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Great Model Railroads By Allen Keller Vol. # 12


Volume 12 - Howard Zane's Piermont Division of the Western Maryland
The Piermont Division of the Western Maryland is Howard Zane's beautifully scenicked and detailed model of a West Virginia coal hauler. This layout, a window into the past, evokes fond memories of a different time in America. You'll enjoy railfanning this layout set in 1955, and recalling or learning about that era.

Howard is one of the partners in the Great Scale Train Shows, and he knows this hobby . . .from brass collecting to scratchbuilding. His skills as an industrial/architectural designer let him build a super-detailed city or landscape a gorgeous rural scene from a plan that's never put on paper.

This free form approach to the hobby has resulted in a railroad that is 3-D art. Structures, signals, and trees are selected and placed for color and aesthetic enhancement. Howard loves to share the hobby. He and his friends will show you techniques for building spline roadbed, maintaining locomotives, and painting a scene with ground cover. You'll also get a close-up explanation of the incredible amount of detail on this layout.

This Great Model Railroad is one of the hobby's landmark artistic achievements. It is one of the few layouts with such close attention to period detail.


By George Ardwin
HOWARD ZANE is well known in the model railroading community. He, along with his partners, runs the "Great Scale Train Shows". Howard has also had articles in the press. His railroad is the Piermont Division of the Western Maryland R. R. It fills a large basement and is in HO scale. The topography is very mountainous and is interspersed with several small towns and a larger city. Howard was very much influenced by George Sellios, and the layout was built and weathered accordingly. There are lots of people and vehicles in the scenes, along with tons of small detail items.

The motive power is ALL steam, and has many different types of locomotives. All of them represent Western Maryland R. R.

The era is the summer of 1955. Howard uses carrier control. [Dynatrol]

As with George's layout, the weathering is quite heavy, and everything shows it's age. Not much can be seen of the background. The high mountains hide the horizon for the most part.

The structures are either kitbashed or scratchbuilt, and look great. One interesting fact that I have seen several times is that the layout was built WITHOUT a plan. It just came together as it was built. This method DOES work, and Howard's railroad proves it.

Howard is a very talented individual. He has been an industrial designer, pilot, painter, sculptor, and plays and collects banjos. I'm sure he has other talents in his bag of tricks too.

Here are his demos:

This is another great layout you can learn from.

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