A SMS Rail crew prepares to drill inbound cars at the Pureland Industrial Park in Swedesboro, NJ.  Photo by Carl Perelman courtesy of

Below is a video I shot in 2009, showing an SMS Rail crew switching within the Pureland Industrial Park in Swedesboro NJ.  

Trackage at this end of the industrial park is very simple, nearly identical to the New Castle Industrial Park plan.  There is a mainline/interchange track, a siding used to store cars, and a warehouse spur (in this case the Home Depot Lumber Distribution Center).

A Conrail Shared Assets local shoved inbound cars onto the interchange track from the east.  The video opens with the SMS crew rolling up to the interchange from the west to classify and spot the cars.  The video follows the crew as they drill the cars via switchlist using the mainline and siding. 

As you watch the video, you'll notice a few interesting things:
  • Watching a savvy crew shift railcars can be fascinating.  Note how the conductor and brakeman work efficiently as a team.  One is making cuts and hitches, the other tends the main switch.  Later, the brakeman rides a few carlengths, then drops off  so that he is in a position to make a cut after the conductor makes the hitch.  Using similar practice, even small layouts like the NCIR can provide three people (engineer/conductor/brakeman) with an hour or more of fun. 
  • Notice how the crew begins by making the "big pull", then effectively builds two trains by dealing cars into the siding and  interchange track.  This method is much quicker than "cherry picking" individual cars, yet the shifting still takes some time.  And sorting the interchange was only half the day's work.  The crew still needed to pull the Home Depot spur, sort out empties vs. cars to be respotted, then shove the new loads and respots back into the warehouse.
So without further adieu:

SMS Baldwin 9069 from Jack Hill on Vimeo.

My goal is for the O Scale NCIR to give operators and viewers the same perspective as seen in the video.  The track is near eye level, resulting in a view like that of a conductor on the ground.  My main track and siding are on a convex curve, so I have to "walk the train" to find car numbers and make cuts.  The size of 1/48 scale locomotives and rolling stock nicely captures the mass and inertia of the real thing...i.e. sometimes I really do need to put slack on the pin to uncouple!

Until next time...


  1. Nice action! Thanks for posting it! Can't wait to see some video of NCIR in action.

  2. Hi Jack:
    Great video. Thanks for sharing.
    The SOUND is amazing, too... between the flange squeal, the general noise of trucks and draft gear, and - oh yeah - the locomotive, which sounds like it's trying to thrash itself apart. What a delightful racket!
    - Trevor

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