The Layout

About the Proto48 D&H Penn Division Layout:


At this time, a 26′ x 54′ double decked, shelf-type layout with herniated helix, set in September of 1952  is in the works.

General construction began in April of 2012, with the modification and upgrading of the layout space itself, as well as the construction and addition of a drop hatch over the staircase to the ground level; the hatch serving as a part of the layout room floor when closed.


The Railroad will feature 510′ of visible, double-tracked mainline, with D&H and Erie symbol freights running north from the yards at Carbondale, PA (WC Tower), with pushers to the top of Ararat Mountain. In the opposite direction, D&H trains from Oneonta, NY (Nineveh) will first be seen at Lanesboro, PA, where pushers from Cascasde Wye will be added to the trains for the push up the northern slope of Aararat to the summit. Comparable Erie trains from Susquehanna, PA will also be occasionally featured, first appearing at the Jefferson Junction interchange to start their southward assault on Ararat.

Here’s a track profile of the Delaware & Hudson’s Pennsylvania Division (slopes between the red arrows is the modeled portion of the line):

(Image courtesy Kalmbach Publishing, 1967)

Northbound trains will enter the visible layout at  West Carbondale (WC) from off-scene staging, and Southbounds will enter from off-scene at Lanesboro, using the same hidden staging. Northbound trains will be making the run up Ararat Mtn. and down the other side to Lanesboro.  Southbounds will do the reverse.

Northbound pushers (with the exception of the Forest City Kicker) will make the run to the summit and the return trip to West Carbondale (and into hidden staging to be turned). Southbound pushers will be making the run to the summit and the return trip to Cascade for turning.

The NYO&W single tracked Scranton Division main (that paralleled the D&H/Erie from West Carbondale to Uniondale) will be included in the first 35 visible feet of Level I. The O&W, running shoulder-to-shoulder with the Jefferson Division main, will make the curve at the top of the hill, enter a Bellina Drop, and then descend below the benchwork returning to off-scene staging.

Features will include:

1. Switching and freight operations along the visible portion of the Division, between WC and Cascade Wye…

2. Carbondale (south end) and Oneonta (north end) Yard operations with the making up of north and southbound trains (in off-scene staging).  Run-through (empties-in-loads-out) and reverse loop operations will occur along with locomotive servicing and turning.

3. Northbound push up Ararat, for D&H and Erie symbol trains and extras…

4. Forest City “Kicker” operations…

5. Southbound push up Ararat for D&H and double-heading for Erie…

6. Switching at Forest City, Ararat, Thompson and Lanesboro w/yard switching occurring in staging…

7. D&H and Erie steam and diesel locomotive pusher operations at the Ararat Wye,  steam loco turning (diesels do not) and return light running, back to both Carbondale and Lanesboro…

8. D&H steam loco and diesel pusher operations at the Cascade Wye, loco turning in preparation for the push back up the hill to Ararat…

9. NYO&W “run through” operations, hauled by EMD FT and F3 diesels…

Here are some basic drawings of the proposed layout.  They have not been fully flesh-out (not all tracks are drawn in) and modifications are still ongoing. A final trackplan will be drawn using 3rd Plan-It Railroad CAD software.

Level I (that includes off-scene staging)

Level II

Detail of reversed loops/run-through in Staging

The Penn Division Layout is series of highly detailed, sequential vignettes (connected by a set of common tracks) that run in the correct geographical order. There are literally hundreds of “Scenes” along the 35 mile stretch of the division that’s being modeled. The biggest problem is trying to distill those down into two dozen or less.

As an aid in modeling the selected scenes accurately, I have created a sequential “scene list” for both Level I and Level II. As an accompaniment, I have put together a selection of prototype images that show each scene as it would have existed in the 1950-52 time frame.

Here’s a link to that Scene List: (Hi-res, large file)

Penn Division/Jefferson Division Scenes List and Images

Here’s a second link to the Scene List: (Lo-res, small file)

Penn_Jeff Scenes List and Images_web