Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Friday, January 6, 2017

First Project of 2017

Greetings All,

January 1st turned out to be a productive day for me and the New York Central Train Layout. With foul weather and a day of NFL football available to be listened to as I spent time in the train room the day was very enjoyable.

I started looking over some areas of the layout that I wanted to address this year. As I started checking off some spots I took a good look under the High Line, home of the NYC Water Street Freight Terminal and the Railway Express Agency. Years ago I had put black poster board over the plywood to simulate asphalt and hide the plywood. The drawback was that the entire area was too dark in the shadows of the High Line. At one point I had added a cement lot to the R.E.A. building which I liked. 

I was hesitant (lazy) to attempt this under the High Line at the Freight Terminal as I would have to unscrew the High Line supports from below the layout. So in a moment of motivation instead of just adding this location to the list I knuckled down and got it done.

While it's really nothing fancy I am pleased with the results. Using some card stock, a straight edge, a razor, sharp #2 pencil and some tacky glue it was a nice easy project that produced little mess.
Let's take a look;

Here is a photo of the area from 2015. Note that I started to add the cement parking lot in the lower right.

Here's a photo of the newly updated area

A close up of newly brightened area has the Freight Terminal foreman talking with one truck driver while a Lee Way tractor trailer is being loaded. 

A NYC Pacemaker box truck sits in door 1 while a NYC 28' trailer awaits the call to duty in the new parking lot.

40' trailers spotted in the loading dock doors and an SP trailer sits empty. Note the expansion joints made using the #2 pencil and straight edge. 

Over at the Railway Express Agency an REA driver backs in a tractor trailer

REA box truck and and tractor trailer at the loading docks. The REA lot also received expansion joints.

Looking under the High Line the color contrast between asphalt and the new truck lots looks much better in person and in photographs.

A simple no mess project is now in the books. Most modelers can easily handle a project like this and achieve good results. Modelers who really enjoy the scenery process may want to consider using other materials for the paving and asphalt areas for even better looking results. Those looking at that may be interested in using this simple method as a 'stand in' until such time as the more advanced project gets under way.  

Thanks for Reading!


  1. Looking good! Nice results from inexpensive materials and a little bit of careful work! I admire your collection of trucks and trailers!

  2. One of my favorites is the Busch worn asphalt sheet https://www.walthers.com/worn-asphalt-printed-cardboard-sheet-8-1-4-x-5-13-16-x-1-64-quot-21-x-14-8-x-0-06cm-pkg-2

    1. Thanks for providing the link John! Good looking asphalt at a very reasonable price.

  3. Thanks for the new update in 2017. The area looks so much better.. The detail is great, and of course the narrative is excellent...Keep it going!