Layout Page 2
The quality of the pictures and the diagrams are very poor. Proceed
at your own risk!
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.
This is a diagram
of the Hoboken terminal area
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.
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.
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
itself was not the wood and homasote/plywood
base, but the wiring.
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.
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.
And now the layout in detail...
A view from overhead of the Hoboken
terminal area under construction
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.
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.
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
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.
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..
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
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
of the Carlton Hill station.
The Phoebe Snow
power clears the Kingsland
tunnel on the mainline in Lyndhurst
Steel Co. on the mainline with Royce Chemical spur bridge over building.
Looking at the
Rutherford(upper) and Delawanna
(lower) in early construction phase
station built on top of the mainline next to a rough road.
Chemical Co. spur near Rutherford Junction with Rutherford Siding behind
Ink (left) and Sun Chemical Co., part of the East Rutherford industrial
Lyndhurst under construction.
BCL and Rutherford siding on left.
Chemical is in foreground. BJ Tower is at right and an Esso station
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
commuter trainpasses in front of the Passaic industrial area.
Bay State Milling is in the right foreground .
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
structures from left to right, Axelrods Dairy, Leslie & Elliot Boilers,
downtown block of stores and Bay State Milling
local works industries in Passaic while the local commuter passes on
Here's the diagram
of the Passaic Branch and the
New York Susquehanna & Western trackage.
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.
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