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Modeling with an Erie Lackawanna Theme: The H & H Railway - by Joseph Lofland.

H & H Railway

Ralph's coal

Above: The H&H started as a freelanced line, but has evolved into a showcase for award-winning EL models that are operated in a prototypical fashion. Jobs work out of Duquesne, which has an assigned yard switcher; Ralph's coal is at the end of the branch to North Hampton.

The H&H, or Henrietta & Humphrey Railroad, was named for two pet gerbils I have. Though this may be an unusual source for a rail-road name, it could easily be derived from towns with those names, since they are the kinds of names one might find in eastern Pennsylvania, the area that the H&H scenery and industries are most similar to. The railroad's herald was greatly influenced by these little animals, as were many of the industries on the line.

The H&H was started a few years ago in an unfinished attic in my house. To complete the construction of the room, I had to build drop steps in the ceiling and put sub flooring over the joists. A three foot knee wall was built to allow storage space behind the room, and extra insulation and electrical outlets were also added.

After the room was done, I took the dimensions of it and, using quarter inch-ruled graph paper, formulated several track plans. With several different sources of ideas for the plan, I finally chose one that worked well with various room features, such as pipes, and allowed sufficient room for the railroad's construction.

The layout is basically a double loop around the attic. I enjoy railfanning heavily-trafficked roads most, and my layout reflects that. There are three different elevations on the main line with two branches off of it. The main line was developed to enable trains to run in a loop if the crossovers were set for the diverging route or, if the crossovers were normal, the train could take both loops to get back to the starting point. Several industries dot the line to add interesting switching possibilities.

H & H Railway

A card system controls the routing of the cars to and from specific destinations, and it is enlarged as new industries are added. For instance, with the completion of the coal unloader, filled hoppers now leave the mine for the yard, are put on mainline trains for an-other yard and finally are switched to the dock for unloading.

The layout's construction is standard, using plywood covered with Homasote®. The bench work has been altered many times to accommodate the various changes to it. The scenery was made by using the zip-texturing method over a plaster base. The plaster, which I purchased in 100-pound quantities from a building supply dealer, was smoothed over regular window screen. Both commercial and homemade ground foam was used for the ground cover, and trees were planted across the layout to simulate the forested East. More trees will follow in time.

I pattern my rolling stock and trains after the Erie Lackawanna, and have modeled much of their equipment over the years. The H&H equipment is virtually the same, even to the EL paint scheme, which has been simulated in dark green with a sky blue stripe. There are many things yet to be done on the H&H, and I know there are aspects of the road I will change. However, we grow and develop new interests and skills over time, and this is reflected in our railroads, too.

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Scenes of the H&H Railway


lckesburg is another major terminal for crews and locos. The PAs will replace the E8s here on the head end-heavy passenger train while the commuter run lays over. Back To Top

Winton-engined EMC switcher
The Winton-engined EMC switcher was one of two on the DL&W; the scratchbuilt model is switching at the Duquesne station. Back To Top

North Hampton Cement Plant

Cement plants are common in certain parts of the Northeast, and the H&H follows this with one at North Hampton.Back To Top

Ickesburg's engine house

Ickesburg's engine house is small, but it handles a lot of engines in a day. The realism of the diesel servicing facility comes from combining kitbashed and scratch-built structures and parts with details typical of such places. A raised servicing platform, barrels, boxcar-body shed, company vehicles and scale figures create a busy look here. Back To Top

Local passenger train

Local and through passenger trains are important on the H&H. Back To Top

The humped-roof Stillwell coache

The humped-roof Stillwell coaches, pulling out of lckesburg behind an Alco while a Geep switches the yard, are common on commuter trains. The wire for the electrics is not up yet. Back To Top

Erie Lackawanna 539

Erie Lackawanna 539 began with a Cary Alco S2 switcher body kit; it was mounted on an Athearn chassis and detailed for the prototype. The caboose is a scratchbuilt model. Back To Top



RS3s in two paint schemes, the merged Erie Lackawanna and a transitional one done on an Erie unit, run on the H&H. Both models are fitted with steam generators and are Hobbytowns. Back To Top

covered wagon scheme

The F3 set has the first Erie Lackawanna covered wagon scheme, which was based on the Erie colors. It was replaced by the more colorful DL&W-based design. The models are cast metal Cary shells. Back To Top

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JJLModels | Joe Lofland | 318 Bonnie Vue Drive | Cranberry Township, PA 16066 | 302.593.4324 | jjlmodels@gmail.com | Copyright 2011© | Site by TLF Professional Services | Updated: 07/16/2011
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