. These include a Clinchfield 4-6-6-4, C&O 4-6-4,  PRR T-1, and a variety of Southern locos.

Another layout design element of the Piedmont Southern is replicating the street running and switching operations of the Southern Railway in the lower basin area along the James River in old Lynchburg. Here brick factory buildings lining Jefferson Street were served on a daily basis by Southern Railway locals. There was also traffic interchange with both the N&W and the C&O in the lower basin. So the guy that is lucky enough to get the Lynchburg local in an operating session has a busy time down by the James River. Traffic here is so heavy it requires two runs in each session, one to handle the interchanges, and a second to serve the industries there. All local jobs are scheduled as extras.


  • Lackawanna Mike

    Hi Larry,

    Where are you located, in VA? Do you welcome visitors?

    • Mike–I used to live in Va, but now am in the Asheville, NC area. Right now the layout consists of about 80′ of the upper deck. I just finished installing most of the ceiling lights and can now get back to finishing the upper deck. Once that is done I have about 100′ of benchwork to build for the main deck which will include a 25′ long yard, a staging yard under it, and helix to join the two. Once that area is done I have another helix to build to go between the upper and main decks plus another big staging yard. The good news is that this kind of benchwork goes in quickly but I still figure I am about a year away from entertaining visitors down there. I’ll be posting more photos of the layout now that I can get back to working on it instead of can lights. Thanks for your interest–Larry