Favourite Photos...

Favourite Photos...
Reading Lines GP35 #3647

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Town Names from the real Reading Area...

In a major milestone the JL&T Railroad has had its functional town names added.  I have to paint a little picture about how this came about so here we go...
For those following along with our build you may recall that I have defined the layout as being proto-freelanced and somewhere in the era of the 70's to late 80's (loosely).  The layout and its areas where to be purely fictional, but the railroads servicing it were somewhat prototypical (they actually existed), and I must highlight the word "somewhat" as the RDG has been allowed to live on in my little world past its Conrail takeover date.
So when I decided to change the intermodal terminal to a Paper & Pulp Mill I didn't actually realise but I was making a very good decision for later on when looking at naming towns for the eventual addition of operations & signaling.
One of the issues I faced when deciding to make the layout a purely switching layout and having regular ops sessions was that I needed to have named towns for it all to come together.  I didn't really think about naming them after specific towns because well the layout was never going to be truly prototypical in that respect.  But along came the decision to add detection & signals, so I decided to look further into it.
One of the caveats for naming the towns was that it had to be an area in Reading Lines, Conrail & Chessie System Country.  It also had to have a Paper & Pulp Mill near it, a place to interchange between RDG & Chessie System as well as working in with Conrail too.
I also wanted a portion to allow point to point traveling between two yards representing two major areas with RDG/CR territory and Chessie System territory too.  Hey not to hard right?  I also decided to add it needed a river crossing (as I have one between decks) and to top it all off I wanted to have Reading, Pa as a town in there as a homage to the Reading Lines/Reading Company era that the layout is based on.
So over the last two weeks I have been attached to Google searching Google maps and looking for areas that would suit all of the above givens & druthers I have placed on this project.  And to my surprise I have managed to pull it all off......
So below are the two main system maps that I have been using to figure it all out:
Reading Lines - System Map...
Chessie System (WM) - System Map...

So for those that know the history or the area the RDG & Chessie System (WM) would have interchanged at Shippensburg & Lurgan, so I now had my interchange sorted between two of the RR's on the layout.  Now upon some further research I was able to find that not far from the interchange area there was a Paper & Pulp Mill at York Haven in Pa, so I now had the P&PM sorted and geographically located on the layout.
Next stage was to add the remaining Reading Lines towns along the system and sort out the yard names for the staging and classification yards.  So after a few hours today I've managed to get the map populated with all the towns, I also have one of the yards named and only have the engine servicing facility to name after I do some more research.
So here is the JL&T Railroad - System Map...
Feedback is most welcome and any links to these areas or photos would be greatly appreciated too.


  1. Wow! This is really well done! Please keep up the great updates!

  2. Thanks Norman, it has fallen into place quite well. Actually quite lucky that I managed to get the already built layout to align with a prototypical area... Jas.

  3. Jas, Our railroads are soooo close to overlapping. One of the primary LDEs on my railroad is Blaine (Kitzmiller) on the WM map you have posted. The town of Vindex today is a woods on the side of a mountain with no visible remnants until you dig deep down into the undergrowth where you can find the evidence of structure foundations. The old WM spur is now a narrow 4 wheeler path down to the Potomac river. I have explored the area. My paper mill (if included) is a few miles up the line at Luke also shown on your map. Neat to know our railroads if existed in the real world would probably have interchanged.

  4. Alan isn't it amazing how we keep finding more in common between us, not only within the hobby like this example but outside too. I didn't realise at all how close our layout area came to the LK&O area, small world again!
    I guess that means we can work on an interchange exchange during ops sessions perhaps with a common boxcar that can be forwarded over Skype or something between dispatchers? Sister railroads spanning 15,000 odd kilometres!
    Perhaps if your Paper Mill gets a place on your layout we can interchange something between the two? Now that would be cool! Jas...

  5. I'm game! Let's do it. First I have to get the railroad running so don't hold your breath. :)

    Shame we live half a world apart. Tell you what... I'll give you a couple acres for free if you move here and build a house on it. Then we would have a real interchange track between layouts!