Custom Painted P-2000 units

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Capital Improvements at North Side Yard

Greetings All,

North Side Yard located in Empire City on my New York Central Train Layout was an afterthought that was added on September 15th 2013. 

The whole concept of adding and planning the yard came as a result of my friendship with 1:1 Sir Neal of A.P.R.R. fame. I was very happy watching the trains go in circles (and still am) but as industries were added 1:1 Sir Neal stressed the need for a yard to handle the increased rail traffic. 

Here is a scene from September 15, 2013 commemorating the project  
   The yard went operational on September 29th 2013.
In 2015 I added a few buildings to the area, including Lee Beverage Distributors. These lasted in this location for awhile but their height and configurations were not not really suited for this area. The buildings got in the way of uncoupling cars and throwing the switches. But they were better than nothing so they stayed put for a few years.
While the yard functions well for the rail traffic into and out of Empire City little has been done in getting this area to look more like a rail yard. This photo is from one of the Penn Central Car Movements that began in 2016 with Ralph V's K.P.D.  Not much to look at here other than the trains, the overhead crane (since removed) and the Star Wars Imperial Walker on the lower level photo bombing me. C'mon Man!
So I thought that adding a loading / unloading platform to the front of the layout would give it a more rail yard look, add a destination for reefer cars and L.C.L. cars and act as a team track. The platform would also protect the trains  from tumbling over the edge should an accident occur. 
I added this fence as an extra scenic element and to protect the dock workers and scenic details on the loading platform
The platform is painted and in position. Some 40' reefers are shoved into track 1.
The east end of the yard has a ramp for fork trucks etc to access the platform. 
This building was purchased used and built last year at a swap meet. I like the way it looks for a yard office and that will be it's designation. 
I've removed the black poster paper that I used to cover the plywood and installed some card stock to give the location a concrete look.
That drive thru looking window looks like a perfect place to add a figure of a yard master looking out at the yard.
Some lines drawn on the card stock for expansion joints, some card stock sidewalks and strip wood to hold the simulated right of way in place adds some visual interest to the scene.
An abandoned building in disrepair and fenced off is added to the east end for a track side late 60s early 70s urban feel. 
An overgrown lot and a No Trespassing sign add to the scene
Standard Electric is another used and built swap meet find. I added the greenery around the base of the building to hide the cast barrels and lumber. The buildings height is perfect for this area.
Looking from the other side of the layout we see the newly installed scene. The jade green truck is a Hot Wheels truck that I painted with a rattle can. The trees behind Standard Electric add some height and interest. They are positioned not to interfere with throwing switches and working with the rail cars. The gray structures are corner guards from a shipping box. They look good as storage sheds so I'm going to explore adding them permanently 
The 1/87th scale trainmen and tower men are checking out the new scene. The tower men are yelling for 1/87th scale Sir Neal to get off the tracks while he is checking out the new Coca Cola sign.  
In the P.C.C.M. 29 series the loading dock came into play to handle loaded PC 40 boxcar #77047. This car was consigned to Neal's Lumber and Hardware but another loaded car from the same train boxed this car out. Neal's 1/87th scale foreman chose the spot at the team track option and sent over a driver and some labor. The option was to consider the car constructively placed and then spot it at a later date. 
Again from the P.C.C.M. 29 series, L.I.R.R. 1556 rolls past the yard office thru the track ladder. 
A view down the yard showing the three tracks in action.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Sir 1:1 Neal is glad the new yard not only looks good, but functioning as expected. A freight Yard will not only add growth to the N.Y.C.T.L., but additional freight to and from the area will generate additional income. Keep it going!

    1. Thanks for the compliments and inspiration 1:1 Sir Neal! The yard has indeed served the N.Y.C.T.L. very well these past two years.

  2. North Side Yard has come a long way! I admire the way you preserved some early history in photos to compare the scene to the present day after all the scenic and operational enhancements. The long dock and fencing look great and will save you aggravations from accidents. The low level structures work well even if one of them is a blight on the landscape. What do you think of some PC era graffiti (Nixon, etc?)for that structure? Anyway, nice work supporting the notion that a layout is never finished (but obviously gets better and better!).

    1. Thanks for the compliments Ralph! I like the graffiti idea! One of the cool things about posting the layout happenings on this blog is that it is a historical record. One of the the reasons I pestered you to start your own blog!

  3. Yes, the scenery works well. Microscale has an urban graffiti set from the 1970s 87-243 with peace signs and such that could well work for the period.