CNJ Bronx Terminal

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Tim_Warris, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Tim_Warris

    Tim_Warris New Member

    Hi All,

    Since this is my first post here an introduction might be in order. My name is Tim Warris, and I am an HO modeler and the (former) builder of the Port Kelsey Ry. I kept a blog documenting the progress of the layout, you can check it out at the link below if you are interested...

    Port Kelsey Railway blog

    Since the Port Kelsey is no more, I have recently started a new project modeling the CNJ Bronx Terminal and thought I would post a few images of the progress here.

    The CNJ terminal was a very compact rail yard, car float and freight house all crammed into a little over an acre of space. The only connection with the rest of the world was via car floats. It was located in the Bronx, and there was only one railroad that had a connection here, the NYC, all others had to move freight by water, and that made for some very interesting operations. The CNJ Bronx Terminal was one of 4 along the Harlem river, and the most complex.

    Being a big fan of unique trackwork (I also own and operate Fast Tracks) I have long wanted to build an HO model of this terminal. Finally, I have started on it. I have a bit more detail about this on the Bronx Terminal blog.

    Here is the trackplan of the yard and the unique round freight house. This has been plotted out full size, and is an exact HO scale replica, no compression.


    Hard to believe there was a prototype for this place, but there was. As can be seen there are some very sharp radii here, 90' full size, 12.5" in HO.

    I have divided the project up into several sections, and am in the process of building the trackwork for each section. Here is an image of the first (and most complex) section of trackwork...



    There are more images and video of the tracks performance on the Bronx Terminal blog.

    I have just completed the 5th section of trackwork, which is the quadruple diamond in the centre of the yard.


    I am about a month into the build now. The space needed to complete the layout will be vacated soon and I can start construction of the benchwork.

    More to come!
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Tin: welcome to the gauge.
    I noticed that you weren't on the layout tour this year.
    I was comparing your layout to the one in the Layout Planning Annual; it looks like you have chosen a different terminal than the one they described. I spent a while trying to fit your track plan to theirs; there seem to be a lot of common elements.
  3. Tim_Warris

    Tim_Warris New Member

    Hi David,

    No, I wasn't on the tour this year. We moved out of Kitchener and no longer have a layout, so this was the first time in 15 years we didn't have to spend the month of March cleaning up the layout room! I guess there is an upside...

    The CNJ terminal was just on the other side of the Mott Haven canal from the Harlem Terminal, the one featured in the Layout Planning magazine. The Harlem Terminal was physically larger, but not as complex as the Bronx, which is why I chose to model the CNJ Bronx Terminal.
  4. pfs

    pfs Member

    I have said this before when you have posted elsewhere, this is amazing work. World class track work.

  5. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!


    Glad you could join us! That trackwork is incredible! I've seen the article in the latest MR Railroad Planning magazine about the Harlem terminal railroads and your plan helps me better understand how such a layout might be accomplished.

  6. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

    Really beautiful work. :thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb:
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Welcome! That freight house you have chosen really does prove that there is a prototype for everything! ;) Excellent trackwork too, BTW. :thumb:

  8. Delamaize

    Delamaize Member

    all I gotta say is wow! :D :D :D Very Impressive. I can't beleive that your trackwork is protypical! always boggles my mind to see what people will do with a little creativity
  9. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member


    Glad you're with us! How did you find The Gauge, btw?

    I've been a fan of the Port Kelsey progress for a while...sad to see it go, but I'll be following the new Bronx Terminal progress with great anticipation. Thanks for sharing with us!
  10. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    That’s a crazy location – I love it. Your trackwork is a real piece of art. It will be a great experience to see your progress. Thanks for sharing.
  11. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Very Impresive track work ! A CNJ modler always knew of it. I've seen photos of barges going their. Even one with a small Witcome diesel on it. I think #1001.
    frank toptrain
  12. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Wait a minute... there are frogs with three rails crossing through the same point? I had no idea such trackwork existed.
  13. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    I have looked at this monster , beast this................. a couple times today and showed my friends and just shack my head and think im afraid to lay my flex track and then this lol awsome work tim, my hats off to you
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Triplex: it's very common in street railway trackage, but I've never seen it on a steam railway (in person, anyways). I wnat to come over the day Tim wires it -- I bet I can learn a lot of new swear words! hamr
    And are those built with your own jigs? goldtoth1
  15. Tim_Warris

    Tim_Warris New Member


    I have been getting asked quite often about how I will wire this mess so I thought I would make up a diagram of one of the more complex pieces showing how it will be done.


    What we are looking at is the first section of trackwork I built for the terminal, the lapped turnout engine house/apron lead. I have marked where the rails will be cut with a red line. These are the exact location of the cuts, and in some places it will be necessary to cut through the PC board tie as well.

    Each isolated frog is coloured in a different colour to help visualize how it is to separated electrically from the rest of the trackwork. Each frog will be powered independently from the rest of the trackwork via relays driven from the switch machine contacts (tortoises). When a route is selected (I will be using route selection on the panels to simplify operation) the switch machines will determine which polarity each frog will be for a given route through the trackwork.

    Its fairly simple when broke down to the basics, but will result it what appears like a complex jumble of wires, which of course, it is!

  16. galt904

    galt904 Member

    Awesome stuff! So, you'll have it mostly done it time for next year's doubleheader tour, right? :)
  17. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

    Tim, what software are you using to generate these images?

  18. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Tim: what is that track that doesn't seem to go anywhere?
    I think the rail cutting coulde be reduced a bit. There's a triangular bit with a blue purple and green frog that I think could be one piece, but it might cause a different complication with your relays.
    I promise not to suggest again that you run it with overhead wire.
  19. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member


    the finest what ever I have seen. Good success for next steps!

  20. Justin

    Justin Member

    Model RR's MRP book this year featured a track paln design for this kind of layout in 4'x8'!It'd be fun to model.

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