Coming Soon! NNE Scenic Model Railroad V2!
It has been over a year since version 1 of the NNE Scenic Model Railroad made its way to the dumpster in preparation for the big move to Ohio.
The NNE Scenic version 2 is beginning to take shape, and will begin to make its way to these pages soon. The pages for V1 will be retained as historical pages, but the new layout in a bigger space will become the main focus of the site.
NNEScenic V1 Main Page Information
Welcome to the historical archive of V1 of the Northern New England Scenic Model Railroad.
This layout was oriinally titled the MEC and B&M Scenic Railroad, but with the creation of this website, it was renamed to be independent of choice of period and railroads. The NNES was a proto-freelance N scale layout modelling portions of the Maine Central (MEC) and Boston & Maine railroads circa 1965. I would like to explain my philosophy and decision-making approach that led to the layout and locations on it. All of the locations on the layout were real locations that saw traffic in the period of the layout, roughly late September in any of the years of the period from 1960-1968. The optimal target date was September 21, 1965, but I chose to allow for any equipment, traffic, structures or other aspects of the locations modeled that would be applicable during the years 1960-1968. The choice of an early fall date as the optimal target related to my choice to model fall foliage at varying stages of color from early color in the Dover area through peak foliage in the areas from Crawford Notch to Gilman, VT.
My aim for the track work was to attempt to model yards and station track arrangements with as close to the correct number and arrangement of tracks and turnouts as my space allowed. Wherever possible, I attempted to avoid the need for significant compression, but yard lengths in particular saw substantial compression. Of course, distances between locations were compressed to fairly short lengths as would be true on any model railroad. Most structures did not require any compression. I also reserved the prerogative to omit tracks that I did not have room for and added the occasional additional spur or siding to enhance the operational interest of the layout. While the layout was built more for scenic qualities, I did intend some amount of operations and wanted to ensure the layout could be reasonable and fun to operate with 2 to 4 individuals.
As with the track work, I intended to model many structures in a manner that was sufficiently accurate for an individual familiar with the structures to recognize them as a pretty good representation. Over time, my modeling skills will undoubtedly improve, but it was not my intention to achieve perfect or even near-prefect fidelity. Rather, when looking at the track arrangements, structures, and scenery of the layout, I wanted my visitors to recognize elements with which they were familiar and to feel they were seeing a good representation of the real locations without getting too hung up on very slight variations or modifications.
I hope these pages will prove to be of interest to individuals familiar with the areas or who are also modelling some of these areas. I also hope the future pages on the techniques I use and step by step walk-throughs of future projects will be helpful to others.
Crawford Notch is one of the most scenic spots in NH. I count this area on the layout to stretch from 160 foot Arethusa Falls to the peak of Crawford Notch itself and the site of the former Crawford House. All of these will be featured on the layout. Arethusa falls is the second tallest waterfall in NH, but considered the most scenic. Located roughly 1.5 miles from US route 302, it will sit atop the helix, towering a foot tall to scale in N scale. This page shows the scale and a close look at the grandeur of the waterfall and provides more information.
This link to a google search for images of Arethusa falls provides many fine views: Arethusa Falls Google Images
Driving along route 302, you soon come to area below Frankenstein Cliff and the famed Frankenstein Trestle. The trestle is mostly obscured today from route 302 by the growth of trees. But these photos provide a series of views of the cliffs that will sit behind the trestle on the layout, albeit with a combination of compression and forced perspective to create the scene.
The actual topography as depicted on this topographical map shows that the cliff immediately behind the trestle is actually comprised as a series of ridges. A closer look at the middle photo from above of the trestle with the cliffs behind also reveals the series of ridges.
The top of the trestle can just be seen at about tree height of the lower trees in the center of the photo. You can see in the photo the initial ridge top just above the cliffs immediately above the trestle. Zooming in on the topographical map and placing the center "+" in various locations, it turns out that the first ridge with cliff immediately above the trestle rises only about 300 to 350 feet above the height of the 80 foot high trestle with the remaining 1000+ feet to the summit comprising a couple more ridge heights at successively greater distances from the viewer. With the trestle height of the layout at approximately 52", I should be able to model roughly 300 feet of ridge just slightly if at all compressed and using selective compression together with forced perspective of trees and backdrop create a reasonable representation of the scale and grandeur of the scene.
The trestle itself will be reproduced to scale, based on the many photographs available such as seen from this google search of images of Frankenstein trestle.
This photo by Ted Houghton(1) from rrpicturearchives.net taken in 1968 depicts the scene I wish to recreate in full fall foliage with a train crossing the trestle.
Further along route 302 lies Willey Bridge and the former site of Willey House. This photo below by Ted Houghton(1) from rrpicturearchives.net shows the same train crossing Willey Bridge. Once again, I will be attempting to recreate this colorful scene in the corner of my layout approaching the Crawford station area.
At the summit of the road through the notch lies Crawford station as well as the former site of the old Crawford House. In the 1960s, the Crawford House was still operating, continuing until 1975 before later succumbing to fire in 1977. This great view of the hotel past the station and Saco Lake provides a perspective for spacing that I can leverage on the layout.
This old postcard provides a great view of Crawford Station and shows the 4 tracks counting the station siding to the left of the mainline and the two sidings seen to the right. This is one of the key indicators for my crawford Notch track plan.
(1) Note: Photos attributed to Ted Houghton are copyright Ted Houghton and are inline-linked here by express permission.