I want to post here some pictures of various parts of the layout and reference them to the prototypes so people interested in New Woodstock and the LVRR that ran here in 1944-45 can have a glimpse back in time to the village as it was then, at least so far as I have been able to confirm it.

A more detailed presentation on each structure and the historical research behind its replication can be found in the main model railroad page. This gallery is just meant to be an overview, and for those just interested in the layout and modeling process, a tour of these images will provide a close-up look at this miniature world.



Building this section is going to be a process, and there may be more posted from time to time, so check back. In order to match exactly what was here in 1945, all structures had to be "scratch-built", which means they were handmade from raw materials, not kits. Styrene roofing, siding, windows and doors are purchased from stock suppliers, to match the originals, then cut and assembled. Often plans had to be created from old photographs or other archival information, or from field surveys where building still exist. Details on how this was done are found on the main model rairload page indicated above.

Click on any thumbnail image below for a larger version.



The real track does not run through a tunnel here, but does approach the town on an elevated embankment. It has to enter the layout this way to accommodate a continuous running loop. Otherwise the layout recreates the original tracks and landforms of the area.

Down below the track is a hobo camp. While they stayed in the woods outside the village, hobos that camped next to the tracks were ignored. But if caught inside the railyard, or poking around the boxcars, the authorities were called.

A pair of bears fishing in the stream. The stream and lowland here are true to the actual terrain at the prototype location, but the rock cliff is a device to allow for the turn of the track.

A woods road snakes down from the higher ground to provide access into the woodland. 

Where the stream crosses the Lehigh Valley RR right of way, a small iron bridge carries the track at the level of the woods behind and the village just ahead to the north.

 At the south end of town was a large industriual complex known as "G. M. Thompson Lumber & Coal". All the company's buildings were painted red and I have a memory of red structures in that direction from 1945, even though I was just 3.

 A busy afternoon at the lumber yard, loading a delivery for a local farmer. This complex included a wood-working shop, a lumber shed, and storage for perishable construction materials, like cement.

 The man trying to make up the order on the truck might be a little annoyed that his partner had taken time out to chase the owner's cat on the wood shop roof.

The main office for "Thompson's Lumber & Coal", which also housed a drive-through scale for weighing coal trucks, one of which is just arriving. Still time for office workers to get in some gossiping with the neighbors.

Coal was brought to the elevator in hopper cars on the LVRR branchline, and coal was dumped into a drop under the tracks, to be lifted up to the top of the building and sorted.

At the opposite side of the building was a sunken  drive-through ramp that allowed trucks to pull alongside the elevator, and chutes above filled them up with whatever size coal their delivery called for.

Loaded trucks then drove onto the scale in the main building (background, left). At one end of the elevator was a pass-through loading dock, complete with bored worker, that allowed cargo to move between boxcars trackside and trucks pulling up street-side.

Looking toward Elm Street from behind Thompson's main building; Railroad Street extending to the right.

Next to Thompson's was a  cement block building that served, in this period, as "Hunt's Garage", for automobile service and repair.

Then, as now, the first step in any auto repair is to pop open the hood and stare at the engine for a few minutes. The guy changing the tire has the best chance of improving the car's performance, while the office worker at Thompson's chats with the neighbor.

It is September 1945 and some local soldiers, on the way back to base after leave, await the afternoon southbound train, with connections back to New Jersey. Not much passenger demand these days, so they will just get a combine to ride in for the trip. The war is over, so they don't mind.


Nothing much to do here but wait. At least it is not raining. Is that an Indian motorcycle parked by the depot?
(NOTE: This has been repainted to correct Lehigh Valley RR colors now.)

Looking northward: In the foreground is the house we lived in for most of 1944 and 45. If the train had been approaching, my Mom would be letting me stand in the kitchen sink to look out the window, on the side of the house facing the tracks. A barn and one-room school stand on the left.


Looking southward: In the foreground is our house with the creamery in the distance on the right.


Dad's old car was actually a 1941 Chevy, but until they come out with one in this scale, this Ford will have to do.

No school today, but one of the students is still learning.... how to coax her cat off the outhouse roof. Her friend has found a cat less adveturous to play with, and the chickens ignore everyone.


Up the line at the shed, the crew works on fixing the speeder...well, all but the guy bringing his lunch and the one petting his dog. Typical...one guy working and two watching!


On the other side two potential helpers are chewing the fat. Probably discussing a better way to fix the speeder.  Or a better way NOT to fix it?

 Along Railroad Street there is a fuel oil facility loading a tank truck for the afternoon deliveries. Although it is adjacent to the tracks, it apparently did not get oil from the railroad, but just redistributed oil delivered here by truck.

 A busy afternoon at the Feed & Seed building, as a boxcar is loaded through a special freight door set into the corner of the building next to the spur track (background, left), and a local farmer loads sacks of grain into his truck out front. Upstairs are living quarters.

 It seems a pick-up of feed could be a good excuse for a good chin-wag. Any reason to take a break from hauling heavy sacks would be welcome, even though the early fall weather is pleasant for working. The boy in the tire swing tries to overhear what the grownups are saying.

 Last year this conversation might have been all about "the War," but this year - 1945 - some thoughts about a future without war might top the list of topics.


