The Allegheny Midland: Lessons Learned

The Allegheny Midland: Lessons Learned

Tony Koester

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Tony Koesterís well-known HO scale Allegheny Midland layout is analyzed in detail in this fascinating new book. Built over the course of 25 years, the layout has been the subject of many Model Railroader magazine articles over the years. Here, Koester looks at lessons learned during the construction and operation of the Allegheny Midland. Using the authorís original photography, he highlights many how-to lessons from its construction, along with the wisdom and perspective that comes from reviewing what worked and what didnít on one of the largest and most notable layouts in the country.

A compelling combination of project layout, analysis, and how-to book

Author Tony Koester gives insight into his 25-year layout project

The Allegheny Midland is legendary among model railroaders and continues to generate interest


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Author: Tony Koester
Softcover; 8 1/4 x 10 3/4; 96 pages; 150 color photos; ISBN: 9780890247709


Allegheny Midland: Lessons Learned is Tony Koesterís seventh book focusing on his life-long hobby of model railroading. Tony Koester spent a quarter of a century designing, building, and operating (with his friends) the Allegheny Midland, a freelanced coal-hauling HO railroad. He is now hard at work completing a multi-deck HO layout that accurately depicts the Nickel Plate Road's St. Louis Division as it appeared in 1954. Tony has been the editor of Model Railroad Planning, a special annual issue of Model Railroader magazine, since its inception in 1995. He is a contributing editor to Model Railroader and writes the popular Trains of Thought column and numerous feature articles.
Introduction 4

Chapter 1: The roots of the Allegheny Midland 6
-How the Midland Road came to be

Chapter 2: Persnickety plagiarism 14
-"Borrowing" from others' ideas

Chapter 3: Connecting to the rail network 24
-Placing the AM in America's rail system

Chapter 4: Designing the Allegheny Midland 32
-Walkaround control is the key
-Track plan 34-35

Chapter 5: Creating a plausible roster 42
-Making logical locomotive choices

Chapter 6: From track plan to benchwork 56
-Sturdy support for the railroad

Chapter 7: The track gang goes to work 62
-Laying track for operation and realism

Chapter 8: Signature scenery and structures 70
-Capturing the flavor of a region

Chapter 9: Midland Road operations 78
-Fast time, car cards, and CTC

Chapter 10: Expanding horizons 88
-Adding a branch line to a coal mine

Chapter 11: "Midland Road" Down Under 94
-An Aussie keeps alive the spirit of the AM
Tony Koester's HO scale Allegheny Midland was a revolutionary model railroad from its development in the early 1970s until its demise in 2000. A pioneer of freelanced prototype modeling, it was the subject of countless magazine articles and columns. In The Allegheny Midland: Lessons Learned, the author reviews the history of this inspirational and influential layout and discusses ideas and features that worked - and some that didn't. Koester explains how the Allegheny Midland came to be, which prototype railroads influenced its planning and design, and how the layout - and the hobby itself - evolved throughout the model railroad's 25 years of existence.
-NMRA magazine
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