Hilton & Ohio [H&O] Division
 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

 Mainline Service & Interchange Module

       THE “Mainline Service & Interchange Module” occupies one shelf of an existing built-in set of six 10-ft. long shelves in the former workshop, the shelves being about a foot apart. I installed fluorescent lights on the underside of the shelf above the layout where the fixtures are not visible, but illuminate the module suitably. Because of the length, I found that the schematic diagram, although accurate, was too compressed in size to be helpful in conducting train operations with a portable controller.

click to enlarge display

       So I built a display panel across the top of the module, showing all of the trackwork in position directly above the actual track it depicted (compressed in height, but not length). This long track diagram panel above the layout became a highlight of the H&O Division which captured immediate attention and comment of visitors when they entered the room. (Five separate photographs were made and merged to create the panoramic image shown above).


A = Lead to westbound main line
M = Maintenance holding track
S = Enginehouse short stall
T = Tank car storage area
F = Front yard
L = Lead to eastbound main line

L = Lead to eastbound main line
N = Nearside maintenance track
E = Enginehouse extended stall
R = Layout “Ridge” protected area
C = Classification yard +Tracks 1, 2, 3
I & O = Wrightsville Inside & Outside house tracks

The Interchange Track and the Approach Track to the service area and turntable
 stalls are labeled but are not assigned letter designations on this schematic diagram.
The small arrowpoints ( and / or  ) designate electrical block gaps.

This illustration depicts how the long "shelf layout" of the Mainline Service & Interchange Module fits in between the overhead display panel and the control panels for the module, with a portion of the turntable service area and its controls to the right. (This photo shows about half of the "shelf" area; the reflections of light on the overhead panel are from the floodlights used to make the image).

While three steam locomotives await servicing, the engine house crew is eating lunch (lower left).

An industrial section view with two different style switch towers and a signal bridge visible, as well as some H & O maintenance-of-way cars on the back sidings.

A detail photo of the Swift Co. meat-packing plant which is tucked away in a corner behind the engine house. The tunnel is used for interchange shipments. Two Swift "billboard cars" await loading (must be lunch time there, too).

Below, left:
Sanding station and shed.

Below, right:
A flagman on the "elevated" switch tower (right) is featured in this view.

Things seem to be going normally with the gang at the saloon, as well as with the folks on the second floor.


An example of the extensive trackwork contained in the former switching yard which now comprises the "shelf area" of the "Mainline Service & Interchange Module."

The interurban trolley from the H & O Hilton Module approaches the Sleepy Hollow stop to board and discharge passengers. The next station stop on its return to "home base" will be at South Buffalo Junction adjacent to the Bison Yard.


The daily stagecoach has arrived in the center of town and will soon depart on its return trip. Note that the newspaper office is next to the Marshal's office, so it should have no excuse for missing out on any of the latest news.

The Wrightsville diorama, also pictured below as a free-standing unit, has been returned to its place on the "shelf layout," and careful study will reveal several parts of that little section to be visible in this view.

This little diorama of the "Wrightsville" Terminal, as well as the all-metal Monon box car, are more than 30 years old, and have now been made a part of the Mainline Service & Interchange Module on the NORMANED RAILROAD's H&O Division. The diorama was the author's first-ever attempt at creating a scene in HO-scale, and sat gathering dust for years on a shelf overlooking the NN&T's main O-gauge layout. The photograph was taken in an outdoor garden.

Enginehouse Service Terminal Area - Turntable & Stalls
1 = Approach Track (from Mainline Module)
2 = Coaling tower
3 = Servicing tracks
4 = Snowplows
5 = Repair shop
6 = Handcars
7 = Utility tracks
8 = Wheel track
9 = Velocipedes

Track diagram of the enginehouse service and turntable stalls with electrical wiring depictions removed.

General view of the turntable and stalls extension of the Mainline & Interchange Service Module (this picture is taken from the same approximate orientation as the diagram above).

New York Central RR 2-8-2 "Camelback" No. 1608 with its tender waits to be "turned" into a maintenance stall.

Clockwise from top: a "Galloping Goose" type freight unit (for consignment of less-than-carload lots), two railroad snow plows (rotary and regular wedge), and two yard switch engines which appear identical except for their livery colors (a blue B&O RR No. 18 and a black New Haven RR No. 98). The eastbound mainline track can be seen curving away from this module at center right in the picture (behind the floodlight tower).

As the "tail end" of the tender of the last locomotive to be serviced this day leaves the turntable, H  & O work crews start putting away their equipment for the night ahead.

Activity out on the Mainline

In the top photo, a reproduction of the famous "General" locomotive of the prototype Western & Atlantic RR pulls a period car with passengers on a tourist excursion past the old Western town located at the east end of the H & O Division's mainline. In the photo below, both the "General" and the horse and driver of the little van have made their way to the next section of town as the Lehigh Valley RR "Black Diamond Express" whizzes by on an adjacent track.

Simulated poured concrete pillars support "HighBridge" which carries H & O Division trains between the Mainline Service & Interchange Module (offstage right) to Bison Yard at the left of the truss bridge over which this westbound B&O Railroad's 2-8-2 Mikado with its freight drag is about to cross. These long bridge pillars extend to the floor of the room, allowing a "duckunder" entrance to the layout.
(However, it appears someone may have thrown the wrong track switch someplace along the line, since the scenic background seems to strongly resemble the wild surroundings somewhere in the western part of Norway).


       As the text and illustrations in these latest sections indicate, the cosmetic repair and revival work on the NORMANED RAILROAD and its divisions has been accomplished. Although operation also has been restored to most areas, there does remain some electrical trouble-shooting and track improvements to be worked on – but that was true before the “abandonment,” and is always true on most model railroads. We shall continue to update this web site from time-to-time to correct errors made and report enhancements. So, stay tuned and visit again soon as a passenger on the NORMANED.

--Norm Wright 
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