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Participating Layouts






Steve Gitleman's Great Lakes and Iron Range Railroad

Great Northern

Jerome Central




Sweet Hollow

West Side Lumber







Allegheny & Western
West Island Club Hicksville
Large club layout based on NJ and PA
Scenery: 25% 5600 square feet 660
Walkaround Train lineup, passengers run on schedule NCE DCC w/radio
No hazards Late 50s

The layout is based on a "what if?" scenario where the Alphabet Route railroads were allowed to combine into a system as an efficiency move during WW II. (This is similar to the Family Lines during the 1980s where several railroads painted equipment in the same scheme even though they were not legally one entity.) So there is equipment of the combined Allegheny & Western system along with equipment of the member roads.

The modeled A&W mainline runs from the Port of NY to Harrisburg, PA. There are two major subdivisions branching off from the main. One goes from Phillipsburg, NJ to Maybrook, NY. The other goes from Topton, PA to Wilkes-Barre, PA and beyond to Buffalo.

The hub is Allentown, PA, a midsize city with a large manufacturing base. Real locations are modeled, including Fleetwood, PA - original location of the "Body by Fleetwood" plant.

This is a diverse territory and we model representative chunks of it. Major locations are:

  • Greenville in Jersey City, NJ - busy waterfront with a refinery and car float operations.
  • Bethlehem, PA - the main Bethlehem Steel works.
  • Allentown, PA - our company offices and our main yard, a modern rider hump. It is also the terminus for short-distance service to New York.
  • Hershey, PA- home of Hershey Chocolate
  • Harrisburg, PA - our connection to the PRR system as well as the gateway to the south and southwest.
  • Wilkes-Barre, PA - a rich source of traffic in anthracite as well as connections to the north and west.
  • Maybrook, NY - Gateway to New England

It takes a lot of people diligently working to keep a Class One railroad fluid. From the switcher plugging away at the docks to the trainmaster overseeing it all, there are a wide variety of jobs.

Op Session Sunday 9:30AMHicksville9 mi., 20 min.
Bacardi and Northern Railroad
Steven Torborg East Rockaway
90s era Conrail spinoff in northern NJ
HO Proto-Freelanced
Scenery: Ongoing, mostly complete 18' by 18' Approx 120'
Walkaround Dispatched by Verbal Permission NCE DCC via Tethered Throttles
No steps Late 90s
The Bacardi and Northern Railroad is a fictitious revival of what is currently known as the CSX Northern Industrial Track between North Bergen, New Jersey and Orangeburg, New York. Based in the late 90s, the line is an almost exact duplicate of each of the industries that existed along the line at the time, providing extensive switching operations that will prove both challenging and fun. Modeler's license adds to the mix with a variety of run through freights, local passenger service and additional industries. The line is operated with a mix of first and second generation Alco power and standard freight equipment. Nearly all prototypical structures and scenery are in place, fitting the layout to northern New Jersey where the actual line exists.
Op Session Friday 7:00 PMEast Rockaway7 mi., 20 min.
Chichester and Sweet Hollow
Steve Gittleman Huntington
Connecticut secondary mainline
G Scale Freelance
100% scenery 14 acres 2000' long mainline
Walkaround TT&TO Radio Throttles
Moderately hilly terrain 1958 New expansion!

The Chichester and Sweet Hollow RR is loosely based after the Middletown to Willimantic segment of the New Haven RR. This 1:29 scale railroad is designed for true timetable and train order operations. You can't see the next siding from most locations, so you have to be sharp!

A reservoir under construction near Barnesville is providing a small percentage of its fill to assist the C and SH convert an old trestle into a fill. Until the trestle over Sweet Hollow gorge is back in action freight traffic is being offloaded at Sweet Hollow Industrial Transfer Co. where trucks swarm around the loading platforms. Traffic is heavy here and demands much of the crews. The sounds of a busy transfer depot are heard throughout the valley. (SHITCo. Is some twelve feet long with its own sound system. The year is 1958 and the important terminal grain elevator at Sweet Hollow is struggling to handle the burgeoning traffic. Local collection elevators fear giving up their PS-1 boxcars out of concern that they will not be replaced. At Sweet Hollow covered hoppers are being loaded at a rapid pace allowing the now more primitive boxcars to be returned to smaller local elevators. Grain is being sorted and transferred to brand new 100 ton hoppers while grain doors are being removed from the forty footers that will soon be taken out of grain service. But it is the harvest and there are never enough cars to handle demand.

