Blog entries from August 2017 and earlier have been migrated from a former site and many of the images are incorrectly linked. These will be repaired over time.

Over the past few weeks, interspersed with other projects, I managed to complete a home for my railroad's nerve center.

Underneath the future home of Standard Steel in Burnham, Pa., I had an "L" shaped area with no intended use. The tabletop level adjoined the main line near LEWIS tower. There were no prototypical opportunities for layout expansion, and I didn't want to waste the space on storage. Then it occured to me to create an operations area.

Last evening I completed the wiring to the newly laid track through Mann's Narrows through KV Junction. I now have about 60 feet of the Milroy Secondary laid, out of a total of about 100 feet. I have track laid from the east end of Burnham, through Yeagertown, Mann's Narrows, and KV Junction. A nice 12 foot lead is in place for KV staging, and a temporary connection bridges KV Junction to Milroy. (Reedsville, Honey Creek, and Naginey will be added later.)

I placed an InterMountain F7 on the rails and it ran superbly over the new track... with excellent slow speeds and no hiccups with the sound... Awesome!

Next up is the scenery base through Mann's Narrows. I have some supplies to secure at the Timonium show this coming weekend.

I'm hoping to begin mini-op sessions on the branch in the fall.

The Secretary of the Interior paid a visit to the Middle Division this past weekend. That's my wife, Michele, by the way. Appointments with fancy titles win points in this world of supervisors, dispatchers, yardmasters, and the like!

Anyway, it was several years ago when she indicated that I could make use of the entire basement if "that's what made me happy". Yes, yes! The basement is three rooms... the train room, a rec room, and a home office shared between myself and Michele.

The "plan" was to put in windows between rooms to extend the model railroad (eventually). Our use of the office is almost nil, now that she has a laptop for work and I had closed my side business. The children never use the rec room and the space lays wasted.

This past weekend, out of the blue, she said "Why don't you just take the walls down?" Are you kidding me?

I think she just got appointed for another four years!



Work continues on the HO scale Middle Division...

Since last report I have added the backdrops to the framework extensions and painted them sky blue.

I've built the framing that connects that extension with the upper level of the existing framing... in other words, the area of Mann's Narrows that exists between Yeagertown and KV Junction. KV Junction is a few hundred yards railroad west of Reedsville.

Today was a landmark... the first train under power on the new model railroad!

Today was a landmark... the first train under power on the new model railroad! PRR NW2 9249 led the first revenue into State College over the Bellefonte Central Railroad.

The first train under power on the new model railroad (January 27, 2011). PRR NW2 9249 leads a local off the wye at Struble and into State College on the Bellefonte Central.
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The wife left for Vegas this morning for five days... so I get five days of "training" at home. Luck be a Lady!

I didn't waste any time and got down to business on a 16' by 4' extension into the rec room... passing through where the wall used to be.

On top of these I attached the superstructure components I previously built-up assembly line style. This worked out super well. It only took an hour to install all of the superstructures.

First look at Phase I benchwork. The lower level will be Lewistown Junction. The main will be on the left, looking west, and the yard on the right. The upper level will be Yeagertown, again looking west.

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It's been quite a while since my last construction update, though construction has certainly continued. A lot has taken place in the household and my time on the model railroad has been inconsistent as I dealt with unusual weather, my first going to college, etc. I hope to provide a video update in a few weeks.

Over the holidays I completed the top level of the railroad, which represents the Bellefonte Central Railroad. It will be more for display than anything, but it is schematically correct and functional.

I "broke ground" last evening. Let's call this "Phase I".

Phase I entails construction of the model railroad in the former N scale trainroom. It is 10' x 24' plus an 8' x 8' forming an "L" shape.

The main level will feature the main line from just east of the Lewistown Junction station to just east of LEWIS interlocking. It will also feature the Lewistown Junction yard, which includes a turntable and locomotive facility.

The upper level will feature the Milroy Secondary from the very east end of Burnham, through Yeagertown and Lower Mann, through the first part of Mann's Narrows. There are numerous industries along this stretch, most notably Standard Steel.