Spencer Sawmill Trackage Complete

Back in May I reported on the completion of the Louisiana Central trackage in Oneida.  In that report I mentioned that I’d probably get started next on the Spencer Lumber Company’s sawmill complex in Oneida.  And I did so within just a few days, figuring I would probably whip that out in just a couple of weeks.  So much for my optimism.  The trouble with the model railroad hobby is that it’s so easy to get distracted by other interesting things that pop up.  I could go on for the next five or six paragraphs rambling about these distractions but I really need to stay on topic, so I’ve put my distractions into a separate post.

Well, the Spencer trackage in Oneida is complete, along with the switch motor installations and all of the wiring.  In fact, ALL of the Spencer operation is complete.  Trains of empty skeleton log cars can leave the mill and head up into the woods, and then return fully laden with prime timber.  Spencer’s railroading days are winding down here in 1964.  The only trackage left in the woods terminates at Camp 6 located a few miles to the east of Whitcomb.  Camp 6 is now used as a re-load point for the logs.  Trucks have taken over hauling the timber from the various cuttings, but the trains still get them from this re-load point back to the mill.

Here are a couple photos of the recently completed trackwork.  In a couple days I’ll get a few additional photos posted on the main website for your perusal.

Spencer-Sawmill-Complex
Here is an overview of the mill complex.  In the center of the photo, the mill pond will be in that depressed area, and the sawmill itself will be in the open area at the upper edge of the pond.  The switch at the lower left is on the mainline coming from the woods.  The diverging route (to the left) is to the loading track for the finished product (the spur track to the left of the pond).  The track branching to the left from the upper switch is the connection to the Louisiana Central.  This connection will allow the mill switcher to retrieve the occasional load of supplies and fuel oil left on the loading track by the LCRR.  Heading straight up from the mainline switch, we enter the yard.  The track nearest the pond will have a log dump.  The crossover is to allow the locomotive to run around the cars.  The run-around extends past the crossover to the locomotive service track.  The spur at the far right is the RIP track for the logging cars, and will also double as the caboose service track.

This view above is taken from atop a stool to enable a better view of the track arrangement.  Actual track elevation in Oneida is 54″ above floor.

Spencer-Sawmill-Complex-2
And here’s the view from the sawmill area.  Again, the track closest to the mill pond is the unloading track, the center track is the run-around and engine service, and on the left is the RIP track.  There will be a bit more rolling terrain beyond that last track, and the Louisiana Central mainline will be wrapping around in the distance and then heading down the far left side of the peninsula on it’s journey to Monterey (off to the left of that doorway).

Other than the LCRR mainline trackage mentioned here, and a bit more down in that alcove, the remaining layout trackage is for the yards at Willis and Monterey, and the industrial trackage at each.  While that’s still a lot of track to lay, I can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel (and I think it’s a train).

-Jack

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