This layout now in its sixth year has pioneered many new construction methods. It is 2000 feet long with a new terminal facilities at Barnesville, our connection to the rest of the national rail network.

In case of inclement weather, we will operate the Great Lakes & Iron Range indoor layout. Please see that description for details.

Bonus Session Fri 11:00 AMHuntington NY17.1 Miles, 25 Min
Op Session Saturday 2:00PMHuntington NY17.1 Miles, 25 Min
Delaware & Susquehanna Railway
Phil Monat Bronx
Modern Regional Railroad with CTC
HO Proto-Freelanced
Scenery: Ongoing, 70% Complete 36' by 38' 500'
Walk around CTC Rail Command by CVP
Handicapped hostile Modern Operations
The D&S is a proto/freelance layout loosely based on the Lehigh Gorge area in Pennsylvania. The railroad is centered between Wilkes-Barre and Allentown, with each city having a large classification yard. The single track main line is fully CTC controlled with US&S type S signals (searchlight), communications are FRS radio when needed. Traffic is widely based, dense and typical of the modern era of “ double stacks, TOFC, unit coal, ethanol, and trash trains along with heavy manifest traffic going into the New Jersey, Philadelphia and south eastern US from New England and points north west. There are many locals and serious switching, as well as block swapping and other work.
Op Session Fri 6:00 PM Riverdale, Bronx25 Mi., 60 min due to traffic
Great Lakes & Iron Range
Steve Gittleman Huntington
Heavy Industry with a busy mainline
Scenery: 75% 30 x 30 120
Walkaround NCE
Handicapped hostile 1960
The Great Lakes & Iron Range is a freelanced ore hauler based on the Upper Midwest with some urban flair thrown in. A huge ore dock with full size lake boats alongside is one of the highlights of this layout. We are John Deere fans, so a plant is located online as well as many other substantial industries including a busy urban waterfront. We use NCE DCC for train control and the scenery is 75% complete. There are two yards and ample staging to keep operators on this layout happily busy.
Op Session Fri 7:00 PM Huntington, NY 17 mi. 35 min.
Great Northern
Ron Engel St. James
Great Northern Railroad in Minnesota
HO Freelanced
MRC Radio
Handicapped hostile 1950's and 60's New expansion!
My layout is a freelanced design loosely based on the Great Northern RR in Minnesota late '50s and '60s. The main yard is St. Cloud with additional towns of Hinkley and Elk River. I use the standard car cards and 4 position waybills along with a train order card. My operating session is laid back and consists of one east bound turn from Minneapolis (staging) to St. Cloud and one west bound turn from Duluth (staging) to St. Cloud. Operations consist of local and yard switching. I also have a mine branch run, along with passenger and reefer runs. I dispatch with verbal train orders. Jobs would be: 1)yard master (local pickups and delay, sort arrival and departures and turn locos on Turntable); 2) Road turn - (local pickups and drops at two towns); and 3) mine run (empties and loads) , reefer run, and passenger train.
Op Session Sat 2:00PM St James, NY 33 mi. 50 min.
Jerome Central
Michael Ryan Centereach
4 Layouts in 1
HO Freelanced
Scenery: 85% 10X63 140
Point to point NCE Radio
Handicapped hostile 1970

The Jerome Central Railroad is an operational layout based loosely on copper mining in Arizona off the Pea-Vine line of the A.T.S.F.. The Pea-vine is a 209-mile line running from Williams Junction in the north to Phoenix in the south. It is part of the Fourth District of the Albuquerque Division. The copper mining town of Jerome is located to the east of the Pea-vine in real life. The layout is point to point, with a 5 track Santa Fe hidden staging yard, a 4 track Rio Grand hidden staging yard and a 1 track Drake staging yard. There are seven towns along the main line and two towns on two branch lines. It occupies two rooms and is approximately 10' X 63'. The railroad has four copper mining tunnels and four active tipples. The New River Mining Company and  Feraca Fuel are Located on the branch line that comes off the main at Ashford and runs to New River.  Mt. Dwyer is a branch line that comes off the main line at Prescott. The railroad runs with 6 road Engineers, 2 yard Engineers(Yard Master & Hostler) and a dispatcher.
The J.C.R.R. is operated as if it was some time around 1970. By this time the A.T.S.F has become a 50/50 partner with the Jerome Central Rail Road and the D&RGW has bought trackage rights to the east end towns of the railroad. Basic scenery is about 85% complete and is constantly being worked on. Most of the members of the Central Suffolk Operations Group have contributed in some way to the buildings and or scenery.

