Designing Steve's Model Railroad Layout


Member of the P&LE RR HS

This Site is dedicated to three good friends who are no longer with us.

l-r. Lloyd Heck, Carl Wipprecht, Bob Clark

Layout Desires


Track Charts

Layout Plans

Layout Construction Progress

Unanswered Questions

Railroad Information:


Pittsburgh & Lake Erie (P&LE)

Montour (MRR)

Pittsburgh Chartiers & Youghiogheny Railway (PC&Y)

Pittsburgh & Ohio Valley (P&OV)

Pittsburgh, Allegheny & McKees Rocks (PAM)

Monongahela Connecting (MCRR or MonCon)


Steve Raque

I am in the process of designing an HO scale model railroad layout centered on the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad in and around Pittsburgh. Via this website, e-mail, and associated files, I am seeking the assistance of friends or anyone else who is interested in layout design. I will be adding information here periodically that will be useful to the design process. I hope also that some of the information here will be helpful to others with similar interests. As well, if anyone has information that is additional or better than what I have, I invite you to share it, and I will be most grateful.

This page will serve as the central access point to all the information I have. I will also keep a log here of updates and additions. Once I get deeper into the detailed design of the layout, I will be posting electronic files of the layout plans. I will be using 3rd PlanIt by El Dorado Software, so those with that program will be able to look at the files directly and modify them with suggestions if desired. I will also post images of each plan so that those without 3rd PlanIt can help out too.

To sum up, I welcome your comments and corrections to anything and everything on these pages. I also have a page of key information I don't know, and I welcome answers to those.


I have posted 3 snapshots of my recently completed PC&Y SW-9 locomotive (here). The P&OV is almost done. All decals are on, and I just need to reassemble and weather it.


A year between website updates is too long. Thanks to everyone who has asked about the layout progress, it DOES continue. Tonight, a major milestone was passed. I had two locomotives running under radio DCC!

Trackwork progress has been slow since the convention. I spent a lot of time building a 400' long curved deck girder trestle for down at the club. As I layed out the trackwork for the east end of Neville Island, I realized that one of the basement posts didn't end up quite where I expected, so that entire end of the layout had to be re-designed. That is all over now and track laying has resumed. I also have painted two SW-9's, one for the P&OV and one for the PC&Y. Right now they are carrying their basic color, and I have a set of custom decals almost done. For the PC&Y one, I had my first adventure with stripping factory paint. Brake fluid did the trick nicely! I will post photos of the new ties on the east end when I get time.


Well, the MCR 2006 Convention is over. Everything we hear is that it was a good one. I was not as tired nor as frazzled as I thought I would be. I had not updated the website recently because I was spending every possible minute working on the layout or on the convention. I also didn't want to spoil the surprise for those who were on the layout tour. Thanks to all who came by. I had about 50 folks stop in. I got some very generous comments, and some great suggestions and ideas. I didn't get as much done as I originally desired. Heck, a year ago I thought I would have an operating session for the convention HA! The construction page has been updated with new photos, and after about a two week siesta from the railroad, I am ready to go back to the basement. There are so many projects I am excited about, I am not sure where to start.


Plenty more progress in the basement over the last three months. Neville Island benchwork is up and ready for track. Lots of new pictures are now posted to the construction page.


Lots of progress in the basement over the last three months. Over half the drywall is now at least primed, about half the suspended ceiling is up, and a big chunk of the lights are now up and wired. There are a couple new photos on the construction page.


I have now included a first version of what I call a Neville Island Interactive Map. It is an aerial photo where you can click to zoom in and open windows that show the different industries. It includes topo maps, photos of the buildings and other information. Right now only the West end of the map works. More is on the way.


WOW! It is hard to believe that it has been over two years since I made updates tot his site. I am amazed at how many hits this site still gets per week. I am also happy that I continue to get occasional e-mails from folks asking how it has been going. Thanks for the continued encouragement. The basement is much the same as it was two years ago, but progress is on the way. I have been doing some serious track planning this winter, and I have posted some new plans for everyone to look at. The furnace has left the basement, and this opened up one wall nicely. I am now ready to complete the drywall and get on with the ceiling.

This update also includes an improved page about modeling P&LE U-28s. Since the original page was posted, I wrote an article about this subject for the P&LE Historical Society magazine, The Little Giant.


Added reprint of 1967 RS&C article about P&LE CTC project to the P&LE page. Includes nice diagram of route control machine.


Added a comparison of the P&LE U-boats with the Stewart models. This new page also includes a comparison of older U25Bs and the newer U25/28Bs.


Two new drawings are posted in the layout plans area. One is a mostly complete drawing of McKees Rocks Yard in the early 70's thanks to Gary Capaldi. From his info, I have generated a scaled-down schematic I plan to use as the basis for the yard on the layout. I have layed out the yard in 3rd PlanIt, and the file is posted on the Plans page. Please critique the yard, and send me your comments. I am going to try the same yard layout in another part of the basement (I still don't have an overall layout scheme I am happy with).


As promised, the pictures of the basement improvements have now been posted on the Layout Construction Progress page.


Construction on the basement has begun. Drywall is up and the first coat of mud is almost done. Pictures to be posted soon. The operations page is now active thanks to several contributors.


3rd PlanIt file with empty basement and several layers added to the Layout Plans area. There is now a counter on the home page. I have chnaged the file and folder structure of the site. If there are any broken links, please let me know.


Added Montour Railroad and P&LE Yough Branch track charts to the track charts page. Added P&LE page and put 1971 ORER there.


Added the PC&Y page with a map and list of industries.


Iinitial site including: high res map of area, low res diagram of railraods, loacality maps, P&LE Division track charts, and layout desires. Also built structure for much of the information to come.

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