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40 O G A U G E R A I L R O A D I N G J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 6 Realistic operations with 3-rail O gauge Railroading with a Purpose Article and Diagrams by Bob Bartizek Photos by Tom Patterson My Pennsylvania & Western is different from just about any other 3-rail layout you may have seen or read about. It represents the Pennsylvania Railroad in western Pennsylvania during the early 1950s. e trains, structures, vehicles, and details are appropriate for that era and weathered. e biggest difference is this is an operating model railroad as opposed to a display layout. Okay, so what is the distinction between the two? Well, it's probably fair to say that the vast majority of layouts in all scales are display layouts. is is especially true in our 3-rail world. We like to watch trains running on display through scenery and towns we have created. It's fun to have friends come over and see our display. If we have a yard on our layout, we typically use it as storage to display extra cars on or maybe even complete trains that we can bring out and run. Of course, many display layout owners enjoy the process of building and detailing the layout, but once that job is done, the fun level often decreases. Running trains around their creation is enjoyable, but eventually a feeling of "is that all there is" can creep in. Sharing the layout with friends helps, but will those friends visit frequently enough if there is no new construction progress to see? Operating model railroads, common in many of the smaller scales, is designed from the start with prototypical operation of trains in mind. rough trains bring cars from the rest of the world onto the layout and deliver at least some of those cars to a yard. In the yard cars are sorted or classified according to their next destination. Local trains leave the yard and deliver cars to the A Pennsy L1s 2-8-2 prepares to back off the Annville turntable after being turned westbound. A Pittman motor was added to this Weaver brass model, and a coil coupler was mounted on the pilot truck. The turntable is from Millhouse River Studios. 1

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