Op Session Saturday 8:30 AM Centereach  
New York Harbor Railroad
David Ramos Clifton, NJ
4 Layouts in 1
HO Yes
Scenery: 50% 20 x 22
Walkaround Switching NCE DCC, Radio and WiFi Throttles (iPhone and Android)
Handicapped hostile 1947 Photos

After a swubstantial rebuild, operations are back in full swing on the West Side of Manhattan in 1947

The New York Central now has dedicated staging instead of a fiddle yard. Both The Erie and Lehigh Valley car float yards are fully operational and ready to go!

The New York Harbor Railroad represents a mixture of urban and rail marine railroading in the West Side of Manhattan.  The original plan called for an operating layout based on a four city block segment of Manhattan that included the New York Central, Erie and Lehigh Valley railroads.

In addition to their own customers, all three railroads interact at a single location on the layout, Terminal Stores. Terminal Stores is a massive multi-story, city block size structure that was built in the 1890s and it is still standing today. Equipped with two sidings and twenty-two car spots, Terminal Stores is a very busy location.

The railroad operation is based on a published 1947 New York Central timetable and is governed by a 2.5:1 fast clock.  The New York Central has three major components.  Component one is the 33rd Street yard, which interacted with the Erie and Lehigh Valley at Terminal Stores.  33rd Street yard represents about one eighth of the total yard or one city block.  It normally requires a three person crew consisting of Engineer West, Engineer East and a yard master.  The second component is the 30th Street Branch which is today referred to as the High Line.  This is slightly longer than a scale mile in size and is served by two or three road crews. The crews handle everything from Mail to the BN-2 Pacemaker fast freight.  Finally, the third component, St. John‘s Park Freight Terminal is the eastern most point on the branch.  This structure is one of the first super Blocks built in New York City and is modeled track for track. The model required a fifty percent reduction in size from the prototype.  St. John’s has a crew of one or two and is responsible for getting the cars out on time and spotted in the correct locations.  All of the traffic on the New York Central originates from and eventually returns to the new dedicated staging yards representing 72nd Street. The New York Central operates via a waybill only system.  There are no car cards.  The waybills are pre-printed and when ready for use a car is assigned to the waybill by simply writing the car initials and road number in the allotted spot.  The waybills are double sided and govern the car over the railroad.

The Erie and the Lehigh Valley terminals are faithful replicas of the actual trackage in HO scale.  Switching in each terminal is packed into a city block with connections to the outside world via carfloat. These terminals have a crew of three, consisting of a Station Agent, Engineer and Conductor. The Station Agent is responsible for the loading and unloading of the car floats from storage as well as writing up the switch list and waybills for the Engineer and Conductor to follow. Waybills on the Erie and Lehigh Valley are only for cars going to Terminal Stores, the rest of the traffic is controlled by switchlists prepared by the Station Agent. The Engineer and Conductor execute the switch list and actually move the cars on to and off of the float.

The layout is located in a basement and is not handicap accessible.  There is no parking on the street until after 10:00 AM.  There are no duck unders to enter the layout but there are four lift outs.  One connects Terminal Stores to the New York Central, Terminal Stores to the Lehigh Valley one crossing the bathroom door on the High Line, and a highly-engineered double deck liftout that connects to NY Central staging.

The New York Harbor features NCE radio throttles as well as tethered throttles.  I also incorporated WiFi throttles running on iPhones and Android base phones. The WiFi throttle app is available free on iTunes and the android market place as WiThrottle Lite by Zemies Unlimited.

Op Session Saturday 2:00 PM Clifton NJ43.8, 1 hour 5 mins
Nicolo Platas New Hyde Park
A short line operates a former BNSF secondary line in New Mexico
HO Proto-freelanced based ATSF/BNSF
Scenery: 95% 25' by 36'
Multi-Level Switch lists NCE DCC Radio
Handicapped hostile Modern- 2017
It's 2018, and the NPSF has purchased a secondary line in New Mexico from the BNSF. The NPSF has a substantial subset of all modern railroad traffic running across its well maintained route through the desert, and the city of Albuquerque. Passenger trains from Amtrak and RailRunner compete for track space with unit trains, mixed manifests, coal drags, ethanol trains, and local switch runs. The NPSF is proto-freelanced, based on the practices of BNSF. The layout is double decked, and the desert scenery is 95% complete. The railroad uses NCE DCC with radio. Trains are dispatched via verbal train orders, and local frights use switchlists to direct car movements.
Op Session on Friday 7:00PMNew Hyde Park4 mi., 10 min.
Santa Fe's Raton Pass
Ken Dasaro Howard Beach
Santa Fe over Raton Pass - the Route of the Chiefs
HO Santa Fe
Scenery: 10% 18' x 24' 150
Walkaround Sequence NCE
Handicapped hostile 1955

