by Joe Ioele and Bob Leverknight/photos by Bob Leverknight
In the last issue we visited Joe Ioele’s expansive Cumberland Valley Railroad. A quick recap: the layout represents the Pennsylvania Railroad and Norfolk & Western lines from the Shenandoah and Cumberland valleys of central Pennsylvania running from Virginia through Maryland and finally meeting PRR’s east-west main line at Harrisburg, Pa.
In the prototype world, Cumberland Valley Railroad was one of Pennsylvania’s earliest railroads, connecting the rich agricultural region around Chambersburg, Pa., and Hagerstown, Md., with PRR’s main stem in Harrisburg. As time went on, the line gained importance as a bypass of congestion around Washington, D.C.
ABOVE: At Pocahontas Coal Mine No. 1; the operator is located in a booth at the conveyor in front of the mine, loading different grades of coal on three different tracks.
On Joe’s railroad, these lines serve as a highly detailed system, with everything from the heavy steam power of N&W to Pennsy’s speedy electrics, along with the first-generation diesel power common to the late 1950s.
The town scenes, although not based on any one borough, are very nice representations of the unique architecture of the region. Structures are a mix of appropriately modified commercial offerings, kitbashed items, and those scratchbuilt to prototype plans. The towers, for example, are all scratchbuilt examples of real PRR signal towers…
ABOVE: Left, the foreman is supervising the track gang spreading rail to the correct gauge at Ridge Tower. Another crew is carrying more rail to be added on for the turnout that will be connected to the main line.