Dan Vandermause's Allegheny Western Subdivision

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The S-Scale B&O/Allegheny Western Subdivision

This 11 foot x 45 foot S-scale model railroad represents a portion of the operations of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad through the Pittsburgh, PA area in 1966. The B&O operations take place over the trackage of the former Allegheny Western Railway, an P&LE-like railroad which offered superior facilities to the B&O�s own route through the Pittsburgh region.

This type of prototype-freelancing is particularly useful when modeling in a minority scale like S-scale, allowing for use of rolling stock and structures that do not match actual B&O practice, but are offered as RTR or kits in S-scale.

History of the Allegheny Western Railway

The history of the fictitious Allegheny Western Railroad begins in 1875. In that year, some influential Pittsburgh businessmen, anxious to create a connection between Pittsburgh and the lake port at Cleveland, chartered the Allegheny Western Railroad and completed the line between Pittsburgh and Cleveland in 1888. During the 1890�s, track was extended south from Pittsburgh to serve the steel facilities in McKeesport, and coal mining operations in Versailles, PA. The Allegheny Western continued as an independent operation until the Great Depression following the stock market crash of 1929.

In 1934, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad secured majority stockholder interest and the company was reorganized as the Allegheny Western Railway. Under B&O control, the Allegheny Western continued basically as an independent operation, but B&O increasingly took advantage of the Allegheny Western�s superior right-of-way. B&O passenger trains operating through Pittsburgh were moved to the Allegheny Western from Versailles to Akron and from Versailles to Cleveland in 1934. From 1934 to 1960, in increments, the original B&O mainline was abandoned from Versailles to a point just east of Glenwood Yard, with the superior Allegheny Western mainline being used by both roads between these two points.

In 1963, concurrent with the affiliation with the C&O, the B&O absorbed the Allegheny Western Railway into the B&O, designating it as the Allegheny Western Subdivision of the Pittsburgh Division. By 1966, the year being modeled, only a few pieces of Allegheny Western Railway rolling stock and other reminders of the independent Allegheny Western operation remained, and the B&O image had become dominant.

Operations Modeled on the S-scale B&O/Allegheny Western Subdivision

The layout focuses on operations between Versailles, PA and West End, PA in the greater Pittsburgh area.

By 1966, B&O through passenger service to Cleveland had ended, but there were still multiple passenger trains operating through Pittsburgh, linking Chicago with Washington and Baltimore. In addition, commuter service is offered between Pittsburgh and Versailles.

The major freight connections modeled on the layout are:

  • The Penn Creek Valley (an S-scale model railroad owned by Sam Powell, which represents the Pittsburgh and West Virginia) with an interchange at West End.

  • The Monongahela Connecting Railroad, which serves Jones & Laughlin Steel Co. facilities, and interchanges with the B&O at Glenwood Yard.

Operations are based on the car card/waybill system with a fast clock.

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Site last updated December 31, 2020  



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