The southernmost end of the lower level starts in Salem, MA.  Salem had two ladders, effectively forming two yards. One was along the route to Boston.  The other was headed northwest towards Lawrence and Haverhill.  While the Lawrence branch had closed well before the 1950s, I am modelling it as still active.  This allows me to run interchange activity between the two branches in addition  to using the second ladder as a form pf on-layout staging.

Here is the track arrangement for my version of Salem, MA:


Size of the yard is 14' long by 28" deep.  The ladder heading to Boston is at the front of the benchwork (top of the image) and the ladder headed towards Lawrence is at the back.

My track plan for Salem differs significantly from the prototype by necessity.  Features that are similar are:

  • The separation of the two ladders with minimal connections between the two branches
  • Turntable between the two yards accessible off the Lawrence branch side.
  • Passenger station on the Boston side.

Some differences:

  • Yards are flipped.  Coming south from NH, the Boston side would be to the left (back of the benchwork), but here it is the front so that the Lawrence branch can head to the helix to the right.
  • I have the passenger station south of the yard, but it would actually have been on the north end of the yard.  This was a choice so there would be some distance to travel from the station in Salem to the depot in Seabrook.
  • The ladders themselves are not a match to the specific configuration of the ladders in Salem.  This is because I wanted this to serve as effective on layout staging rather than really trying to more faithfully model Salem, MA.  That is in stark contrast to the rest of the railroad.

There will be several local industries to serve here as well, so the operator for this yard will have some local industry work to cover in addition to breaking down and making up trains. Those industries have not yet been chosen.  While this location may seem like it would be the busiest on the level, the intent is not to operate it as very busy, so a single operator should suffice.