Author Topic: New modular layout: CPR Philly Waterfront  (Read 630 times)

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jsoflo

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New modular layout: CPR Philly Waterfront
« on: September 16, 2020, 06:17:04 PM »
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Greetings! Its been a long time, but Covid quarantine has me starting a new layout after a long hiatus. I am posting a track plan here- open to commentary, and recommendations more on that in a moment.

This is made to be a small, N Scale modular home layout I can operate on a table, and take down and store easily. Not lots of space in a condo! It is 2 modules, each 35" long by 10" wide. Construction is more or less discussed here:https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=50483.0

Inspiration comes from an August, 2005, issue of Railroad & Railfan, detailing CPR operations on the Philadelphia waterfront. It is now out of print, but can be found on eBay. I have included a photo of the cover. This is obviously mostly gone now, with CPR not even operating there anymore. 3 customers will be served: Pier 78, where boxcar loads include coffee, beer, paper, lumber, and other "loose" items moving between ship and shore. This pier really did exist, and was served by CPR for just those types of items. I am using modeler's license, the rails actually were located between the ship and the building, in mine the tracks are on the opposite side of the building on a well weathered concrete pier.

The second industry is fictional: Girardi Brothers provisions. The building is modeled after a rail served provisioner I ran across in Florida visit years ago. It will be served by boxcars as well, refrigerated and non.

The third industry is Delaware Valley Plate and pipe. This is modeled off a former rail served business on the Philly waterfront served by CPR: Prime Plate. Prime Plate apparently still exists but is no longer rail served from what I can tell. This will take flats and coil cars and gondolas.

There is a curved lead off the back of the layout where the modules join. If I choose, I could add a small 3rd module there to represent the Holt Marine terminal, which was rail served mostly with coil steel loads at that time.

The layout is designed to offer 20" runarounds, so that 5 car loads can be run around by the switcher. I thought about adding another turnout and 2nd storage track at the front of the module, but decided to keep it simple.

All buildings are scratch built. Girardi and Pier 78 are already on their way but still need lots of work. Del Val. Plate and Pipe still needs to be started.

Thats about it for now- have a good night!
J

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: New modular layout: CPR Philly Waterfront
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 06:49:09 PM »
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Oh man. I love it.

CR4100

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Re: New modular layout: CPR Philly Waterfront
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 07:18:49 PM »
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Cool project.

Don't forget about Ashland Chemical. Lots of tanks and pipes and cool industrial stuff. https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9099502,-75.1382785,3a,90y,119.3h,80.99t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sfjWd-JP9L_NpDhe1CxKkhg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Edit: Not sure if CP served there. I did see Conrail deliver tank cars there.
The fabric of reality has begun to fray.

jsoflo

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Re: New modular layout: CPR Philly Waterfront
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 07:59:57 PM »
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Thanks I worked a similar concept years ago but this is actually less fictional in many respects. My old modular layout was "based" in the same area, but had no reality based industry or buildings-and also included a module upstate in the Poconos- some of you old timers here may remember it- I included two of the few remaining photos of that old layout here.

As for Ashland chemical- yes- there are photos in the article of CSX serving that industry, and there are Youtube videos of the locals working it as well, and if I recall right, CPR as well. It was in consideration, but ultimately I did not have the room to fit it in. If I ever end up creating modules to the west it will definitely end up on one, but for the time being it did not make the cut!

Forgot to give some details: I am using Peco Code 55, all #6 and #4 switches. #6's anywhere a flat might be rolling- I have several of the old N Scale Kits rebar flats, and on the lead to Holt marine, and #4's pretty much everywhere else.

As I wrote in the "module ends" post referenced in my first post here, all track will either be embedded in concrete, or at ground level and poorly ballasted. Photos in the article and on the web and on videos show very poorly ballasted trackage. This will be in winter also, with some snow residue.

Construction is detailed in the "module end" topic as well, but quickly: luan 1/4" ply on pine box frame. I am laying bulk 1/4" cork down on top so I can "dig" out some poor drainage between Girardi Bros and Del. Val. Plate and pipe, and to run more quietly. The last 1.5" of each module will have 1/4" maple wood instead of cork to secure track to. I have .060 styrene I bought bulk that will be the paved surfaces, at .060 it is at rail tie height.

I printed concrete surfaces from textures.com and laminated the back of them. I will then glue the laminated side to the styrene to create paved areas. The lamination means I am not gluing paper directly to the styrene, always seem to get bubbles, ridges, and tears that way.

Finally, I am going to wait and see spacing, but I may build JH Stevedores, a non rail served building, next to Girardi bros. to eat up some of that space. The actual business is in that area. It could be used to create more interest in a otherwise uninteresting part of the modules.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 08:12:02 PM by jsoflo »

Shaggy170

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Re: New modular layout: CPR Philly Waterfront
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 10:32:03 PM »
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What a great idea. If it is the area I am thinking of, such a small operation but such variety in the area. I don't know too much about what the industries, track arrangements, or trackage rights were like down there but I have several memories as a kid seeing different CP roads down there. I remember seeing or taking pictures of CP, ICE, DME, and StL&H engines parked next to a warehouse with box cars from I95 or before Phillies games in the late 90s and early 2000s. Always tried to stretch in my seat to see over the barrier to check for red engines through the bushes.

I wonder if DH/CP had an interchange agreement with CR/CSX since the south Philly yard is right there. Might add some extra variety with switching without taking up much room.

p51

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Re: New modular layout: CPR Philly Waterfront
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2020, 03:12:35 PM »
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You just gotta make a model of the bow of the "SS United States," long a feature of the waterfront and can't be missed on a visit there as it dominates your view...

jsoflo

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Re: New modular layout: CPR Philly Waterfront
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 06:31:42 PM »
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I know what you mean Shaggy- grew up visiting the old navy yard down there with a neighbor who was employed there, really interesting area. Used to go to Phillies games at the Vet.

P51-- the S.S. United States is THE landmark down there, it shows up in every photo it seems- see attached photo from- it is right in the middle of the area I am modeling- the photo also shows the crappy, lack of ballast in area....

Unfortunately, I have to compress the hell out of the area to model it. When it was active in 2005 it extended from the navy yard, to north of Pier 78, up and down Columbus. CPR, CSX, and NS were all working the area and doing Conrail Shared work.

To incorporate the scenes I want to model and work I have to move Holt Marine terminal north of the bridge to the general area where the United States is docked. Prime plate (Delaware Valley Plate and pipe on my modules) is being moved from the area of the Navy yard- down on Langley, all the way up to Pier 78.... There will, however, be an opportunity for a backdrop cargo ship at Pier 78, on the other side of the building. I already have been scouring for some photos to work from that are oriented in the right direction. JH Stevedores (photo attached) is actually in this area.

amato1969

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Re: New modular layout: CPR Philly Waterfront
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2020, 10:13:32 PM »
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@jsoflo here is a cool map (dated 1944) showing the tracks between piers 73 and 84; a lot more than exist now!

https://www.philageohistory.org/rdic-images/view-image.cfm/Streets-DelR-1941-07

  Frank

jsoflo

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Re: New modular layout: CPR Philly Waterfront
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2020, 08:35:12 AM »
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That is awesome- thanks Frank!