Friday 22 February 2019

A Final Look At The RPI Club Layout

This is a model of the steel mill at the North end of Troy. This area today is just a weed covered field a few foundations scattered about. The red brick building in the right hand corner of the photo still stands and is a museum.
The End Of The Line For A Great Don Janes

       Last November when George and I attended the Model RR EXPO in Albany we took in some layouts on the Sunday after the show ended.  One of the highlights was a visit to the Rensselaer Model RR Club in Trot, NY.  Although we did not know it at the time, it would be our last visit to the club as they were asked to vacate their location shortly after we were there. Hopefully they will be able to find a new location and rebuild an even better layout. 
      Over the years the club has created many great looking scenes based on prototype locations from around New England that they have worked into their fictitious railroad, the New England, Berkshire and Western RR.   Most of the structures had to be scratch-built to match the prototype and the results are amazing.  When we were there it was apparent that many of the older scenes were being rebuilt and freshened up after many years of dust buildup and everyday wear and tear. 
     I am very thankful that I was able to visit this amazing layout several times over the years.  It has always inspired me and has influenced many of the scenes I have tried to create on my own layout.

The club has built a beautiful rendition of the Troy Union Station.  This structure was torn down in the late 1950’s.
These great looking scratchbuilt structures represent some the old apartment buildings found throughout the city of Troy, NY
This large rail yard facility in Troy was fashioned after the Rutland’s yard in Rutland, VT
Here we see a very detailed scene at the car shops located at the Troy rail yards
Here is another example of some of the older structures in Troy, all scratch-built

This is a model of the lift bridge that carried the tracks over to Green Island
Lake George is nicely represented on the layout.  A D&H branchline used to serve this location
Whitman’s feed was located across from the Rutland RR station in North Bennington, VT. This is an exact replica of the actual structure as it looked in the 1950’s
) State Line Tunnel is on the New York/Massachusetts border and was owned by the Boston and Albany RR, now the CSX.  This is a very accurate rendition of the real tunnel.

The RPI club has done an amazing job of recreating the Red Rocks scene.  This is where the D&H hugged the steep cliffs of Lake Champlain
The ore mines at Tahawus, NY were once a very busy place and generated a lot of railway traffic
The next four photos are taken in various locations around the city of Chateaugay, a fictitious city created on the layout

One final view of a NYC freight train snaking along the Red Rocks area along the shores of Lake Champlain


  1. Sadly, I never saw the RPI club layout. I feel I've missed something important in life.

    Bill Moore

  2. Hi Bill:
    I have learned layouts and railroads do disappear even when they seem to have been around forever...sorry you missed out. I am sure their next venture will surpass what has been achieved in the past. Model railroading has come a long way since the original sections were built...George