Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Jersey Junction RR Map 1911

1911 map of the New Jersey Junction Railroad
Some of the notable directors on the board of the New Jersey Junction Railroad in 1911 were William Rockefeller, William and Frederick Vanderbilt, and J.P. Morgan. So there must have been something of interest going on along this part of the Jersey Shore before Snooki. Taking a look at the vitals in the image below, the line ran from Weehawken headquarters to Jersey City for a grand total of 4.44 "main line" miles and .34 "branch line" miles. The cost of the road was $367K per mile and the stock price was $100/share.

Turns out that all the shares belonged to the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company (hence the big names involved), but there was certainly already lots of business to be had on the West Shore of the Hudson in 1911, and probably more importantly, the need for the connection between the West Shore RR (also owned by the NYC) in Weehawken to Jersey City and another access point to Manhattan, etc. Along the way the NJJRR ran across the Erie and the DL&W that went to the Hudson as well. The line ran right alongside the Erie's Weehawken Branch line, and I believe became part of Conrail's River Line branch.

The vital statistics of the NJJRR of 1911

Saturday, April 7, 2012

More old locomotive photos

Boxcab no.19 at Jersey City, NJ June 29th of 1958 looking pretty darn sharp. According to Phil M. Goldstein's, no.19 was scrapped in November of 1958 at Meadville, PA. Looks too good in this shot to be scrapped only a few months later.
I have gotten a really good cross-section of Erie locomotive photos that I am interested in having on my layout, so I may branch out to try to find some shots of the other railroads in the Port of New York area later on.

Besides the obvious usefulness of having these photos to be able to model the locomotives accurately and realistically, I find the little stuff found in the photos that have nothing to do with the locomotive proper to be of great value. These things can go a long way towards increasing the depth and richness of the modeling experience by providing insight into the details and context of the railroad one is modeling.

For instance, in the photo of no.19 above, there are several small piles of sand around the tracks from locomotives trying to get some starting tracking I presume. This is probably at a place where either road locomotives hook on to the trains at departure tracks or possibly some particular shunting location at the end of a classification area, etc. The photo above is from Jersey City, and if I knew the yard better, I could tell where this is by the building in the background.

I've modeled these sand piles before on Chuck Ellis' railroad in the yard and at passenger stations that are on grades, etc., but I had kind of forgotten about that particular element until seeing this photo. That makes it worthwhile to browse through the books and photos every once in a while to remember these already known elements and to find new ones. Cataloging these photos I have and applying tag words to their files makes it easy to find everything taken in Jersey City, for example, for either quick reference or browsing collections. This may seem like a chore, but the act of organizing allows for dedicated time to focus on the photos in a directed way that can yield deeper understanding and information about the photos themselves because of the increased attention and purposeful scrutiny.  This can make for nice collateral value from the research process.

No 614 in Buffalo, NY 12 February 1960. Besides the general locomotive information, the structure of the power poles is a good bit of modeling information.

No.707A looking smart outside Maybrook, NY, 24 February 1960. Look how and where the snow has clung to the coupler and pilot.

DL&W no.404 at East Binghampton, NY 12 April 1957. A bit of surprising info is the old Erie logo on the car behind this Lackawanna locomotive. It seems that it is late to have that logo (which was around from pre-1900s to around 1930s perhaps) still showing up in the late 50s. My guess is that it is an old wood reefer, but I bet someone else can identify it more definitively. The obvious direct take-away is that there is room for old equipment on a layout.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chuck Ellis' GN&P

Last night was my first visit to Chuck's Great Northwestern and Pacific layout in quite some time, and so I was expecting to see some new stuff. What I hadn't factored in was that Dick Sowash had been hard at work over the past year building over 80 new structures for the main city of Great Falls. It blew me away. Lots of other things to see, too, including new track and electronics. I just wanted to get a couple of shots posted quickly of Dick's work, and I'll show more later.

The photos are all from the West end of Great Falls. The eatery is in the rail yard which is situated in the middle of the layout and serves as a division point. The rest of the shots start to show the town itself which is above the yard.

Chuck's layout was the subject of an article I wrote for Model Railroader in the December 2002 (?) issue. I'll have to verify the date. Chuck and I decided last night it was time to write another article to update the vast changes and additions that have happened over the course of 10 years.

I'll post more on this layout in my blog.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dock photos

"Cover Photo: The cover shows Erie's "farm" at Weehawken - one of the world's most unusual farms, for it is also a freight station, a station where rail transport ends, and water transportation begins on the Erie. More about it, and the Erie's lighterage service, on page 15." (collection of the author Creative Commons License)
Happy April. The photo for the cover of the 1957 issue was taken at Erie's Weehawken docks yard and there is a light dusting of snow on the ground and the thousands of crates stacked between the tracks. Many photos indicated that a lot of these crates contained automobiles.

Using lighterage to transport what appears to be an automobile crate. (collection of the author Creative Commons License)