Somewhere in New Jersey

In May of 2012 I got it in my head to build a diorama—essentially an excuse to recycle some bits and pieces of the White River & Northern IV I'd saved, rather than let them sit forever in storage. Actually, the bits in question had been recycled once before, having originally been built for the ill-fated White River & Northern III. They included three hand-laid Code 40 switches, a plate girder bridge, some complex stone abutments, and an assortment of odds and ends, including an ash pit. The bridge was patterned after a real one on the old Reading line, located a block from my home back then.

I was originally going to include a nice brass truss bridge as well, but it overwhelmed the space. Instead, I utilized a never-released NZT structure kit, which was a reproduction of the shops on the Pine Creek Railroad, where I'm a member. I had to bash the kit a little in order to fit the space. One perhaps vaguely interesting bit of trivia is that the diorama features the oldest piece of modeling I still had: a sand bin I'd scratchbuilt for the long-gone White River & Northern I, circa 1973.

Per usual, construction began with a slab of half-inch Gatorfoam topped with more Gatorfoam subroadbed. Not surprisingly, given its small size, it progressed quickly; start to finish it took roughly seven weeks.

The diorama has a built-in battery pack to power a dwarf signal, lights under the bridge, and a sound generator that creates a gentle background of cricket sounds.

An image I'd captured of it won first place in a photo competition held by Eastern Seaboard Models.

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