Author Topic: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout  (Read 1855 times)

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Brian M

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South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« on: March 16, 2019, 10:06:35 AM »
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It is very common to read in various model railroading magazines that when building a layout, the sooner you get trains running, the better.  That way you can see and enjoy the fruits of your labor, and then go back and refocus on other aspects…scenery, buildings, rolling stock, etc.  That advice is well and good when the layout you’re building is a reasonable size, but when your plan is to build a layout that almost takes up ~500 square feet worth of basement, “getting trains running” becomes a much bigger job.  Walls to paint the correct sky colors, benchwork to build, handlaid turnouts to assemble, etc, etc…it all adds up, even if you have a small work crew to help (as I do).

And there are plenty of times when you’re in the mood to just run some trains for 20 or 30 minutes, and not work on bigger projects.  Thus, I’ve re-started a small project, one that I had originally started in our prior house, in which literally the only available space for any kind of train layout was in the mudroom.  So for a while, I had thought of this as “the mudroom layout”.  But now that I’m refocused on it, I’ve decided to call it the South Bergen Industrial.

Here are a couple of pictures from about two weeks ago, when I was getting a track plan put together.  You can see the layout is made up of two modules, for a total length of 7 feet and 1 foot wide.  Plus the little nub at the end.  When I built this for the mudroom, I was looking to use as much available space as I could…





More recently, I added adjustable rubber feet to both sections since I figure I’ll be mostly setting this up on a table when I want to run, so being able to level it will be handy.



Brian M

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2019, 10:15:32 AM »
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(…continued)

Since I’m from Bergen County in NJ, and there are a couple of specific buildings from the area that I would like to model, I figured I should make this little switching layout a catch-all for my New Jersey inspired modeling ideas.  Which mostly come from the number of times my Dad and I have passed a particular building or area while driving around Bergen County.  Other than maybe some specific company and business names showing up, everything will be pretty fictional on this layout.  Era will be slightly fluid, although I might narrow in on the ‘80’s.  And the railroad(s) will also be fluid, dependent upon what I feel like running, but in general will be railroads one would expect to see in NJ.  Again, the main point here is to have a small switching layout that will let me scratch an itch while the bigger layout makes progress.  Additionally, I’d like to have something to shoot pictures on, even setting it up outside to get better lighting conditions, so this will work for that, too.
My goal is to keep this simple so that I can get it done quickly and not get bogged down with a lot of tasks.  Which is asking a lot, since it is always easy to add scope to a project.  We’ll see how I do.

The wood bridge is of course not really anything like what you can find in Bergen County.  But my Dad built it for me to go on a small layout I had in college, and I’ve been wanting to get it on a layout again ever since that layout got tossed when I graduated.  Since this switching layout is kind of an homage to NJ, it only makes sense to include the bridge.  My plan is to have all of the switching and industries on the non-bridge section of the layout.  The bridge side will contain a (small) town scene.

In this overhead shot, the mainline enters from the left (having crossed the bridge), and then there is a small yard.  In this picture, there are currently spots for 3 or 4 different industries, and I’m thinking I might add in another switch to include one more spot on the nub in the lower right.  Track is all code 55 Micro Engineering (except the crossing, that’s from Atlas).



Since I took the picture above, I’ve got the roadbed glued down on the switching side, and have started to solder feeders to the track.

-Brian.

mclarenf119

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 10:22:04 AM »
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Looks like it will be fun! Really like that you found a way to incorporate that bridge. Looking forward to more updates!
Eric O.

MK

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 01:37:59 PM »
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Brian, that bridge looks a little like the center section of the old Tappan Zee bridge.  :). You in upper or lower Bergen County?

ednadolski

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 01:46:52 PM »
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Nice!   But will you have enough room for a loco and 1(+) car(s) on the switchback lead that routes thru the lower left path of  the crossing?

Ed

Bryn

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2019, 04:32:56 PM »
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Loving the bridge Brian, impressive structure!

Brian M

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2019, 08:31:02 PM »
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Brian, that bridge looks a little like the center section of the old Tappan Zee bridge.  :). You in upper or lower Bergen County?

It's not too dissimilar.  My Dad had a picture of a road bridge across the Harlem River that he used for inspiration.

I'm from lower Bergen, Teaneck, specifically.  Although I haven't lived there in quite a while.  My Dad still lives there, though, so I visit often.

-Brian.

Brian M

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2019, 08:33:12 PM »
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Nice!   But will you have enough room for a loco and 1(+) car(s) on the switchback lead that routes thru the lower left path of  the crossing?

