NEB&W Guide to Red Rocks (Willsboro Bay, NY)

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NEB&W Layout Table of Contents

Introduction & Overview

  • The village is named after William Gilliland, who starting purchasing land in the area in 1765. (Could have been called "Gillilandland" or "Billsboro", instead, but wasn't.)

  • For seven miles along the shore of Willsboro Bay on Lake Champlain, the D&H RR hugs the rugged cliffs about 100 feet above the dark blue water. This area, known to railfans as "Red Rocks," has long been a favorite for its dramatic scenery, as the trains snake along at 20 m.p.h. The rocks up close are a bright orange-red, streaked with black, but fade to a muted gray in a panoramic view. The painted "water" is temporary until we get the courage to pour the polyester casting resin as has been done elsewhere on the layout.

  • From Jim Shaughnessy's Delaware & Hudson:
"The Bouquet range meets the lake with high bluffs extending along the bay for 7 miles. Here the drillers had to be let down 100 feet on ropes from the top of the ledge to prepare the blasts. When the charges were fired, tons of rock would cascade another hundred feet down into the black depths of Willsboro Bay. Despite the difficulties encountered, this section is one of the most beautiful and thrilling bits of railroad in the Northeast."

  • You can still ride through here on Amtrak's Adirondack.

  • The D&H's Traffic Report for 1951 had Willsboro on two pages.

  • Topographic maps.

Panoramic Views

  • The cliffs as seen from across the bay.

The Cliffs

  • This photo by Jim Shaughnessy was THE view we wished to capture on the layout.

The "Big Cliff"

North End of the Tunnel

  • The tunnel was only 606 feet long.

South End of the Tunnel

  • The south end of the tunnel (which is vaguely modeled on our layout at the north end of the scene).

Model Views

Other Cliff Sections Not Modeled

  • The tracks skirt the rugged cliffs for about 7 miles. Here are other sections that capture the effect, but aren't modeled directly on the layout.

Willsboro, Not Being Modeled

NY&PA Pulp & Paper Co.

  • The NY & PA Pulp & Paper Co. had a large plant here, down from the main line. (It closed in the 1960's.) For more info, see this section.