At the corner of Main Street and Railroad Street a fine example of Greek Revival architecture rubs elbows with a more vernacular example of central New York house design.

North along Main Street was a combination store, auto repair shop and gas station. The building is still there and still functions much the same way.

A place where you could fill up the tank and do a little shopping anticipates the gas station convenience stores of decades later. While not the only store in town, this place did provide "one stop" service, and if your car was ailing, you could run it around the back to the repair shop.

Behind the store stood, and still stand, a shed and two barns. The red barn has some fancy trim work and a dovecote, suggesting it may be the earliest of the three. At the right a small building on the far side of the mainline track served as a distribution facility for construction block, while a truck brings milk to the creamery on this side of the tracks.

The double track LVRR crossing of Main Street, with Railroad Street extending  off to the left. Railroad staff is checking the signal boxes that regulate the crossing signals.

Backyards were often the focus of the social life of the commjunity, with conversations over a basket of laundry, or a bed of flowers, serving the functions that later would be replaced by telephones and email, not to mention Facebook and Twitter!

Looking east on Main Street from west of the LVRR crossing. One of the larger homes on Main Street in the foreground. In the background, left, is the Greek Revival house with columns, which also still exists. The red house at left is gone, but people remembered it.

The large white house on Main Street in the foreground is still standing today. Although a home of this size today would probably be broken up into apartments, in 1945 a family, perhaps including returning GI's from the two wars, made good use of the extra space.

I tried to have people engaged in activities that created small vignettes throughout the village. Here a new car is admired by an older man while a girl, careless with her hose, washes off the dust, neighbors discuss the finer points of automobiles, and the guy waits impatiently on the stoop.

Just a few moments after this picture was taken, the elderly gentleman realized he was standing in a puddle and his shoes were ruined. But for now, his interest is drawn to the interior of this nice shiney coupe.


On our way south along the mainline, heading toward the creamery, we encounter this unfortunate scene...!

NEXT TIME CLOSE THE DOOR!

The largest, most complex industrial building here is the New Woodstock Creamery, which had its own spur track and received thousands of cans of millk each year. Farmers delivered milk on the street side, while a large loading dock ran along the track side where LVRR milk cars were loaded and unloaded.

The covered off-loading area allowed farmers to drive up a ramp and unload their milk cans onto a truck-level dock where they were then passed through a large freight door into the building. 

The heart of the activity took place on the trackside face of the creamery, and is documented in a vintage photograph. Milk cars were run alongside the dock on the spur track where full cans could be brought out to be loaded into the train cars. (Due to the design of the layout, this side of the building cannot be seen by anyone, and this picture was taken before the area was completed.)

Directly opposite the creamery dock, and served by the same spur track, was a large wood manufacturing building, known at one point as "The Snow Fence Factory." This is also nearly invisible from the operations area of the layout.

END OF PROTOTYPE AREAS: The photos in the preceding section are intended to give folks familiar with New Woodstock a chance to look back at the area as it was in the mid-1940s, re-created to the best of my ability. There is also a service yard area on the layout that is not based on New Woodstock, but is correct to the LVRR operations in this area at that time. Pictures of this area follow here.



A general view of the generic Service Yard module, which was created to provide for a complete running loop on the layout. Yards like these provided support and service for steam locomotives.


Two tracks circle the yard; the near one is the mainline track, while the farther one is a passing track that assists in sorting freight cars. A spur at left runs to a turntable.


A general view of the east end of the yard, which includes a water tower, yard tower, yard office, and various storage and maintenance buildings. The coaling tower and sanding tower are on the far left.


A general view further west includes the caboose maintenance facility at left and an ash pit in the foreground. An under-track service inspecton pit is in the center.


To mimic the actual situation on this branch of the railroad, which had a turntable at the north end and another at the south end, a scratch-built turntable stands at the far west corner of the yard.


This scene duplicates one photographed on the prototype branchline in the 1940s. To see more on this can be found at the "Yard" webpage, using this link.


A general view of the west end of the yard. The sheep are not prototypical, but fun......


This close-up of the area shows the water tower, left, with a storage shed on the right. In the middle is the yard tower and apparently an argument between management (on the balcony) and labor (on the ground).


A closer view of the sand house (left) and he caboose facility. An outhouse provides the necessary human support. The crew in the pit is emptying ash dumped from steam locos.


The west edge of the yard has the yard office (white), a service shed in an old boxcar, an RIP (Repair In Place) area for wheel replacement and track storage, and, again, an outhouse with inbound customer.


Job seekers check the Yard Office bulletin board, as an engineer checks in, and a laborer shovels up spilled stove coal.


A close-up view of the maintenance shed, being a converted old boxcar.  Is this coffee break??


At the far east end of the yard is a "wetland" that has become a toxic waste dump, with old leaking oil drums, ash and rusting junk.

NO FISHING!


Lunchtime takes place in a space near the tool shed where a campfire allows for an impromptu cookout, complete with dogs (real ones, not the "hot" kind). A worker runs down the track from the sand, afraid of missing out.


Off the limits of the yard we see our own extended family and some friends at the "U-Pick" pumpkin patch, as the farmer looks on.