Robert Gould's Cheshire Line

The Cheshire Line, is the layout of Robert Gould, who, interestingly enough, lives on Cheshire Place. The layout is a freelanced layout styled along the lines of the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad on its trek from New Jersey to Chicago; passing through some of the same cities. It is a loop around the cellar layout with some built out areas for industries and cities, rail yards and staging areas.

This is not Rob's first layout. He received a Lionel train at eight years old and it wasn't long before his uncle and dad built a platform on which he could set up the trains and add details. His uncle had a large Lionel layout that provided considerable inspiration. He has built a couple since. Although this layout was started in August of 1981, it is only within the last couple of years that he has had regular time to work on it. Rob has had full-scale railroad experience, having worked for the D&H, CSX, and now as a railroad inspector for the State of New York.

Robert uses a Digitrax system with circuit breakers for six districts. Although he doesn't have regular op-sessions, he still has a car card system for directing and monitoring car movement. And he has a lot of cars – well over three hundred – so yards and staging areas can easily become clogged with rolling stock. He has a couple of large wall-mounted cabinets for handling extra cars and engines, but there is now more than they can handle, too.

There is plenty of freight traffic moving through on the adjacent mainline tracks and it is being faithfully watched over by the old switch tower.

An Erie-Lackawanna freight operation is busy with contract freight and items that are too big for UPS. That cab-over tractor was typical of the period and the location. The long frame was used mainly in the mid-west.

Having enough coal cars to run a forty-seven car unit coal train adds a lot in itself. And to get all three hundred plus cars to work well together, he recently went through the process of aligning all coupler heights and replacing all axles with ones with metal wheels. He says that this has made a great difference as the cars can be pulled so much easier and do not string-line on curves.

Form19 Editor Bert Pflegl for the copy, Rob Dennis photos.

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