Andy’s Pennsylvania Railroad

Got this in from Andy which I liked:

“Hi, my name is Andy, and this is my train layout.

I really love the Pennsylvania Railroad and it’s history and own a few books on it. I am also into CSX AND CONRAIL.

My model railroad is based on an imaginary town named Brookfield, a Small Town in Northwestern, New Jersey, where the mainline travels through.

The Trains that run through are Amtrak, New York Central, Pennsylvania Railroad, Reading, Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines, CNJ, CSX, Conrail, Santa Fe, Burlington, and even the occasional Atlantic Coastline or Burlington Northern and from time to time, just about anything can go through there, depending on trackage rights, giving me the freedom to run any road I want!

My hobbies are Model Railroading, Chasing Trains and photographing and video taping them for my personal collection. I also enjoy collecting CD’s, DVD’s, Die Cast Cars, Model Trains, Magazines, Listening to music, Playing with my computer, Going to concerts, Cats, Taking walks, and Looking at the night sky.

I was born and grew up in Vineland, New Jersey, where my father took me for long walks on my uncle’s farm on Wheat Road in same town, and we watched the last of the steam engines rolling down the tracks on the central railroad.

Perhaps this has had a lot to do with me being into trains as I am. I also watched the diesels travel through Vineland, that would be Central Railroad of New Jersey, Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines, Conrail, Winchester and Western, and for the remainder of my growing from childhood to adulthood and had my first model railroad layout at the age of 13.

Nowadays it’s CSX, NS and Winchester and Western. I gave it up when I was 18 and got onto other things, only to return to the hobby at the age of 37, when I got bit once again by the bug after purchasing a G Scale Christmas train for under my Christmas tree.


“One VERY good tip 4 you is

if you are making a coal collery or a crane and you want something to represent some proper steel rope then go to you local fishing shop and buy some 20ld breaking strain Pike leader it costs Ā£4.99 for 50M and is very flexable and mill mold into any shape.


“I wouldnt say its a best in tricks Al.

What I’ve been doing lately is molding my diotown pieces.{mainly the sidewalks } from the roadplates.

I’ve purchased mold making urathane from taps plastics here in the states and then cans of resin .Then adding the new sidewalks to 1/8 inch acrylic and paint I’ve allmost duplicated the expensive stuff.

Every 24 hours I’ve saved my self $$$$$ and added pieces to the layout. I do have intentions of molding anything and everything I can.

Its not stealing unless I’m reselling the pieces right?

Cheers from Califonia .


That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

55 Responses to Andy’s Pennsylvania Railroad

  1. mike sewell says:

    Great detail on all aspects of your railroad…..Good job !!!!

  2. Very good job you have done with the layout Andy

  3. Rodney Lewis says:

    Hi Dave and Andy:

    You guys are examples of great assets to our hobby and we appreciate all the talent and tips you share with viewers like me. I’m a Lionel O gauger but many of the scenery and how to’s from HO/N are transferrable. So thanks for taking the time to share your exerience and knowledge; but why do you folks drive on the wrong side of the road! My funny from the Colonies and keep on chugging.
    Rodney, named for the HMS in WW2.

  4. Tommy says:

    I see several Santa Fe locos, an Amtrak and a CSX, the information email that brought me here was in reference to the Pennsy (my favorite Rail Road). What happened? It is a nice layout though.

  5. David Brown says:

    Once again, a magnificent lay-out. Dave has given us many hours watching him build his lay-out, his short cuts, his style of fixing things will be missed if as he says “His finished lay-out” will not be seen here on these pages. I don’t wish any harm to your lay-out, but if any thing does happen, be sure to continue letting us watch you. Thanks again, David B.

  6. del says:

    Thank you both. It is all amazing. You have set the bar very high. But we can all pause while we learn from you and enjoy your work.


  7. craig says:

    As far as Andy’s layout goes, it appears to be quite fantastic. Detail also appears to be superb. I would like to see one overall photo of the entire layout. Dave’s layout is as always fantastic. Dave’s video skills are also getting very good. I really enjoyed watching the video. It’s also very enjoyable to watch in full screen. Excellent work guy’s!!

  8. Arnie Steiner says:

    Hi Dave – the finished layout looks great! Enjoyed the running tour.

  9. Frank Snyder says:

    Yo Andy!! I live in Media Pennsylvania and I grew up watching steamers and progressionof ddiesels. Good job. I would like to see it in person. Thanks for sharing with us.

  10. Ol' Puffer says:

    You REALLY are the best!

  11. Tom says:

    Andy Dave Al

    Thanks for all you have shared with us Truly aaaaaamazing!
    Dave thanks for all your sharing. just remember: a model railroad is never done. Keep posting.

