Librarian E-Mail:

Great Model Railroads By Allen Keller Vol. # 14


Volume 14 - Tony Koester's Allegheny Midland Railroad
The Allegheny Midland of Tony Koester is an operations oriented railroad that hauls coal through Virginia and West Virginia. Although based on the Nickel Plate and the C&O, Tony refers to his style as prototype freelancing.

The HO scale Allegheny Midland has changed era at least 5 times. Tony has now settled on 1958 while steam still reigns in the mountains. Elaborately painted first generation diesels are making inroads. This careful attention to history is evident throughout the layout because Tony really enjoys historical research.

An Appalachian railroad needs thousands of trees and lots of tunnels. Tony will show you how to make these elements quickly and realistically. He'll also explain methods of modifying common plastic kits into one-of-a-kind structures.

He has succeeded in making the Allegheny Midland a believable railroad that follows standard prototype operating rules.

The Allegheny Midland is a Great Model Railroad because of the "Trains of Thought" that its builder has put into it. Tony, the former editor of Railroad Model Craftsman, champions an intellectual approach to the hobby.


By George Ardwin
If you have been involved with model trains at all, TONY KOESTER should be well known to you. He was the editor of RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN at one time, and is now a contributing editor at MODEL RAILROADER. His "Trains of Thought" articles are always enlightening and a joy to read each month. You may have seen him in person too, he visits many clubs and train shows each year.

Tony's ALLEGHENY MIDLAND has been featured in the model press extensively these past few years. Although it has changed timelines a lot, it now represents the 1950's era. The Nickel Plate, and the C & O Railroads are represented in HO scale. The location is the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. Some VERY long coal trains can be seen, but other freight and passenger service is also very prevalent during operating sessions. Both Steam and Diesel power are used.

The overall look of this layout is absolute perfection. Every aspect of life on the railroad has been captured to the nth degree. There are a lot of kitbashed and scratchbuilt structures, so the layout does not have that "Rubber Stamp" look that beginners have a hard time overcoming. The track is controlled with a CTC board and a Dynatrol system.

Tony has many interesting ideas and philosophies about model railroading, and is glad to share them with us. His vast experience makes him a "Gold Mine" for those that want to learn. If you don't read his column each month, you're missing a LOT.

Here are the Demos:

I might mention that this is Tony's OLD layout. A new one is now under construction.

Review a video

vcr tapesWe are looking for volunteers to submit written reviews of the videos in the Division Library. No special qualifications are needed. Just check out a video, watch it, give us your written opinion - good, bad or indifferent - and you're an author! We'll publish the reviews in the Call Board as they're submitted, and post them in the on-line database of the library! Contact the Librarian or any BOG member for more information.