Raton Pass was the original transcontinental main line of the Santa Fe. This was a test for man and machine as they challenged the strenuous 3.2% grades. The layout models the period just after the initial installation of CTC in the early 1950s, but before the local coal mines played out. Diesels are used on the crack passenger trains, but even those trains get steam helpers to climb over the mountain. Freights are mostly still steam powered. There is a 54" nod-under to get into the layout.

The east end is La Junta, Colorado, entering the layout at C&S Crossing, Colorado. The west end is Raton, New Mexico, entering the layout at Keota, New Mexico. Operations are centered around Trinidad, Colorado, the helper base at the eastern foot of the mountain. Trinidad also had important interchanges with the Colorado & Southern (a CB&Q subsidiary), Denver & Rio Grande, and Colorado & Wyoming (a Colorado Fuel & Iron subsidiary).

The yard at Trinidad to supports helpers, the interchanges, local industry, and the nearby coal mines. Both the Rio Grande and the Colorado & Southern have trackage rights over Santa Fe rails to interchange with the coal-hauling Colorado & Wyoming. There are also several Santa Fe locals to serve the online coal mines.

The main focus of the layout is the stupendous steam show as trains fight gravity up and down the east slope of the pass.

Op Session Sat 8:30 AM Howard Beach,NY 16 mi. 35 min.
Stone Canyon Railroad
John Feraca Shirley
Steam/Diesel Era Layout with Big Steam
HO Proto-Freelanced
Scenery: 80 % Complete 25' by 28' 150'
Continuous run Through freights and switching Digitraxx DCC
Handicapped hostile 1950's
The Stone Canyon Railroad is a fully operational freelanced single deck layout based in the western U.S. Timeframe is 1950's steam/diesel transition era. UP and ATSF are the predominate roads. Overall layout size is 26' x 39' including staging. The mainline is 200' double track closed loop plus 120' of hidden staging that can accommodate up to 10 pre-staged trains. Scenery is 100% complete and ranges from rugged mountains to a complete lighted city scene. DCC is Digitrax Super Chief Duplex Radio. Throttles will be provided. Motive power includes a variety of steam engines as large as 4-8-8-4 Big Boys. Diesels include switcher and road units along with E and F units for passenger operation. Operations include passenger, local freight, coal and through freight. Switching opportunities include a coal mine, 25 industries, six towns, a large freight yard and a full service steam/diesel engine facility that includes a 130 ft. turntable, 12 stall roundhouse and diesel shop. A typical 3 hour operating session involves the movement of approx. 190 cars, 16 locomotives and up to 12 trains. Operator positions include; Dispatcher (layout owner), Yardmaster, Motive Power Hostler, Engineer and Conductor. Communications between dispatcher and operators are via radio/headsets (provided). Car forwarding is done with car cards and waybills. In addition to the dispatcher, a minimum of 5 and maximum of 9 operators are required. The layout has hosted many operating sessions since 2013 and has participated in nearly every IslandOps weekend. It's proven to be enjoyable for everyone who's visited.
Op Session Saturday 8:30 AMShirley44 mi., 90 min due to traffic
West Side Lumber Company
Vinny Pellitteri Upper Brookville
Sn3 Version of the 1950's West Side Lumber Company
S West Side Lumber Company
Scenery: 95% finished 900 square feet
Point to Point with continuous run option Follow daily train pattern NCE DCC with radio
Handicapped hostile early to mid 1950's
A Sn3 version of California's Westside Lumber Company in the early to mid 1950's. The setting is the woods of the Sierra Nevada mountains - about 120 miles east of San Francisco. The layout is about 30% dual gauge. It has mostly Shay and Heisler motive power with one standard gauge 2-8-0 and one Critter. All engines have sound. The scenery is highly detailed and about 95% complete. Operation is at a relaxed pace, closely following the actual traffic patterns of the company in this time period.
Op Session Sat 8:30 AM Upper Brookville, NY 10 Mi, 25 min.
Webmaster February 19, 2018 8:22