Overview of the Coal Belt Railroad

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In this video, Allen Keller gives a brief overview of Bill Henderson’s Coal Belt model railroad. The railroad is a freelance version of several eastern railroads including the Redding and Delaware and Hudson. There are many camelback locomotives on the railroad. Camelback trains have the cab over the boiler so a larger firebox can be used.

Bill is a student of the history of model railroading and often quotes from the old model railroading masters like Paul Larson, John Page, and Frank Ellison. Bill pays homage to these masters by naming passenger cars or towns in their honor. The scenery on this HO layout is some of the best in the hobby. Most of the materials used are natural. He uses very few commercial products, making his scenery inexpensive to create.

The Coal Belt is housed in a storage building at his home in Alabama. The layout is eight feet by twenty feet and representing Eastern Pennsylvania in 1910. It was built on one by two framework with a minimum radius of twenty four inches. Bill is also a musician who listens to opera while running his railroad.

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