1. Familiar Territory

Having attended college and lived there for several years, I knew Trenton well, and it had some railroading artifacts I'd wanted to model for some time. Over the years I'd become fascinated with the Trenton Traction Company, a trolley line that ran from downtown Trenton up into the heart of Princeton. I'd traced the line, studied its history, and knew I'd want to model it someday. That was the idea behind the Trenton Transportation Company—at least on paper...

The origins of this little layout stem from strange circumstances. I was doing volunteer work at the time, and I was faced with the prospect of spending a couple of months living in a tiny apartment in South Jersey. The Jersey City Industrial and even its smaller brother, Hoboken Manufacturers, were too big to take with me.

Fine Track spaghetti.

Around the same time I discovered a new (to me) line of track: Tomix Fine Track, which included über-tight-radius curves and some absurd-looking switches. I began fooling around with ultra-compact track plans utilizing it, but this ultimately led to a variation based instead on Kato Unitrack. (Tomix Fine Track would figure in a number of other projects, including the Reddibilt Railroad.)

The track plan wasn't conducive to a traction line, so I went with something fictional, and shifted the setting to a more industrial area, which was something I'd preferred anyway. As always, I started with a Gatorfoam base, to which I bonded the track with super glue. Then it was off to the races.

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