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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Wednesday, January 01, 2020 at 8:04:00 AST.)

On30 SCALE: Black Sand Mining & Timber Railroad

For me, one of the most enjoyable side effects of designing layouts is learning new things. And while designing this layout, I learned a lot over the last month and a half. For starters, I never knew that Platinum could be recovered from beach sand. And since I had to build the equipment required to do that in 3D, I also had to learn how that equipment was used. So most of the designing process was spent reading up on the mining industry, and it was quite interesting.

Anyway, back to the layout. I was asked by a client to design an On30 layout for his futuristic Black Sand Mining & Timber RR. The backstory, as told by client, goes like this:

"202X: The US economy has been in a recession for more than six years and in Oregon it is considered a depression. Science and Technology however are making gains not thought possible even decades prior. Teleporting of inanimate objects has become a reality and the technology requires large quantities of Platinum particularly for teleporting large objects over long distances such as rovers to the moons of Jupiter. The value of platinum soars to over $5,000.00 per ounce.

In part due to the recession Conservative Rural Oregonians now outnumber the Portland, Salem, Eugene Urban Progressive Liberals and elect an Extreme Right Legislature. The legislature calls a special election to approve amendments to the state constitution rolling back restrictions on mining on public land including coastal areas with proven reserves of Platinum. The rural majority voters pass the amendments.

Randal (Ran) Amock, a former lumber mill owner and Willamette Valley grass seed (not that kind!) farmer, is the first to stake a mining claim on the Southern Oregon Coast near the city of Coos Bay. He forms the Black Sand Mining & Timber Railroad to mine the sands, do the initial processing, forward it via Coos Bay Rail Link for final processing at a Black Sand plant in Eugene, Oregon and shipment to customers throughout the US via UP and abroad via UP and Port of Portland."

While the layout was small, the concept was quite unusual. It was quite a joy working with the owner, and learning a little bit about how Platinum is recovered from sand.

Track Plan:

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Overall views of the layout:

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3D screen captures from the layout:

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TAGS: Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Design Feature: Continuous Run Option, Theme: Industrial Railway, Design Feature: Interchange, Theme: Mining, Theme: Narrow Gauge Railway, Theme: Single Industry, Theme: Waterfront, USA (States): Oregon

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