PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

Jerry Britton's PRR Middle Division in HO Scale

It's been another very productive quarter on the Middle Division. The "missing link" -- the scale track at Lewistown -- has been installed. The yard is now connected with the Lewistown Secondary and, subsequently, the Milroy Secondary.

The Mechanical Department has gotten back in the practice of posting news of new rolling stock acquisitions. The fleet has recently grown by nine tank cars. In addition, the Pennsylvania Midland has received three hopper cars.


Subroadbed has been graded for the American Viscose plant behind Lewistown. Following a cleanup effort, the subroadbed has reappeared at Yeagertown for the Standard Steel Plant. A dozen-plus structures have been constructed that are just waiting for a home.

As a stand-in until such time as an era-appropriate CTC solution is developed, the Middle Division has adopted the use of the Computer Automated Traffic System ("CATS"), which is an application that rides on top of the Java Model Railroad Interface ("JMRI") libraries. CATS presents a 1980s-90s era Digicon dispatching panel. CATS interlocks all routes to prevent conflicts and automatically sets the correct aspects on signals and is much easier to implement than US&S panels using PanelPro in JMRI. Down the road I envision the tower operator as having a choice between the US&S version or the Digicon version.

CAD drawings of the railroad have finally been generated. You will find them on the division's web site under Public Relations / Description and Design.

Over 150 waybills have now been created in support of future operations. Speaking of which... soon! Finally! After some forthcoming cleanup, I expect to have "internal" operations before the year's end. This will involve your super working each job for quality and flow control. I suspect I will be ready for regular operations by early 2021. 

Lots of progress photos get posted to the division's FaceBook page, so please follow it. 

One last item, our 43rd Sub Supervisor has received his sixth NMRA AP award. One more to become a MMR!

Here is the full Report of the Chief Engineer.