A Note on Geology

I’m not much of a stickler for details, although I do make a sincere effort at accuracy with my railroad modeling.  In the artist’s conception drawing of the 6.2.1 model railroad, a major feature utilizes the Kibri gravel loader (now the “Steiner Gravel Works”).  As drawn, the gravel loader represents a hard rock mining operation.

Appropriately, the artist’s scene shows a Class 80 0-6-0T locomotive switching the loader with a Märklin 8624 hopper car:

Frequently called a “Talbot” hopper in honor if its designer, this car is designed to haul gravel track ballast from the gravel works to sites along the railroad where fresh ballast is required.  The Talbot hopper has side chutes which empty onto the sides of the railroad track for distribution.

Note the rock faces behind the gravel loader; they are representative of the rock which is being quarried somewhere off-scene from the 6.2.1. This quarried rock is then broken up and conveyed to the gravel loader for transfer to the Talbot hoppers.

In keeping with this rock, any other rock outcroppings on the 6.2.1 should be similar to the rock faces behind the gravel works. That is, they should be of similar texture and similar color to that found at the gravel loader itself.

Of course, I had two extra hopper crs, but they were not of the Talbot design, but were Märklin 8630’s, which are models of the Fals 176 hopper car of the DB:

Although the 8630 is used to haul gravel, it is also used to haul coal.  And, I’m sentimental about coal mining, which is soft rock mining.

Since it’s my railroad, I chose to make the Kibri structure as a coal loading facility.  As with the gravel facility, most of the mine operations are not seen on the 6.2.1 model.

Over the years, Märklin has modeled numerous coal related trains in Z-Scale. Notably there was at least one special set with a Class 220 diesel and several 8630’s in special livery unique to this set (the 8137), along with an extra set of three hoppers in similar livery (the 8237).  They also produced a special run of RAG Coal Company rail buses in conjunction with Railex, the 88817; this set had a VT98 trailer and a shell for a power mechanism both decorated in RAG livery:

So, the 6.2.1 railroad became a modest coal hauler, with its steam locomotives taking on fuel at the same mine which produces the coal hopper loads.  But there was one detail that had to be changed. Since this mine produced coal, the hard rocks behind the coal loader became sedimentary rocks, as did any other rock outcropping on the railroad model.

It’s a seemingly small detail, and probably nobody will ever notice, but I’ll know......

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