Dedicated to all the men and women, friends and followers of the Lehigh Valley Railroad's Auburn Branch. The project relies heavily on records, photographs, and actual history from Weedsport, Cayuga County, New York. Several primary resources, including the late Herb Trice, were instrumental in my uncovering the history regarding LV operations between Auburn and Weedsport. The timeframe is the late 1940's.
It was decided that Weedsport would be the first to be built for several reasons, notwithstanding that any construction had to be mobile, primarily for the simplicity of the track arrangement, and secondly because it afforded some unique modeling opportunities. It also fit into an overall scheme of ultimately having a point-to-point layout with actual interchanges at each end: New York Central in N. Weedsport, West Shore on the south side of town, and NYC and LV in Auburn. The northern and southernmost interchanges would be set up as staging yards. Each six-foot section of the layout would be portable, at least for now. Several different plans have been drawn up to fit into room configurations, all within a reasonable amount of floor space.
Some measure of imagineering and modeler’s license has been necessary simply because there are some areas that remain unknown to me, especially visually. Mr. Trice shared the track diagrams that he had of Weedsport and Auburn, but I only have the north end of Weedsport. They are quite detailed, so I’ve been able to get dimensions and other information. However, only a few pictures of the businesses or the right-of-way back then, at least in Weedsport, have been recorded.
One of my considerations had to be the era that I wanted to model. Had I been very true to the high point in terms of operation for this section of the LV, the choice would have been mid-1930’s. However, the decision was made to move ten years later to post-war 1940’s, and incorporate first generation diesels while keeping somewhat true to actual operations. Not the greatest of my concerns, as my real desire was to visually recreate the scene during that time, and yes, eventually, move some trains.