Off my trolley – branchlines 2 – North Hollywood

One of my many diversions away from railways is reading (almost anything).  This includes crime fiction.  One of my favourite authors is Michael Connelly and his Harry Bosch police procedurals – set in Los Angeles, and especially in the Hollywood area.  Since developing and interest in interurbans I have been rereading his books.  And I have been delighted to find that I know a lot of the locations of the action, due to the Pacific Electric having a had line in that area – albeit closed by the year of the novel.

So North Hollywood and Lankershim were familiar due to crime as well as an interesting railroad location.  The Pacific Electric had run north from the city centre, with double track, then singled and turned a sharp left to run parallel with the Southern Pacific Burbank branch.  There was a shared station at North Hollywood, although the PE took the passengers and SP the freight.  For here the PE would go due west, then turn north to cross over the Burbank Branch by a 90 degree crossing before entering Van Nuys (the final terminal for the line for a number of years after closures).  The real branch line continued northeast to San Fernando and to interchange with the SP again.

The portion of valuation map (enlarge for a clearer look, PE in red and SP in blue) and sketch map below shows the approximate track layout, although the track layout varied over the years.


Map by Jack Neville

The SP has a single long loop with industries and team track space strung along it.  The PE has an interesting double loop, that also gave the SP access to spot a freight car on the left hand loop.  There is a single siding to the east, accessing industry.  To the west (left) the valuation map shows a single track.  It was originally double tracked, but after the washout of a bridge along the line, the track was singled and the SP and PE shared a single line for some distance.

Here are a some pictures of the station (sorry if these are yours, I saved them onto my hard disk at some point)…..

 nohooutbound n hol pe383 N HOLLY  medium_7707080210 medium_7707079694

I had been wondering about a model of the station, but I couldn’t find plans of the depot – , although it is a standard SP structure – despite enquiries.  However, Google showed that the depot is being restored as a community building and an email to the architect resulted in a set of drawings by return.

nh depot

I thought of this as a potential modular layout – with a transition board each end, it could happily fit in a N-Club double track modular layout.  However, I am still trying to compress the track layout in a pleasing manner.  The original is at least 16 foot long in N-gauge – too large for my loft space.  And the buildings are very scattered – the interesting industry on the SP loop all lies off to the right (east) except for a lumberyard west of the station.  I have a reasonable plan for a model cut down to 12 foot, as below, but less than this is tricky without losing the character of the place.  Three ideas are shown below.  I’ll keep working on it I guess….




For more information, go again to Bruce Petty’s site, or for pictures to the Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society.

About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
This entry was posted in Layout design, Traction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Off my trolley – branchlines 2 – North Hollywood

  1. Pingback: Off my trolley – Southern Pacific San Fernando Valley branch | esngblog

  2. Pingback: Off my trolley – North Hollywood revisited | esngblog

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