The Club’s HO scale layout takes up most of the floor space in our 11,000 square-foot facility. It has now been under construction for over 40 years. Like the building it’s housed in, the layout is being built in phases as time and money permit. There is no formal timetable for completion but there is a basic track plan and a general sequence for construction. Work is expected to continue for many years to come.
The layout includes three fictional railroads, the Class 1 Hudson, Delaware and Ohio; the Trenton Northern, an interurban and traction line; and the Rahway River, a short line. Each railroad interchanges with the others but has its own operating crew and procedures.
Upon completion, the Hudson, Delaware and Ohio (HD&O) mainline will run from Hoboken, NJ to Pittsburgh, PA, where it interchanges with the Baltimore and Ohio. There is a branch line which runs from Summit, NJ to Gladstone and other branch lines are also planned. Interchanges with the Trenton Northern are located in both Jim Thorpe, PA, on the HD&O main, and Bernardsville, NJ, on the Gladstone Branch. In Jim Thorpe there will be another interchange with the Mauch Chunk Terminal Railroad which is still under construction. In Summit the railroad links up with the Rahway River.
The Trenton Northern Transportation and Light Company’s line runs from Trenton, NJ to Northhampton, PA. Branches run to Jim Thrope and Bernardsville with the previously mentioned connections with the HD&O. The Trenton Northern also has an interchange with the Rahway River in Allentown, PA.
The Rahway River is an independent short line that begins in the small town of Kenilworth, NJ and runs to Allentown, PA, with a short branch to Summit, NJ.
Prototypical operations is an important facet of the hobby for us. We have regular operating sessions every Tuesday evening from 7 to 10 PM. We also occasionally hold special operating events for guests.
We do not utilize a fast clock, although we have discussed introducing a fast clock in the future. Instead, we use a Time Conversion Table, where 8 operating hours is compressed into 3 actual hours. Hence, it takes 3 operating sessions to complete an operating day.
We use a variation of the tab-on-car waybill system for car routing. We have found this to be the best system for our weekly operating sessions.