Yesterday on the Hitop….

Yesterday we were out and about along the Secondary. We thought we’d check out Spring Street yard first to see if we could catch the Nitro job, and we did. We caught him just departing the yard headed back to Nitro with a PC 40 ft. boxcar and one scrap gon for Paxton Salvage:

We lucked out today seeing the old NYC transfer caboose bringing up the rear of the train. We hopped in the car and followed the turn back to Nitro.

Along the way, we caught the Nitro job stopping at Holsum Baking to switch. In talking to the friendly crew, we learned they were going to spot the empty PC boxcar at the loading door for loading with scrap cardboard and pallets. Before they could spot the boxcar however, they were to move out three empty hoppers from track 1 to be picked up later going back to Spring Street, then pull the two empty syrup tanks on track 2 to also go back to Spring Street on the return trip. Photos below of this activity:

When the crew was finished with Holsum, they proceeded west to Nitro to switch Paxton Salvage. Unfortunately we couldn’t get close enough today to get any photos. In the meantime, we heard over the scanner some activity in Dickinson yard, so we raced back east to catch this action.

When we arrived, we caught the old battered 5628 ready to depart westbound with a solid train of chemical tanks for Allied Chemical, which would of course be dropped off in Spring Street for the Nitro job. In the middle of the consist however were two brand new “beer can” AE Staley tanks bound for Holsum Baking. AE Staley is a huge processing plant in Decatur, Illinois, served by several railroads including Penn Central. Photos below of the Spring Street turn right before departing:

That’s it for today. Stay tuned!


  1. Hi Steve,

    Great job on your layout !
    Have been following your posts all along.
    When MR mag published the original plan/series, I always thought it would be a great plan to adapt & build.
    You have more than proven so, especially with the documented expansions.

    I was saddened to read your post concerning certain detractors; pay no mind to them !
    It’s obvious you enjoy what (& how) you’re doing with the hobby.
    That’s all that matters, & you are doing quite well !

    Best wishes,
    K.L. Smith


    1. Thank you for the kind words and encouragement, they are most appreciated! One idea for this website, and for my article in MR was and is to show what can be done with smaller layouts, and the fun that can be had with them, and to possibly inspire some to build that layout. It’s gratifying to learn from some private messages and emails that I have done just that.
      I’ll carry on regardless, as I’m having fun….👍


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