Research · Trackwork

Prototype Track

One of my goals on the D&NE is to bring the trackwork up to a higher standard. I am going to include switch details and joint bars. Color and texture are important too for both ties and rail.

The D&NE is a circa 1953 shortline not unlike the W&OD, StJ&LC, M&WR or, for that matter, the B&M mogul branches. As such, it is laid in 75# rail on softwood ties with no tie plates. I took a trip to nearby Wilton, NH to survey the trackwork on the B&M Hillsboro branch (now Pan Am). Some of the track has been upgraded, particularly at new industrial sidings and road crossings. There you’ll see heavier rail and tie plates.  Admittedly, the Hillsboro branch has been sporadically upgraded throughout the last 60 or so years but a short walk will usually land you back in the land of light rail and rotten ties. One thing that stands out to me is that switches have tie plates under the points and frog.

I think I’ll take another expedition farther out past Lyndeborough to see if I can find trackwork in a more primitive condition.


Here’s a transition to heavier rail at a siding location.



Looks like there’s a tie plate on this rotten tie.


Color and texture.


More color and texture.


West passing siding switch in Wilton. Lots of tie plates. Were they there in 1953?



Overview of that switch. Recent tie replacement and ballast likely the work of the Milford & Bennington when it was hauling gravel from a Lyndeborough quarry to a batch plant in Milford.




Frog area of that turnout.


The points. Notice the joint bar used as a  strap.





3 thoughts on “Prototype Track

  1. I love how you are looking at the prototype for things like rail weight, tie color and ballast. Copying prototype guard rails is a super touch to connect you track to old B&M right of way. Too bad a B&M mogul wasn’t imported during heyday of brass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some folks out this way have converted Lionel B&M moguls to 2 rail. A fellow down Baltimore way (name escapes me) has done quite a few. To be honest, I love the lines of the Wabash mogul, always have, over the B&M B-15.


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