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Craftsman Boomer Trail - September 2010

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction
Heavy foliage and rough terrain is one mark of railroading through the northwestern part of the Garden State. The lead Jersey Central RS-3 sports the full "Coast Guard" scheme that was intoduced in 1972 while the trailing unit still wears the B&O-influenced blue and yellow scheme. The action takes place on Jim Homoki's HO scale Newark Terminal Division, just one of the great layouts that will be a part of the Mid-East Region NMRA's "Princeton Junction 2010" convention this September 30-October 3, hosted by the New Jersey Division.

All Aboard for Princeton Junction 2010!

by Eric Dervinis

MER LogoModel railroad conventions are a great way to meet fellow hobbyists, tour some great layouts, learn some interesting tips and techniques, and most importantly, get inspired! The Mid-East Region NMRA invites you to its 2010 "Princeton Junction" regional convention taking place September 30 through October 3, hosted by the New Jersey Division. Our venue is the DoubleTree Hotel in Princeton, New Jersey, a short distance away from the famous four-track former Pennsylvania Railroad New York to Washington mainline now owned by Amtrak and shared with NJ Transit. Conveniently located approximately halfway between the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, Princeton Junction 2010 will highlight operations with over seventy slots available on a variety of interesting layouts. Two extra fare tours are available, including a Friday tour inside of a working grain elevator, and a Saturday excursion over the nearby New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. Clinics covering a variety of topics from modeling to electronics to history and operations will be offered. The schedules for the clinics, home layouts, contests, banquet and other activities are available on our web site. The following is a brief tour of just some of the wonderful layouts that will be open during the convention...

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

Redhouse Station is represented by a common CNJ station design, and it is still in good repair in this mid-1970s scene. How much longer it will remain standing we don't know. Limited morning and afternoon service continues for the few remainig commuters as shown by this GP-7 powered push-pull train. The station is a long out of production Micro-Mark kit, and the cab car was built following an article in the April 1990 Railroad Model Craftsman. Jim Homoki's Newark Terminal Division features CNJ and Penn Central operations in northern New Jersey and west into Pennsylvania.

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

Eastbound Penn Central train EV-4 has one of the railroad's latest and best units on the front, an EMD GP-40. The old shelter at Machton is still in PRR standard colors. The year is 1970 and the new railroad will not complete the repainting of company buildings for several more years. Jim Homoki's Newark Terminal Division features separate CNJ and PC mainlines as they appeared during the early 1970s. Jim's layout will be open for tours during the upcoming Princeton Junction 2010 convention.

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

John Rahenkamp has a club-sized layout in his basement and is noted for his large city scenes. He is a master of the scratch built structure and has many on his railroad. In the distance is the industrial city of Elizabeth, NJ. John Rahenkamp mixed scratchbuilt, kit bashed and commercial structures to convey the explosive growth in this once vibrant town. The local way freight has just dropped four box cars at City Food, while the Reading switcher below is working the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ.

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

John Rahenkamp scratch built West End tower and solved a problem at the same time. He wanted the switch machines which are far from the layout edge to be accessible for maintenance. The tower is removable. The Jersey Central cabooses are in Croxton Yard, waiting to be placed on departing freights.

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

John Rahenkamp put a lot of thought and effort into his modeling, from the weathered retaining walls, to the scratch built Ferry Street station on the left, to the the apartment building on the right and many levels of urban density. All of his windows have varied window treatments, a nice touch. John's railroad will be on the Operations Call Board at the upcoming 2010 Princeton Junction convention.

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

Lamoille Valley Fall Foliage train has just passed through Fisher Covered Bridge in East Wolcott, Vermont. It is October 1980 and the train has two full coaches of passengers out to take in the beautiful fall foliage colors. While the railroad is now just a memory, Mike McNamara's Northeast Kingdom Railroad brings this colorful shortline to life in HO scale.

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

You couldn't beat northern New England for colorful variety in the early 1980s! St. Johnsbury, Vermont is a busy spot in October 1980 as the yard switcher is working on breaking down the Canadian Pacific's local train. In the yard, Maine Central train YR-1 is ready to depart for Portland, Maine, ready to cross the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Meanwhile Lamoille Valley freight MJ-2 patiently waits to enter the yard.

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

Lamoille Valley freight MJ-2 approaches the Route 15 crossing in East Hardwick, Vermont in October of 1980. The train is powered by one of the LVRC's ex-D&H Alco RS3 locomotives. Mike McNamara's Northeast Kingdom Railroad will be open for tours during the NMRA Mid-Eastern Region's Princeton Junction Convention this fall.

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

Bill Howard built a huge double-deck railroad in his basement almost entirely out of his own imagination, with very little input from other model railroaders. Then he joined a number of local groups and saw what others are doing. He began to upgrade his railroad and studied operations. His Susquehanna & Central Jersey Railroad is a modern road combining most of the railroads in New Jersey. He era is broad allowing for late steam and diesels. He began building with foam core long before the rest of us. He makes extensive use of photographs and backgrounds, often with subtle jokes built in. His railroad is unique in many ways. To model tall industrial buildings common to New Jersey, Bill printed out photos to scale and laminated them to foam board, such as the Weehawkin Icing example above. Bill enjoys extensive passenger operations with express reefers, Railway Post Office operations, and more.

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

General Public Utilities (GPU) should be very familiar to residents of New Jersey. They are one of the largest electric and natural gas suppliers in the northeast. By default they receive large quantities of heavy industrial equipment. This older warehouse receives shipments of heavy equipment by rail, and the numbers over the doors help the crews spot the right deliveries at the right building!

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

Joe Calderone’s 19x22 around-the-walls layout is set in the early 1970’s and is based on the Delaware & Hudson from Oneonta to Nineveah Jct., New York, with a branch of the Ontario & Western connecting at Sidney. The layout features lots of Alco and GE diesels, operated with Digitrax DCC. Train SU-2 rounds the mainline curve outside of Bainbridge.

MER NMRA 2010 Princeton Junction

The operations on John Calderone's D&H utilize a modified car card waybill system to route mainline freights and locals with lots of switching fun. A local ducks behind a colorful watering hole to spot a box car at Price Industries in the town of Unadilla in upstate New York. This, along with many other great layouts will be open during the 2010 Princeton Junction regional convention.


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