This blog is limited to articles; random photos or quick updates are posted to the FaceBook page.

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

Today I ventured to the Ted Maurer auction at Spring City, Pa. These auctions are held on a nearly weekly basis, and are always train related. Though they are usually Lionel and other O gauge stuff, they often have HO scale auctions or railroadiana. Today's was part one of three or four of a single estate and contained over 500 lots... mostly brass!

I scored a Proto 2000 Alco FA1/FB1 lashup in Pennsy livery. Though the FA2/FB2's seem to be readily available long after they were manufactured, the FA1/FB1's are a bit of a rarity. I was able to pick them up at about two thirds of what they've been going for on eBay.

I also took ownership of a SOHO brass Pullman heavyweight 14 section sleeper. It represents a Pennsy car that received the 1940 "Betterment" improvements which made the cars look more streamlined to match in consists with the 1938-40 lightweight cars. This will go on train 58/59, the Liberty Limited. One source tells me this car was used for deadheading crews. In any case, this is the only release I know of representing the betterment car.

Open up nearly any coffee table photo book on the Pennsylvania Railroad and you'll see references to Red Bank, South Amboy, and Bay Head Junction. These locations are known for being the last pasture for steam, as well as diesels that have fallen out of favor, like the Baldwin BP20 passenger sharks. However, I've lacked an understanding and appreciation of how and where these locations fit into the Pennsylvania Railroad system.

I now know that they are part of the New York & Long Branch (NY&LB), a railroad jointly operated by the PRR and the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ). Unlike most PRR affiliations, however, they aren't documented in regular PRR documentation, like the employee timetables or regional maps. Perhaps that's what led to my oversight.

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!

The Pennsylvania Midland Railroad, as described in the following series of articles, is a freelance railroad created by Jerry Britton. The railroad is inspired by actual events and histories of related railroads in Mifflin and Centre counties of Pennsylvania. History itself is not changed, but leveraged to create future outcomes that never came to fruition.

Since the dawn of the railroad age, citizens of Mifflin and Centre counties had yearned for the iron horse to connect their communities. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania surveyed three routes for possible railroads to connect Philadelphia and Pittsburgh via Harrisburg. They were known as the southern, middle, and northern routes. The middle route would have such a railroad approach from the east, hit Lewistown, then go north through Mann's Gap (Reedsville) and head west down the "Big Valley" through Belleville, and on towards Huntingdon.

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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