Above: Rutland Yard on the NEB&W layout. Photo Credit: Jonathan Harger

New England, Berkshire, and Western Day Trip
MPRR Club Trip Archive

New England, Berkshire, and Western Day Trip Photo Gallery

Above: Club members explore Rutland Yard on the NEB&W. Photo Credit: Jonathan Harger

Below: Red Rocks on the NEB&W layout. Photo Credit: Jonathan Harger

Above: Jim Spavins (center) discusses the operations on the NEB&W layout. Photo Credit: Jonathan Harger

Below: Group Photo at Game Farm Road west of Selkirk Yard. Photo Credit: Jonathan Harger

Article By: Clark Pritchett

On Saturday April 30, seventeen people from the Mohegan Pequot Model Railroad Club went to Selkirk, Troy, and the suburbs of Albany in New York to see prototype and model railroads. We visited the CSX yard, Franz von Bank’s model railroad and the layout at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which was open to the public for the last time. In March, Jim Spavins, the President of the Rensselaer Model Railroad Society, invited the Mohegan Pequot Model Railroad Club up to the frozen tundra of Troy, NY, for a private open house to see their world famous layout. This may have been one of the last opportunities to see one of the country’s premier model railroads because open houses will be limited in the future. The layout is in the basement of Davidson Hall and features prototype scenes from New York and Vermont from the early 1950s. It has been featured in numerous model railroad magazines over the years. The RPI schedule limited the time that we had to see Franz’s layout. (Maybe we can go again on the next trip to Selkirk). Although it drizzled and we were pressed for time, a good time was had by all.

Jonathan Harger describes his father-inlaw’s layout: "For those who visited Erika’s Father’s Marklin layout: the layout represents southern Germany (Swaben in Miniature) as it would look generally in the present, but with elements from the 30’s to the present. Franz started the layout in the sixties when Erika and her Mother came back from Germany with a small suitcase full of Marklin engines cars and track. When Franz and Erika’s Mother went back again shortly after we were married, we went to work painting and putting scenery in the area behind the village which was still plaster and board. Erika then made the curtains below the layout. Franz painted the walls and recently added the murals from Faller on the sides. About ½ of the old village and most of the area not in the modern portion are buildings that I have built over the years. If the roundhouse looked a little American in style, it is because I scratch built it the 1st year we were married. Franz has gone digital the last couple of years and is presently wiring the yard and roundhouse area for delta digital operation."

For more information on the New England, Berkshire, and Western and the Rensselaer Model Railroad Society, please visit their website here.

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