Bailey's Quarry and Bailey’s Lumber in S scale


This page presents a Proto:64 layout section based on the C.A.Bailey granite quarry and designed to be incorporated into a larger future layout depicting the railroads of the Hooksett-Suncook NH area, circa 1930.  The quarry line interchanged traffic with the Suncook Valley Railroad at the Bailey Lumber Company (same family, but separately owned and operated.)  Bailey’s Lumber, located at the outskirts of Suncook Village in Allenstown on the Chester Turnpike, was one of the Valley ’s largest customers, producing box shooks and finished lumber.

Charles Bailey operated a series of second-hand 0-4-0 locomotives over a short quarry line to move his products to the Suncook Valley Branch, and later, Railroad.  A history of the railway is here: Forty Years of Granite and Steel.   With its 4% grade, tight curves, in-quarry switching, and dramatic working face, Bailey's quarry offers many attractive modeling features.

1921 USGS Topographic Map

May 5, 1951 USGS aerial survey photo

Track Plan

The original track plan shows a 12’ by 14’ L depicting the entire quarry line as well as the Suncook Valley Railroad from the new (1931) US Rt 3 underpass to just beyond the lumber company’s sidings.  Staging to represent Valley points may be connected as an island in the center, while future layout growth would continue past Rt 3 on the left towards the switchback, Suncook Yard and the connection to the B&M.  While temporary staging running each way can better support SVRR operations, including the switching of the box shop, the quarry line could be fully operated using just this section without the staging.

Subsequent change: after making a crude mockup of the quarry sections using sectional track, I decided that adding another two feet to the quarry would be of great value, bring the overall dimensions to 14' square.  Previously, the quarry itself occupied about 5'6". With several crucial structures located quite near to the turnouts, including the crusher, overhead crane, and an overpass on the high waste track towards the back, the tracks simply do not diverge quickly enough to get all that in and still have a reasonable distance to the working face.  Two extra feet make a big difference.  In fact the distance from the first turnout up in the quarry to the end of the tracks at the working face was 960', which would make my quarry nearly 1/2 of the prototype's length.

Benchwork & Roadbed

Steel studs, foam scenery base, foamed PVC sign board (Sintra) roadbed.





Suncook Valley: C&L Code 75 steel rail laid on wood ties to Proto-64 standards.

Quarry line: C&L Code 55 steel rail laid on wood ties to Proto-64 standards.  The quarry used stub switches for all but one turnout; all will use Proto-87 Stores Etched Code 55 N scale frogs and South Park Line (Shapeways) bridle bars.

Equipment and Control

The existing proposal is to chop down and regauge a Bachmann On30 modern 4-4-0 to become Bailey's #82. 

Down on the branchline, an anachronistic GE 44-tonner will initially be used, lettered for the Suncook Valley's #3, as their locomotive #1, a 1927 Baldwin 2-6-0, won't be tackled for some time.

The MRC Loco Genie has been selected to provide low-cost, radio control, sound, and dead rail operation in the quarry.  I feel dead rail will improve low speed switching performance of the 0-4-0 switcher over the numerous stub switches, while eliminating all wiring and gapping.  The Suncook Valley will use standard DCC control.


Suncook Valley:

Bailey Lumber Co. (sawmill, wood sheds, sawdust storage)

1923 Sanborn Map excerpt (Click for full size)

Overview, looking North, layout will be viewed from opposite side.

Residence (near tracks on Chester Turnpike)- using a Mount Blue Models Side hall farm house kit.

South elevation, Trackside- layout will show North side, but no photo is known

Route 3 overpass

Bailey's Quarry: Most of the structures to be built are directly involved with the railway operations:

Engine House

Finishing Shed



Overhead Crane

Boiler/Compressor House



Posted 12/11/15.  Updated 4/14/19.  Maintained by Earl Tuson.