Bay Ridge Model Railroad Club

The Bay Ridge Model Railroad Club was given notice to vacate the premises that they have occupied for over 70 years. We are raising funds to disassemble and move the layout.

We have found a new home! The Trolley Museum of New York has agreed to give us a new home! The Bay Ridge Model Club will be moving to Kingston, NY!

This is the biggest change in our 70+ year history, but it will ensure the layout will survive for years to come!

Please continue donating. This will be a very expensive move!

NY1 News Story by Roger Clark

PIX 11 News Story by Greg Mocker

Our history:

The Bay Ridge Model Railroad Club, inc. organized in 1946 is the merger of two former Model Railroad Clubs, The Brooklyn Model Railroad founded in 1932 and the Shore Haven Central founded in 1936. The Present Club was formed in 1947 and incorporated in 1955 as a non-profit organization to construct, maintain, operate and display the Central Connecting Railroad also the Central City Traction Company and to provide recreation for the members and guests in the Hobby of Model Railroading and Trolley. The club quarters of the organization are at 28 Marine Ave., Brooklyn, New York 11209 and occupies a space 30 feet x 60 feet.

The Railroad is a true scale model built to the scale of 1/4 inch equals one foot which is also known as Scale "O" Gauge and is 1/48th the size of the prototype. The layout is a permanent installation on which work was started in 1946.

The supporting structure was designed by one of the members and is an innovation in itself, it is made of one inch angle iron supported by 1/2 inch conduit legs which are mounted on specially made anchorages. A 5/8 inch thick plywood top is then attached to the iron framework resulting in a very durable and strong benchwork.

The trackwork is built by using 3/8 Upson Board beveled and attached to the plywood top. Liquid glue then spread on the track board, ties laid in place and ballast is spread and tamped down. All trackage used is .158 brass rail, and the third rail is code 100 HO rail mounted on specially made brass third rail chairs. All track is hand spiked,using four spies to each tie. All switches are custom built and there are approximately 124 of them.

The electrical control system was designed by a member and installed by the members of the club. The complete main-line is controlled automatically. This system is known as ATC (Automatic Train Contro). 12 Volts DC is used to propel the locomotives; 24 Volts on the signal rail to actuate the relays controlling the automatic signal system; 12 Volts to operate the switch motors and 3 Volts for LEDS (Light Emitting Diodes) in the signal housing on the signal bridges. The trains control the signals and these in turn control the following train by adjusting the voltage on the third rail. Approximately 500 relays are used under the layout to control the trains in the above manner. It is the only ATC system of this type in existence on any model railroad. Tower men are placed at junction points on the railroad. These men can control the trains from their respective locations when necessary and perform duties such as switching, yard entry or yard exit from the main line. The freight and passenger terminals are under manual control.

The railroad has a dispatcher who can control a Train anywhere on the main-line by cutting out the ATC section. He can stop, start or back up a train manually from the Dispatcher's Cab. The Dispatcher's Cab is also equipped with an occupancy chart or Indication Board which indicates by illuminated lights the position of all trains on the layout.

The locomotives are built or have been rebuilt from kits or raw materials. They are powered by Permanent Magnet Motors and may take as long as a year to build. There are locomotives of Steam, Diesel and Electric type, and they run in size from small switching engines to to the large Articulateds. The cars also are built from kits or raw materials and there are some 250 of them running on the Bay Ridge Model Railroad Club layout. All rolling stock is owned by the members and is built and maintained by them.

The Narrow Gauge Division is also built to 1/48th the size of the prototype, but the track gauge is 3 foot between the rails instead of the 4 foot 8 1/2 inches as is the rest of the railroad. It also has its own 12 volt power supply and operating personnel.

The layout, the track, structure, scenery, bridges, and buildings are owned by the club itself, and all have been custom built by club members.

The Central City Traction Co. is a separate operating unit. It has its own right of way, and power supply which is also 12 Volt DC and is built to the scale 1/4 inch equals one foot, the same scale as the Railroad. The trolleys are built by the members and maintained by them. The Traction Co. has its own operating personnel.

Donations (0)

  • James Marks 
    • $100 
    • 15 d
  • Irwin Davis 
    • $20 
    • 5 mos
  • Paul Lascari 
    • $5 
    • 5 mos
  • David Mackey 
    • $25 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 6 mos
See all


Mark Wolodarsky 
Brooklyn, NY
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