New Haven RR Waterford Branch - HO - Jon Dandridge

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The Waterford Branch of the New Haven RR is a freelanced layout loosely based on the Old Colony Northern Division line from Framingham to Fitchburg Massachusetts.



Era: Late 1950's

Style: Single level around the walls.

Size: 2 legs 30" - 48" x 16 feet connected by a 8" x 20 foot center section

Prototype: New York New Haven and Hartford RR

Trackwork: PECO Code 75 with Electrofrog turnouts

Control System: Digitrax DCC

Gory Details

The layout is built around the walls on 3 sides of a family room. In order to pass under a large picture window, the layout height on that side has to be around 32" so the benchwork is lower than ideal.

The track plan starts in Framingham where a 6 track switching yard is located. There is a connection to the NYC (former B&A) main which is modeled as 2 dummy tracks. Eventually I plan to add additional staging for transfers from the NYC's Nevins Yard. Just past the NYC connection is Framingham Center where a track diverges (repsenting the Lowell line) and runs into a hidden 2 track staging yard.

The next town is Clinton which I am attempting to model more or less faithfully the 2 level station with the B&M Worcester Main which consists of 2 dummy tracks that cross under the NH line. There is also an interchange track .

The line then runs under the picture window as described to the second leg to the town of Greystone which contains several industries including Waterford Produce, a cannery and food processing facility which is the line's major customer. Ther eis also a lumberyard, oil and coal dealer, and a steel fabricating facility. The latter is dedicated to my father Peter Dandridge who started and ran a welding and fabricating business in Cambridge MA for many years.

The line then terminates at Waterford where there is a small yard used to originate the local taht serves Greystone plus interchange with the B&M Fitchburg route Main which runs through town. Waterford is somewhat of an amalgam between Gardner and Fitchburg MA. The B&M line from Waterford runs back toward Framingham connecting with the main at Clinton to allow a non prototypical continuous running capability. During operating sessions this segment will be used to stage a B&M local that interchanegs cars with the NH.

Control system is currently a Digitrax Zephyr. I am planning to add a DB150 booster and use the Zephyr as a command station, since 10 slots is adequate for the expected level of operation. I will also add radio.


This is how things are planned once the layout is finished:

Framingham handles 3 freights that originate in staging.

  • BL1/LB2 is a Boston - Lowell through freight that drops and picks up in Framingham and handles cars to/from Boston and Northern New England connections (B&M, MEC, BAR).
  • CF1/FC2 runs between Framingham and Fall River. At Taunton it connects with ZP1/PZ2 to/from Providence which provides a connection for cars to/from the West and South, Maybrook NY (ERIE, L&HR, L&NE) or Harlem River and the LI car float (for PRR, B&O, and southern RRs).
  • Nevins Yard transfer for interchange with the NYC (B&A).

CJ1/JC2 is a local freight to Waterford which originates in Framingham. It also works Clinton and the Oil facility in Greystone.

JX1 and JX2 are local jobs based out of Waterford that primarily work Waterford Produce and the other industries in Greystone.

The B&M runs a local job out of Ayer to interchange with the NH at Waterford and also works a team track on the B&M line. I don't know the proper naming for it yet so I call it "AY-1" which is really Guilford terminology, until I can come up with a more appropriate name.

There is local passenger service to Waterford 3 times daily (except Sunday) that meets NYC trains at Framingham. This service is provided by a 2 car RDC set.

Motive Power

A pair of Alco FA1's usually holds down CJ1/JC2. One is a dummy equipped with Soundtraxx DSD150. The other is a Walthers Trainline. I am planning to upgrade with a proto 2K mechanism as I am not happy with the Trainline.

Atlas Alco RS1 with Soundtraxx DSD100LC, usually runs the JX1/JX2 jobs.

An ancient Athearn GP9 which I painted and lettered many years ago and regeared with Ernst gearing handles the B&M.

Proto 1000 RDC1 and RDC2 for the passenger trains.

Other engines earmarked for the interchange traffic

- Proto 1000 Alco RS11 (NH class DERS-5)

- Bachmann FM H-16-44 (NH class DERS-6)

- Atlas Alco RS3

Current Status

(14 March 2007)

Trackwork is basically complete on the Waterford / Greystone leg and operation of CJ1/JC2 and the local is possible. Scenery is about 50% complete on this leg.

Leg 2 containing Framingham and the yard is currently in progress.

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