( Logo Copyright Matt 2009)
Welcome to the Forest & Western, a private hobby railroad run for fun. The Forest & Western Railroad consists of the HO scale Basement Division and the 1.6" scale Backyard Division (a live steam riding railroad). Both are located near Lynchburg, Virginia and both celebrated 40 years of operation in 2018. Each Division has a narrow gauge subsidiary; the Weird and Wonderful (HOn3) and the Clear Creek Southern (1.6" scale, 4-3/4" gauge). Over the years, both Divisions have produced great friendships, operating enjoyment, and satisfaction of our inclination to "tinker" with things mechanical and electrical.
The Basement Division is a freelanced representation of the areas served by the Pennsylvania Railroad, Norfolk and Western Railway, Southern Railway, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway so equipment of any of these roads would look "at home" on the railroad. The Basement Division is operated monthly by a crew of eight operators.
The Backyard Division consists of approximately 2200 feet of 7-1/2" gauge track. Some track is dual-gauged for narrow gauge (4-3/4") operation. Curves are tight (32' minimum radius) and grades are moderate. Equipment includes steam and diesel (battery powered) motive power. No machinery other than a garden tractor and cart have been used in construction. (We do have a "hobby cement mixer.") All stone and fill used in construction is from the yard rather than purchased.
Backyard Division operations are governed by weather and inspiration rather than by any schedule. Builders and operators of live steam and large scale equipment are invited and encouraged to visit by appointment (a contact form is provided below). Visiting equipment is invited to run provided typical wheel and safety standards are met and provided our track can accommodate the visiting equipment. This is an under-used railroad!
The buttons at the top of this page will take you to photos and videos of each division. These show friends and helpers who have participated, features that may be of interest to other builders, and trains in operation. Your comments, questions and suggestions are invited.
There is something magical about coal smoke and steam!