Winners of ARRM’s 100th Track Plan Contest

Did you catch all the winners of Appalachian Railroad Modeling’s 100th Track Plan Contest? We had some great entries and three winners. Each of the winning track plans was fun and challenging in it’s own way. Thanks to all who entered, and I hope you continue to send in your track plan ideas!

L&N EK Coal Fields, KY HO scale track planFirst Place – Donald Dunn for his idea of the L&N’s Eastern Kentucky Coal Fields in HO scale

I … Read more

ARRM’s 100th Track Plan Contest!

C&O NYC Leivasy, WV track plan HONYC Boardman Creek Branch, PA track plan HO

Appalachian Railroad Modeling is quickly approaching the publishing of its 100th prototype-based, Appalachian-themed track plan!!! Rather than pick my own theme and space for the design, I want YOU to pick the theme and space. Send me your ideas per the details below between now and March 1st, 2018, and I’ll choose a winner and design a track plan based the winner’s entry as ARRM’s 100th track plan.


  • An “entry” consists … Read more
  • Father’s Day = Bonus Photos

    SBD Lost Mountain Mining Co coal loader at Sigmond, KY

    Happy Father’s Day to those of you who are fathers, and to those who aren’t, you still get to enjoy today’s update.  ARRM has recently added more than 60 new model and prototype photos from our contributors.  First, Stuart Thayer has added more than 30 new photos of tipples on the former L&N Eastern Kentucky (EK) Sub. The photos show loaders of all shapes and sizes in the mid-1980s and are a great study for those modeling this area or just interested in loaders.  You can find them on the Seaboard System, SECX and CSX prototype photo pages.

    Next we have several new model photos.  Brent Johnson has added more to his Clinchfield portfolio along with a few … Read more

    ARRM Welcomes the Pittsburg & Shawmut

    Pittsburg & Shawmut Logo

    Pittsburg & Shawmut LogoAppalachian Railroad Modeling is happy to announce the newest railroad on the site, the Pittsburg & Shawmut. For those unfamiliar with the P&S, it was a quiet little coal hauler in western Pennsylvania that lasted from steam days through the 1990s. The P&S was known for its colorful fleet of EMD switchers (which were its mainline power) and its large fleet of “Shawmut” hoppers that plied the rails of many railroads in the 20th century. These pages were prompted by an excellent book released last year, “Pittsburg & Shawmut in Color” by Kurt Reisweber and Brad Esposito (read the full … Read more

    Merry Christmas!

    Merry Christmas from Appalachian Railroad Modeling! I hope you’re enjoying all the new content on the site–have you seen it all?

    Union Railroad LogoFirst, there’s a new railroad on the site, the Union Railroad. The URR connected several coal hauling roads to the US Steel mills and furnaces in Pittsburgh, PA and was an important player in the movement of coal and other raw materials in the Monongahela River Valley and East Pittsburgh.

    To accompany the Union RR are two new track plans. The first is a large N-scale plan for the Union’s Clairton Branch, home to two huge industries, the … Read more

    Caught all the latest?

    WM Challenger O scale by Lee Turner

    Have you seen all the latest on Appalachian Railroad Modeling? First, thanks to Lee Turner for contributing some beautiful photos of his custom-weathered Western Maryland steam in O-scale. See them on the Western Maryland model photos page.

    There are also a couple new track plans to check out. The first is an HO-scale bedroom-sized plan for the Clinchfield’s Nora Spur that captures all the loaders and operations on this busy coal branch using two decks without a lengthy helix. This plan is perfect for the modeler with a modest space who enjoys switching that requires a lot of interesting moves.

    Oneida, Tennessee and Brimstone  … <a href=Read more

    The Montour is here!

    Montour RR Logo

    Montour RR LogoAppalachian Railroad Modeling welcomes another railroad to the fold, the Montour. For those unfamiliar with this short line, the Montour was created to haul coal from the hills around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Along the way, the Montour interacted with a lot of other coal haulers including the Pennsy, P&LE, B&O, P&WV, N&W and Union RR. Part of its charm was its use of little EMD switchers as mine-run power on its tight curves and small tunnels, making it a great subject to model. While the Montour’s rails may be gone, it lives on as a popular hiking trail.

    The main Montour pageRead more

    Cleaning House

    WM F7A model by Kevin Yackmack

    New to the site are some photos of some very nice Western Maryland models set on a diorama of Confluence, PA by Kevin Yackmack. Kevin scratchbuilt the Confluence depot in the background and custom detailed and weathered the WM models.

    Bucket loader at RJC's Stifflertown, PA loader

    Also new are some prototype photos I’ve recently re-discovered on my computer and have now uploaded to the site. Included in these “lost photos” are several … Read more

    Impressive New Model Photos

    Chessie GP40 model by Fred Lagno

    Appalachian Railroad Modeling welcomes a new contributor, Fred Lagno. If Fred’s excellent work looks familiar, it’s because it’s been featured in Model Railroad Planning and NMRA calendars. Fred’s eye for detail, excellent scenery and photography style lend a realism to his scenes and models that all of us can learn from. To see more of Fred’s work, see the Chessie models page.

    Tom Patterson has shared more photos of one of his incredible scratchbuilt loaders. This truck dump, named Harney No 2 on Tom’s layout, is representative of the hundreds of these little operations that dotted the lines of Appalachian coal hauling railroads. While Tom’s railroad is freelanced, he studied dozens of prototype tipples to create his … Read more

    The New Appalachian Railroad Modeling is here!

    ARRM LogoThe new and improved Appalachian Railroad Modeling is finally here! It’s been months in the making (about 120 hours to transition the hundreds of pages and thousands of images), and I trust you’ll find this new site easier to navigate, richer in content, and better for mobile browsers and different sized screens.  Best of all, you can now post comments!

    For me, the new design also means easier updates, so rather than large updates every few months, expect smaller but more frequent updates. Also included are a new set of advertisers and links to products I believe you’ll find relevant, interesting and … Read more