The Layout

A big malley struggles with tonnage as it fights the grade on the Loops.

The appearance of our club model railroad is ever evolving. The original ideas came together in 1992 and 1993 to create a trans-West Virginia rail line across the northern half of the state. Further connections to the eastern port of Baltimore and the western industrial city of Cinncinnati were implied. Members have been especially fond of the Baltimore & Ohio and Western Maryland railroads, so our modeled efforts often reflect these major prototype influences.

Thee official name of the West Virginian Railway Company

The HO scale layout of the Mon Valley Railroad Historical Society is multi-level, with over 500 feet of single track mainline. Industry is centered on coal, paper and glass, with bridge traffic to industrial centers between Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Charleston. Trains are controlled with a Digitrax DCC system, while most turnouts are hand thrown. Four small towns and one central division-point yard at St. George are served along the main. It can easily take 45 minutes to operate a train from one end of the railroad to the other.

A comprehensive layout plan has not been created. The original layout room was 19 x 35 feet , but this has expanded over time and now encompasses most of a 24 x 45 foot space. Construction originally worked from a scale drawing of the mainline right-of-way but nearly every town has been altered from the original sketches to accomodate improved operating possibilities. This simple line drawing is the essence of our HO scale model railroad.

Go to Ravenswood, W.Va. Go to Junior, W.Va. Go to Ellamae, W. Va. Go to St George, W. Va. Go to see the big Hill. Go to Wilson Mills, W. Va. Go to Dobbin, W. Va. Go to the Loops. Go to Patterson Creek, W. Va.

With over 500 feet of mainline, distance between several points has been compressed in comparision to the actual distance across West Virginia. A photo tour of locations along the mainline can be viewed by clicking on a place name in the above drawing. We recommend starting at Ravenswood and proceeding along to each place.


A railroad is more than track and scenery. Locomotives and freight cars are a major part of the presentation. Check out these links and see what members have done to customize models for the Society's railroad.

Freight Cars

Operating sessions have become regular events with our group. Most sessions last from four to six hours. A timetable governs operation of several trains using real time. Variations, alterations and amendments to the timetable are carried out with Dispatcher authorized train orders. A Train Order Operator delivers these to stations for pick up by the appropriate crew. It is during these sessions where the railroad becomes a beehive of activity and seems to come alive.