One of the sources of coal on my O scale Antioc & Dover, is a narrow gauge tram (On30) that moves coal from a mine, down a pair of mountain draws to a dump on the standard gauge A&D. The back story is that this is a mining company owned tram that has been running since the early 1930s but is on it’s last leg as a better method of moving the coal has been found and the tram will be abandoned soon. Equipment still working in the 1969 era of my layout, is a pair of 30 ton center cab diesels, a few dozen 2 bay steel hoppers, a handful of miscellaneous antique freight cars, and three cabooses. A single motor car built from a converted combine provides miners with a round trip to and from work. In a fateful twist, the small tram is also employed with moving construction materials being used to build a massive conveyer belt system that when complete will replace the tram.
The Black Creek Tram will fill in about a quarter of my available layout space, nearly all of which isn’t usable for standard gauge O scale. With a coal mine at one end, a standard gauge dump at the other, and a switchback in the middle, plans are for this little railroad to load a dozen standard gauge hoppers in an operating session to be forwarded to the prep-plant and rotary on the Appalachian and Ohio.
I decided to try out my new workbench by building one of the Tram’s cabeese! I choose a laser kit from Mount Blue Models as a start. The kit is based on a Sandy River & Rangeley Lake work caboose converted from a boxcar. I am adding a scratch built interior, changing the roof to tar paper, and tweaking a few things to make it more BCT. The first one will be #24 with a second, #23 to be built later. As I go, I’ll post pictures here. Down the road, pictures of the rest of the BCT equipment will also show up here.