Ernie Little’s Norfolk Southern Connector

March 24th 2018

Pictures by Gary Mason and Ed Rosado

Ernie Little’s Norfolk Southern Connector

by Ed Rosado

It has been a few years since we last visited Ernie Little's "Northfolk Southern Connector in Manassas, Va.  Ernie had already built his 20' by 16' layout, which includes 200 feet of continuous main line single track.  He has incorporated a quarry with ancillary operations, an intermodal service facility with overhead crane and an oil depot with appropriate tanks, while passing by small town stores and businesses typical of the Shenandoah countryside.  In a visit during 2015, Bob Rosenberg commented in his column how the layout was uncluttered with just enough features to make it realistic and that it offered ample switching opportunities spread nicely so as not to overcrowd the space.  Today, the layout remains a well crafted work of art with additions made to enhance an operators perspective without the clutter.  He has updated the layout adding a few buildings with LED lighting.  (One of them, the Xavier Movie Theatre, named after a grandson, is now playing "Star Wars The Next Adventure").  Ernie has also added a new water scene which lays an inch above his fireplace insert. 

Over the last few years Ernie has been concentrating most of his efforts towards earning his MMR.  Since our last visit he has achieved his AP scenery certificate and has been evaluated for his car requirements.  He has already earned his Association Volunteer, Engineer-civil, Engineer-electrical, and Chief Dispatcher and is well on his way to completing the requirements as a Master Model Railroader.