Keystone Division Description




Overview of the Keystone Division

The Keystone Division of the Reading & Chesapeake Railroad serves energy and industrial product movement across Pennsylvania from Erie in the northwest, through the center of the state, to Philadelphia in the southeast.

The layout is designed for two types of users: inexperienced, occasional visitors and operations oriented users

For inexperienced, occasional visitors the layout is configured so four users can each run a train around a loop. Each user can control their train without interfering with any of the other three users.

When operations oriented users get together we configure the layout for point to point operation by setting 'Out of Service' barriers across selected track crossings. In this configuration, Erie is the westmost point on the railroad and Pottsville is the eastmost point. West-East flow runs counterclockwise around the walls.

Tracks run around the walls from Erie Yard's high elevation, and then corkscrews down to the low level on the second run around the walls. Once at the low elevation, the track flows onto a peninsula in the middle of the room and eventually snakes back out toward the walls before turning toward the Pottsville - St.Clair yard along the same wall as but below the western-most Erie elevation.

Most industries and their sidings are positioned at the high or low elevations. There are also a few industries located along the transition route between the high and low elevations.

To increase the action in the limited space this railroad occupies, we plan to run several automated trains. These trains will obey the instant signal and turnout settings and the track occupancy realities. We expect to operate these automated trains in several modes: only automated trains with or without a manual dispatcher controlling track sections and traffic flows; and, combined automated and manual trains with or without dispatcher control. We evaluated published generation alternatives to hard coding individual train running algorithms and decided to create our own semi-automated script generator..


The Reading & Chesapeake (R&C) is a fantasy, freelance interpretation of a railroad comprising many fallen flag railroads of the 20th century. The R&C perpeuates some industries, long fallen as well. The R&C operates today, agnostic of presently obsolete track, industries, motive power or carriage. The R&C revels in perpetuating memories and prefers a timeless view of railroading. So sometimes we run steamers and sometimes we run modern diesels and electrics. Buildings and other artifacts tend to be late 20th century.

Keystone Division's Theme

Pennsylvania's Energy & Industry Product Mover

Pennsylvania has a rich history of contribution to the energy and industrial products needed by the nation. The theme for our Keystone Division is to highlight some of these contributions,  The energy and industrial products carried or supported by our railroad. are:

Energy Products carried or supported

  • Anthracite Coal - since 1780 near Pottsville - also Girardville, Sunbury
  • Crude Oil - since 1870 near Titusville PA; ('Quaker State', 'Pennzoil')
  • Lumber - world leader circa 1850 near Williamsport, also Yeagertown
  • Natural Gas - now (2010) northeast to west PA; (Marcellus Shale)
  • Electric Power Generation and Distribution - Pennsylvania Power & Light Co.
  • Windmills on the Appalachian Mountains

Industry Products carried or supported

The Keystone division carries passengers as well as freight. The  point to point passenger stops from 'West to East'  are:

Other Pennsylvania Cities and Towns on the layout: