Bridgewater Layout Page 2


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

From this point on, we get into the detail of the layout itself.  I will start at the Hoboken Terminal and take you down the Bergen County Line and Mainline through Ridgewood and then on to Suffern.  Each section of this narrative will have accompaning it  a detailed schematic map of the area showing the location of each industry siding, spur, passenger station and tower.
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This is a diagram of the Hoboken terminal area
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The terminal consists of tracks 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 & 15.  These are all "under the shed".  Tracks 8 & 9 turn into the Bergen County Line and Mainline respectively.  All other terminal tracks feed into these two tracks, except track 15, via direct routing or through 4 double slip switches, 2 on each side of the terminal.  Track 15 is accessible from the Mainline through track 10 of the Hill Yard.  Both the Hill Yard and the Day's Yards are used for daytime storage of commuter passenger trains.  The Pullman Yard is used for servicing and storage of long distance passenger cars.  At the top of the diagram you will see the Milk Yard.  This housed facilities for REA services and milk cars coming in off of morning passenger trains.   The lower right hand corner has tracks for car washing, repair and wreck train storage.
If you look at William Sheppard's maps of this area, in fact all areas, you will find that all the tracks on the entire layout existed at one time and are labeled/numbered in sync with the prototype.
Before we start, let me first explain that it took usually fifteen/seventeen operators to run this layout on a 6 to 1 time limit ratio.  The operating sessions lasted four hours (replicating 24 "real" hours) with a half hour coffee and donut break in the middle of the session.  Trains were run as close to the prototype Erie Lackawanna schedules as I could get them.  There were four mainline cab operators, each tower had an operator, with the exception of Hoboken/Port Jervis and Croxton where each of these had two operators toiling over the crunch of trains arriving and departing.  Commuter trains ran eastbound in the "morning" and westbound in the "afternoon".  In addition to routing through trains, each tower operator had, delivered to them during the session, a local peddler train for their area.  They then had to find the time between through trains to do the switching moves on these local freights by way of a "local" power cab mounted on their tower control panel and still stay out of the way of the through trains.
  There was a card system for instructions for the mainline cab operators on where their train came from, the station stops and the termination point.  Each mainline operator was handed a "deck" of cards at the beginning of the session, each card representing a train movement.  Freight cars were controlled by a system of colored plastic plaques on each car to designate their destination. Color codes and letter/numbers were placed on each building/customer facility that matched the color coded plaques on freight cars.  These colors and letters/numbers were also reflected on the tower operator control panels.  Each tower operator was given a list of trains coming through their area for the entire session with estimated times of arrivals and notes on special moves (drop offs/pick ups/termination).  Anticipated meets were listed also on the tower schedule so the operator at least had a chance to "clear the siding area" for the meet.
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 I usually stood back, waited for the problems and played "roving dispatcher", sometimes giving hints to operators on how to handle some glitch, or fixing broken trackwork or faulty switches on the fly.  Sometimes playing "referee" on conflicting train movements.  If a session was going pretty smooth, I'd usually concoct an unscheduled "extra" train and throw everything into turmoil.  An extra or second section of a long freight that wouldn't fit on some of the sidings was the most fun or an inspection train for the executives (with a bar car) at the height of the afternoon commuter rush against traffic.  Lots of fun!!!  I learned a lot of new four letter words from the gang when I did those kind of things.
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All turnouts were powered electrically by Lambert type switch machines mounted under the homasote/plywood base and controlled by each operators tower control panel with Kadee pushbuttons.  The underneath of the layout looked like a New Jersey Bell Telephone switching center with miles of wire everywhere. In fact, most of the weight of the layout
itself was not the wood and homasote/plywood base, but the wiring.
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Each cab was assigned specific electrical blocks through rotary switches by tower operators and most spurs and sidings were controlled by "on-off" throw switches. Each mainline cab operator had a walk-around throttle and could plug in and out of different areas or run their train from one spot.
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NO computers here.  NO DCC train control.  Just raw rheostats, rotary switch power assignment and pushbutton electrical turnout switching.  There was NO communication system except shouting at one another.  This sometime became a real zoo.
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And now the layout in detail...

A view from overhead of the Hoboken terminal area under construction
Looking westbound from the south side of the terminal area.  The Phoebe Snow surrounded by commuter trains.
Looking westbound from the north side of the terminal area
 

As we leave the Hoboken area we go through the Bergen Tunnels and into the Croxton yard Area  There are two pieces to the Croxton yard.  The first is the  the hump yard and the other is the arrival-storage yard.  Here are the track diagrams.

Croxton East Diagram
Croxton West Diagram



A busy place Croxton yard.  Incoming freight trains go to the Arrival Yard (tracks A1, 2, 3, & 4); cabooses go to the caboose track (C1); trains are broken up by the yard switchers and sorted for storage (S1, 2 & 3) or for hump yard dispatch to be further routed onto outbound trains on tracks H1 thru H6.  Track H-7 is for switcher or road engine runaround. Track S-5 in the storage yard is for TOFC equipment unloading.  The industrial spurs on lower left of the second diagram is for Swift & Co. meat packing plant.  These two tracks have facilities for unloading livestock and loading refrigerator cars. Operators of this yard usually took up drinking right after operating sessions.
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Croxton Yard looking east.  What a mess! Freight train on the Mainline, another on the
Bergen County Line, the yard clogged with cars, cabooses, switchers and road units intermingled.
At least some of the cabeese got to the caboose track.
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Croxton Yard looking west.  Ah! This is a little better.  It seems there is some organization to the yard.
Foreground: hump yard full of outbound trains.  Background: Swift & Co. Meat Packing Plant


Strange as it may seem, I can't find any pictures of the bridge over the Hackensack River at HX Tower.  This bridge was a double tracked span that dropped down between the two parts of the layout and had a large piece of balsa wood to simulate the prototype's concrete counter weight.  As this spanned the gap in the doorway from the recreation room, it suffered many damaging blows from people and wash baskets crashing in to it. The only picture I can find is when it was out of its place and on the east end of the Croxton Yard for repairs no doubt.
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HX Bridge in background on workbench for repair.  Erie Limited in the foreground is halted because of the lack of the
bridge in its right place and, yes, that's a steam engine painted in gray, maroon and yellow in the yard..
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From the Croxton yard and over the bridge, the two routes diverged into the Bergen County Line (BCL) and the Mainline.The lower level closest to the aisle was the Mainline and the upper route, the Bergen County Line.  The Mainline's first stop is the Kingsland Station in Lyndhurst, New Jersey and then on to the Lyndhurst station and Delawanna.  On the Bergen County Line we come across the junction with the New York & New Jersey Railroad, then into Rutherford, Rutherford Junction, a spur over the mainline to Carlton Hill and a multitude of industry spurs in East Rutherford serviced by the BJ Drill.

Diagram of the BJ Tower area



The mainline, although difficult to distingish in this powerpoint drawing, slips underneath the BCL at Delawanna to arrive in the open at Passaic. The mainline has one industrial siding at Frasse Steel off the Delawanna siding. The BCL, however, has many industrial spurs from right to left they are Husselhahn Coal Co. just west of the NY&NJ junction, then the Rutherford siding and East Rutherford Freight house with two team tracks.  The upper left corner of the diagram shows were Sun Chemical, Printers Ink and, by spur over the top of Delawanna, to Royce Chemical Co. and the
former location of the Carlton Hill station.
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The Phoebe Snow power clears the Kingsland tunnel on the mainline in Lyndhurst
Frasse Steel Co. on the mainline with Royce Chemical spur bridge over building.
Looking at the Rutherford(upper) and Delawanna (lower) in early construction phase
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The Kingsland station built on top of the mainline next to a rough road.
Royce Chemical Co. spur near Rutherford Junction with Rutherford Siding behind it.
Printers Ink (left) and Sun Chemical Co., part of the East Rutherford industrial spurs.
Kingsland and Lyndhurst under construction.  BCL and Rutherford siding on left.
Royce Chemical is in foreground.  BJ Tower is at right and an Esso station in background.

Continuing on the detail layout tour we go to Garfield on the BCL and Passaic on the Mainline

 Here is the Garfield station (gray mason block shelter) in the foreground and Farmland Dairies on the upper left on the BCL
This is Hammersley Manufacturing Company on the BCL west of Garfield near Plauderville
Local commuter trainpasses in front of the Passaic industrial area.  Bay State Milling is in the right foreground .
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Passaic station on the Main with, from front to back, Simon Pure Meats, J. Schmidt Iron Works,
and Kraemer Lumber Co. all serviced by the Passaic Branch.
Passaic Branch structures from left to right, Axelrods Dairy, Leslie & Elliot Boilers,
downtown block of stores and Bay State Milling Company.
The branch local works industries in Passaic while the local commuter passes on the mainline
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Here's the diagram of the Passaic Branch and the New York Susquehanna & Western trackage.
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Passaic was a great place to work the local switcher with so many different industries and different spotting positions for each type of car.  As you may be able to see, there is a very small passing siding, but it only held the switcher and the caboose at one time and cars had to be spotted on almost every track on both sides of the siding and the other spurs.  This local came out of the Paterson Yard and had to be "blocked" just right to get every car where it belonged.


Still game?  On to page 3 or back to the EL photo home page.