Overview of Ken McCorry’s Conrail Railroad

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Duration:   2:10   mins

In this video, Allen Keller covers an overview of Ken McCorry’s massive Conrail railroad layout. It’s reported to be the largest home layout in the world. This was not the original aim for Ken, he just wanted to build a railroad to recreate his favorite part of Pennsylvania in the early 1980’s. The Conrail railroad layout follows the route of the old Pennsylvania railroad from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Buffalo, New York. It takes a train about 45 minutes to run the full length of this HO railroad. That means the main line is 25 scale miles long. Adding to the operating interest is Keating Summit. Its 3% grade requires the use of helpers.

Allen Keller asks Ken why he built this layout over 1,500 feet long. Ken wanted to be able to run 40 car trains on a long mainline run through many recognizable scenes. The layout seems a bit overwhelming when one first beholds it. This HO railroad has its own 32 by 80 foot building with a 24 by 32 foot addition to make over 3,300 square feet. If this wasn’t large enough, Ken has stacked the layout so that in some places there are five levels. The highest and lowest levels serve as his staging and most of the visible action is on levels three and four. The tour of the Conrail railroad begins with a string of ore cars around the layout. After traveling over 240 feet of hidden track, the train becomes visible at Sunbury. For more Allen Keller videos, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.

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