John Sethian
Burke, VA
January 30, 2011

The PRR Nassau Division is 2 rail O scale layout is inspired by, but not beholding to, the Electrified PRR Northeast Corridor in New Jersey and Pennsylvania circa 1955.  The main line is 110’ long double tracked, in an L shape 21’ x 31’.   A third 110’ long line goes to a small yard and storage tracks. It’s main purpose is to provide an excuse for one set of tracks to cross over another.
The continuous loop based track plan is designed for watching trains move through one of five scenes:  These scenes are motivated by: A typical Northeast city (New York/Philadelphia/Trenton) and the tracks leaving the station, the Schuykill River stone arch bridge, Princeton Junction (hence the layout’s namesake), Griff Teller’s rendition of The Trenton Cutoff (minus the J1a), and Marysville, PA (Note the “not beholding to”).  Eventually the entire main line will be under catenary. “Eventually” is defined as when some manufacturer makes one available.
The track plan features 54” minimum radius curves, with most 57” and a few over 200”. The plan sacrifices maximum mainline length in favor of a single deck design with more aisle width, more relaxed scenes, and more room for visitors.  The layout room is completely finished, with the ceiling painted as part of the sky to add to the overall spaciousness.
The layout setting is sometime between 1954 and 1957. This allows five stripe GG1’s, Single stripe GG1’s, P5a’s, a Truc Train, and even the Aerotrain.  The layout builder thinks the Aerotrain looks cool.
The control system is DCS (the MTH system developed first for the three rail market) to allow untethered walk around operations.  All locomotives have speed control, sound, and smoke. They are mostly made by Sunset, and MTH. Rolling stock is from a variety of manufacturers.   All track and turnouts are Atlas O on Homasote road bed sitting on a subroad bed made of pink insulation board on ¾” plywood.
The layout was started in June 2006 and is still well in the construction phase.  Most of the principal scenic elements in the city and tracks leaving the city are finished.  All of the buildings are lit. The city scene eschews backdrops in favor of forced perspective with smaller scale models.   Signature scenes include a rendition of the “Trenton Makes, The World Takes” bridge (replete with light up letters), a four track super-elevated main line through Princeton Junction, a ten foot long concrete arch bridge/ viaduct, and a three dimensional interpretation of Edward Hopper’s  “Approaching a City”

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