Layout Scenes: JunctionThis is North Vernon, Indiana, where a double main line is crossed at grade by a single line, with an interchange. The double track was part of the former Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) system from Cincinnati to St. Louis, originally the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad.
B&O shared North Vernon with both the PCC&StL (Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis RR, which became part of the Pennsylvania RR), and the CCC&StL (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, the "Big Four Railroad," part of the New York Central system.) The single crossing track was the PCC&StL. PCC&StL was originally the first railroad in Indiana, the Madison & Indianapolis, chartered in 1832. M&I merged with the Jeffersonville Railroad and formed the Jeffersonville, Madison & Indianapolis Railroad.
No longer visible is the CCC&StL track, long paved over. It entered this scene from the north, cutting across the northwest-southeast PCC&StL track approximately behind the white flatbed truck, then across the east-west B&O, west of the station. Not far to the south it connected with the O&M branch to Louisville, Kentucky. This created a complex interchange of a "Y" diverging south from the east-west O&M/B&O main, with both the CCC&StL and PCC&StL cutting through the upper right triangle of the "Y". The Big Four joined the right fork of the "Y" southwest of the still standing B&O station while the PCC&StL continued through, with the pictured interchange line curving to meet the O&M/B&O east of the station. The station itself was just inside the upper right of the "Y", bordered by the main line and eastern fork. This was a major junction of the railroads.
More than a junction
Today the CCC&StL is gone. A B&O caboose is preserved as a park display, with B&O mile posts and other items. Two lineside cabins are preserved but in need of repair. Two signals are present, with one seemingly in operation.
A very interesting article about North Vernon was published in the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society magazine The Sentinel, 2009 3rd Qtr issue.
Layout Scenes: Junction is the second of what I intend to be occasional features presenting interesting scenes to model on your layout or diorama. Whether commonplace or unique, modeling railroad scenes have many sources of inspiration. Whether well known locales like Starrucca Viaduct in Pennsylvania, Copper Creek Viaduct in Virginia, or the elevated grade crossing your backyard near Sambango, Angola, interesting scenes that we can model are almost infinite. I hope this small feature inspires you.
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