Now for a couple of simple ideas for Pacific Electric N-mod modules. I’ve selected two places where other lines crossed the four-track main line. The first of these, nearest Watts, is at Slauson Tower, where the ATSF Harbor branch crossed the PE. The ATSF paralleled Slauson Avenue, as can be still seen today on Google Earth, even when the rails are all gone. The delightful picture below shows a PE freight at the tower. Yes, the diesel units heading the train do have trolley poles – they were fitted to trip the train detection equipment. The junction from the PE to the south-east of Slauson Avenue was the junction to the PE Whittier and Yorba Linda line. It could be included as a dummy junction, but I would be tempted to leave it out and focus on the crossing.
To the north, not far south of Oscar’s Junction was Amoco Junction and tower. The distinctive lattice-built tower spanned all four tracks and watched over the crossing and junction to the major PE Butte Street Yard (to the east and fully redeveloped on the aerial photo below) and the PE Santa Monica freight branch to the west. The scene is made more interesting by the roads (Long Beach Avenue) lying both sides of the tracks. Long Beach Avenue extended (and still extends) all the way from Oscar’s Junction south to Slauson Avenue). Here, the interesting junction layout would have to be modelled, although it would again be a dummy.
As can be seen from the photos and from Google Earth, Long Beach Avenue is flanked by light industrial structures and residential bungalows. A chance for some good scenic modelling, and there are plenty of photos of the area available, although one might aim for ‘typical’ structures.
Finally, what would the modules look like. Here’s an idea. I’ve used 4′ modules to suit N-mod, but reduced the width to the N-club 400mm – it’s more portable and better suited to a linear scene like this. I’ve also moved the tracks in from the edge of the board closer to the N-club locations. This gives more room at the front of the layout and allows one to model the roads both sides of the track. One further idea would be to have three 2′ 8″ modules rather than two 4′ ones. This would still tie in with N-mod geometry, but the modules will fit easier in the small cars we have here in the UK. I’ve drawn it all like this below.