Jerry Dziedzic

Prototype: NYS&W, L&HR
Layout: NYS&W main Beaver Lake, NJ - Hainesburg Jct., NJ with Hanford Branch Beaver Lake, NJ to Unionville, NY; L&HR Hudson (Phillipsburg) NJ - Warwick, NY
Scale: HO
Era: 1947

Mainline run: 3 scale miles; branch 2 scale miles; L&HR Mainline run: 3 scale miles
Control system: Digitrax DCC with radio throttles
Dispatching method: TT&TO
Communications: Ops OS to DS
Crew size: 8-10
Operating positions:
- Dispatcher
- Operator/Towerman
- Road Crews (6)


New York, Susquehanna, and Western Railroad

(Beaver Lake to Hainesburg Jct., with the Hanford Branch and the L&HR)

Susquehanna was a vibrant northeastern carrier in 1947, reaching across northern New Jersey with coal, cement and merchandise traffic to the metropolitan New York area.  The road was one of the first Class I’s to dieselize, acquiring a stable of Alco S-2’s and RS-1’s, but steam still saw occasional service.

I’m modeling Susquehanna’s operations in rural northwestern New Jersey.  There, the road’s mainline threads west to Hainesburg Jct. and its important connection with Lehigh & New England.  L&NE trains run over most of this line via trackage rights.  At Beaver Lake, the easternmost station on the layout, the Hanford Branch leaves the main and runs north to Unionville, NY. 

I also model Lehigh & Hudson River.  L&HR crosses Susquehanna at Sparta Jct.  This is a key location on the layout, protected by SJ Tower.  SJ funnels L&NE traffic from Susquehanna to L&HR.  In addition, Susquehana and L&HR interchange at SJ.

Operations follow timetable and train order rules.  Traffic over both lines is heavy.  Susquehanna runs mail and milk on first class schedules.  Freights run as extras.  L&HR sees the L&NE freights and symbol freight traffic between CNJ, LV, and PRR and  Maybrook.

New Jersey Zinc at Franklin, NJ is the layout’s major on-line shipper.  It originates zinc ore traffic for both Susquehanna and L&HR.  Other on-line traffic includes coal, feed, and building materials.

While I follow historical operating patterns very closely, I’ve added some free-lanced variations.  SJ Tower is the best example.  In reality, L&NE trains did not operate through SJ except for occasional detours, and SJ was a simple, backwoods manual crossing protected by a tilt-board.  Instead, I model this as a mechanical plant converted to electrical operation.  SJ has a 20-lever machine based on Erie practice.  (Erie controlled Susquehanna until the latter gained its independence in 1940.)

This is my second Susquehanna layout.  The old layout participated in ProRail 2007.  Soon after, John Rogers, Ted Pamperin and beer persuaded me to build a new layout.  It’s been under construction since 2009.  The layout has a point-to-point, double-deck design.  Free-standing benchwork uses a novel L-girder and partition construction.  Track uses ME code 70/83 flextrack laid on Homabed over camper tape subroadbed.  The substrate is 1” extruded foam.

Operations require a dispatcher, an operator/towerman, and six road crews.   A second dispatcher allows me to divide Susquehanna and L&HR duties, but this is not essential to operation. 

I use Digitrax UT4D radio throttles and four-cycle waybills.  The interlocking at SJ Tower runs on Signals by Spreadsheet software.  Mike Burgett is building the model board and a remote switch panel.  The interlocking is equipped with two- and three-arm searchlight signals by Custom Signal Systems.

Jerry Dziedzic's NYS&W, L&HR



Last Updated: January 6, 2013 7:21 PM