Virtual Layout Tour : Norristown

Norristown & Norristown Junction
“Home of Joe Shorts”

An Erie 0-8-0 crosses the GSN main heading north on the OC&P. A New York Central coach is spotted on the station track between the GSN main and the interchange tracks to the left. The other interchange track, which comes off the gauntlet track at Pete’s Viaduct, runs across the back of the photo.

The Conte Luna Macaroni Factory, which exists in the real Norristown, Pennsylvania, and Patriot Pickle are two of five industries served by the OC&P at Norristown. Note the old OC&P coach now used as a small office at the junction.

The Santa Fe Super Chief cruises westbound through Norristown. Note the completed electrification over the Norristown industrial tracks as well as the searchlight signals on the mainline.

A different Santa Fe passenger train rolls westbound through town on the GSN main.

The Otter Creek & Perry uses the Garden State Northern mainline to get from Perry to its own tracks at Norristown Junction before heading north to Crystal Lake and Otter Creek. There are a pair of crossovers here, and a pair of diamonds [crosstracks] where another spur of the OC&P crosses over the GSN main. The west entrance to Albatross Yard is also controlled from NR Tower. Located in the middle of the interchange tracks is NR Tower, governing all train movements on the mainline east of the area controlled by Perry Tower and west of the area controlled by PETE Tower. We suggest that you first continue touring up to Crystal Lake Junction, the first of several locations on the OC&P, before continuing on to the city of Norristown and points west on the GSN main.

To the west of the Junction is an Industrial district of the town of Norristown, Pennsylvania. The largest industry in Norristown is Crude Tony’s, which is a dealer of diesel oil, propane, and exotic lubricants. Also located in the scene of Norristown are the Conte Luna Macaroni Factory and Patriot Pickle, pictured above, Coy Paper, and a coal dump. To serve these industries, the OC&P has a very small yard located in Norristown. A joint station serving both railroads sits right at the diamonds.

This is the intersection of Lafayette Avenue and DeKalb Street in Norristown, PA, as viewed from the Pennsylvania Railroad bridge. An exact likeness of this photograph and many others have been painted onto the backdrop in our HO scale Norristown, by our most artistically talented member Pete.
Photo Copyright ©2000 Anthony R. Tofani

If the Pennsy tracks had not been abandoned, the corner of Lafayette and Dekalb would look like this as shown in this photo of our HO model. Pete is truly amazing with his backdrops!

Learn more about Norristown’s railroad history: Norristown, PA – Then & Now

Historic Photos

This photo appeared on our Open House page for many years showing viewers of all ages watching and enjoying the trains. This is the only photo we have showing the original configuration of Norristown Juction.

A GSN 4-8-2 has just decended the mountain from Otter Creek and is crossing the GSN main at Norristown Junction. Anthony’s original night photograph shows the original location of NR Tower. The passenger station now occupies this location and the tower was moved twice, first across the tracks to the foreground and then to the east side of the GSN main.

The Otter Creek & Perry is busy at the reconfigured Norristown Junction in 2003. 2-8-0 #38 brings its train, en route to Perry, down the OC&P main toward the west connection with the GSN mainline while two OC&P switchers are busy at work. This photo predates Conte Luna, Patriot Pickle, electrification of the OC&P, and mountain scenery in the background. NR Tower is sitting in its second of three locations.

Virtual Layout Tour Index
Pete’s Viaduct

Virtual Layout Tour Index
Norristown Junction
Crystal Lake Junction