The Bridgewater Layout


Overview Page
WARNING!!! The quality of the pictures and the diagrams are very poor.  Proceed at your own risk!

Layout #3.  The Erie Lackawanna Railway, New York Division
from Hoboken, NJ to Port Jervis, NY.
Bridgewater, NJ is in Central of New Jersey territory and when I moved into it in 1973, it was getting close to Conrail time.  We bought this sprawling ranch house with expansion in mind.
IT HAD A LARGE ALMOST EMPTY BASEMENT 42 by 26.  I bought the basement, my wife bought the house.   The game was up now.  My wife knew what the basement was for and she staked out her part of it for a recreation room after many days and nights of negotiation over space and who could use it.  Very quickly after we moved in to this house, there was news of the family expanding and the anticipation of the arrival of our twin girls.  I started slowly down stairs, framing out the recreation room, paneling the walls, putting in lighting, a drop ceiling and a bar with four stools.  While doing the electrical work for this room, there were mysterious outlets facing the other side of the walls for future expansion (Oh yes, for the model railroad power supplies).

The scale is HO. And now for a tour of the layout.  It is broken into two tours really.  The first is the initial stages of woodwork with some trackwork on the boards and then of the same areas that became finished during its ongoing lifetime of enhancements. This construction lasted eighteen years of sometime feverous work for days on end and sometimes long periods of non-work.  The layout plan is so complicated that I have drawn out the layout with lower level and upper level "overview plans".  These two diagrams consist of the Mainline and the Bergen County Line routes looking only at the main track and significant passing sidings.  I have also inserted diagrams of the entire detailed trackage by section of the layout and listed them under their prototype locations.  Associated with these layout diagrams are pictures of the layout in its original (base) form.  Just click on the highlighted words to see the diagrams.  Further down the page, each link is to a picture of the description. This was done so that it doesn't take a long time to download a whole page full of pictures, but just one at a time.The first diagrams below are big files and will have the longest download time of all the pictures linked. Be patient.
The lower level of the layout is basically from Hoboken to Glen Rock on the Bergen County Line and Hoboken to Clifton on the mainline.  It also includes part of the NYS&W at Coalberg Junction.

The upper level of the layout is from Glen Rock to Ridgewood on the Bergen County Line where it joins with the mainline from Clifton and goes jointly on to Port Jervis as the mainline.
The pictures below are of the initial stages of building the layout from many different prospectives.
To view a picture, click on the highlighted words.
Overview of theHoboken Terminal Yards under construction from right to left is west to east. This is the initial construction phase of this area and a composite of four photographs.
Croxton yard looking Eastbound over the top of the storage section of the yard.
Kingsland Station at Lyndhurst,NJ on mainline looking West to East.
Passaic Station on the mainline with industries at lower level.
City of Paterson three track station lead.
Paterson Yard under construction, but still operational.
Paterson Yard entrance west of the city of Paterson station.
Paterson Yard where the yard turntable will be eventually.
Under construction Waldwick yard.
This is the east end of Waldwick yard.
Commuter trains lined up at Waldwick yard looking east.
Waldwick yard full of commuter trains at WC Tower.  Upper level is the mainline westbound and Ramsey siding to Mahwah, NJ.
Mahwah station on the trackside mainline.
Suffern yard lead looking eastbound. In the foreground is where Suffern station will be. In the background is where Mahwah will be. Lower level is where Garfield on the Bergen County Line will be.
The west end of the Suffern yard under construction looking eastbound on the mainline with the freight yard on the right.
Well, that's a brief overview of the layout and we will explore the details of it on the next three pages.  The two different routes for the trains are as follows:

The Mainline  - Trains leave Hoboken for points west via the mainline and Bergen County Line.  We will follow both routes through New Jersey into New York state and explore the detail of each tower area with diagrams and pictures.  The first area is the vast Hoboken Terminal yard and then Croxton yard.  Croxton yard has a six track hump yard and a large staging/storage and arrival yard.  We then go across the Hackensack River by way of the bridge at HX tower and approach the first station on the mainline, Kingsland.  Then on to Lyndhurst and Delawanna via the mainline.  Next we go through Passaic, through Clifton and move on to the city of Paterson.  Paterson is on the mainline and has three stations (Paterson, River St. and South Paterson) and a freight yard with a turntable.  West of Paterson is the town of Hawthorne and part of the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad (Coalberg Junction/Yard) and its connection to the EL.     Also the Passaic Branch freight locals leave from the Paterson yard and wander on down to switch industries in Passaic and Clifton   From Paterson, we travel on through Glen Rock, past WJ Tower, joining the Bergen County Line and on to our next stop on the mainline in Ridgewood.
The Bergen County Line goes Through Croxton Yard, past the cutoff for the NY&NJ RR. to Rutherford and the BJ Tower at what used to be Bergen Junction, then on to Garfield, Plauderville, two stations at Fairlawn (Broadway and Radburn), and Glen Rock.  It then joins up with the mainline at WJ tower (Ridgewood Junction) and on to Ridgewood station.  Then the mainline, now two tracks, continues to Ho-Ho-Kus and on to WC Tower and Waldwick where there is a large commuter passenger yard.  After the Waldwick yard, the mainline becomes a single track and Allendale is next station, then Ramsey where a passing siding is parallel to the mainline.  The trip continues on through Mahwah, Suffern and past the SF Tower and the Hillburn passenger yard and the large freight yard and tracks servicing the Ford Mahwah plant.  Beyond that is Tuxedo and finally Port Jervis, the western terminus of the layout.  The layout encompasses most of the old Erie in the New York Division and parts of the DL&W that were rerouted through Paterson.

If you're brave enough and have the time, the detail of the layout continues onto page 2 or you can escape now back to the web site  home page