The Western Ohio Marien Switching District on display at the NMRA Division 7 trainshow in Cincinnati. My dad is pictured overseeing the layout. (Full Size)
The Western Ohio Marien Switching District models a freelanced town at the eastern end of the Western Ohio's Peavine Division (System Map). Marien, OH (named after my wife, and not to be confused with Marion, OH) is said to be loacated just west of Portsmouth, OH just across the Scioto River from the Norfolk Southern's Vera Junction.

Marien is home to five industries and a small yard. The yard serves the local industries, receiving inbound cars, blocking them for the local switch job, and routing outbound cars. It also blocks cars for interchange with the Norfolk Southern at Portsmouth.

The industries in the area are anchored by the large (freelanced) Buckeye Mills cereal facility. This facility receives inbound grain that is unloaded and stored the complex's grain elevators. Boxcar loads of cearal are loaded from the warehouse, and sent to distribution centers throughout the region.

The other industies are much smaller. While they generate much less traffic, there is more than enough revenue to justify continued service from the Western Ohio. The industries are quite varied, resulting in an interesting mix of freight traffic that includes lumber loads on bulkhead flats, plastic pellets delivered in covered hoppers, refrigerated loads of meat trimmings and tank car loads for the local meat by products plant.

This small switching layout had a very productive life, providing hours of entertaining railroading for more than a decade.  Built to be portable, it was also displayed at the NMRA division 7 train show on three different occasions.  But as is so often the case, the Marien Industrial District had to be scrapped to make way for the Peavine division. 

Before dismantling the layout, I recorded one of my final operating sessions.  Click here to view the video.