PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

Jerry Britton's PRR Middle Division in HO Scale

The Allegheny Midland (AM) was the model railroad of Tony Koester, a prolific author in the model railroad press. Tony championed Allen McClelland's "beyond the basement" concept for layout staging... setting the model railroad into real world geography where it interchanges with other railroads.

Track Plans

  AM Plan coal fork ext 1The Allegheny Midland's Coal Fork Extension is just that... an extension of the model railroad in the adjoining room.


In 1968, the AM merged with the Virginian and Ohio (Allen McClelland) and Virginia Midland (Steve King) to form the Appalachian Lines.

13701Tony Koester’s well-known HO scale Allegheny Midland layout is analyzed in detail in this fascinating book. Built over the course of 25 years, the layout has been the subject of many Model Railroader magazine articles over the years. Here, Koester looks at lessons learned during the construction and operation of the Allegheny Midland. Using the author’s original photography, he highlights many how-to lessons from its construction, along with the wisdom and perspective that comes from reviewing what worked and what didn’t on one of the largest and most notable layouts in the country.

Kalmbach Publishing


Steam Locomotives
No. Type Notes
170-179 4-6-4 Reserved for NKP L-1 class Hudsons.
200-299 0-8-0 USRA design.
500-599 2-8-2 Reserved for NKP H-5 and H-6 Mikados.
600-699 2-8-2 USRA design light Mikado.
700-790 2-8-4 NKP S, S-1, S-2 and S-3.
800-839 2-8-4 Reserved for ex-W&LE NKP 801-832.
840-849 4-8-2  
850-855 4-8-4  
900-919 2-8-0 Reserved for NKP 2-8-0's.
920-929 2-6-6-2 C&O H-6.
930-949 2-6-6-2 USRA design C&O H-5.


Diesel Locomotives
Builder Model Rostered AM # AL # Notes
ALCO S-2   10-19  X  
ALCO T-6   30-39  
F-M H10-44   40-49  
Baldwin AS-616   100-109  
ALCO RSD-4   110-119 1640-1649  
ALCO RSD-12   120-129 1880-1899  
      180-189   NKP PA-1.
ALCO PA-1   190-199  X  
ALCO RS-3   200-209 1630-1639  
ALCO RS-11   220-229 1820-1829  
ALCO C420   400-409  X  
ALCO C430   410-419 3100-3109   
ALCO C628   500-509  
ALCO C630   510-509 3000-3009  
ALCO C636   511-519 3610-3619   
EMD GP35   610-619 2530-2539  
EMD GP38   630-639 2020-2029  
EMD GP38-2   640-649 2030-2039  
GE U36C   700-709  
GE U30B   800-809  
GE U33B   810-819  
EMD MP15AC   X 1595-1599  
ALCO RS-36   X 1850-1859  
ALCO C420   X 2010-2019  
GE U30B   X 3010-3019  
EMD SD40T-2   X 3070-3079  
EMD SD40-2   X 3080-3089 Intermountain produced a ready-to-run version.
GE U33C   X 3300-3309  
GE U36B   X 3310  


Freight Rolling Stock
No. ARR Class Type Notes

The Allegheny Midland, or Midland Road, was Tony Koester’s excellent coal-hauling model railroad before he decided to model the NYC&StL, or Nickel Plate Road. These AAR 70-ton, offset-side triple hopper cars are from a series of 500 cars numbered 39500-39999, and were built for the AM in early 1948, when the NKP bought a similar series of hopper cars. They lasted into the 1970s on the AM, and a few may still be seen in operation on various model railroads today.

Alleghany Midland Hopper

Accuraii’s 7500-series hopper car.

87600-87799   GB  Gondola, Steel

As the 1940’s began, the Allegheny Midland needed new gondolas to handle war-time increases in freight traffic. In March, 1942, the AM purchased 150 AAR Class GB, 41’- 6” inside-length steel gondolas, with fixed ends and solid bottoms, from the Ralston Steel Car Company. After the war ended, many of the original gondolas were in bad shape. The AM purchased a follow-on order of 50 additional cars from Ralston in December, 1946. The cars, painted black with white lettering, were numbered in AM series 87600-87799, and had a nominal capacity of 50 tons. In 1953, some cars of the original order were rebuilt by the AM’s Sunrise car shop. Many of these cars were interchanged with other Eastern railroads in the Appalachian region and Midwestern states. The last car was retired in 1975, although several gondolas continued to be used as MOW rail and tie cars after that date. 


Accurail’s 3700-series 41’- 6” steel AAR gondolas with fixed ends and solid bottoms.


Paint Schemes

Rolling Stock 

The Cincinnati Division 7 of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) frequently runs officially approved rolling stock.