B&LE Conneaut Branch, OH track plan N

ARRM’s 99th track plan and second place winner for the 100th Track Plan Contest is Jason Petty.

Jason’s idea was to model the B&LE’s Conneaut Branch in a bedroom. Local to this area, Jason likes that this piece of railroad has docks, yards, helpers, and big trains of coal and ore. I love that this gave me a chance to design a layout for unloading end of coal operations at a major port, something I hadn’t done before.

  • Size: 10′ x 15′
  • Scale: N
  • Minimum Radius: 15″ (except as otherwise noted)
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

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BLE Branchton, PA track plan HO

B&LE Branchton and Hilliards Branch track plan HO scale
  • Size: 12′ x 20′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 27″ (30″ mainline)
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 24″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

B&LE LogoBranchton, PA was home to the Bessemer and Lake Erie’s northern coal operations including the mainline from Filer, PA (north) to Butler, PA (south) and the adjacent 10-mile Hilliards Branch. Until 1958, the Hilliards Branch was a major supplier of limestone bound for Pittsburgh’s steel mills, but after the limestone operations shut down, the branch continued to supply coal from a few modest operations into the 1990s. While the mine run base was moved to Butler in the early 1980s, Branchton continued to serve as an important … Read more

Unity Railways, PA track plan HO

Track Plan Unity Railways HO scale
  • Size: 12′ x 14′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 27″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 36″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

B&LE LogoThis plan is perfect for those who want a simple layout and like the railroads around Pittsburgh, PA.  Despite its modest size, there are four railroads represented on this layout along with a yard, an interchange and a large coal loader.  This layout represents a compressed version of the four-mile long Unity Railways Company in its entirety. Dating back to 1915, Unity Railways was constructed to haul coal from the operation at Renton, PA to a connection with the Bessemer & Lake Erie at Unity Jct., PA. Along this short route was a connection with … Read more

B&LE and PRR Western Allegheny, PA track plan HO

Track plan B&LE PRR Western Allegheny, PA HO scale
  • Size: 12′ x 18′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Mainline Radius: 24″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 27″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

B&LE Logo PlainThe Western Allegheny Railroad was incorporated in 1902 to serve the coal fields of Butler and Allegheny Counties in western Pennsylvania. The WA was originally operated by the B&LE until 1908 when the WA gained its independence. It was purchased by the Pennsy in 1926 as part of a plan for a new mainline to bypass Pittsburgh, but these plans fell victim to the Great Depression. Because it had no direct connection with the Pennsy, it was operated as an independent branch and interchanged its coal and … Read more

B&LE Shenango, PA track plan N

Track plan B&LE Shenango, PA N scale
  • Size: 15′ x 20′
  • Scale: N
  • Minimum Mainline Radius: 20″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

B&LE Logo PlainThe Shenango/Greenville area of the B&LE was unique in that it was a major hub of a railroad and yet not on the mainline. In 1902, the K-O cutoff from Kremis (south of Shenango) to Osgood (north of Greenville) was completed which greatly improved the grades and curvature by keeping the main out of the Shenango River Valley. However, the old line remained important because it hosted three interchanges and was home to the B&LE’s major engine and car shops. Shenango Yard was the site of the … Read more