I stepped away from model railroading for a couple years to take care of a few life events and was was sad to learn upon my return to the hobby that an imaginary development I had created for my tiny freelance railroad had come to pass in real life. The POVA was forced to abandon the trackage north of Usk to Metaline Falls including the fabulous Box Canyon Bridge.
I had created this very scenario for my railroad back in 2013 as a convenient explanation for why I didn't model the railroad as far north as Metaline Falls. Having just a small shelf-style switching layout, there was no way to include both the bridge and the cement plant all the way at Metaline Falls. Using the justification of "It was just too expensive to maintain the line north of town" seemed plausible at the time and unfortunately it's become a reality.
I'm really sad to learn of this development as I had hoped to one day take that railfanning excursion along the old Metaline Falls Branch. Now that it is gone, I almost want to find a way to work the town of Metaline Falls back into my model railroad as a metaphorical middle finger to the gods of eventuality. I don't think I can make that happen and still meet my goals for this layout however, so for the time being I'll continue including the abandoned trackage north of Box Canyon (while being able save the bridge itself) as part of my freelanced scenario.
I do feel a bit better however knowing that I will still be able to watch trains lumber over that majestic old bridge in miniature on my own little piece of the pacific northwest.