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This facility is on the CSX in Georgia. The track itself is the remnant of the Atlanta and West Point mainline connection to the Georgia Railroad's Hulsey Yard.

The Bing Bird's Eye view is here. With it, you can easily see that there is plenty of room for an entire unit train of sand. While this isn't the only LaFarge sand facility in Atlanta, this probably aids in preferential pricing for the delivery.

But when I visited in early December a few years ago, the sand stockpile was low. This was before the big economic turn down.

The conveyor in the foreground comes from the unloading pit, and moves sand over to the rotating conveyor. The conveyor in the rear simply pulls the sand over and loads it into tractor trailers.

The rotating conveyor is an interesting machine all by itself. It greatly increases the usefulness of the site, compared to a standard piler and pushing it around with loaders. Also notice the different areas on the far side of the rotating conveyor for keeping separate piles. Perhaps gravel is occasionally delivered here.

The unloading pit. Pretty simple.

The yard. The track with all the empties on it is the unloading track. The track immediately to the right is probably the old mainline. The final siding of loads is possibly the beginning of sidings/double track for the station, which isn't far in that direction. The switch in the foreground is for the disused siding for the building to the far right.

To be continued...

The earlier photos, I was standing on a convenient bridge over the site. These, I was on the other side, in the driveway.


The pile is quite high, from this perspective. Twenty five to thirty feet, maybe? Also notice the concrete blocks which make up the barriers. I've seen these in several different mixing facilities. They're about 2ft x 2ft x 4ft.

This is the conveyor for loading the trucks. The trucks are loaded on a scale, which leads me to believe that they are likely to travel more than a few miles to their destination, not necessarily the one a few blocks away. It's also possible that Lafarge will sell sand to other mixing companies.

The office is just a double-wide trailer, and you can also see more details of the loading chute.

And of course, one of the big blocks being used as a track bumper. The track immediately in front of it doesn't seem to have a bumper, so it isn't necessarily high on their list of priorities. It seemed to be the only one with out, though, as I remember there being several there.

This location is larger and more intricate than others that I've shared. You could probably start with the Glacier Gravel kit, or something similar, and work from there. The machinery used for gravel and ballast should be similar.

All the hopper cars I saw that morning are owned by Lafarge. The WBCX reporting mark is for Williams-Blue Circle, which were bought by Lafarge. Some of the cars were for Blue Circle, some were from Williams Brothers. I believe that at least Williams Brothers was local to Atlanta.
Williams Brothers

I don't know for sure, but I presume that the cars are unloaded with the help of CSX. I didn't see evidence of a trackmobile, switch engine, or car puller. I would think that paying for a railroad crew would cost the most, but perhaps they don't unload frequently. I'm a fan of the small GE critter and industrial switch engines, so if I modeled this, I'd have one on site.



BN Modeller
Great pics, thanx!
I love the broken concrete and all the details begging to be modeled.


Cool, I hope you have more facilities to post, as this and the other ones you have posted have been really neat.
Cool, I hope you have more facilities to post, as this and the other ones you have posted have been really neat.

I'm actually running kind of low. All of these were done a few years ago; I've been busier since then. There are a few more, such as the operation of the RJ Corman Sand Train here in Kentucky, an antique coal dump for a building, powdered cement elevators, and perhaps an electrical component manfucaturer that we caught recently.

All this research was done with the intent of creating the locations for Microsoft Train Simulator, but I can't concentrate on one project long enough to finish one.

The last couple years I've been chasing down cabooses, and volunteering at a local railroad museum.

I'm glad you all like them, they weren't doing anyone any good staying on my hard drive.



Eastern RailNet
I can see the potential for a sand facility on my layout. It looks like a compact operation with a lot of potential switching to keep the crews busy.

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