The Erie Lackawanna Railway
Port Jervis, New York - Division Point
between the New York Division and the Delaware Division

Railfans have viewed this page since July 8, 1999.

This layout, again, in HO scale is very restricted in terms of size.  No where near the size of the New York Division layout (42' x 26').  At the moment, it is 16' by 4' and is housed in my garage.  This is the only room available for use.  It shares this space with a Buick, large amounts of shelfing and much other miscellaneous "stuff'.  We have semi-retired to a condominium in west central New Jersey and rules of the condominium association demand the use of garages for automobilies, but they don't say it can't share with other things.  For this reason, I have had to be very innovative and "hang" the layout off the wall.  This has had some good effects and some bad effects.
The good is:  there is still room to use when the layout is "up" and doing the wiring from the bottom of the layout , while it's "up", is much easier than being upside down underneath it.
The bad is: that it takes about thirty minutes to bring it down off the wall in two pieces, connect the two pieces together and then set up buildings, scenery, and the railroad equipment.   And it all has to be taken up and stored after every use.

The layout is based on the Port Jervis, New York facilities as they were in the Erie Railroad-Erie Lackawanna Railway days from about 1950 to 1976.  It can therefore be entirely Erie or Erie Lackawanna or transition time between them.  Two mainline tracks go from end to end  of the layout.  It contains the major facilities that are sadly gone today.  A passenger yard for the commuter sets; full engine facilities including turntable, a 6 stall roundhouse, diesel house (modelers license= [ML] ), fuel tracks and coaling towers; five separate freight yards including an iceing yard, a TOFC yard, a car repair facility, and two distinct freight yards one for pickup and set outs and one for reclassification of freight cars  including a caboose track. Two industries are also accessible among the facilities; a lumber yard and a rail-truck transfer warehouse.   The layout captures the spirit of Port Jervis and is not meant to be an exact replica of the original facilities, however I have tried to keep as close to the real McCoy* as I could in the restrictive space that I have, using again ML.   If you had patience enough to go through to the end of the story of the "New York Division", you will notice that I mention that I didn't finish the Port Jervis section of that layout and this is an attempt to do that now.
Here's the two diagrams of the layout as it appears now.

The West End                         The East End

These are pictures of the layout in it's initial stages taken November of 1998.  All the track is not down, the two 4'x 8' homasote/plywood sandwich boards are not connected, it's not wired, major buildings have been put down to "size" the areas for trackage and the background has been painted "big sky blue", but needs to painted by our "artist"
for the proper Port Jervis backgrounds.

From east to west, in the foreground, we see the commissary building [ML] for diners and snack cars; a replica of the Port Jervis Depot rendered in HO scale totally scratchbuilt with REA building; the end of the roundhouse and turntable;  further west is the diesel house and behind that the ice house and platform.  To right is the fueling facilities, temporarily modernized.
The next picture is of the east end looking west again over the top of the roundhouse and shows essentially the same area as described above from a different angle.  Alligned tracks on the right side are the passenger layover and servicing yard.  On the left, the engine facilities are not at all tracked to the diesel house.  The side of the depot can be seen in the center of the picture.
This picture is of the freight yards looking from south to north directly at the ice house and platform.  To the left is the "Green Island" car shop.  No trackage there yet and we're not really sure of the placement of this structure
This picture is an overview of the yards with the depot on the right.  As you can plainly see the track at this point has not been totally laid down to the back of the freight and ice yards.
This picture is of the freight yards looking from west to east, from "Sparrowbush" back to Port. In the foreground is a rail-truck transfer warehouse, temporary placement of the Green Island car shop and over the top of that, the ice house.  This shot allows you to see the full yard structure and placement with the two mainlines running from end to end.

June 12, 1999
I've made some progress on the layout and completed the track work on the west end of the layout
except for the portion under the car shop.That has to be integrated into the bottom of the building.
  Speaking of the bottom here is some shots of the layout from below or from the side or underneath, whatever.

        From east to west.                         From west to east.
As I noted in the beginning, the layout can be pushed up against the wall for easier wiring (well, that was the theory, thought to be easier).  Spiders gone mad again.  The wiring phase.  Always interesting and confusing.    The wiring you see here is only for track power.
The wiring for switch machines is yet to be installed.
More progress - control panels for the various tower positions.
A good winter project when it's too cold in the garage.

The larger gray panel controls the engine terminal area, the blue panel controls the mainlines and passenger yard at Port Jervis, the green panel (upside down in picture to the right ) controls all the freight yards and the smaller gray panel controls the "not to be hidden" staging yard.
Note that rheostats and direction switches are built into the panels on the Port Jervis control panels so that tower operators can operate local cab power in these areas when necessary.   Between routing trains they will be required to switch cars, set up trains and perform many switching operations in their area.
Each track will have a power-on-off switch; each different color section on each panel represents an electrical block and will have a rotary switch for cab assignment; and each track will have a Kadee pushbutton for track allignment.  It's hard to see in these pictures but the "mainline" panel has ten different electrical blocks and rotary switches on it.   At this point, only some of the switches are installed in the panels but all of the holes for their placement are drilled.   After I'm done wiring these crazy panels, I'll put up pictures of the "wild & weird wired side" so you can see how tight space is on the back of these panels.  I've documented all wiring.  If you don't document the wiring, you'll never find out why certain parts of the layout won't work and if you've ever had to trace faulty wiring, you really want to have a chart of the color coded wire to and from everywhere.

    August 18, 1999
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* Did you know the real McCoy refers to a railroad term? In the early 1900's an inventor by the name of Elijah McCoy developed a lubricating system for steam locomotives.  It became the best throughout the industry and hence became the "real McCoy". 

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