Summerfield - Ohio River and Western Railroad

0n30 by David O'Hearn

How it all Began:

Bachmann brought out a ready to run train set in 1998 in US O scale of 1:48 that operated on HO scale track. I was fascinated by the quality and running characteristics of this train set so I purchased a set of 1 mogul (2-6-0) locomotive and three coaches to run around the base of the Christmas Tree.

I then read that the Bachmann set that I had purchased was based on the Ohio River and Western (OR&W) Railroad as described in a book by Edward Cass called Hidden Treasures - The Story of the Ohio River and Western Railway. I read the book and became rapt in the history of this railroad. I also saw that the station of Summerfield in Ohio would make a great model diorama so I started researching the details of this town. I contacted Edward Cass via the internet and he emailed me copies of all of his research materials for Summerfield that had not been published in the book. I also found other data such as Sandborn maps and topographical maps on the internet. From all this data, I created my representation of Summerfield set around May 1923 in a period when the OR&W was being taken over by the Pennsy.

The Layout:

The layout started life as an exhibition layout and I displayed it at about 15 model railway shows during the period 2000 to 2004. I then de-commissioned the layout and built the main modules into a home layout. At this stage I took the liberty of adding a waterfront section and an industrial area that were not part of the 'prototype' Summerfield township. In 2007, a move from Sydney to Canberra has meant dismantling and moving the layout. Some sections of the layout have been re-assembled but some parts need modification to fit the layout in the new train room.

Technical Details:

The layout is built in sections to allow for moving and exhibition. Each section is constructed of 9mm plywood and is 600mm wide and 2130mm long (so they fit in racks in a 7x 4 box trailer). The track is Peco 0n30 with HO scale Peco code 100 points. Some structures are commercially purchased but key structures such as the station and engine shed have been scratchbuilt to reflect the real Summerfield. The layout is operated using System One DCC. Most of the rolling stock is Bachmann with some of it being re-decaled for the OR&W. Some of the locomotives have tsunami sound decoders for added atmosphere and effects. Also, some background sounds have been added at the waterfront (seagulls) and at the church on the hill (church bells at random intervals). Street and building lighting is also being added as time permits.

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