M:160 spys on the ground sent a few shots of Clearbrook on the Reid Bros’ Cumberland Valley System.  Clearbrook has long remained the largest unfinished scenic section of this famous layout, having been bare brown hardshell with the start of an open pit gravel mine for ~20 years now.  We can only speculate that Bill Reid’s recent collaboration on a module for the Modutrak layout reignited his scenic urges, sparking this recent progress on Clearbrook.


(above) While the open pit mine has had rockwork in place for a long time, the crusher and head house are a recent addition.  The crusher looks to be the Walther’s kit, which itself is based on the crusher originally scratch built in HO Scale by Gordon Odegard for Model Railroader’s Washita and Santa Fe project layout.  Wayne Reid is holding court.


(above) Here we can make out the siding arrangement in Clearbrook.  A feedmill and some sort of machine shop are being worked in near the mainline, while an additional siding feeds the gravel mine.  Roads are being roughed in, and it’s interesting to note that the road up the hill to the church appears to be up for repaving as well.


(above) Here’s a better shot of the new road up the hill to the church in the distance.  The road had been in place before, but Bill Reid seems to be considering narrowing it down some.  The use of forced perspective is great here, with the road gradually thinning down toward the horizon.  In the distance, a new barn is present on what is presumed to be a section for farm fields just east of town.  The Fox Valley Models Hiawatha, while a long way from home rails, is fitting on this layout as Model Railroader’s 50th anniversary issue featured a tour of a Milwaukee Road streamlined 4-4-2 on several famous layouts of the day.  The Reid’s were included on the tour, with an N scale Hi being posed on their layout.

Someday we hope to get out to Bill and Wayne’s to do a full photo shoot of both the new and old.

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