Jeff Warner's PRR/RDG/WM South Central Region

About the Model Railroad

     The PRR/RDG/WM South Central Region represents the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), Reading Railroad (RDG), and Western Maryland Railway (WM) in South Central Pennsylvania and Maryland. It is an HO scale layout comprised of two decks in a 22' x 36' basement. It is set in the transition era of the mid 1950's with electric, steam and diesel locomotives.  It is a "proto-freelance" railroad. That is, it is not meant to be an exact "replica" of the actual railroad, but rather capture the "flavor" of what these railroads were in the 1950's...  The railroad was built for prototypical operations and op sessions are regularly held on the second Saturday of the month.

     The PRR is represented by a 270' mainline from Washington, DC, to Enola/Harrisburg, PA, with staging for Columbia, PA. The RDG Railroad is represented by a 100' mainline between Lurgan, PA, and Reading, PA. The WM is represented by a 180' mainline from Baltimore, MD to Hagerstown, MD, with staging for Cumberland, MD, and the Lurgan Branch  to connect to the RDG at Lurgan, PA.  This is a total of a 550' mainline track.

     The model railroad is a modified L girder design for the lower deck and cantilevered open grid design for the upper deck. The original section has Atlas Code 100 Flex track and Atlas turnouts over N scale cork with one inch foam and 1/2 inch plywood sub-roadbed.   The new addition has Atlas Code 83 Flex track and Walthers turnouts directly on 3/4 inch plywood sub-roadbed.  All 215 turnouts are controlled via slow motion switch machines (tortoises).  Control is DCC with a radio-equipped Digitrax Super Chief system. CTC Signaling is fully implemented using two C/MRI systems.  Scenery work is about 2/3 complete.  Most locomotives (90%) have sound.

Here is a map showing the modeled portion of the WM in red, the Reading in green, and the PRR in blue.  Click image for a larger version.

     The expansion project of last winter (2007/2008) is completed and added 400+ car staging for the PRR at Washington, DC (Potomac Yard/Union Station), 200+ car staging for the RDG at Reading, PA, and 250+ car staging for the PRR at Harrisburg, PA.  The original "Enola/Rutherford" yard is now only RDG's Rutherford Yard.  A new 350+ car Enola Yard has been built on the top deck of the expansion.  Also, the WM/RDG dispatcher has been separated from the PRR dispatcher.  The following are track diagrams which pre-date this expansion project.  Click on them for a larger version.

Lower Deck Upper Deck

     The WM/RDG uses a 1950's style US&S CTC machine and the PRR uses a 1990's style computerized CTC machine.  Communications between the dispatchers and train crews are via FRS radio while communications between the dispatchers and yardmasters are via telephone.  A typical operating session has 2 dispatchers, 5 yardmasters, 4 yard crews, and 8 road crews.  Helper crews are assigned from the road crews as needed.