6. Digging Deeper

When I select a modeling subject, I like to learn as much as I can about it so that my work has a sense of authenticity, even when I tweak reality, whether by choice or by necessity. The two stars of the show, Lambertville and Flemington, have rich, fascinating railroading histories. Fortunately there's plenty of information on them, as well as the railroad they share in common.

The layout's temporal setting became my biggest stumbling block. I'd originally wanted it to be present-day with just a few retro touches. But as I dug deeper into the railroad's history, I decided to leave the time kind of rubbery, covering a span from the 1970s to the 90s. Basically I resigned myself to having to take modeler's license and really mess with reality to get what I want.

Current Plan

25 March 2019. For my fifth draft of the plan, the biggest revisions focused on Flemington: I'd wound the clock back a few decades, which allowed me to include a grain mill and a co-op, as well as an old coal trestle near the station, all of which are now gone. I also tweaked the Three Bridges area to enhance operations by compressing two passing sidings into one. Dark grey buildings are kits I have on hand; green ones will either be scratchbuilt or heavily bashed; and tan ones I've yet to determine how to build. Click for enlargement:

About the Railroad


  • Virginia Smith, The Black River & Western Story, 1973 Quadrant Press
  • Jerry J. Jagger, Black River & Western Railroad, 2016 Arcadia Publishing
  • Linda J. Barth, The Delaware and Raritan Canal, 2002 Arcadia Publishing
  • Sally A. Freedman, Clinton, Flemington and Lambertville, 1994 Allan Sutton
  • George Kline et al, Lambertville and New Hope, 1996 Arcadia Publishing
  • Lorett Treese, Railroads of New Jersey, 2006 Stackpole Books

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Copyright 2017-2019 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.