Thursday, September 11, 2014

White River Junction Scene Planning

This pre-construction mockup shows how the scene is arranged (it's not in its final position in the room here). the B&M Boston line ends at the wall, and the CV/B&M south staging is stub-ended. I'm considering connecting these two staging yards to form a loop around the furnace and hot water heater.

My posts over the past week on White River Junction ("WRJ in a Garage" and "Lessening the Mouse Hole Effect") produced some email requests for more detail information on the track arrangement at my HO scale version of this iconic New England railroad junction.
To those who don't know, White River station sat in the middle of a wye junction with four "legs" (For an aerial view of White River in the 1950s see this post:
(1)  A joint CV/B&M (technically it was CV to Windsor, then B&M south from there...) down the Conn. River Valley towards Springfield, Mass.
(2) The B&M "Northern" Line to Boston,
(3) The B&M (with CPR trackage rights) line up the Conn River Valley towards Wells River, Vt and ultimately Berlin, NH and
(4) The CV mainline north through Vermont to Montreal (by way of St Albans and the CNR).
Although it was a busy junction for the CV, the majority of the trains were B&M.
In many ways, the entire layout hinged on whether or not I could include White River. Knowing that it was going to be tricky I built this mockup back in February of 2009. For those keeping score, that predates the double-deck version of the railroad. I tried a number of options to get all four legs of the junction "live" on my layout, but the resulting plans always ended up with lots of staging to represent the various B&M lines, and required placing the station and junction in the center of the room - preventing me from modeling some of the other things I wanted to include.
I could see no way to make it all fit so I opted not to model White River Junction, primarily because of that obsession with making all the lines "live."
So I started building a double deck railroad representing a completely different portion of the CV - then in December of 2010 tore most of that out and started again.
And once again I wanted to include White River Jct.
The design for my current layout started with the photo of that mockup from 2009. Only this time I remembered I'm modeling the CV - not the B&M.   So the only B&M trains I model are those that interfaced directly with the Central Vermont. All the others (and there are many) I ignore.
This radically simplified the staging requirements. On my layout the big hole in the wall leads to the joint B&M/CV "South" staging yard. The track to the far left will lead into another hole and into the B&M's Boston staging tracks - currently the South End staging yard is stub ended but I'm seriously looking into connecting the south staging tracks and B&M Boston tracks to form a loop in the utility room.
What of the other two routes?
In my case, the CV mainline continues past the WRJ yard and on to the rest of the railroad.
The line to Wells River, which is behind the station in the overall view, is a dummy track - it crosses the B&M Boston line (protected by a ball signal) and then continues north aboiut 5 inches until it traverses my railroad's steepest grade - 54" straight down to the floor!

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