Pawtucket - Central Falls Station
O-Gauge Model of Pawtucket-Central Falls, RI Station Reflects Unusual Over-the-Track Design
NMRC O-Gauge Model
In early 2015, the Nauset Model Railroad Club’s O-Gauge team began a project to improve the layout while making it more attractive and interesting to both club members and visitors. It was a 13-month undertaking that had four main objectives:
Construct a new elevated station modeled after the Pawtucket-Central Falls station of a century ago,
Implement an advanced track layout including spurs, sidings, a more effective yard, and multiple cross-overs,
Create a trolley line from a new village depot to the lower level of the Pawtucket station, and
Establish a village in between the two stations with structures and supporting scenery.
The Prototype Station
Originally built in 1915-16 by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, the station was a replacement for two separate stations in Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island. It opened for passengers on June 16, 1916, and had two island platforms each serving one center main track and one siding (four tracks in all).
After decades of use, the station building itself was in such disrepair that it was closed in 1959. Passengers then had to access the platforms via stairways from the street. New Haven trains, and later MBTA Commuter Rail trains continued to stop at the platforms until early 1981. During the Northeast Corridor Electrification Project in the 1990s, the station tracks were changed to increase clearances for the Acela Express to tilt when going around a curve.
The building was considered for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, but a decision was deferred due to concerns about its structural integrity. Since then various commercial uses for the station have been proposed but none has been implemented.
Building the Model
This series of photos shows how the project was completed: