Other Peoples Model Railroads (OPMR)
Page 3 created May 18, 2003


Scott Lupia's Unbelievable Delaware, Lackawanna
& Western Railroad in N Scale

 This layout is well known and represents one of the best in this DL&W modeler's awareness.  This N scale is of the highest caliber work in its detail and attention to prototype scenes.  Scott has written many articles about his layout and just  had a full article on this layout in Railroad Model Craftsman in December 2001 and the article contains a full plan of this awesome layout.  It was a privilege and honor to be allowed to view and photograph this model railroad during an impromptu operating session in May 2003.  After partaking of "vittles" at our usual meeting place for breakfast, the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team (LTMT) caravaned (12 cars, pickups and vans) to Scott's house in Denville, New Jersey.  The Chairman of LTMT (Steve K) had coersed, cajoled and intimidated Scott into allowing us to see this layout before he tears it apart and expands it.  My personal apologies to Scott for the treatment (not unusual for the LTMT).  As most of us are HO scalers, and some of us, very ancient, many put on their glasses to take in the minute detail of this magnificant layout.  Many were heard to say " Hey, don't touch the layout, stupid!".  In snooping around as the LTMT does at layout visits, we also uncovered an O-Scale layout of note, however this was covered with a plastic cover and little was to be seen of it.  It is not, however, the subject of this picture review and no pictures of it were taken..

The pictures are not, as usual, in any particular order, so we'll be viewing the layout from different angles and venues.  Some are blurred, out of focus and slanted.  The camera is a new toy (digital) and I'm not the greatest photographer, so bear with us.

 The DL&W commuter train was running consisting of GP7 and two coaches (unbelievably with a working lamp at the end of the last coach).  Two RS-3's pulled a short consist freight arount the layout and two NYS&W modern GE engines (don't know what they were) powered a stack train.  These will be seen at various locations on the layout.  The "piece de resistance" (excuse the French) is the Paulinskill Viaduct at Knowlton, New Jersey.  Beautiful replicas of the stations at Creso and Greendell are also featured.  The last picture is of an HO scale model of the Franklin Watchworks.  Scott's skills included some diaramas and "off-layout" models all scratch built for future magazine articles and his own pleasure.  Various members of the LTMT were seen crying in the basement corners and swearing they will redouble their efforts to come close to the beautiful work that Scott has achieved.

Thanks Scott for a very memorable morning of model railroading fun.

Paulinskill Viaduct     picture 1    picture 2  picture 3  picture 4  picture 5  picture 6 picture 7

Cresco Station      picture 1    picture 2  picture 3

Greendell Station     picture 1    picture 2  picture 3

Various other areas of the layout
picture 1    picture 2   picture 3  picture 4  picture 5  picture 6  picture 7  picture 8

HO model of the Franklin Watchworks.

The Lackawanna Terminal Railway- September 28, 2003

Finally, some pictures of the infamous Lackawanna Terminal Railway.  Let start with the Buffalo Yard both west end and east end.  Now a lineup of the multitude of motive power available on the LTR.  Lots of places to do some switching at both of these industrial areas.  And a look at the railway's business car where we are sure their is much monkey business done in there.

Steve Kay's Lackawanna Terminal Railway, a model railroad with an attitude.  Visit his FAQ.

The New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center  - March 30, 2004

While visiting the Easton, PA and Phillipsburg, NJ area on business, I stopped at the NJTHC for a look at their recent facility which is housed in the old Phillipsburg Central of New Jersey Passenger Station.  They have put together a rendering (not in concrete) of the 35 plus acres future site of the new museum and facilities in N scale.  Here are seven pictures of this N scale layout built by Mr. Miller.


My thanks to Ann Miller who was courteous enough to let me take these pictures and take the time to discuss the future plans of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

  January 20, 2005 - Alexander Piela - An O scale backyard layout unique in it's construction.  Alexander Piela is a Scranton, PA native, and currently lives in the Washington, DC area where this outdoor set-up is located. Here is a narration from Alex:

My wife and I were married in 2003.  I moved into her house in the Washington DC, area and began to repair/upgrade/convert aspects of the house as we both saw fit.  There is a spacious backyard, at the time it was a little overgrown.  After discussing several options, including a fishpond, and paying a landscaper big bucks, I jokingly mentioned an outdoor train layout.  And oddly enough, Elizabeth thought it was a good idea!  The fact that our son, Young Alex, arrived in 2004, made the idea seem even better.

Pic: #1

The yard is on a slope.  The highest ground is closest to the house.   I got a laser level and some wooden stakes.  I began by putting the level at the highest groundpoint atop a 2 inch block.  I intended to use Woodland Scenics 2 inch roadbed.  The roadbed would be on the "high ground" closest to where people would stand in the viewing area.  As the ground sloped away, I would build trestles.  But my problem was, I had to invent all this as I went along.


