Home of the North River Railway

 

A view of the North River Railway, a small railroad as it might have appeared around the turn of the century. Included in this photo tour of a Connecticut HO scale model railroad home layout are track view photos, scenery and scratch built prize winning scale models.

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Green North River Railway logo

The Layout at a glance

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Scale:

HO (1:87)

Track:

Hand laid code 80 NS

Prototype:

Freelance

Turnout Control:

Electric switch stand

Stall motor

Period:

1900-1920

Location:

Mid-west, maybe Colorado

Layout Style:

around wall

Max Grade:

0% mainline

 2-1/2 off-main

Rail ht from floor:

42"

Min Radius:

22"

Benchwork:

"T" beam, laminated sub roadbed.

Landscape:

Carved Vermiculite cliffs, foam ground and foliage

Scenery Base:

hard shell

Backdrop:

Collage of structures on painted mountains

Lighting:

Countersunk florescent

Sound system:

Vocal, especially during derailments

Locomotives:

Mostly brass Steam

Rolling Stock:

Scratch, kit bash, kits

Passenger Service:

drovers caboose, doodlebug, rods of any freight car, a few passenger coaches

Control System:

Home-made computer block w/wireless throttles

Influences:

Bob Boydon K&L, NYC

Operation:

Bill Dorn tag scheme using computer generated switch-list to 52 locations

Visitors:

Visitors are welcomed
Please
contact first.

Passes:

Passes, e-Passes
and CD-Passes exchanged

 

 

Me running Steam locomotive at the Valley Railway in Essex.
complements of a "Hands on the Throttle" program.  
Although a kind word and a smile usually gets a ride on the engine.
(Call first to make sure there are no Firemen-in-training)
Bill Kronis, their senior engineer and I started out in HO.
I'm still in HO be he prefered the 12" scale stuff.  I am a model railroader. I have always found being a modeler is fun and always will be into model railroading in one form or another. This photograph tour along the hand laid right-of-way contains photos of some of the structures (scale model kits, kit-bash and scratch), scenery (including trees, trestles an even some 'Burma Shave' signs).  There are also trains (including the engine facilities, steam engines and operating equipment). The word 'diesel' is considered profanity on the NR with the only one found being a 1920-era a wooden doodle bug used for light traffic branch line service. There is a picture or two of my favorite engines, Plenty of track-side photos and modeling of all types.

 

 

This scratch built coal pocket was built from plans in the Model Railroader Magazine just before three different plastic kits hit the market. 
Four different types of cars can be spotted on this short stub.
This model railroad contains all examples of modeling from kit, kit-bash, scratch and ready-to-run.Operation on the NR is essentially point to point. Two local train crews handle most of the traffic in two city areas with two to three peddler freights handling the remainder work to be done. Part of the layout depicts a logging operation complete with logging gantries, flume and a small sawmill. The remaining layout is an assortment of coal, cattle and hardware goods along with the typical non-descript loads that are concealed in any box car. Pictures of the buildings in two large cities and two smaller ones along with a host of tiny industries represent a sparsely populated mid-western area.

 

 

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Train operation is under computer control to handle the signals, turntable operation and block selection while The electronics are home built from component level and is capable of running three trains simultaneously but more can be added later. 

 

    Also featured at this site are views of the model railroads from Charles Bettinger and George Reitze along with a few pictures of the Tzu Hang, an R/C boat I have recently modeled, and the Warhammer Imperial War Wagon Train.

 

 

           

COMPLETED

PROJECTS

 

 

 

The following projects are in one or more of the following formats

 

NEW PAGE

New .HTML page(s) added to this site

PDF VERSION

Simple PDF file showing Power Point presentation slides only

PP SHOW

Power Point Show (includes animations)

WEB PAGE

HTML version of Power Point presentation including presenter's notes (resize image from bottom to reveal notes)

        

This 50 ton flat car is built to stay on the tracks, even without a load.   The underside ain't pretty but it does weigh a full 3-1/2 oz.  No model railroad should go without at least one flat car.

   

I have several related projects in process.  One is to build a number of heavy flat cars weighted to NMRA recommended practices.  Their construction led two other projects.  One was the construction of a couple of odometer cars used to track the distance a train travels in a day, week, or month.  Another was to detail a number of important tips relating to trucks couplers and other factors to make for smooth operation of any car. 

