an O-gauge (semi-scale) ‘Phoenix’
 Why this Web Site?
 The Layout
 Despatch Yard
 Christopher Yard
 The Railroad
 More Pictures
 Looking Back
 D-N-D Division
 H & O Division
 H & O Revival
 Bison Yard
 Service Module
 House Caboose
 H & O Slideshow
RR Memorabilia:
 My World of Trains
 Train Travel
 A Very Special Day
 Christmas 1
 Christmas 2
 Lionel Centenary
 Other RR Activity
 Guest Book

 Union Station & Christopher Terminal

CHRISTOPHER YARD and passenger terminal was the last major portion of THE NORMANED RAILROAD to be constructed. As a result, there is less added detail and fewer additional scenic effects than are evident in some of the other major areas, although its intended purpose and use has fulfilled an important operational need in the overall layout plan.

Union Station & Christopher Terminal (front, above) and passenger yard with control panel (below) on THE NORMANED RAILROAD layout. (A portion of the NORMANED's main control panel is visible in the distance in the top picture).


      During the building of this yard, we had conceived no previous ideas for its name. It was at this time, however, that a student at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (at Rochester Institute of Technology) linked up with me in a plan to come to my house weekly on Thursday nights to “lend his hands” to my empire building. “Chris,” as he preferred being called, was a big help in routing wiring from the numerous cab control panels to various track switches and accessories throughout the layout, and in time to the newly-developing Union Station and its four-track passenger yard. By the time this facility was virtually completed and in operating order, he was happy to have me name the new area “Christopher,” in recognition of his efforts.

Map of the Christopher Yard

Right: This diesel fueling facility is located adjacent to the entrance (or exit) of the Christopher Yard.

       Christopher Yard is one of the layout’s two major terminals, providing a choice between point-to-point and/or continuous operation by utilizing an optional power-blocked turn-around loop that encircles the front of the Union Station. It also has a small diesel-fueling and service area adjacent to the entrance (or exit) of the yard.
      The Christopher Yard is the lowest track level area on T
HE NORMANED RAILROAD, and it is accessible from the rest of the layout only by climbing or descending a trestle which rises on a steep five percent grade of 8 inches in 13 feet.

A New York Central RR giant Alco A-B-B lash-up of diesel locomotives is about ready to move out of Christopher Yard and couple up with its string of varnish before starting the long climb up the steep grade to THE NORMANED RR mainline. Passenger consists for two sections of Milwaukee Road special trains to and from Chicago wait on the back two yard tracks.

      We have provided here several illustrations showing some of the scenes which are typical of operations at this location. Among the railway names which have utilized this passenger terminal and its yard facilities are the New York Central, the Pennsylvania RR, Amtrak, the Milwaukee Road (Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific RR), the Canadian National, THE NORMANED’s “home” fleet, and occasional others operating tourist excursions. (All of these lines have staging and/or interchange access to THE NORMANED at Christopher, Bridgeport, Genesee Junction and Panthorne. RPO mail cars are included in the consists of most of these passenger trains, and special cars for bagged mail and Railway Express service are often seen on passenger and freight cars using NORMANED trackage).

The “Trainmaster” takes the throttle to move an outgoing passenger consist out of the station platform to begin its journey from the Christopher Yard to the main line.


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