Brookville is the seat of Franklin County in southeastern Indiana. It’s an historic and picturesque community. The attraction to me for modeling purposes centers on the Owens Corning shingle plant located in the Whitewater River Valley west of town (photo below).


Web photos Brookville0002

The plant is located on the site of the old Norris Paper mill. In fact, I suspect that portions of the original mill buildings were incorporated into the new plant. But that is speculation on my part. The photo above (dated from late November 2007) shows the bulk of the shingle plant with the railroad entering from the south of town to the far left. It was the day after Thanksgiving when I took this shot, which explains the lack of rail cars and other activity. The original passenger depot stood where the main storage tanks are in the middle of the photo. It straddled the canal and was a typical wooden design of the era. It was destroyed in the 1913 flood that nearly wiped out the whole line. A replacement was built in 1914-15 on the same spot. This one was moved north to Metamora, Indiana in 1991 so that Owens Corning could expand their parking lot as shown.

The appeal of this area for me is in its simplicity. The track arrangement is pretty basic. The red building barely visible in the background is the enginehouse and general office. Most of the turnouts here are #10s, which is what I used on the layout as well. An old refrigerator car (not visible) was used for storage. I plan to incorporate this scene into the layout across from the feed mill.

 As noted above, the line enters town from the south, hugging the riverbank in the process. Originally, the trackage consisted of a lap siding. This is still partially in place and has been added to for the enginehouse tracks. Cars for the plant are stored wherever there’s room during peak production season. I’ve seen them everyplace, even on the enginehouse leads. Most in-plant switching is done with a trackmobile rather than the loco. Since crews like to keep the engine on the front of the train for the 26 mile trip to and from VJ, they will often do a flying switch maneuver at the far southern end of the siding rather than run around the block of cars. They will then locate the cars so the trackmobile can get to them as needed. 

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Copyright 2012 Michael L. Cougill