The Reading Model Railroad Layout

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Model railroading serves as an opportunity to bring new life to a fading past. Layouts often preserve historically important eras and locations. It’s a hobby that goes far beyond a creative outlet. The time, research, and detailing that goes into model railroads can be very extensive. For example, the Reading Railroad layout takes observers back to the Pennsylvania coal mines set in the 1950’s. Jim Hertzog referred to his childhood for inspiration with this model. He recalls his fascination with the coal trains and the coalfields he grew up around. The coal region was on a decline and Jim sought to preserve it through the Reading Railroad.

The Reading Railroad

This video is the introduction to an 11-part series with Allen Keller, which follows Jim Hertzog and the Reading Railroad. The series takes you on a behind the scenes tour of the Reading layout and an inside look at the operations. Jim also demonstrates several step-by-step tutorials on scenery and weathering.

The Reading is an HO scale layout set in the coal-mining district of Pennsylvania. The railroad runs from Shamokin to Tamaqua with interchanges in New England. Jim constructed the 300-foot mainline in his basement with a walk around track plan to fully immerse visitors.

Watch as Allen Keller and Jim Hertzog explore the Reading Railroad in this series. Jim shares tips and tricks he developed through designing and constructing the Reading so be sure to follow along for model railroading inspiration and techniques to improve your own layout.

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