Ed

Ed,
Yeah, I sized it to just be able to fit an SD-40 and a 50 foot car.  Purposely sized it a little short so that switching moves aren't too easy.   :D

-Brian.

muktown128

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 07:36:42 AM »
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It's not too dissimilar.  My Dad had a picture of a road bridge across the Harlem River that he used for inspiration.

I'm from lower Bergen, Teaneck, specifically.  Although I haven't lived there in quite a while.  My Dad still lives there, though, so I visit often.

-Brian.

My grandparents used to live in Teaneck.  When I was a kid, I used to run down the street they lived on to see the trains passing by.  The lived on Merrison Street, near the corner of Queen Anne Road, not far from the old station that was on Palisade Ave.  I remember a train was stopped near there one day and there were a couple of guys sitting in a caboose.  One of them picked me up to see inside.


bbussey

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2019, 08:08:11 AM »
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My grandparents used to live in Teaneck.  When I was a kid, I used to run down the street they lived on to see the trains passing by.  The lived on Merrison Street, near the corner of Queen Anne Road, not far from the old station that was on Palisade Ave.  I remember a train was stopped near there one day and there were a couple of guys sitting in a caboose.  One of them picked me up to see inside.

West Shore Line.  Nice.
Bryan Busséy
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MK

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2019, 10:02:36 AM »
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It's not too dissimilar.  My Dad had a picture of a road bridge across the Harlem River that he used for inspiration.

I'm from lower Bergen, Teaneck, specifically.  Although I haven't lived there in quite a while.  My Dad still lives there, though, so I visit often.

-Brian.

Ah, so you don't live there anymore.  I'm in Northern Bergen County and was going to invite you to our N-Trak club.  We have local shows where we run T-Trak and go to the big shows like Greenberg in Secaucus (new this year), Atlantic City/Egg Head Harbor N-Scale Gathering and of course Altoona N-Scale Weekend in August as well as Amherst in January.

Brian M

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2019, 07:21:55 PM »
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My grandparents used to live in Teaneck.  When I was a kid, I used to run down the street they lived on to see the trains passing by.  The lived on Merrison Street, near the corner of Queen Anne Road, not far from the old station that was on Palisade Ave.  I remember a train was stopped near there one day and there were a couple of guys sitting in a caboose.  One of them picked me up to see inside.

That's a good memory to have.  How I would love to have seen the NYC in its prime going through Teaneck.  Not to mention the O&W passing through, too.  One of my great-grandfathers started the West Shore Fuel Company (I think sometime in the '20's), and it grew to become one of the largest coal distributors in Bergen County.  They had large coal silos that stood just north of where State St crosses over the tracks, along Palisade Ave, and of course were served by rail.  The silos came down in the '50's, as the business shifted to oil, and eventually my grandfather sold the land.

It was really cool to see CSX add in a third track through Teaneck a few years ago, along with double tracking the line to the south.

-Brian.

muktown128

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2019, 09:12:11 PM »
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I haven't been to Teaneck in over 25 years and had no idea a 3rd track was added.  I noticed that when I looked it up on Google maps this morning when I was confirming the street names from memory.

I remember the double tracks converged to a single track a little north of the station and walked the line to the PSE&G plant that was south of Teaneck.  I remember seeing some old PRR yellow MOW equipment in the sidings near the plant.

One of my grandparents next door neighbor's was Phoebe Snow's family.  Her stage name came from the DL&W train of the same name.  She was a singer back in the 70's.  I remember her father Merrill or Uncle Merrill to me was a really nice guy.  I've been told she used to sing me lullaby's when I was very young, but I don't remember that.  Many fond memories of Teaneck...

Brian M

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2019, 10:31:56 PM »
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One of my grandparents next door neighbor's was Phoebe Snow's family.  Her stage name came from the DL&W train of the same name.  She was a singer back in the 70's.  I remember her father Merrill or Uncle Merrill to me was a really nice guy.  I've been told she used to sing me lullaby's when I was very young, but I don't remember that.  Many fond memories of Teaneck...

Are you effing kidding me!?!  What a small world...my Dad and grandfather were really good friends with Merrill.  They'd usually drag me along to Merrill's for their monthly poker nights, and since I was only about 4 or 5, I'd end up falling asleep on the couch.  I always looked forward to the poker nights because they'd order a bunch of pizzas.  Merrill was a great guy.  I kind of remember being really surprised when he moved to CT, as I couldn't imagine Teaneck without him.  That's just blowing my mind that we both knew him....

-Brian.

muktown128

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Re: South Bergen Industrial Switching Layout
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2019, 07:11:49 AM »
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Holy crap!  I remember his workshop / garage in his backyard.  He had all kinds of stuff back there, most of which I can't remember anymore.  My grandparents house was right next to his.  My grandparents had the big holly tree in the back yard between their yards.