Erie NY Division (and Hoboken Shore Railroad) - HO - Riley Triggs

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The Protoype

Image:ErieLogo.gif Image:HBS700postcard.jpg Hoboken Shore #700

My layout is in the very beginning stages of existence. The idea for the layout started to gel in 2005 after researching one of my favorite kinds of prototype, the short line urban railroad. I looked for a railroad that I could model in its entirety at as close to actual scale as possible. I ran across an excellent web site[1] maintained by Paul R. Tupaczewski on the Hoboken Shore Railroad (HBS) located in Hoboken, NJ., and I soon decided that this would satisfy many of my druthers regarding operations, size, era, scenery possibilities, etc.

Image:map.gif New York Port Authority map

The HBS has become the tail of a research project that has started wagging some rather big dogs: the Erie Railroad, the New York Susquehanna and Western Railroad, the Northern Railroad of New Jersey, the New Jersey and New York Railroad, the New York Central, the Lehigh Valley, the Pennsylvannia Railroad, The Delaware and Lackawanna Railroad, and the Oswego and Western Railroad and the whole New York and Northern New Jersey railroad scene in the late 1950s. The target layout will include the complete HBS and its connection to the Erie at Weehawken, as well as Erie's Weehawken Branch to Croxton Yard, the Susquehanna (NYS&W) north out of Croxton, and the Erie mainline to Passaic.

Image:ErieMap.gif Erie's System Map

Image:1907wee.jpg Erie's Weehawken Yard in 1907

Northern Branch Track Map
Northern Branch Track Map
Operation is the biggest factor driving the early stages of my railroad, and every decision I make must support my goal of operating as near to prototypical practices as possible. With that goal in mind, most of my research has centered on collecting schedules, dispatcher sheets, interlocking diagrams, track charts, rosters, Sanborn maps, etc. to create a model that will support accurate and fun operations. My first sketches for the layout are drawn from this research, and are attempts at creating plans that emphasize different aspects of railroading in that area. This is all, of course, being tempered by budgetary and space constraints, which are both still being delineated along with my plans.

Givens and Druthers

Name of Railroad: Erie NY Division (and Hoboken Shore Railroad)

Scale: HO (1:87)

Size of Layout: minimum 1000 Square Feet.

Prototype: Erie Railroad, Hoboken Shore Railroad - standard gauge.

Period/era: Late 1950's, most likely 1959 just before the Erie merger with the Lackawanna Railroad.

Layout Style: Single deck around the wall.

Layout Height: Deck at 48-52 inches above finished floor.

Benchwork: Open grid, possibly light gauge steel stud or plywood structural members.

Roadbed: ?

Track: Code 83 mainline with an operating standard of 2 derailments or less for every 100 car moves

Length of mainline run: Not yet determined.

Turnout(Point) minimum: #8 mainline, #4 in industrial areas

Turnout Manufacturer: Peco InsulFrog

Minimum curve radii: 36 inches mainline, 18 industrial

Scenery construction: Plaster on wire?

Control: At this moment, Easy DCC with manual and electronic turnout control. I am also researching ProTrak software, CMRI and Grapevine interfaces for CTC areas

Couplers: Kadee #5

Possible features: Hump Yard, bar code reader for traffic control with printed switchlists for road and yard engineers, "Dial-A-Yard" remote switching yards accessed by car float cart, "double aisle yard" worked from both sides of island yard.

Starting Date: 2007

First Operating Session Date: 2009?

Plans for existing space

A first attempt at a Hoboken Shore layout in an existing 22'x20' space includes every track and industry that existed in the 1950s. This includes a "Dial-a-Yard" idea of having stacked remote yards accessed by movable car float carts. The desired yard would be accessed by vertically moving the yards. This plan is great for capturing in its entirety a busy industrial switching railroad with car float service and connection to a Class 1 railroad. Lots of modeling possibilities as the line included Bethlehem Steel Shipworks and several piers and warehouse structures ranging from brick to metal and wood construction.


Another version of the HBS in one room includes a notion of using car floats to access the 28th Street and 149th Street remote Erie yards. It also porvides a gathering space for operators and a work bench and spray booth. Area for a home office is also blocked out, but this plan doesn't accomplish all my needs for ancilliary areas.


Larger layout?

Current thinking has the HBS as only a part of a larger layout space of around 1000+ sf whose right of way is currently being surveyed (and negotiated). A couple of options are available to me. The first is expanding the 2nd floor area that the original HBS plan works into (see above plan). The 'ultimate' plan shown below is the greatest extent that I could add on here due to local zoning regulations.


The above plan allows for a two-sided Croxton Yard complex that could be operated by up to 5 people (one of my druthers). It would also include a hump yard, and interconnecting services to several branches of the Erie, the D&LW and the NYS&W. Jersey City could be modeled as well as the entire HBS and the Erie Weehawken Yard. Staging occurs on both ends, with a few intermediated staging tracks to allow for branch connections. Four foot aisles and dispatcher's desk are also possible. Total floor area of layout 1892 sf.

There are a couple of reasons that adding on to the second story of my house would be problematic, so I have begun to explore the possiblity of going in the opposite direction and adding on below my house.

Go To Next Page:The Below Option

--Riley 11:23, 29 October 2006 (PST)

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