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 Erie Lackawanna Railway
Port Jervis, New York - Division
between the New York Division
and the Delaware Division
Railfans have viewed this page since July
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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,
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
More progress - control panels for the various
A good winter project when it's too cold in
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
To Page 2
* 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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