Author Topic: NYC Hudson Valley Lines  (Read 3515 times)

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Brian M

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NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« on: January 02, 2018, 11:28:59 PM »
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I created my Railwire account in 2012, and a lot of things happened between then and now that put a damper on my time and motivation for starting a layout build thread.  A marriage, a couple of moves, a newborn daughter (who is now 3), a busy family life in general, and it becomes easy to put off doing stuff that doesn’t feel very important.  Not to mention that my layout was in storage for a good 3 years, and we also remodeled our house last year such that the basement wasn’t in any kind of condition to start layout work again until early 2017.  So there really wasn’t anything relevant for me to write about or document as far as layout building goes.  However, now all of that has changed.  Thankfully.  My daughter is old enough that she doesn’t need constant attention, the remodeling is done (for now), and family life has slowed down a certain extent.  Which leaves more room in life to spend time on the layout and other relaxing pursuits.

So without further delay, I’m happy to start the build thread for what I call my “New York Central Hudson Valley Lines”.  The name is fairly self-explanatory, but I’m modeling the New York Central along a portion of the Hudson Division, set in the 1949 – 1950 time frame, in N scale.  Specifically, the layout is focused on Peekskill, NY and a short section of the Hudson Highlands, directly north of Peekskill.  I call it the “Hudson Valley Lines” versus the “Hudson Division” because I’m a fan of most railroads that served northern New Jersey and southern New York.  So if I get caught running an Erie, New Haven, or O&W train along the eastern bank of the Hudson, I can claim that said railroad served the Hudson River Valley in some form or another...just maybe the western side of the river versus the eastern side, but who’s paying attention?  However, if the day comes that serious operations are hosted, then it will be NYC all the way.

Here are a handful of pictures of the one corner of the layout that is somewhat done, although there are still details that I’d like to add or some touch ups that I plan to make to improve the scene.  This is the Annsville Creek bridge and causeway, which is just north of Peekskill.









The layout is sectional.  I started some sections when I was living in an apartment in college, so I knew I’d be moving and I wanted to easily take the layout with me.  This has turned out to be a very good design approach, as I’ve now moved the layout 5 times.  With each move, I’ve had to redesign the layout to a certain extent, but the key pieces remain the same.  There have been filler pieces added or removed as needed to fit a particular space.  The advantage of having sections has also just recently been exercised yet again as the main drain pipe out of the kitchen had a crack and was leaking, so I had to pull a couple of sections out and move the layout away from the wall for the pipe to get fixed.  Naturally, this comes about 1.5 months after I got the layout to a point where I was able to run trains.  Initially this was kind of a disappointing blow, but it has turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it motivated me to get some scenery work done on one of the sections I pulled out (more on that in another posting).

In prior forms, the layout was an around-the-walls configuration, the track plan of which can be seen on my website http://www.hudsonvalleylines.net.  It took up a 11.5 foot by 10.5 foot spare room in my old house.  Now it is in part of a 600 sqft basement, and is in a “J” shape, so it has become something of a dog bone with two turn-back loops at either end.  The long side is about 23 feet, the bottom of the J is about 10.5 feet, and the short side is around 12 feet.  Here is a picture from last January, when things were slowly starting to take shape in the room (along with my daughter running the LGB):


Here are a couple of engines chasing each other around one end loop, testing out the AR1, before the mainline was complete around the whole layout:


Finally (for now), here’s the first official train to traverse the mainline once I had everything put together:


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 12:26:12 AM »
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Whoa. Very cool!!!

There's been some great coverage of the area recently in the PC Post and the R&LHS: http://rlhs.org/Publications/History/

I grew up in a P Company household, but have to admit it's some cool railroad (although I maintain that NYC's steam power was ugh-lee!).

dougnelson

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 03:56:19 AM »
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Love it, including the time frame. Hope to see more.

narrowminded

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 04:21:39 AM »
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Very nice. 8)  And an Alco not too far from home. :)
Mark G.

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 06:30:39 AM »
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Great photos, and its just my kind of thing! Were you ever published in the NYC historical society magazine?

Lemosteam

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 07:21:19 AM »
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I recall one of these pics in a discussion regrading adding water no?  Love yours (and the rest too).  Your daughter running the LGB is precious.  I miss those days sometimes, although I have a delayed 13 year old that still adores them (and mine too!)

Brian M

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 10:18:08 AM »
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Great photos, and its just my kind of thing! Were you ever published in the NYC historical society magazine?

Thanks!  Yes, I wrote an article for The Headlight a few years ago, used the picture of the un-streamlined Hudson coming around the corner to go with it.  And I've written one or two articles for the NYCentral Modeler, the online magazine.  With a little more free time, I hope to get back to writing some articles for the Society.  We'll see how that goes...

