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Old 12-09-2019, 12:04 PM   #1
Onlyelement14
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Conrail’s Boston and Albany

Hello all! I’m excited to share the beginnings of our model railroad. We finished our basement in December 2018 and the wife kindly allowed me to design a space for my hobby (how nice of her, right?) so after finishing the space, bench work started in April 2019. October 2019 saw our first track!

The room is slightly wonky, it’s a ~30ft long, 6.5 opening to 9ft wide. I designed a two deck railroad connected by a 3% grade. The layout itself is a large dog bone, with the two ends stacked above each other, essentially creating the illusion of a double track railroad ending in two “reversing loops”, one above the other.

Here are a few shots of the construction

Currently we are building the ramp from the upper to the lower out of spline. At the bottom of the ramp will be West Springfield, Ma yard. Under the spline is a 4 track stub end staging yard to supplement Springfield.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:13 PM   #2
Onlyelement14
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Here is the other end of the room with the two stacked loops. The lower level bench work is mostly complete. The upper level will be built as I get to it!

The lower level is the Eastern most part of the layout... Palmer Ma. Small interchange yard with the central Vermont and the iconic diamond over the main.

The upper level will be Pittsfield, Ma. Interchange with the Housatonic, another small yard, and a small city scene to hide the curve and return loop.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:20 PM   #3
Onlyelement14
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My scenes from West to East will be:

Upper loop Pittsfield
Up Grade to Hinsdale, Ma.
Down grade to Westfield, Mass
Pickup the spline down the grade into Springfield Ma, lower level.
Bridges over the Conn. river and a small Amtrak station.
Lower level loop at Palmer, Ma.

3% grade between the levels, slightly less on the upper level between Pittsfield and Westfield.

My motive power ranges from early transitional Conrail to the end of Conrail. My dad is quite the builder and painter and I’ve been blessed with a few gifts over the years... now it’s my turn to build a railroad to display them!

I’ll be sure to update more as we go. My two builders, Louis 4 and Hunter 2, break more than they build, but the memories are priceless!
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:32 PM   #4
Spence
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That looks like the start of a great looking railroad. Great looking bench work.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:58 PM   #5
Onlyelement14
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Started laying the interlocking on west side of West Springfield. The tracks to the right come down the grade from Westfield, the tracks from the left come from staging. The yard will be ahead - 8 or 9 tracks.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:26 PM   #6
flyboy2610
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Scales Modeled: HO, too blind and fumble fingered for N
Shouldn't take long to finish. You've got a couple of enthusiastic helpers!
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:39 PM   #7
MichaelE
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Great photos! Looks like your track crew is ready to go!
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:25 PM   #8
Onlyelement14
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Thanks! I’m sure many of you are lucky enough to share it with your kids, but for me, it’s extra special because I grew up the same way. My old man and I built 2 layouts at his house over the years and now it’s time to pass on the tradition! Exciting stuff.

Like I tell my wife - keeps me out of the bars and off the bike!
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Old 12-13-2019, 11:23 AM   #9
shortwrench
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I grew up in Springfield, MA. Brings back a lot of memories. I am familiar with the areas between Westfield and Palmer. Great job
on your benchwork. Look forward to more photos as you progress.
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Old 12-13-2019, 11:38 AM   #10
Dennis461
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OOPS, judging from the first photo, you need to lower the entire layout about 12"
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