model train set on track

The Scenery of the Pacific Southern Railway Company

e*Train Issue: Jun 2017   |   Posted in:

Interstate Commerce Commission / Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

By J.S. Halajko, TCA # 84-20653 and C.O. Pate III Summer 2017 

There is only one chartered HO Railroad in the State of New Jersey that is listed in the annuals of the Interstate Commerce Commission in Washington DC: The Pacific Southern Railway Company (know to the locals as Pacific Southern). See ICC documents above for more details.

The Pacific Southern is a HO scale model railroad located in a private home.  It is in a basement that is 90′ by 45′ with over 3,500 feet of hand laid track. For a train to run from one end to the other it has to travel around the room 2½ times and it takes about 20 minutes of running time. During a simple operating session there are 28 trains that depart from 6 locations over a one hour period with one coal over 85 cars long.

This article features the layout’s scenery shot before the movement of consists.  These trains are dispatched to maintain the busy lifestyle of the population serviced by the many diverse factories and businesses that are present throughout the layout. The movement of consists are by DCC operation with tower and yard operators to assure a clear path for the trains dispatched during an operating session.

The membership encourages novice DCC operators to learn how to control trains and welcomes them to operate club trains through DCC hand held throttles under supervision of a club member.

For 39 years, The Pacific Southern Railroad held annual shows for public viewing and the proceeds from the shows, of over $160 thousand, were donated to local charities. For the past decade the club has been in a conversion and restoration phase. During the new transition this year, the Pacific Southern has been open to the visitors by invitation only.

Readers who wish to organize a group tour of the layout should contact the club at the link below. They are always interested in sharing their love of the hobby with those who wish to become a member.

If you never controlled a DCC train this club is a must see and do. The best part is that the members don’t bite and love to share their love of the hobby with others.

Sign warning visitors

Now let’s take a look at the scenery. Please select each picture to see a larger version of the photograph.

Yard (Western End of Railroad)
Bank Tower and small town of Martinsville (dual main merges to single track as it heads east)
Two Passenger trains in Koehlstdat Station (Penn and Denver and RioGrande)
View East (Left track with bridge single track from Bank to Cliff; Double track left is main line east from Yard; Single track in middle is branch line; right dual tracks are main line loops at Bortel station)
Shore tower where two main lines are crossed by Branch line as it heads into Harpers Ferry
Islander ferry waiting for freight cars delivered to Harpers Ferry
Port island in new room
Lavin Yard on Southport island
Engine house that services Southport
Southport Station
Krulish Yard
Western tracks entering Nassau Tower and some freight tracks in Thomas Yard
Main line loop at Dell Valley and Thomas Yard on the right
Small sidings that are part of Thomas Yard
Engine turn table located near Southport Station
Location #18 – Green Mountain Trestle approach to Cliff Tower
Location #18 – Engine facility at Green Mountain Yard
Location #17 top – Green Mountain station in distance and Green mountain Yards; below are main line track at Carlton
Location #14 – Town houses in the community of Port
Location #14 – Large warehouse constructed on a field there the Pate Brothers Circus had visited located at Circus Jct.
Location #13 – Passenger trains waiting to depart Southport
Location #16 – Passenger train in Southport Station
Location #14 – Country courthouse and trolley maintenance shop in port
Location #18 – Main line tracks heading to Carlton near entrance to PSR
Location #17 – One end of the large Carlton Mills (lumber mill that shows the transition from circular saws to band saws / building made from one piece of wood.
Penn steam engine
Location #11 – Steel mill located at Cliff Tower
Location #16 – Engine House at Southport
Location # 20 – Krulish Yard
Location #21 – Westen end of Thomas Yard

The custom of the Pacific Southern is to dispatch the Circus Train as the last train to run at the end of an operating session.

Location #6 – Close up of one of many Pate Bros. Circus train flat cars

In the future the items pictured below may return to the layout after many years on tour…

Pate Bros Circus in traveling case
Aerial view of the Pate Bros Circus 3 ring big top
Inside the PBC Big Top … the Lions and Tigers perform in the center ring cage
Behind the Circus Big Top the elephants get set for their entrance …

For more information on the club and its history go to the Pacific Southern Railroad web site … There are many pictures and YouTubes views filmed by Bill Fagan (4/29/2017).

On behalf of the TCA, I wish to thank Carl Pate for his assistance in generating this article. You can learn more about Carl’s other hobby at