Current Layout by Brooks Stover

Layout Name:

"Buffalo Creek and Gauley - 1963 & Later"

Official Web Site:

Layout Status:


Track Type:


Layout Space:

12' x 25'

Layout Style:


Track Manufacturer:

Fox Valley Models

Rail Size:

code 138

Min. Turnout Frog:


Min. Radius:

30" (visible); 21" (hidden)

Ruling Grade:


Track Height(s):

44" to 49"

Mainline Track Length:



benchwork: 100%; scenery: 50%




Central West Virginia

Railroad(s) Modeled:

Buffalo Creek & Gauley; Elk River Coal & Lumber (logging)

Control System:

DCC (North Coast Engineering)

Featured In:

Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette, May 2020


Brooks successfully completed the NMRA's MMR program.

(copyright © Kalmbach Publishing; used by permission)

The BC&G mainline runs from an interchange with the B&O at Dundon, across the Sand Fork Bridge, then disappears into hidden track emerging at Cressmont. Beyond Cressmont the track disappears again, climbs a 3% grade, and emerges at Avoca Jct. where the ERC&L logging branch diverges before arriving at Swandale. The track continues to hidden staging representing the now-abandoned track to Widen. Below, the BC&G Consolidation #13 works the interchange at Dundon while the crew for the Mack railbus take a break from preparing for the morning run. All of the structures, including the bridge carrying the county road over the tracks and the Elk River, were scratchbuilt from photos. The locomotive is a modified S-Helper Service engine and the railbus was scratchbuilt.

(copyright © Brooks Stover; used by permission)

Cody Burdette is tending to his truck at the gas pump at the Dundon company store while his dog, Chum, looks on. Climax #3 is steaming quietly while the crew has apparently run into the store, maybe for more tobacco. The store was scratchbuilt from photos and the Climax is a heavily modified Bachmann On30 engine.

(copyright © Brooks Stover; used by permission)

Leaving Dundon the main line crosses over the name-sake Buffalo Creek on the Sand Fork Bridge. Here BC&G #4 is returning from Swandale with a short train, typical of the consists of the thrice-weekly trains of 1963-65. The large concrete center pylon was installed in 1960 during the repair of bridge which was dynamited by union sympathizers during a labor dispute in 1952. The original pylon was cut stone.

(copyright © Brooks Stover; used by permission)

The company store at Swandale was a busy place right up until it closed when the lumber operation ended. In this scene a woman standing on the porch of her company house watches as BC&G #4 prepares to depart for the return trip to Dundon. All the structures were scratchbuilt from prototype photos. The figures are by Arttista.

(copyright © Brooks Stover; used by permission)

Climax #4 and Climax #3 are busy working at the sawmill in Swandale and today are being assisted by Plymouth #20 which is repositioning a chip hopper under the conveyor. Brooks originally built the model of the sawmill in the early 1990s and this is the third layout on which it has been used, expanded and improved each time.

(copyright © Brooks Stover; used by permission)

There was a backwoods-style engine house at Swandale where the ERC&L's geared logging engines were maintained. Brooks scratchbuilt a model of it from numerous photographs. This photograph duplicates one in Brooks' collection. Cody Burdette who worked at the sawmill says the long object on the ground is a crankshaft from Shay #12 and the broken wheel is from one of the carts used to move lumber around at the mill just across the tracks.

(copyright © Brooks Stover; used by permission)

Shown are the partially completed layout in the train room, with a desk and display cabinets. The room is brightly lit so that photos, including all those shown here, can be taken without auxiliary lighting. The carpeted floor makes things comfortable for visitors and operators.

(copyright © Brooks Stover; used by permission)
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