    Great layout Andy!!


    Tom T.

  12. Tom Oliver says:

    A HUGE thanks to Dave and all the others who share their great ideas and layouts with us. It gives us all great inspiration and challenges to follow. And an even BIGGER thanks to Al, who must dedicate such a huge amount of his time bringing this all to us! By the way Al, do you have a layout? Or is all of your time taken up with this marvelous site?
    Much regards from a basic newbie from ‘down under’.

  13. THOMAS says:


  14. Albert Weir says:

    Hello Dave
    Loved your vid on your layout you allways have to end on a sence of humour which i like indeed well done mate i wish my layout was as good

  15. Albert Weir says:

    your layout is very authentic to the style loved the content and would like to see a Vid if you make one Well done mate

  16. Joe says:

    I whole-heartedly agree w/ Mr. Lewis…Such an endeavor as this is a real credit to all in the hobby and if I had a pint I toast to you…Would like to contact you about some questions I have but wouldn’t want to bother you in the least…Great video…would love to see more

  17. Thanks all for your comments ..Dave

  18. robert coe says:

    Dave, I am sick with envy.

  19. Don says:

    A tip of the hat! Made my day, thanks.

  20. Isadore Reed-Butcher says:

    Well done guys, great layouts! I am a beginer in the hobby and these tips and pics are really helpfull to get started, Dave’s right about the weather, great excuse to stay in and get some modeling done,
    thanks for the tips and happy modeling!

  21. Paul Johnston (Ireland ) says:

    Very well done Dave, you can really enjoy that layout, the detail is fantastic, t’s just great,

  22. Cameron says:

    Great layout Andy, Thanks for sharing the pics.
    Thankyou also Dave for the running session. It was great to see full length trains going around a layout.
    Now ‘Complete’ and ‘Train Layout’ are not two words that are used in the same sentence very often. I suspect there are a few like me on the sideline who would like to see you extend the loft and add another mile of track.
    Either way its a layout that never gets old.
    Thanks again,

  23. Andy says:

    Hey guys, thanks so much for all the compliments! I am sorry I didn’t include any photos of Pennsylvania trains yet. I thought of that later on. Anyhow, I just sent out 4 videos of my layout with Pennsy trains running on it! I hope you will all enjoy them!

  24. SHELDON PHX. AZ. says:

    What is your over all track plan? What scale are you using.
    I’m in the same boat. It’s finished and what to do next….. ?

  25. tom in az says:

    Great job Andy! What do you make the roads with for your cars and trucks?

  26. Victor Heffern says:

    You have outdone yourself. beautiful thanks for sharing Vic

  27. Fred says:

    I love seeing the pictures of various layouts and the tips that quite a number of people share. I wish for Christmas that these people would include in their first line the gauge or scale that they are working with. I do not remember each of you however talented you are, so that a scale does not come readily to mind. HELP!!!

  28. Seth Lampe says:

    Very nice. One suggestion would be to take some white chalk and customize the bottoms of those clouds so they are not all lined up. We use a lot of chalk for very distant objects like mountains and clouds at our huge layout, Chi-Town Union Station. See our web site at

  29. Rick D says:

    Sheldon, it’s never “finished”, there is always something else to add or subtract. People, vehicles, trees, roads, lights, abstract thoughts and plans. All of mine are waiting for these friggin locos to go. My paint room and layout room both look like hobby stores overflowing with parts and accessories. I have 100 people, 300 lights 40′ of dirt road still to go and I have been at this for 5 months already,300 lights, tons of roads, blacktop and dirt, 200 trees and generally just other stuff, Al’s methods for buildings, the wife is yelling at me for all of the cardboard stacked in a corner. But now that I have cleaned up all of my paperwork I am supposed to be truly retired, 65 years, 9 m0nths, but this hobby doesn’t give me a chance to breathe. But it is fun and it sure beats working and I was a police officer and loved every minute of it with the exception of 3 close to fatal on duty car wrecks. But life goes on and I am having a blast. Please help me and I’ll see youz guyz on the flipside, (rick)

  30. Billy Mills says:

    Andy, what Is the size of your layout ?

  31. David Hannan says:

    Great stuff here! Well done to Andy and Dave….. but ……… is your layout really finished Dave?
    Kind regards,
    Dirty Dave!

  32. Susan Cannon says:

    Andy, if I weren’t already married, I would be proposing! šŸ™‚ What beautiful work. Thank you for sharing.

  33. Bill Holt says:


  34. Robert Brady says:

    It’s layouts like yours that make me want to expand mine to unknown limits but! I have a better half that says “I don’t think so” love ur CSX,We have good tastes!

