Allen McClelland has always been a big believer in staging. On his previous layout, he had two major staging areas that kept the rolling stock separated. It ended up being very difficult because he kept extra cars stored and never operated with all of his rolling stock at the same time. In his current staging, he has all the staging together.
Allen goes on to describe which cars are going where. There is also shelving in the staging area where he can store locomotives when they are not in service. Another concept of Allen’s staging is being able to actually spot cars and pick up cars. A good example is with the Zack Turn which is run on the Stone Creek subdivision. Zack is a yard towards the end of the branch with industries where the locals would do the switching. The Zack Turn has arrived and some switching must be done, so he goes on to show how he switches the Zack Turn.
Allen McClelland was one of the first modelers to push the envelope of railroading into prototype style operations. Allen didn’t set about to make this change to the hobby, he just wanted to do what he wanted to do. He wanted to get near his trains and see his trains, he wanted to create the feeling that the engineer was in the cab. Walkarounds were the closest he could get to this. Most of the ideas he has come up with have worked out, but some gave not. He goes on to talk about some of the unique concepts he worked out in the hobby with Allen Keller.
Watch more from Allen Keller’s Great Model Railroads in the Model Railroad Academy archives.