NEB&W Guide to Johnsonville, NY

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NEB&W Layout Table of Contents


  • Johnsonville, NY was located on the Boston & Maine, where the passenger line split off the main to run down to Troy. Since the Rutland had trackage rights over the B&M to get to the Troy station, there are numerous photos of Rutland trains passing the Johnsonville tower. So we decided to model the scene for our branch to supposedly goes to Glens Falls. The truss bridge that carries Rt. 67 over the track was a good way to disguise the track disappearing behind the hills.

  • A bird's eye engraving of Johnsonville c. 1887. There were two paralleling lines, the Troy & Boston and the Boston, Hoosac Tunnel & Western. Frank Losaw, Jr. pointed out the tracks curving down to the bottom of the image were the Greenwich & Johnsonville. The tracks were removed July 1932, thus ending service between those two villages.

  • The topographic map, c. 1949. (It indicates the line to Troy was built first - it is in such a straight line with the main east of the junction - and the line to Mechanicville came in later.)

  • The signal diagram also shows the tracks. (The tower building I've indicated in red, the depot, in green.)
Note that there was a separate eastbound and westbound line. Looks like the eastbound followed the old BHT&W while the westbound was the T&B. (This was a matter of better grades for each.) As it was set up, this is sort of "lefthanded running". The two mains came together and then the line split between Troy and Mechanicville.

  • Jeff English took some field notes of the scene in 1981.

Interlocking Tower

The Highway Bridge

  • The bridge was built in 1930.

  • Ray Hessinger found us this 1985 bridge inspection report by New York State Dept. of Transportation. ("N.T.S." means not to scale.)

  • A view from the top of the bridge looking southwest (in other words, what you would see through the bridge from the main).

On The Layout

  • This area was the site of our gold spike ceremony in 1982.

  • Our model scene, as photographed by Lou Sassi and used on the cover of Mainline Modeler (used with permission). The prize-winning model of the tower was scratchbuilt by Jeff English.

  • The road overpass is being kitbashed from a Central Valley kit which is only about 20 scale feet too short for the prototype. (You can see our problem with trying to take a photo here as the backdrop bends away.)

  • FYI - The N Scale Architect has done a kit for this specific tower. See their website for more info.

Johnsonville, Not Being Modeled

  • A view from the tower of a Rutland train heading to Troy. In the distance you can see the depot, water tower, etc.


  • The B&M's depot was east of the tower. It still stands (2003), but is a private residence.

Freight House

  • The B&M freight house. Frank Losaw, Jr. said it located about 200 to 300 feet northeast of the depot.
Losaw pointed out the tracks curving to the left were the Greenwich & Johnsonville Railway. The tracks were removed July 1932, thus ending service between those two villages.
In this c. late-steam color photo, I believe that is the freight house way to the left. If so, it appears to be greenish, perhaps the D&H two-tone green scheme, not the B&M maroon and cream scheme. This would suggest the freight house was a D&H one, not a B&M one.

Water Tower

  • There seem to have been a number of water towers. In the 1880's, it looks like there was an enclosed one, in a rectangular enclosure.

  • A decade or two later, the tower is exposed (probably a bigger one).

  • Another water tower with a shed. This might be the D&H's tank for servicing their Greenwich & Johnsonville locos, since the photo is in the D&H archives.

  • In late steam days, there was a water tower opposite where the first one stood. This is clearly B&M, being painted B&M maroon.

Gate Tower

  • There was an elevated gate tower just east of the depot. It was no longer needed when they changed the grade crossing to a road underpass.


  • There was a small turntable here, manually operated. I think this was part of the G&J/D&H, since the line terminated here.

More Info

  • Brian Chapman said at the site, David Insley uploaded 22 Valuation and track profile maps of the Johnsonville plant.