The Cumberland Northern Railway main line runs from Hagerstown, Maryland to Knoxville, Tennessee. It also has a line that runs from Norfolk, Virginia to Harriman, Tennessee. Coal is the mainstay of the railroad, but a considerable amount of freight traffic is also moved. The main crossing point of all the lines is Salem, Virginia.
The line modeled represents a secondary, heavy duty main line that runs into the heart of the Appalachian coal region. It also serves a few towns that have agricultural, light manufacturing and warehousing industries. On-line connections are made with the Norfolk & Western, Clinchfield, and Louisville & Nashville railroads.
The layout is walkaround style, built in a fourteen by thirty-four foot area. It is in the transition era with both steam and diesel power used on trains. The Cumberland Northern main line moves three mine runs and a prep plant job, three locals, two coal trains each way, three freights each way, one transfer job and a passenger train that serves the main line and one branch. Helpers are required on most trains up short, steep grades. Two yard jobs and a local switch job complete the lineup. A standard (3x5) carcard and waybill system is used, with Digitrax UT-1 and UT-4 radio throttles that have a toggle switch for reversing and a large knob for speed control.
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