Owner Inspiration & Techniques: Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum

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Duration: 8:24

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The Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum models the area from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland in July of 1952. President, Ray Mueser picked this area and this time frame because at that time steel and the mills were still open and running well. The railroads were very strong and they were phasing out the steam locomotives and bringing in the diesel so, both eras can be seen on the layout. Treasurer, Ed Sipe modeled the B&O and his own railroad the Mon Valley System. The Mon Valley System is a portion of an imaginary railroad that runs from Chicago to New York and points south.

The layout only shows Pittsburgh to Cumberland, but it picks up parts of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie, the P&LE, parts of the Pittsburgh and West Virginia, and the Western Maryland. In the background at times, and sometimes in the foreground is the straight B&O that is entering from Pittsburgh to Cumberland. There are two main lines – the B&O and the Mon Valley. These are all that can be seen, but there is traffic from other railroads that interchange. The Mon Valley system is very unique because in the year 2000 the rails to trails program from Pittsburgh to Cumberland is the Mon Valley system and bicycles can now be rode between them.

Ray Mueser goes on to describe the previous incarnations of the club. Before it was a museum, it started in 1938 as a Pittsburgh HO club and shortly after that it changed its name to the Pittsburgh Model Railroad Club. In 1985 it was incorporated as a non-profit organization as the Pittsburgh Model Railroad Historical Society. In June of 1999 it became what it is today.