History Garden State Central
Model Railroad Club

Railroad History

The Garden State Central is a heavy duty class I railroad. The mainline runs from Jersey City, NJ to Binghamton, NY. It is not a model of any specific prototype line, but rather draws on the typical characteristics of what are known as the "anthracite" railroads ( CNJ, LV, DL&W, L&NE and Erie ). Both the physical and operational traits of the GSC have evolved from many field trips to these lines. While Conrail has swallowed up almost everything in the areas that we model, the GSC is presumed to have remained an independent railroad.

The eastern terminus of the GSC is located across the North River from New York City at Jersey City, NJ. Dockside facilities include a coal dumper, car float, and a container port. Adjacent Elizabethport yard supports these major freight generators as well as the substantial interchange traffic with other railroads in the area. The passenger terminal at Jersey City has five platform track, a mail and express track and three storage tracks. The Communipaw engine house services locomotives for the area.

Heading west, the next town modeled is Phillipsburg, NJ. What we have done here is model a composite of "P'burg" and sister city Easton, Pa., combining elements of both towns. Prominent features here are the Morris Canal Plane and the railroad station. The station is a mirror image of Lehigh Valley's Easton structure. A coal transfer to the canal is located above the river bank.

Continuing on we next come to Allentown and Bethlehem. This is the hub of the railroad. There is a large classification yard along the freight line that sorts the traffic, forwarding it on to its proper destination. Passenger trains call at a four track through station, most of them do a bustling head end business here. The Bethlehem Engine Terminal includes a shop that keeps GSC motive power finely tuned.

Next stop, Jim Thorpe. The Nesquehoning Valley Branch diverges from the main line east of the station. The branch reaches into the mountains to tap several coal mines. It also serves a lumber mill and a few smaller industries. There are several industries in Jim Thorpe to keep the local switching crew busy. Leaving town the mainline plunges into the heart of the Poconos, passing a large coal mine at Fraser before entering the long bore at Tunnel. ( Clever name huh? But don't blame us, CNJ did it first. )

Exiting the tunnel, the tracks reach Ashley and Wilkes-Barre. Ashley is the home of Blue Coal, a major shipper for the GSC. Close by the Wilkes-Barre station are several breweries. Heading north, the Delaware and Hudson joins up at Dupont for the run to Scranton via GSC trackage rights. The interurban cars of the Laurel Line compete for passengers between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton.

Coming out of the short tunnel at Nay Aug, the tracks cross Roaring Brook. Curving parallel to the brook, the right of way uses a fill to keep the railroad from tying up city traffic. Scranton Station has two platform tracks and a couple of tracks for handling mail and express. Just west of the station, at Bridge 60, the D&H goes its own way again. The GSC again turns north and threads Liggetts Gap on the way to Binghamton.

The yard at the west end of the line does double duty as Binghamton, NY (GSC) and Taylor, Pa. (D&H). It contains a stub classification yard and a through yard.

Go to Club History

Go back to History Index

Go back to GSC Home

hits since 6/18/1999