MTR Montour Railroad, PA track plan HO

MTR Montour Railroad, PA track plan HO - lower
  • Size: 14′ x 40′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 24″ 
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 30″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Montour RR LogoThe Montour Railroad existed to serve the coal mines along a semi-circle southwest of Pittsburgh, PA. By the 1970s, the railroad’s operations consisted mainly of four major raw coal loaders, the large Champion Prep Plant, and interchanges with several railroads. A few small non-coal industries broke up the monotony of endless coal hoppers, but black switchers and hoppers still ruled the line until its closing.

The Layout

This track plan began as a challenge to design an HO-scale layout for a … Read more

P&S Widnoon Branch, PA track plan HO

P&S Widnoon Branch track plan HO
  • Size: 10′ x 14′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 24″ 
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 35″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Mahoning Yard on the Pittsburg & Shawmut in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania was where the three-mile long Widnoon Branch (formerly Tidal Branch) split from the mainline along Mahoning Creek. Mahoning was also the dividing point between the two locals that worked the P&S–the Kittanning Local from the south and the Brookville Local from the north. During the 1970s, the branch served two loaders reached via a three percent grade. Additionally, a shorter branch across the creek to Carpentertown served a bank of modern coke ovens later converted to a trump dump tipple.

The Layout

This track plan represents the … Read more

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

Winifrede Railroad, WV track plan HO

Winifrede Railroad track plan HO scale
  • Size: 10′ x 15′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 24″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 40″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

The Winifrede Railroad was a small short line that ran from the Kanawha River and a connection with the Chesapeake & Ohio to the coal mining town of Winifrede, WV along Fields Creek. While it connected to the C&O, the Winifrede was primarily a shuttle operation bringing coal from a large tipple near Winifrede down to a barge transloading facility at Winifrede Jct, near Chelyan, WV.  For much of its life, the Winifrede operated a single locomotive and a ragtag fleet of old, beat-up hoppers to run alongside cars borrowed from the C&O. During the late steam era, the locomotive … 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

SOU St Charles Branch, VA bedroom track plan HO

Southern St Charles Branch track plan HO scale by Dan Bourque
  • Size: 13′ x 14′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 24″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 33″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Southern LogoThe St Charles branch can be found in extreme southwestern Virginia. A neighbor of the Interstate Railroad, the lines of this branch extended from the Southern’s yard at Appalachia, Virginia, down the Powell River, and then fingered out along several creeks up toward the Kentucky border. Like many other Southern Railway coal lines, it was jointly operated with the L&N who had trackage rights on the St Charles branch from its connection at Pocket, VA. Traffic and tipples ebbed and flowed over the years, but CSX and NS unit trains continue to load … Read more

SOU Oneida, Tennessee and Brimstone, TN track plan HO

Oneida, Tennessee and Brimstone HO scale track plan - lower level
  • Size: 27′ x 30′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Mainline Radius: 30″ (27″ Brimstone)
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 32″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Southern LogoOne of the Southern Railway’s most famous lines is its Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific (CNO&TP) main through Tennessee and Kentucky where it was known as “the Rathole” for all its tunnels and bridges. Though this busy line ran through the heart of Tennessee coal country, it didn’t serve the coal operators directly. Instead, the CNO&TP interchanged with several short lines that ventured down into the valleys full of tipples to bring the coal up the slopes of the Cumberland Plateau to its mainline. These short lines included the Read more

CRR Nora Spur, VA track plan HO

Track plan CRR Nora Spur HO scale
  • Size: 12′ x 18′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Mainline Radius: 27″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 28″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

CRR LogoThe Nora Spur was one of the Clinchfield’s coal-loading branches in Virginia which left the mainline between Dante, VA and Elkhorn City, KY. The six-mile long branch hosted no fewer than six loaders between the mainline and the Blue Diamond tipple at the end of the line and featured grades in excess of 3%.

The Layout

This layout is designed to capture the feel of the branch and its operations in the early ’80s after the addition of the loader at Kilgore Creek … Read more

MTR Library Branch, PA track plan HO

Track plan Montour Library Branch - HO scale
  • Size: 12′ x 16′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 24″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 24″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

Montour RR LogoThe Montour Railroad’s Library Branch ran between Library Jct. and Snowden, PA. The nearly 6-mile branch connected the Montour with the B&O and a PRR branch and served the large Montour #10 tipple at Library, PA.

The Layout

This track plan represents the Library Branch and a portion of the Montour’s mainline during the ’60s and ’70s. In addition to the Montour #10 tipple, the Montour #4 tipple on the mainline at Hills is represented along with the nearby … Read more

L&N KD Sub track plan HO

Track plan L&N KD Sub HO scale - Lower
  • Size: 32′ x 32′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 27″
  • Minimum Aisle Width: 27″
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

L&N LogoThe L&N’s KD sub connected the coalfields of Kentucky to its connections and power plants in the south. Originally the Knoxville & Atlanta or K&A, the line ran south from Corbin, KY to Knoxville and on to Nashville, TN. In addition to the flow of coal from the L&N’s Eastern Kentucky (EK) and Cumberland Valley (CV) Divisions/Subs, the KD Sub had a modest number of loaders along its main along with several small branches including the Clear Fork Branch (Clairfield Branch) which it … Read more