QUAKER VALLEY Railroad - The Layout Concept
It is September 1977 in Western Pennsylvania and the young Consolidated Rail Corporation is just getting its feet on the ground in the coal regions of the Allegheny Mountains. New units are on order and Conrail's new blue scheme is showing up on a variety of recently shopped equipment. But the majority of the power found trackside is still in the schemes of the many fallen flags absorbed by Conrail; Penn Central, Reading, Lehigh Valley and Erie Lackawanna. Also showing up are hastily renumbered units, with just a quick touch up of the cab sides and number boards. Each consist offers a smorgasbord of sights and sounds as Alcos, GEs and EMDs team up.
The Quaker Valley is a short line that runs from the Conrail interchange at Lynnsburg, just west of Altoona, northward to Buffalo. Chessie freights have trackage rights over a portion of the QV on their way from Cumberland northward as well. The Quaker Valley was created from remnants of the D&H and many of the inherited locos still sport the yellow and blue scheme of that railroad, but with a new quaker logo.
The 110 foot long Conrail double track main line circles the wall in a 21' x 37' basement room dedicated to the layout. The single track Quaker Valley main line leaves Conrail at Lynnsburg and continues on a walk around peninsular plan for 125 feet with several passing sidings and three branches. It terminates at the town of Costello which is dominated by a steel mill and yard. Hidden tracks accommodate 20 trains "off stage" including through tracks on the Conrail main line representing Altoona, Johnstown, McKeesport and Harrisburg. Stub staging tracks represent Enola, Cumberland (B&O), Punxsutawney and Homer City. Minimum 14 foot long passing sidings provide the Dispatcher plenty of opportunities to keep the relatively long freights moving.
The Quaker Valley layout is in a
dedicated 21 by 37 foot
basement room with a two track staging yard at Cumberland extending
into the adjacent furnace room . It uses a walk around approach to
layout design and entry is through a swinging gate with a double track
bridge across the aisle at the only door. The gate construction was
documented in an article in the February 2013 issue of the online Model
railroad Hobbyist magazine. The town of Costello is
located above the staging yard of Altoona/McKeesport. Sliding
masonite panels conceal the mainline Conrail staging yards. The
stub staging at Enola is off a wye from the Conrail main line and
located under Moss Creek.
Scenery is about 40 percent complete,
including coved corner
backdrops to the ceiling, hard shell scenery and fiber fill - ground
foam trees and ground cover. Two water scenes have been completed
using two part epoxy.
The city backdrops include a number of false front buildings and kitbashed structures which tower above the rail yards below. An operating rotary dumper which was featured in the December 1979 Railroad Model Craftsman is in operation at the power plant at Lynnsburg. Three foot aisles, 2 percent grades and 30" to 48" radius curves and benchwork from 44" to 62" high provide a variety of scenes and vantage points.
If you visit the layout, check out the scene near Portage where I have used mirrors to stretch the scenery well beyond the basement. Where is that tunnel located anyway?
Click here for a PDF version of the plan http:\www.quaker-valley.com\QVRR Track Plan.pdf
Page updated February 10, 2016
Quaker Valley Software