Brian M

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 10:26:04 AM »
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I recall one of these pics in a discussion regrading adding water no?  Love yours (and the rest too).  Your daughter running the LGB is precious.  I miss those days sometimes, although I have a delayed 13 year old that still adores them (and mine too!)

Yes, I think I did use one of these in another thread along the way.  One of my biggest concerns with starting to do scenery work again is getting the water to look close to what is already done.  I did that bit of river about 5 or 6 years ago, so trying to remember the technique and color application will be a challenge.  I don't care if it matches exactly, but at least close enough so it doesn't look strange would be nice.

I savor all this train time with her now, since I have no idea if she'll still have an interest in trains later.  She's quite skilled at loading up plenty of animals in the LGB cars and running the trains at reasonable speeds.  She also has a thing for covered hoppers, and starts to pull out all of the N scale ones she can find so we can put them on the layout.  Honestly, I trust her with a throttle more than I'd trust some guys I've operated on HO layouts with.   :D

Brian M

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 01:48:41 PM »
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As I mentioned in my first post, I recently had to pull a couple of sections of the layout away from the wall to get the drain pipe from the kitchen fixed.  Doing this was slightly deflating to my feeling of accomplishment at having gotten the railroad back into an operational state after many years of not being able to run trains.  But then it hit me that with one of the short sections I had pulled, I could easily bring it upstairs and start doing some scenery work on it.  This 25 inch long section was supposed to just be a filler piece, and I intended to work on scenery on sections to either side of it first, as they are primary sections (and scenes) of the layout.  I realized that this section is really a stand alone scene, and it ties two other key scenes together (the causeway and the short section of Hudson Highlands I have).  Plus, it would let me relearn some of my scenery techniques without the pressure of wanting to get things right the first time on the Highlands.

Looking at Google Earth, I saw a little landform (anyone know the proper name for these?) that juts out between the tracks and the river:


So I’m using that as a guide, and I’m adding in a small hill to give the background a little relief:


I’ve also broken off some spare plaster rocks to add on the landform, which will get embedded in a small hill to also add interest:


A couple of nights ago I smoothed out the hill in the background, and started to put down the first layer of sculptamold to create the river, the river banks, and other ground cover.  I hadn’t worked with sculptamold in a while, so it was a little bit of a relearning process to remember how mushy to make it.  But I kept reminding myself that if it doesn’t come out the way I want, I can just remove it.  Not really a big investment if something doesn’t go as planned and needs to get redone.  So here’s where I’m at right now with this section:




Next up is to add the plaster rocks and small hill on the landform, smooth out the river bed, and start painting.

Philip H

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 02:18:01 PM »
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That would commonly be called a spit in coastal waters.  Normally formed behind some sort of structure (like that dock) that changes water flow speed and causes sediment to fall out of suspension.  Could also be an eroding headland - in which case the natural feature is eroding away from the dock.  hard to tell with just one image.
Philip H.
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lashedup

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 02:28:11 PM »
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Nice scene and I love the water - looks dead on correct.

I've always loved NYC's steam locos. Just tough looking and unique.  Hopefully Kato does a 20th Century Limited set next. While we won't get a Niagara one could only hope. :)

seusscaboose

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 04:44:39 PM »
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I like this....

I am beginning to have a soft spot for Cigar Bands and F Units.... as well as Lightning Stripes and Mohawks


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Cajonpassfan

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2018, 07:59:52 PM »
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Oh wow, awesome Brian, I'm loving it!
I'm a total sucker for well done proto-based modeling, and you've picked a great prototype and time period. I also happen to think the Central's steam was classy, unlike that other railroad's creations. I mean Hippos, really? :D

I got to ride along the Hudson for the first time last spring while my wife was attending a business event in NYC, and given my limited exposure, you're nailing it. Keep the pics coming please.

Otto K.
PS: Your little girl is precious, enjoy her while it lasts. You can always work on the railroad when she discovers you're not the coolest person on earth...I'd give it about eleven years, max  :)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 08:03:02 PM by Cajonpassfan »

Santa Fe Guy

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2018, 08:22:49 PM »
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Yep agree whole heartily Otto. Our eldest daughter is now 48 and I do remember her running one of my first N Scale locos on my very first N Scale layout.
Where has all that time gone.
Rod.
Santafesd40.blogspot.com

btrain

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Re: NYC Hudson Valley Lines
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2018, 10:26:11 PM »
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I've seen your photos on the NYCHS modeler and was always hoping to see more of your work! I think Classic Trains last year had a photo spread of the area and era you're modeling, and you sure are capturing the atmosphere of that wonderful time. I'm looking forward to seeing how the layout progresses. The NKP might be number one to me, but having a great grandfather who worked for the NYC makes the Central a very close second in my heart.


Nickel Plate Road in Bellevue Layout: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=40849.0