The Allegheny Lehigh & Eastern Railroad was a double-deck HO scale model railroad in a 26’ x 16’ basement room with about 270’ of mainline run plus additional hidden staging. Regular Operating Sessions involving 6-10 crewmembers were held from the initial shakedown session in October of 2015 until the final session on January 2, 2018. It existed from 2002 until being dismantled and moved to Central Virginia in early 2018.
The first scheduled work session after relocation occurred on September 11, 2018 and since then construction has progressed steadily with one 3 month hiatus for a health issue. The reincarnation is in a 38’ x 20’ space with adjacent crew lounge and work room, and direct handicap access to the outside. It remains double decked and reuses nearly all benchwork and about 70% of the remainder of the old layout. The concept remains the same, but the aisles are significantly wider and staging is no longer inaccessible in a crawl space.
It represents a fictional railroad assembled from fallen flags after the formation of Conrail, primarily to serve the industrial and coal-producing regions of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Coal has experienced a resurgence in importance in meeting the chemical and energy needs of the world. The areas traversed by this railroad are also resort and bedroom communities that have a need for public transportation provided by commuter rail service subsidized by NJ Transit and other agencies. Amtrak has also targeted this region for new service and is expected to introduce new trains once the station facilities have been completed. Intermodal traffic to and from the off-line port facilities is a significant revenue producer, while an on-line steel mill and interchanges with adjacent regional carriers guarantee a continuous flow of mixed high-priority traffic.
Operation on the rebuilt railroad resumed on February 3, 2022 with a "Golden Tie" celebration involving the construction crew who rebuilt the railroad.
GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT & CHIEF ENGINEER
A 50+ year veteran of Model Railroading; member of James River Division of NMRA, PRR T&HS, and OpSig. Very active operator and work crew member on several model railroads.
PAST & CURRENT ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS
Before COVID-19 issues arose in March 2020, regular work sessions were held to reconstruct the layout. Much remains to be "done" and we eagerly look forward to resuming these.
An informal group of operators from all over Virginia make up the "regular" first Thursday operating crew. Order of response to the crew call determines "seniority" on a session's roster. Assignments are based on selections and seniority. The session is posted on OperatingSessions.com.