The New Unionville & Western Railroad is a 1/8th scale model railroad on 49 acres near New Unionville and Bloomington, Indiana. This scale operates on a track gauge of 7 1/2". The train cars and locomotives are 16 inches wide and 24 inches tall. Persons in this hobby are called Live Steamers because of the steam engines so many own and operate along with electric and diesel models. The topography for this railroad consists of 15 acres of hilly pasture with a lake and 30 acres of heavily forested rough topography. There is currently over 8000 feet of mainline track in operation.
Construction started with right of way grading in the spring of 1997. The first infrastructure to be built was the tunnel (actually a box culvert). No we did not bore a hole underground. We excavated a trench and built the concrete box culvert to INDOT specifications. While excavating for the tunnel a solid layer of limestone was encountered. It was necessary to remove 2 feet of limestone from the floor of the tunnel to keep the grades under the 3% maximum desired for the railroad. In October of 1997 the 175', poured in place, concrete tunnel was built to get from one side of the ridge to the other. The portals were cast in the spring of 1998.
The track is now operational. We are using the railroad to build it. We haul the track panels out on cars in a work train. Then the ballast is hauled out in an operational ballast car and spread.
Model Railroad hobbiest visitors are welcome when we have an open house but we do not offer rides to groups of people. This is a model railroad, not an amusement ride.
Was there really a New Unionville & Western Railroad?....No, We just made it up. Historically Railroads were named after geographical locations they served, or at least wanted to serve someday. Even the Famous "NICKEL PLATE ROAD" was really named the "New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad". Nickel Plate Road was just a nick name. So since this railroad is just west of New Unionville, Indiana...it was so named.
New Unionville & Western Railroad