Yes, model choo choo related, but here is a bit of Tennessee history and cultural geography and geomorphology to wade through first.
The small town of Rugby, TN
would be any other Cumberland Plateau ghost town if it were not for the background of its inception.
It was created as a utopian community by Thomas Hughes as a place for out of work "northeaster" Americans and well bred British "second sons" could live. So here was a small English village in the middle of the Tennessee woods.
If one reads the publications of the time, there were big plans for the area. Much of the story can be taken from the internet and the reprints of the 1884 "The Rugby Handbook", basically a PR
booklet to generate interest and residents. Think glossy booklets for retirement communities today and you get the picture.
One of the problems in the area was access. Rugby sat up on the Plateau, with dirt roads, and with the CNO&TP stop at Glen-Mary (Glenmary), TN a couple miles (and many feet below) to the east, getting the products of the area out, and other materials (and well heeled visitors and residents) in.
There is a single sentence on page 28 in The Handbook eluding to some narrow gauge operations in the area...
....and this is where the fiction starts.
While this (and many other uptopian societies) fizzled in Tennessee, a friend, fellow model railroader and fellow historian is working with some of my help on a small On30 layout set about the "what if" things had gone a bit better for land use and etching out an existance in rural Morgan and Fentress counties at the turn of the century.
So here is the start. The track standards are bamboo ties (round), handlaid code 70 track (secondhand rail from my father's layouts dating back to the 1960s) and stub ties. This is laid on foam.
The idea is to have an operational "tramway" for local products, passengers (large resort/hotel in town) and the logging that was occurring all over the plateau at the time.
To allow for full resoltion of the pix and to save bandwidth, you can look at my Flickr site, but here are some photos below at a smaller resolution to give one an idea of what has been done since Thanksgiving.
Full pix here (click on pic you wish to see, then check all sizes above for large detailed photos (each about 1.7 meg).
A couple sample pix from above:
Lessons so far? Level is not fun, the track rolls in lows and highs cut or added to the foam.
Handlaid code 70 is the way to go on On30 Vs. code 83 or Peco code 100 Oe track. Cheaper, nicer looking and actually VERY easy!