The Somerset County Traction System occupied an 27' x 25' area in Tom's basement. It featured handlaid track with 54 scratch-built turnouts and overhead wire used by both pole and pantograph collectors.
A DCC system by North Coast Engineering provided full operational flexibility to the seven operators who attended operating sessions. You may read more about the Somerset County Traction System in the April, 1996, Model Railroader magazine.
Click here to see the track plan to Tom's layout (280K).
|The sound of squealing brakes announces the arrival of the "Morning LCL" in Watchung. After dropping bundles of newspapers and picking up a package for Burnt Mills, this box
motor will head for its next stop in Warrenville.|
The box motor is from a Clouser resin body with a scratch-built 8-wheel flywheel drive. The station is from a Model Foundry kit.
|A visit to Warrenville Yard finds three motors in waiting. The left-most motor is an ex-Illinois Terminal Class C four-trucker. The center unit is a Baldwin-Westinghouse B-1 50 ton steeple cab. On the right is home-built #17 with a simulated wood cab. |
The IT four-trucker is from Ken Kidder with lots of added detail and four Wagner power trucks. The B-1 is from Northwest Short Line with Q-Car Company dual power trucks. The home-built has All-Nation chain-drive power trucks, a DC-86 motor and twin flywheels.
|Motor 194 drags a few gravel-laden hoppers through Somerville on its way northward to the unloading trestle in Berkeley Heights. #194 is a Miller model of a GE 40-ton unit. It is powered by a home-built 8-wheel drive using NWSL gearboxes, a Sagami motor and a flywheel. The hopper cars are scratchbuilt.|
|Box motor 379 eases out on the trestle over the Raritan River on its way to Millstone to drop LCL (less-than-carload) shipments for that community. |
The model was built from a LaBelle Woodworking kit, and the ends were modified by centering the door. A home-built flywheel drive powers an All-Nation chain-drive transmission in the baggage compartment.
|Ex-Philadelphia "Hog Island" car 983 gets ready to leave Millstone with the Burnt Mills local. The scratchbuilt corner tavern was built by George Weinheimer and is surrounded by kits from Downtown Deco. The trolley is from a Copetown Car Works kit and has a home-built flywheel drive.|
|Monster motor #58 follows the Piedmont & Northern practice of using old carbodies atop articulated truck frames. A Pittman freight motor body straddles two scratch-built truck frames, for a total of four Wagner power trucks. A steel weight enclosed in the body makes this one a real puller. She's easing out onto the transfer table at Manville.|
|One of the "Big Red Cars" of the Somerset County Traction Company pulls into Burnt Mills Station on Tom Piccirillo's O scale layout. The car was built from a LaBelle kit and the station is from Jaks Industries.|
|Dee's Dairy in Bound Brook provides plenty of freight traffic for the SCT. Reefers are iced in Raritan using blocks cut from the River in winter. The cars are loaded with milk cans at the dairy, then shipped to Berkeley Heights and unloaded at the bottling plant. The dairy is a factory kit by Precision Lasercraft; buildings in the background are by Jaks Industries. The water tower keeps Tom's living room from falling into the basement.|
|Here's the Evening LCL arriving at Berkeley Heights. Packages are transferred here to the cars of the interchanging Morris County Traction system. The freight shed is a kit by Jaks Industries.|