Here is a shot of the first set of pillars I constructed.  The wooden stakes are gone, but when I poured the concrete,  I used this formula.  I subtracted 5 inches from the overall height to compensate for the plastic trestles.  On the wooden stakes I made a mark 5 inches below my "zero mark"  I set up the laser level on the tripod, and shot at the new mark.   I hammered the 4 foot rebar into the ground.  As it got close, I turned the laser to the rebar, and slowly hammered it so the beam was just glancing the top of the rebar.  I used hardware cloth (wire mesh) and cut 2 squares out, and attached them to the top of the rebar.  This would brace my concrete form which was esssentially rolled up poster board, duct taped in 4 or 5 places.  I slid the tube over the rebar/wire configuration, and poured the concrete to the top.  I used the fast drying type.  There was a brand that dried faster than what I used, but I can't remember the exact brans I used.  While the concrete was still wet, I inserted the plastic trestle with drywall fasteners holding in the feet.  once dry, this allows you to remove and re-insert the trestles for painting purposes. (pic #3 )

Once all the concrete was dry, I removed the posterboard.  Here are the pillars in the backside of the "giant bush", the tallest of the batch (pic 4 ) and here are the last line of pillars, in a slow "S" curve, getting shorter as you see them planted closer to the "high ground"
(pic 5 ).

I knew in my head how to build the pillars, and the trestles.  Of course, the Woodland Scenics roadbed on the "high ground" is a typical model railroader project.  But to support the track from post to post? I started calling it "A Bridge Too Far".  I went from store to store, went online looking for ideas.  Then I saw hardware cloth!  I bought several rolls, 5 feet wide, 10 feet long, with 1/2 holes.  The 10 feet would be fortuitous.  I'll explain later.  I cut 10 foot lengths of hardware cloth, at least 13 spaces wide.  I then used a brick to form the "bridge" as you see in picture 6.  The wire forms a perfect "box" around the brick.  Where it has to bend, I cut the top and the side inside the curve.  The breakthrough in all this is when I found a hardware store that sold the thick wire truss, in ten foot lengths!  (picture 7).  When I first cut the hardware cloth, it was all floppy, and I got a bit nervous.  I used cable ties to fasten the hardware cloth to the truss on both the sides.  Everything was as sturdy as can be!  I could even balance a cinder block on the finished section!  As I said, the truss came in ten foot sections and at $2.10 a piece, a very affordable "breakthrough" item.  (picture 8).    So I realized that the multi-colored cable ties I had on hand would be a bit much (although I would paint them later, the colors still showed through requiring a few extra blasts of spray paint).    I bought 1,000 white cable ties, and darn near used all of them! (picture 9)  You can see from this high-angle photo, how many ties I used.  Never too many!  You will see I painted the pillars black, and with white spray paint, put the logo of our favorite railroad on the pillars!

The track, as you can recognize, is Gargraves.  I purchased 3 rail stainless track, with wood ties.  (wood ties much cheaper, and I think better looking than the plastic)  The shop where I bought the track asked the folks at Gargraves about outdoor use, and they said you can use Thompson's Water sealer or a similar product, and wipe the rails quickly with alcohol or mineral spirits.  Once the trestles and bridges were all laid out, I got my pre-treated Gargraves track, the Dremel tool with cutting wheel, and started bending and cutting away!  I used black cable ties to fasten the track to the bridges.  Here is a shot of the trusses half painted with one of 3 bridges I used. (picture 10)

Finally got it all together on December 15th.  We planned a big Christmas Party of December 19th to debut Alexander's Railroad.  What you see are pictures of the finished layout.   I attached my camcorder to a flat car, and then attached it to the caboose.  (picture 11) Here is a good look at the Woodland Scenics bed I made.   Got 1/4 inch foam board as a base, cut to shape, put the WS styrofoam on the board, and wrapped it with plastercloth.  A few coats of black paint later here we are.  (picture 12) Here is a good perspective of the back end of the caboose about to go into the bridge, with a good look at my Williams SD-45 engine at the front of the consist.  (picture 13) The SD-45 going into the "S" curve, (picture 14) and over the other small bridge as we make the return trip.  (picture 15) And my son Alexander, surveying his railroad realm!

Here are some pictures with trains running on the layout.

Picture 16        Picture 17     Picture 18  Picture 19
Here are some pictures of snowplowing operations during the recent blizzard.

Picture 20     Picture 21     Picture 22   Picture 23   Picture 24

Thanks, Alex for a great tour of your unique outdoor layout.  -JJ

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The Link Valley Railroad - Jan 23, 2000

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After viewing the above pictures, we invite you to take a look at other
EL/DLW/Erie related model railroads on the big net

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