Modeling the Pennsylvania railroad

Larry’s been in touch – he’s been busy modeling the Pennsylvania railroad with New York!

“This is the 4th generation Abingdon & Crane Railroad which I started about 20 years ago when the kids wouldn’t clean up their toy room. It became my toy room!

The A&C is a girder and homosote based layout with plaster, paper towel and window screen landscaping and is always under construction. It is very analog and primitive, but derailments are almost 100% operator error.

The layout is quite tongue-in-cheek, very American and very thematic, representing in no particular era, two small towns connected by the railroad, Crane, New York and Abingdon, Pennsylvania.

The railroads motto is “Best li’l road in two states”. These photos show the New York State side of the railroad.

The Abingdon & Crane Railroad

Holland, NY, USA, Proprietor”

modeling the pennsylvania railroad

modeling the pennsylvania railroad

modeling the pennsylvania railroad

model train

model railroad

model railroad

Next up is another video from Alan (his last one is here).

It really does show off his layout:

Thanks to Alan and to Larry for shwoing us how he’s modeling the Pennsylvania railroad. I do love a layout with a theme.

I know I’ve said it before – and I’ll keep on saying it too – over the years I’ve noticed the layouts that start with a theme always seem to shine.

Having an era, location or whatever for your layout really does pull it all together.

A really good example of this is John’s layout. It’s a small N scale, with a simple track plan, but it really packs a punch because of the theme. Have a look and see for yourself:

Model train theme.

That said though, you don’t need a theme for your layout, if you’re having fun, you’re doing right.

And if you haven’t taken the plunge yet, don’t sit on the side lines any longer:

Get a track plan, get the guide, and get building. Any model railroader will tell you, getting started is more than half the battle.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

22 Responses to Modeling the Pennsylvania railroad

  1. david howarth says:

    Very nice Larry and Alan …Dave

  2. Allan Clarke says:

    I like your toy room, Larry.
    I could certainly play in there, It’s unlike my junk room.
    You have a great layout there. and I am envious.

  3. Tad heath says:

    Looks great!!!! Anybody looking for road bed,switches,track,bridges and piers…to much to list..peco and atlas n scale code 80. Let me know if anybody is going to add on. Make u a good deal..thanks

  4. David V. Corbin says:

    Larry, looks great…wish there were details on Scale, Size (and ideally Track Plan)…..

  5. Al Sabella says:

    Very nice layout and I like the way you aquired your toy room. 😸.

  6. Dave Whatley says:

    Nice setup, I like your back ground all away a round the track . Thanks from Dave in Savannah Ga. USA

  7. Mike Pace says:

    Wow so realistic, awesome !

  8. Joe R Gray says:

    What a wonderful display of background works…

  9. Grant says:

    Beautiful layout. I like the use of cuttings and landscape height variations. As well as your smooth transfer from country to urban. Nice work.

  10. KenS says:

    Really like Alan’s pics of his layout especially the 1st one with the trailer flying the Confederate flag in a “Yankee” state.

  11. Larry Johnson says:

    Details: HO scale, layout measures 10 x 8 feet with a walk-in of 5.3 x 2.1 feet, total in HO scale is 12.7 acres. There are 1.1 miles of continuous running, and about another mile of yards, sidings, etc. There are 50 structures and 2 bridges, including a lift-for-access bridge, over 100 people, 30 vehicles and about 70 trees. I’ll have to draw up a track plan! .

  12. Ian McDonald says:

    nice pictures and video. like the scenery.

  13. Rod Mackay says:

    Very good Larry, lovely feeling of space in spite of having a lot of features, very well judged.
    Great stuff Alan, realistic train running at a proper pace in a very natural setting, very impressive.

  14. Rich Fath says:

    I like the whimsy in the tunnel shot. I lived up in the Abingdon region, saw bear, dear and fox but I do not recall seeing to any elephants or dinosaurs, even after getting totally hammered. Nice job, got a big ol’ grin from it.
    I like those kind of details, once visiting a local RR club a member noticed I was finding the whimsy stuff, he directed me to check out the yard shed in a freight yard; I peered through the building window and saw a guy sitting on the toilet reading a news paper, got a laugh out of it and a nod to the club member, we both chuckled.

  15. Cary B says:

    Hello model railroaders, two very nice layouts indeed
    Cary in Maryland

  16. Steve says:

    Alan – great video. I loved the one yesterday too – I have been thinking along the same lines (if you’ll pardon the pun) for sound effects and your video has convinced me it will be well worth the effort.

    Just wondered why the videos are titled to say the layout is HO? Looks more like 00 to me. Or have you scratchbuilt the locos and stock in HO to get a more accurate track gauge for British outline models on 16.5mm gauge track?

    Steve, UK

  17. COOL FLAG!!

  18. Great railroad also!!

  19. Very nice layout.
    One small thing is a distraction and a relatively easy one to fix, the Atlas switch machines/switchthows. They are less than attractive and they stand out like a sore thumb. The solution? A little paint and some simple scenic work. Grass flock, foam shrubs, a platform even carful ballasting and they become considerably less noticeable.

  20. Patti says:

    Nice job Larry. I love the dinosaur, but now I have to find the alligator! Thanks for sharing.

  21. Jim Richards says:

    Larry , I love it and it is GREA!

  22. Roger says:

    Visually beautiful layout
    Where are the cranes?

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