I finally building something to run some trains on. Ironically while I’m not going to be able to feature much in the way of great 1970’s commuter operations on the line it will allow me to dig back into railroading like that which once existed in New York along the rivers. If you haven’t see it yet, Fast Tracks’s Tim Warris is building one of the most amazing models of the Bronx Terminal Railroad and is blogging about it.
I wound up building something that is very heavily based on John Allen’s Timesaver idea. I’ve been a bit more generous about siding lengths and I’ve added in two extra locations to spot cars. So far all the track is in place and last night I added in feeder wires to each length of track. Tonight I’ll try and find a few minutes to run the main bus wires under the little layout and hook up some power. Can’t wait to push some cars around this thing.
As I mentioned I am basing this on the Brooklyn waterfront railroads. Basically during the early part of the twentieth century the Brooklyn waterfront was dotted with little freight yards reachable only by car float. Most of these railways were really tiny and consisted of only small yards. Mostly team tracks with gantry cranes and a freight shed. That’ll be the look I’m after too. Time period will be mid-sixites, maybe a little earlier. Motive power will likely be Central of New Jersey road power. I’ve got some RS-3’s that need some paint and at least one sw1200 that could be repainted too.
When I started this I intended to extend it with a couple of extra modules. Sitting here at my desk this morning I started to think more about the prototype and then I had a really neat idea:
Why not build a bunch of little modules, each with a car float apron on it?
Instead of hosting a operations session where we all work in one area we could have one operator per layout. Each would load or unload their respective car floats and perform local switching moves. When done with each float they could exchange it with another operator in the room. This is exactly what the prototype did. Cars from one isolated yard would be loaded onto a float and carried downriver to the next yard.
I think this is a neat idea. Join a bunch of micro layouts all sharing common scale, theme (location) and purpose. I don’t have a lot of room for a permanent layout and this could be a great compromise.
Cheers. Happy Christmas.