Lewistown, like dozens of other locales across the Pennsylvania Railroad system, had a track scale for weighing of cars loaded with bulk commodities. In the case of Lewistown, the predominant cargo was limestone from the multiple quarries on the Milroy Secondary.

This article follows my build of the Lewistown scale house and its gauntlet track. As an aside, this project will be presented towards my NMRA AP certificate in Civil Engineering which requires three scratch built track items. This project will address two: gauntlet switch and gauntlet track.


Early view of the Lewistown scale house. (2/21/20)

1956 view of the Lewistown scale house, Note the addition of the large doors and the replacement of the roof. (2/21/20)

Lewistown scale house circa 1981-82. (2/21/20)

Lewistown scale house circa 1981-82. (2/21/20)


PRR standard drawing 57186 "Scale, Track, Masonry for 46'" provides dimensional data for the scale pit. (prr.railfan.net) (2/21/20)

58460 BPRR standard drawing 58460-B "Scale, House & Beam Cupboard" provides dimensional data for the location of the rails. (prr.railfan.net) (2/21/20)
PRR Publication CT1000E (1923) "List of Stations and Sidings and Instructions for Making Reports to the Superintendent Car Service" contains a list of track scales. It shows Lewistown as having a 46' scale with a capacity of 200,000 pounds. Nearby Mt. Union's scale is also listed as 46' with a 200,000 pound capacity. For reference, at right, is a photo of the Mt. Union scale track, courtesy of Lee Rainey. (2/21/20) Picture1
IMG 4117When I originally constructed the benchwork and subroadbed, I cut out the area of the scale track. This was to enable me to construct the scale track on a workbench, rather than in place.

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To provide a more conducive subroadbed for spiking of hand laid track, the shape is transferred to two layers iof homabed and two layers of masonite. The resulting "sandwich" matches the thickness of the original plywood. The piece is test fit into the benchwork and the locations of the desired rails are marked on the ends. A straight edge is then used to mark the dead (non scale) rail locations across the homabed.

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The centerline of the scale "pit" is then determined by the center of the operator's windows in the scale house. The model was constructed by the late Joe Henry Kline.

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The length of the scale pit is known to be 51' (the 46' scale plus a 2'6" perimeter concrete wall). The outer extent of the pit wall is marked on the base. The first width of cork roadbed is then glued down using latex caulk. I use N scale cork roadbed on my secondary lines.