Virtual Layout Tour : Locomotive Facilities

Locomotive Facilities
The Diesel Facility

Diesel Facility

This is the west side of the Diesel Facility seen from Albatross Yard. Photo by Paul Dlugos.

This wide view from 2003 shows the entire structure, fuel storage tanks, and piping system over the Steam Facility leads to the track where the tank cars are unloaded. Photo by James Lauser.

Locomotive Facilities
The Steam Facility

This photo is taken from the Dispatcher’s operating pit. The Dining Car Facility is on the left and the Car Shop is in the the background on the right. New York Central 4-8-4 Niagara #6001 is about to roll forward off of the turntable toward the Coaling Tower. Photo by Timothy McKenna.

A view of the large Coaling Tower with the Turntable, Dining Car Facility, and back side of Jersey City Terminal in the background. Note the two water stand pipes and the oil storage tank.

The Garden State Northern boasts a large locomotive maintenance facility conveniently located between the east end of Albatross Yard and the Jersey City Passenger Terminal. This diesel facility, scratch-built by former member Jack Mason in 1997, is marked by an engraving over the main doors. It features an extremely detailed two-track locomotive shop with elevated platforms and inspection pits, capable of servicing up to eight locomotives simultaneously. A third track around the building can serve as a runaround, inbound, or outbound track, depending on how the hostlers set up the operation. At the west end of the facility, there is an extensive fueling and sanding station, linked by pipes to large diesel oil storage tanks and a fuel pumping station, all of which were also hand-built by Jack.

The steam facility includes a 134-foot-long turntable, sufficient to turn a Big Boy or a pair of E8s. Both Albatross Yard and the Jersey City Terminal have direct access to the turntable. The roundhouse features six stalls and numerous garden tracks. The massive coaling tower can dispense coal into locomotive tenders on three different tracks. Coal is unloaded at an elevated dump behind the facility and hoisted to the top to fill the tower. A large water tank supplies several standpipes in the facility, and an oil tank with a separate filling apparatus serves special oil-powered locomotives. Notably, when the turntable was in dire need of repair and the old plaster cast turntable pit was out of round, the late member Bill Weisse, a master carpenter, carved a brand new perfectly round wooden turntable pit. The turntable is named in his honor and marked with a sign.

Adjacent to the roundhouse is a facility for cleaning, stocking, and preparing meals for dining cars on outgoing long-distance passenger trains. A car shop for light repairs to rolling stock is also part of the complex, with an old crane parked next to it, ready to be deployed in the event of an incident on the line.

Historic Photos

This is an original Virtual Tour photo from the Spring of 1999 taken from the Dispatcher’s operating pit. The tracks leading off to the left are the Albatross switching leads. The tracks in the far left are part of the CNJ Passenger Terminal. This scene looks very different today, especially at the Passenger Terminal.

Diesel Facility at night

This is the east face of the scratch built Diesel Facility. One of the large diesel oil storage tanks is visible in the background to the left.


Virtual Layout Tour Index
Albatross Yard 
Locomotive Facilities
Jersey City Terminal
PETE Tower