Ian Metcalfe’s Beaver Meadow

n the mid 1970’s, prior to the formation of Conrail, many of the bankrupt Eastern railroads were showing signs of deferred maintenance with slow running being the order of the day. Beaver Meadow portrays a proud and defiant Lehigh Valley during this period. Set around the Hazleton area, Beaver Meadow serves the rapidly dwindling anthracite fields and is a secondary route for through traffic.The Lehigh Valley was also known among railfans as ‘The route of the colorful diesel’ and this is certainly the case on Beaver Meadow. Designed and built over a period of around seven years, this compact HO scale home layout features weathered locomotives and freight cars and a scenicked staging yard at the rear of the layout.

photo 1

Kato NW2 181 idles during a switching move at Beaver Meadow. The crossing tower is a scratch build model of the tower at Linden Street, Allentown. The tower was built from Evergreen styrene. The NW2 is painted with acrylic automotive paint that provides a perfect surface for decaling.

Since the layout was erected in its present home, the track plan has been improved for greater operational interest, a complete re-wiring with cab control has taken place, electromagnetic uncoupling ramps have been installed at strategic locations for greater operational enjoyment and the track has been re-ballasted.

The structures on the layout vary from kits, kit bashing or scratch built. The station building at Beaver Meadow is a scratch built version of a reduced Allentown style structure, though most structures originate from kits.

photo 2

RS3 no 212 rounds the curve past Shadyside power and light. This detailed Atlas loco was one of the first locomotives completed for Beaver Meadow. Only now have I realised it is the wrong phase RS3. This locomotive is decaled with Herald King decals.

photo 3

At the opposite end of the layout, GP9 no 301 leads hired Bangor and Aroostook GP7 no 65 at the head of a short freight. Both locos are detailed Atlas GP7’s. The building on the right is part of the cement company complex. The white X58 boxcar is crossing the river bridge similar to that at Penn Haven.

Where appropriate, structures have been modified to fit the location or to represent actual buildings featured in the Morning Sun Lehigh Valley books from which most research is gleaned. Much has to be completed before Beaver Meadow has reached the desired exhibition standard.

– Ian Metcalfe (ianandros at tinyworld dot co dot uk)

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