Reading Lines Logo

The Reading Company

East Penn Branch

(and others)

Reading Lines Logo


Welcome to the web site about my model railroad. My railroad is based on the Reading Company's East Penn, S&L, and C&F Branches in the mid-1950's.

Latest Updates:

03/10/2020 - Yes, nearly 8 years - but there is a new layout under way. I've been in a new house for 6 years now, and finally got the basement finished into a comfy train room. Stay tuned, because this site will be active again as I progress through benchwork and track. Things will be reorganized as I get around to it, archiving off all the old stuff and starting new progress updates. No, this will never be a daily blog. But anything interesting, or important milestones, i will attempt to capture and post. I will also hope to have some videos on YouTube.

06/04/2012 - More painting of trucks and couplers. Update program/test track.

05/13/2012 - More painting of trucks and couplers. Also alternative way of modifying hoppers.

05/06/2012 - Started working on updating my train show rolling stock.

04/14/2012 - Updated Projects page.

04/07/2012 - More work on the covered hopper conversions.

03/31/2012 - More LOa covered hopper construction progress.

03/26/2012 - Yes, finally, an update! Not a whole lot has been happening on the layout. Some more track has been painted, but mostly I have just been running trains and working on kits while on the road for work. My latest project is a trio of class LOa covered hoppers for cement service, built from Accurail USRA 55 ton open hoppers, just like the prototype. Check the construction progress page for some in-progress shots of these cars being built, following a September 1997 article in Model Railroad by Bill Gruber.


(Older updates listed below menu items)

Construction Progress Benchwork being built! Track and roadbed going down!

Track Plan We have a plan! (new 10/05/2009)

Doctor DCC NEW DCC Services

Projects See what I'm currently working on (huge backlog of kits!)

DCC DCC Information and links to decoder installs

Decoder Installs Direct link to the decoder installs page

Links NEW interesting model railroad links

Special Recognition

Locomotive Roster

Rolling Stock Roster


I occasionally sell surplus model railroad (and computer) equipment on eBay. My eBay user ID is 'trainbytes'. Click HERE to view my current auctions.


2011 Updates (moved here to keep the menu near the top):

05/08/2011 - Have not been working on the layout lately. Now working on making resistor wheelsets and painting wheels and other prep for the train show at Strasburg from June 28-July 4. I need to get my cars detectable for the layout and I am also prepping a pair of GP-7s to be the motive power for my Crossline train this time. One just needs cab drip rails, the other needs the drip rails, DCC installed, and the handrails painted.

08/14/2011 - Not a whole lot to report. Spend a few months adding resistor wheelsets to a bunch of my rolling stock for use on the RCT&HS modular layout. Added roof drip strips to a couple of my GP7's. Been busy with work so progress has been at a virtual standstill lately. Hope to get back into things soon.

03/08/2011 - No, I have not forgotten about updating the site, just nothing much worth taking pictures of has happened lately.

02/20/2011 - Finally another update. Started ballasting the track.

01/28/2011 - Update from the Tuesday work session. New pictures!

01/22/2011 - Mini update, all roadbed done

01/11/2011 - Tuesday night work session, the main is complete! Pictures of first train.

01/09/2011 - More track, main almost complete.

01/04/2011 - Tuesday night work session

01/02/2011 - First update of the new year, lots of pictures.


2010 Updates:

12/27/2010 - Some benchwork updates with pictures.

12/05/2010 - Bunch of updates, plenty of pictures. Yard side of layout DONE.

11/27/2010 - A couple more updates, with pictures of new benchwork and fascia installation.

11/16/2010 - A few updates, also fixed spelling errors all over the site.

11/06/2010 - Construction update, more pictures

11/05/2010 - Loco Roster updated, now with pictures. Projects page updated to show completed items.

11/03/2010 - Update, pictures will be coming.

10/17/2010 - Update with lots of pictures. More track and roadbed.

10/12/2010 - Construction update w/pictures. Main line continues to grow.

10/10/2010 - More updates, more pictures.

10/09/2010 - More updates, with pictures this time.

10/07/2010 - Two more updates in two days! Maybe if I don't include pictures with each one I can get more frequent updates. Don't worry, pictures will still be added!

10/02/2010 - New construction update.

09/29/2010 - I made some modifications to the track plan to simplify things a little bit and also allow space in my room for the workbench. Staging is now only in one direction - but that's OK because operational that's how this branch was run. I've also started an informal work session on most Tuesday evenings from approximately 6:30pm-9-pm if anyone is interested. Progress has been slow but now with extra hands plus the motivation to have something for my visitors to actually work on, I expect things will go faster.

08/17/2010 - I've been messing around with PIC microcontrollers to control detection and indication for the (eventually) hidden staging tracks. I've developed a high-level overview of what I am trying to do. Click here to read it (PDF file).

08/02/2010 - What?! He actually updated the site?! New construction update.

03/13/2010 - Finally a construction update!

2009 Updates:

12/14/2009 - Building benchwork. Slow but steady progress. Also working on some decoder installs and a shell swap to get a more reliable drive under the nice Athearn RS-3 shell. Project section updated.

10/05/2009 - Move complete, and new track plan complete! Plan incorporates the C&F Branch from Alburtis to Chapman Yard, plus the Lehigh Cement plant in Fogelsville. I have a large pile of lumber on hand to begin benchwork construction, but I'm down for a while due to having my gall bladder removed. I should be back in the fray in a few more weeks.

07/05/2009 - Not much happening, moving to a larger place soon so a new track plan will be designed. Started work on Fast Tracks turnouts.

05/05/2009 - Project and track plan sections updated


Old Stuff (old layout that was under construction at my old house):

Construction Progress Old layout construction photos

Track Plan Old layout track plan

Givens and Druthers

Rolling Stock Roster

Locomotive Roster

Design Criteria

Contact me with your thoughts and comments:


Last Updated: 03/10/2020

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