The Piermont Division of Howard Zane has changed much since Allen Keller saw it last. Allen asks if Howard thinks the layout is complete. Howard’s response? A layout is never complete. Every time he sees someone’s layout or some photographs, he wants to make a change in the layout. Since Allen has seen it, Howard has added on two additions.
For the first addition, Howard had planned to sell the layout to no avail. He even tried to sell the house and the realtor didn’t think she could sell it with the layout in the basement. Eventually, he rediscovered his love for the hobby. The first addition was in 1995 which he finished in 1999. They added another two-story addition to the house when he got married that included more to the basement.
Howard shows a model of the second addition, which was 44 by 22. On the second addition, he knew he wanted to extend the main line with over unders and so forth, the black sections on the model representing what was underground. The model he made helped him visualize the addition before he started on it. He eventually decided the duck-unders were not a good idea since the art of it couldn’t be appreciated. So, in March of 2006, he ripped everything out.
The original layout was built between 1983 to 1991. As his tastes and techniques changed, the duck-unders became an issue. He took out the famous town of Piermont to put in a huge river and a waterfall, and in doing so built the Amy John Falls, named for both of his children.
Watch more from Allen Keller’s Great Model Railroad series in the Model Railroad Academy archives.