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.
Dover currently is the southernmost location on the NNES and is the entry point to the visible layout from the under layout staging. Dover has undergone many changes since the 1960s, with the yard barely a fraction of what it was at the time.
This Ted Houghton photo(1) from rrpicturearchives.net looking towards the fueling stand and deteriorating sand house is amongst those I took inspiration from for the layout.
My choice of RDCs for passenger activity originated from this photo that provoked research into B&M passenger equipment used in the period. BM 6202(RDC2)
The next period photo, from 1966, yielded more than I originally bargained for. BM 1516(RS3) My original interest in the photo stemmed from the view it provides of the turntable, for use along with photos from other angles in my efforts to reproduce the turntable. But careful examination of the left side of the photos above the parked cars yields a surprise. A pipe runs horizontally from a stand on the hillside back towards the roundhouse . If you look on the hillside you can even see the shadow the pipe casts on the ground, confirming this is not some optical illusion. The pipe runs to the highest up the hillside of several concrete bases that exist at the site to this day. When following those concrete bases along the east side of the yard, they lead directly to the site of the old well for the water tower from the steam days. One theory is that water was piped to the boiler in the machine shop through this pipe. See here one of the remaining concrete bases and a photo of the location on the side of the roundhouse where the pipe would have connected.
The left side of the second photo clearly shows where the pipe would have entered. It is not clear to me, however, what the pipe configuration at this point would have been given the bracket above the pipe hole that goes through the wall.
The yard itself is greatly changed today, with most of the sidings removed, the turntable gone, and Salmon Falls Pottery occupying the former roundhouse and machine shop. This photo looking across the current parking lot was taken from a position that would have previously been looking across the turntable. Four of the bay doors have been converted to double windows. The parking lot completely hides any sign of the former turntable and tracks. The remaining bay door locations now feature overhead doors that can be used to bring in and out equipment and supplies for the pottery workshop. This similar vantage point shows the state of the building and turntable in 1979. B&M Roundhouse While taken 14 years later than the period for the layout, the 1979 photo shows a number of details of use in my modelling such as the look of the walls of the turntable.
The view away from the roundhouse towards the former location of the fueling stand and old sand house leaves even less to be seen. All of the sidings associated with the former sand house, diesel stand, and earlier coaling and watering towers are gone as are all of the structures.
The one remaining element evidencing the former locations of the various structures and tracks is the rusting remains of the diesel fueling stand. As can be seen in this photo, the stand remains partially hidden within the new overgrowth in the area.
The tracks through the yard start to look a little more familiar when viewed from the Oak Street bridge. Triple tracks continue to carry freight traffic north towards Rochester and south back towards Portsmouth as well as towards Newmarket, Exeter, and other points south in Massachusetts. This Ted Houghton photo(1) from rrpicturearchives.net on the right dated 1967 shows the triple tracks with a siding still in place to the left and cars on one of the half-buried sidings on the right.
These recent photos take from the west end of the Oak Street bridge show the triple tracks and left siding remaining, but little evidence of the rest of the yard. They also show a significant change to the back of the machine shop building, with external generating plant that was not present in the 1960s.
More mysteries and revelations arose when looking at this photo allegedly from October 8, 1967. BM 1569(GP7) The angle shows the deteriorating sand house, but no apparent sign of the diesel fueling stand. Yet multiple other photos clearly show the diesel stand in place into the 1970s and as shown above the remnants still in place today. This photo dated only 16 days later as October 24, 1967 clearly shows the diesel stand and a much lesser degree of overgrown weeds. BM 1568(GP7) BM 1558(GP7) BM 1564(GP7) BM 1566(GP7) This called into question the date associated with the October 8 photo, potentially rendering it older than installation of the diesel pump stand. But two additional discoveries were far more important from the October 8th photo. All later photos I had seen showing the roundhouse showed solid doors on the stalls. But this photo clearly documents windows in the stall doors. Unfortunately, I discovered this after kit-bashing the roundhouse. So it was back to the six pairs of doors to cut in openings and add windows. The final bit of information from the photo dated October 8th 1967 is at the bottom right, where we see a switch for a turnout. Now we know that there was a parallel track to the one in the October 8th photo with the diesel stand positioned in between the visible track and the parallel track as shown in the photo dated October 24th. But a turnout here in this photo implies that there was yet another spur to the right of the unseen track, or no turnout would have been needed. My theory, and my modelling choice on my track plan, was that the additional spur furthest east in the yard would have headed to where the water tower and well were located, known to be east of the fueling area based on the debris still present in the underbrush. I have modelled that track heavily buried and either out of use or barely usable.
Many of the building details for the kitbash of the roundhouse and machine shop were based on these photos taken of the existing structure, relying on some subjective judgement of the age of the structural details to conclude what to keep and what to exclude. The llast of the four photos below initially fooled me into thinking there had been a large door on the building extension at the back. But a closer look reveals that the photo is showing the inside of the door that is open and is on the right wall of the side of the machine shop.
Another important element to me to reproduce the look and feel of the Dover yard is the Oak Street Bridge. Trespassing restrictions have dissuaded me from attempting to take current photos of the bridge from track level, but the bridge structure remains largely as it was in the period, including retaining its wood deck, so close up photos on the bridge were key to my scratch build of the bridge for my layout with the exception that I had to accommodate placing it on a curve rather than over staright track. Here are some key photos that have influenced my own construction of this bridge.
(1) Note: Photos attributed to Ted Houghton are copyright Ted Houghton and are inline-linked here by express permission.