ZINIO logo
Realistic Railroads You Can Model

Realistic Railroads You Can Model

Realistic Railroads You Can Model
Add to favorites

This one-of-a-kind collection offers prototype photos and railroad information for short lines and main lines, as well as planning tips for your layout space.

Read More
United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines

in this issue

1 min.
modeling from the prototype

WHAT WE’VE COMPILED HERE are some of the best layouts featured in Model Railroader based on prototype railroads. It’s interesting to see how modelers over time have interpreted real-life lines and locations, and what details they’ve included to evoke a feeling of “Hey, I know where that is!” Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter if you freelance your model railroad layout, or strive to re-create in detail the operations of your hometown road on a certain day in 1956. It’s all influenced by the real thing. I HAVE TO SAY, this was a really fun publication to put together. Basically, it’s a very colorful trip via rail across the United States and Canada on main lines and short lines. It’s a trip through time, too, from the days of steam all the way…

6 min.
new england in a (big) bedroom

WITH THEIR CLASSIC MOTIVE power, unique paint schemes, and diverse operations, shortline railroads have added an interesting dimension to railroading. Likewise, they provide a seemingly endless variety of modeling opportunities – no matter what you like in railroading, you’ll likely find it on a short line. The Housatonic RR, circa 1997, was no exception. This shortline railroad connecting Canaan, Conn., and Pittsfield, Mass., offered great modeling potential, including Electro-Motive Division (EMD) Geeps and a re-engined Alco RS-3 that led 20- to 30-car trains through the scenic Berkshire Hills of southwestern Massachusetts. The Housatonic also interchanged with Conrail at Pittsfield. Best of all you, can model it on a room-sized HO scale layout. History The Housatonic was originally chartered as the Ousatonic RR by the state of Connecticut in 1836. After some early difficulties,…

11 min.
3 railroads, 1 layout

JANESVILLE, WIS., IS A RAILROAD TOWN, plain and simple. I first visited it in the early 1990s and was immediately struck by the town’s potential as the subject for a model railroad. At one time Janesville had been a stronghold of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific (Milwaukee Road) and the Chicago & North Western (CNW). I remember reading articles about the area in Model Railroader (by then-editor Paul Larson) more than 40 years earlier. In those days, lines from the two railroads struck out from Janesville in seven different directions! I was intrigued enough to pay the town a visit and see what remained. Despite some changes, Janesville in the 1990s was clearly still a hub of railroad activity. Though the Milwaukee Road was gone, it had been replaced by…

8 min.
track plan for a 1906 short line

I GOT INTERESTED IN RAILROADING in an unusual way: through a computer game. Hours of playing Sid Meier’s Railroad Tycoon hooked me on the challenge of getting freight and passengers from point A to point B on time. But because I enjoyed starting new games more than playing saved ones, the trains I became fascinated with were the old-time steamers of the game’s early stages. So when I got into model railroading, I knew that I wanted to set my layout in the early 1900s. Then I discovered the Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern (CL&N). The CL&N was a narrow gauge line linking Lebanon, Ohio, with downtown Cincinnati, to the southwest. The line struggled financially for decades, going through several bankruptcies and name changes, until it converted its track to standard gauge…

1 min.
locomotives and rolling stock

WHEN THE CL&N changed gauges in 1894, it had to purchase a number of standard-gauge engines fairly quickly. The Cincinnati Times-Star reported in September of that year that the railroad had acquired three passenger engines (Baldwin 4-4-0s, numbered 1, 2, and 3), one freight engine (a Brooks 2-6-2, numbered 9); and a three-year-old Baldwin 0-6-0T tank switcher, numbered 8 and dedicated to yard and helper service at Cincinnati. Later that year, the Pennsylvania RR sold a sixth engine to the CL&N, a six-year-old Altoona 4-4-0 that was renumbered 4. The CL&N acquired three more engines when the Pennsy merged it with the Middletown & Cincinnati in 1902: two Pittsburgh 4-4-0s and a Pittsburgh 0-6-0 switcher. These engines were renumbered 5, 6, and 7, respectively. Less information is available about the CL&N’s rolling…

6 min.
alleghenies to alleghany

DURING THE LATE 1940S, steam power dominated the Chesapeake & Ohio Ry.’s Alleghany Subdivision. [This article follows the C&O’s spelling preferences: Allegheny for the mountain range and locomotive, Alleghany for the town and subdivision. – Ed.] Class K 2-8-2s sped freight over the main line. Class J-3 Greenbrier 4-8-4s and Class L 4-6-4 Hudsons led name passenger trains like the George Washington. On the subdivision’s western end, H-8 class Allegheny 2-6-6-6s hauled seemingly endless strings of hoppers up the 1.8 percent grade, then down to Clifton Forge, Va., keeping the C&O’s profitable coal traffic moving. I wanted to re-create this dramatic operation in HO scale by focusing on the western end of the C&O’s Alleghany Subdivision between Hinton, W.Va., and Alleghany, Va. The track plan features a double-track main line with…