  35. Minnesota Dan says:

    To Andy:
    Greetings to another S. Jersey guy. My dad was born and raised in Millville, Vineland’s arch football enemy, and I bet we know some of the same people. I grew up in Salem and Haddon Hts. Loved your layout, and it is your railroad, so any line you want can come thru. That is the benefit of being a railroad magnate. My primary livery will be the D & H, but will have to have some track lease arrangements made to make use of the various equipment I have picked up thru the years. Keep on trackin! Minnesota Dan

  36. Tony says:

    Very nice ! Andy

  37. john thorogood says:

    Beautiful layout. Point of interest: I’m from Wilmington Del and back in the early 60’s I raced my Triumph motorcycle at Vineland’s drag strip. They had a race course, a 1/4 mild drag strip and an 1/8 mile drag strip. I raced the 1/8 mile strip.
    Understand it’s still there but over grown.

  38. James Sulkosky says:

    Very nice layout Andy you did a very nice job keep up the great work.

  39. very,very,very impressed. such detail. i wish i could do that. thank you for the enjoyment.

  40. Bill Hewitt says:

    Hello Andy; I and wife are from Atlantic City, NJ and know Vineland well. We live in Fla. now as being retired, But both from A.C. and then went to school together in Pleasantville. I remember going to the drag races in Vineland. Till the neighbors complained about the noise, and it closed. Nice layout you have! I only have a small N Gage. But want to make a larger one. Bill H. I don’t mind if you want to write me.

  41. Great layout! Andy, you are extremely talented

  42. Ed Lustigman says:

    Thanks for the trip Andy and the great models. Good photography too

  43. Andrew Aves says:

    A finished layout Dave? It is wonderful but how many times has it been rebuilt since 2013? This video shows the great advantage of DCC over DC. Thank you for sharing. Andrew in Oz

  44. Will in NM says:

    Andy: Great detail in your photos. I’d like to see some photos of the overall layout too. I’m not a big Pennsy fan but loved seeing your Santa Fe diesels at work. Being a western-raised guy, UP, Southern Pacific, Santa Fe, Rio Grande, etc. are the trains I saw growing up.

    Dave: Once again a great video. Thanks for sharing with us the progress and “completion” of your layour. Guess it must be about time for you to start a new layouot eh? šŸ™‚ Stay safe and be well.

    Will in New Mexico

  45. TO: Sheldon in Phoenix, Are you by chance Sheldon Shindler (not sure about the spelling of the last name) who displayed some On3/On30 locos and such at the 1960’s NMRA conference in Phoenix? If you are, didn’t you have a brother with whom you owned a hobby shop or model railroad service of some kind?

    If none of that makes any sense, then my memory is just too far gone and I apologize for the confusion. If not, then hello from a former Phoenician model railroader.

    Will in New Mexico

  46. Charles Ewan says:

    I grew up in Wildwood NJ and married a girl from Tuckahoe NJ. I loved to watch the Seashore Line pull into town as my Grandparents had a rooming House across
    from the station in Wildwood. Great layout. I have just recently purchased a New York Central Diesel and have been doing some research on the History. I will try and send a picture on my layout maybe even a video. My layout is all HO at the present but I like O guage as well. Take care.

    Charles in Kentucky

  47. sheldon mankes says:

    great. he shuld teach art and train modeling in school. sheldon mankes in va.

  48. sheldon mankes says:

    i wish i culd get a piture of the whole layout to show my 2 rr clubs and otherswhat butiful workcan be done. sheldon mankes

  49. Jackie says:

    To John thorogood
    I spent a lot of time at Van Sice in Wilmington, DE late 60s & early 70s. And rode Enduros in S Jersey including the Vineland area. Small world.

    I am available via the forum:


  50. Dave A Bellian says:

    Hello Alstair, thanks for your dedication to this sight. All the input is just fantastic. On a few of your intros to a layout you have stated what scale the model is in. I really appreciated that note, so many great pics of trains and I often don’t know the scale. I’m sure many modelers are expert enough to see an engine and know the scale right away. I’m not as skilled .Thanks again for your effort, greatly appreciated.

  51. william janmes palmer says:

    nice work

  52. Mike B. says:

    Al, I am looking for a Maryland Midland Railway ho engine. If anyone knows where I can find one, let me know. Thankd.

  53. Jack Bakos says:

    Really like your modeling Andy! Iā€™m a fan of the Pennsylvania RR as my family moved from Johnstown to Vineland when I was young. We lived south of Oak Rd near East Ave.

  54. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice layout. good work.

  55. Brian Olson says:

    Always appreciate the ground level shots of layouts!

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