The PRR Chartiers Branch - Introduction
If you have browsed around on my web site a bit, you will have read that I switched modeling scales from N to S in July 2008 (see my Changing Scales article). This is my first S-scale layout. As you can see in the "Model Railroads" section of my web site, I have always only modeled in N-scale before this.

Due to space constraints, this layout necessitated the need for it being a small switching layout. This worked out well, actually, because through my experimentation on the previous N-scale layouts, I learned that I really enjoy switching operations. Whenever I am invited to an operating session at local layouts, I always look for the switching "jobs".

The other thing I have learned about myself is that I enjoy modeling a real prototype. So with those two things as a "known", I set about finding a prototype that would match what I can do. I eventually concluded that I needed to model a branch line. Modeling the Pennsylvania Railroad is pretty much a set-in-stone requirement, so I did a bunch of research online about the many branch lines that the PRR had. I eventually discovered and settled on the Chartiers Branch in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Chartiers branch was 23 miles long. To model that in the space I have, I decided to only model the last 1/3 of it, and a heavily-compressed format at that.

I have compiled my research of the PRR's Chartiers Branch into a separate article, rather than making it a part of this layout documentation. At this point in time I see myself moving to a larger space, where I hope to model more of the Chartiers branch, so having the prototype information separate from the layout documentation pages will be less confusing then.