 

See page for SMALL PROJECTS for other projects

See SITE MAP for other new pages added to site

 

 

How far do your trains go in an evening?  Measure this and the length of your right-of-way with this nifty odometer car.   See the construction of two different cars and the electronics that make them work.  Modern components make them easy to build.

   

 

Click NEW PAGE for Flat cars

PDF VERSION        WEB PAGE       PP SHOW

Click NEW PAGE for Odometer car

Click NEW PAGE for Wireless Throttle

Click NEW PAGE for making Decals

 

 

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This is the hand-held portion of a full-featured wireless throttle.  It is NOT a DCC throttle but it has many of the advantages without the disadvantages.   It has a range of well over 300’ inside and contains the same sort of smooth-starting pulses but also prevents reversing while running at elevated speeds. 

 

Use your own printer to make your own Decals, windows as well as construction and building papers quickly, inexpensively and exactly the way you want them.  See the difference between water-slide and rub-on decals and a few tips on their application.

 

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View a presentation representing the early development of steam engines up to and including the first locomotives.

 

EARLY STEAM ENGINES

PDF VERSION        WEB PAGE       PP SHOW

 

 

Build any number of simple, removable trackside signals quickly and easily using mass production techniques.

 

BUILDING A SIGNAL

PDF VERSION        WEB PAGE       PP SHOW

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Build this unusual combine based on the oldest US passenger car in existence today.

 

BUILDING AN EARLY COMBINE

PDF VERSION        WEB PAGE       PP SHOW

Here is a checklist of many simple ways to insure smooth, trouble-free operation

 

BETTER OPERATION 

PDF VERSION        WEB PAGE       PP SHOW

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Stall motor switch machine installation and control. This clinic shows one way to install and control stall motors.  It includes a solid state control circuit plus both push-buttons and operational trackside

switch-stands.  Switches can be operated from control panel, trackside or computer. 

 

STALL MOTORS INSTALATION and CONTROL

 

PDF VERSION        WEB PAGE       PP SHOW

Build a photographic backdrop using pictures of structures from around the layout. Build a photographic or 3-D background.  Also connect to a database to share and exchange photos.

   

BUILD A BACKDROP   

PDF VERSION        WEB PAGE       PP SHOW 

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Collect PASSES and other COLLECTABLES

This clinic presents a short history as to how the various types of passes for model railroads Came into existence.  It then goes on to show some other collectables that may be of interest to model railroaders

 

PDF VERSION        WEB PAGE       PP SHOW 

TURNTABLE HISTORY AND THEORY

             A short history and theory of operation of turntables in general followed by Connecticut's only two survivors

  PDF VERSION     WEB PAGE     PP SHOW

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Go to the SITE MAP page to see more clinics

INCOMPLETED

And/or

FUTURE

PROJECTS

These presentations are in various stages of development and are incomplete.

 

BUILDING AN AUTOMATIC TURNTABLE

A clinic in (4) parts showing how to build an automatic positioning turntable Using an optical indexing system.  Use (3) buttons to position table within an accuracy of +/- .010".  Power is applied only to the track selected.   Plans and Schematics and construction details

 

PDF VERSION 

 

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WAYBILLS

What is a waybill and how are they actually used?  A short history and a few ideas for creating switch lists.

BILLOARD SIGNS ETC

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Using a sign cutting machine to make signs for a model railroad.

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POWER SUPPLIES

 

How to build a power supply

For a model railroad

SOUND MULTIPLEXER

 

Build this sound system that randomly plays any of 120 sound clips over any of six speakers.

 

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WATER TANKS

 

A brief history and construction of a rooftop water tank

TRAIN DETECTION

 

Build a dual unit optical train detector for under $6.00.

This highly sensitive infra red device can detect trains in both daytime and night time lighting at a distance of more than 6".

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OTHER

PROJECTS

 

The following is a collection of projects not meant as presentations.

QUILL PENS

Making an old-fashioned quill pen.

Also, working with seals and chops

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BONSAI

 

I few notes on growing miniature trees.

No, These are not practical for a model railroad!

 

The NORTH RIVER TECHNICAL MANUAL

This is not a clinic but rather a way for this old forgetful modeler to remember how everything is put together.  It contains notes, schematics and other information contained in clinics both past and planned for future as well as a few interesting concepts of a computer controlled model railroad.  Please let me know if you see something interesting and want more information

 

PDF VERSION

 

 

 

          

   

   

   

 

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Model Railroading is fun in Connecticut.
Bob Van Cleef, MMR

 

Last update    2/15/2014