Thursday, April 23, 2015

Possible New Direction

So I've been doing more research the last month or so. The more I do, the more I'm being drawn into an area, and specifically, a line in the Conrail system that has been suggested to me countless times, the Boston Line. The other one most often mentioned when I talk about what I like is the Buffalo Line but in Conrail's day that had very little operating interest with only 1 manifest and 1 ML in each direction. As I mentioned earlier, the first spark in all this was an article written by Jeff Wilson from the October, 1993, Model Railroader. The only reason I found it is that, being a subscriber, I have access to the online archives. I've found a bunch of other things too, but more on that later. I have a few Conrail books at home and they all devote a few pages to the line. The more I read, the more I liked it, I mean, it has

  • Mainline freight including intermodal and auto (Multi-Level) traffic
  • Interchanges with 4 railroads - Pioneer Valley, B&M, CV/NECR, and MCER
  • Decent sized industrial switching area in Indian Orchard section of Springfield
  • Amtrak trains, although, in the model world this might only be the Lake Shore Limited due to space constraints
  • And picturesque scenery
I make no bones about it, but from afar, I really admire the Cascade Subdivision by Mark Lestico. It was the first issue I got in the Layout Design SIG followed by being in N Scale Railroading. It's an operations oriented layout with fantastic scenery, simplified benchwork construction, and simplified trackwork/plan. I need to figure out how to work out the details, but areas of interest on the layout would be:
  • Paper mill of some kind representing Woronoco 
  • PVRR Westfield interchange, salt distributor and quarry
  • West Springfield Yard
  • Springfield Station area
  • Representative area for Indian Orchard industries, former Athol Industrial and Athol Industrial tracks
  • Palmer and it's interchanges with the NECR (nee CV) and MECR plus one or two industries
  • West Warren because of all this
So now to reach out the few people that have helped me doodling track plans and the like and see how we can fit this in to the area I have available for the basement.


Karl A. said...

It's better to shift gears sooner than later. You'll be happier in the long run for it!

Phil D said...

Thanks Karl. The hardest part for me right now is getting these LDEs into some kind of order. I've already figured out that I want to be able to have continuous run so I can use one of the interchange tracks for that. Now it's a matter of moving things around to get signature scenes where they aren't too compromised, like the Connecticut River crossing and still manage to get the yard done ok.

Mike McNamara said...

Yes, we must have more New England modelers in our area! Make it so! Including live interchanges, like the CV in Palmer will be really cool and add a lot of operational interest (and jobs!). You can also include the Amtrak Vermonter and its runaround to get from the Springfield line onto the CV. The elevated Springfield station would be some cool urban modeling. Perhaps situating West Springfield at one end leading directly to staging would work well.

Phil D said...

The CV (officially NECR at my 1996 timeframe) would be the hard one to do since right now I designated it at the peninsula and doing west is left it would be on the blob end of it. Not sure how it would work out making it "live". I hadn't realized the Vermonter was there in 1996, thought it was still the Montrealer but a quick lookup for the archived timetables shows it was the Vermonter in my timeframe. Also, west of W. Springfield was a rock quarry and a few other smaller industries I'd like to include but doing the West Springfield yard is taking up more space then I thought it would.

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