Winners of ARRM’s 100th Track Plan Contest

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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 … Read more

L&N Eastern Kentucky Coal Fields, KY track plan HO

L&N EK Coal Fields, KY HO scale track plan

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); ARRM’s 100th track plan and first place winner for the 100th Track Plan Contest is Donald Dunn.

Donald’s idea is to model the L&N’s Eastern Kentucky (EK) Sub coal fields including Hazard, Dent, the Carrs Fork Branch, Leatherwood Branch and Rockhouse Creek Branch in the 1970s. Donald grew up in this area and later worked for the CSX out of Hazard–he’s always wanted to model this area. I loved the challenge of fitting a lot of branch lines and tipples into this space.

  • Size: 25′ x 25′
  • Scale: HO
  • Minimum Radius: 29″ mainline, 27″ branch line
  • Minimum Aisle … Read more

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

Read more

C&O Hot Springs Sub, VA track plan N

C&O Hot Springs Sub, VA N Scale Track Plan

ARRM’s 98th track plan and third place winner for the 100th Track Plan Contest is Jonathan Myers.

Jonathan suggested a layout of the C&O’s Hot Springs Sub in N-scale to fit a 10’x12′ bedroom with a closet. He recommended this line because of the bucolic scenery and mixed passenger/freight operations.

  • Size: 12′ x 12′
  • Scale: N
  • Minimum Radius: 15″ 
  • Minimum Aisle Width: N/A
  • Designed by Dan Bourque

C&O LogoThe Chesapeake and Ohio’s Hot Springs Sub ran 24 miles from a connection with the Alleghany Subdivision … 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
  • INT Stonega, VA track plan N

    INT Stonega, VA N scale track plan
    • Size: 8′ x 10′
    • Scale: N
    • Minimum Radius: 15″ 
    • Minimum Aisle Width: N/A
    • Designed by Dan Bourque

    Interstate LogoStonega, VA, located just north of the Interstate Railroad’s headquarters in Andover, VA, was home to a large wooden tipple and four banks of coke ovens throughout the steam era of the Interstate. While its layout was simple, operations were anything but, and multiple mine run and yard crews worked this busy operation each day.

    The Layout

    This layout is designed to fit along two walls in a bedroom, basement or garage. It’s designed in N-scale and limited in scope … Read more

    WVN West Virginia Northern, WV track plan N

    WVN West Virginia Northern, WV N scale track plan
    • Size: 12′ x 14′
    • Scale: N
    • Minimum Radius: 12″ (15″ for B&O)
    • Minimum Aisle Width: 24″
    • Designed by Dan Bourque

    WVN logoThe West Virginia Northern was a short line that ran 11 miles from Tunnelwood, WV to Kingwood, WV. Begun in the 1800s, the WVN was always a small operation, using small locomotives to haul small trains to and from a series of small loaders. For most of its existence, the source of empty hoppers and the outlet for WVN coal was the B&O via a connection at Tunnelton. With so much “small” operation packed in such a … Read more

    PRR Clearfield Branch, PA track plan HO

    PRR Clearfield Branch, PA HO scale track plan
    • Size: 23′ x 15′
    • Scale: HO
    • Minimum Radius: 30″ (except 27″ on hidden helix tracks as noted)
    • Minimum Aisle Width: 26″
    • Designed by Dan Bourque

    PRR LogoThe Pennsylvania Railroad’s Clearfield Branch ran from a connection with the Pennsy main near Tyrone, PA up over the Allegheny Plateau and into the rich coal fields. While the line stretched beyond Clearfield into NYC coal country, the heart of the Branch was the small yard at Osceola Mills, PA in the middle of the branch at the base of the north side of the plateau. From Osceola Mills, the Clearfield Branch continued northward toward Philipsburg and Clearfield, while the Moshannon Branch ran westward, splitting … Read more

    INT Dixiana Branch, VA track plan HO

    INT Dixiana Branch, VA track plan HO
    • Size: 12′ x 16′
    • Scale: HO
    • Minimum Radius: 26″ (except 24″ on hidden tracks as noted)
    • Minimum Aisle Width: 28″
    • Designed by Dan Bourque

    Interstate LogoThere are probably close to a dozen track plans on this website dedicated to this area of the Interstate RR in southwestern Virginia. It so happens this is one of my favorite coal branches in the Appalachians, and the Interstate is the railroad I model (in the Southern era). It also happens I’ve recently moved and am looking to start building a layout again, so this particular track plan is one of the … Read more

    Book Review – Chesapeake & Ohio, the Decades of Change 1961-1981 in Color

    By Thomas W. Dixon, Jr.
    The Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society 2017
    ISBN 9780939487301


    Review by Dan Bourque

    Book - C&O the Decades of Change by Thomas W. Dixon Jr.Thomas Dixon’s Chesapeake & Ohio, the Decades of Change is a surprisingly refreshing and unique book. If you’re a fan of the C&O in the coal fields, you doubtless have a few of the C&O Historical Society’s previous (and excellent) books by Mr. Dixon which primarily cover the coal … Read more