Monday, November 5, 2018

The Delaware Central Rail Road is a freelanced HO scale railroad set in the autumn of 1863. The railroad was incorporated in order to tap into the agricultural riches of the Lancaster region and siphon off some of the traffic from the B&O Railroad/Baltimore City to the South and the Pennsylvania Railroad/Philadelphia to the North by running a Delaware connection from the Delaware River to the Ohio River. Though freelanced, all engines and rolling stock reflect construction practices during the American Civil War and are heavily based on the United States Military Rail Road. 

Though the City of Wilmington, DE, is not modeled on the layout, the DCRR connects with the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad (PW&B) which in real life connected Philadelphia/New York with the U.S. Capitol in Washington and played a crucial role in the War effort. Though railroads were reluctant to interchange cars at this time, there is documentation that the head of the PW&B, Samuel Morse Felton, Sr., lamented over the loss of his rolling stock that was taken and used on other lines for the war effort; some never to be returned. So, you may see a few pieces of PW&B equipment running on the DCRR.
Also, West Virginia had just become a state and was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863. The Pittsburgh and West Virginia Rail Road (P&WV) is a fully owned subsidiary of the DCRR built to tap the coal reserves of the mountain state and connect with the markets of Pittsburgh, PA. Before the Great Depression, my grandfather, Alvie Clay Crow, was a station agent for the P&WV in Avella, PA. The most urban scene on the layout is the City of Avella with it's large Crow Car and Foundry complex. I was born in the steel town of Weirton, WV (earlier known as Holidays Cove) and both my grandfathers and two of my uncles worked for Weirton Steel. Avella and Crow Car & Foundry are planned in homage to my ancestors and reflect the fact that place and business names on the layout have been chosen to reflect not only my ancestry but the geography and the history of the region.
As buildings, businesses and places are added to the layout, I intend to further explain each's significance.

This blog is a record of the history, design, construction and operation of Delaware Central Rail Road and Navigation Company.

This is the proposed track plan of the Delaware Central Rail Road. I drew it using Any Rail software Their website is I highly recommend this software as, for me, it was an easy learning curve and is unforgiving if the radius you set is compromised or if you end up having a kink in the track. There are also a lot of tutorials on YouTube to help you review exactly what you get and to determine if this software will meet your needs. You can choose your scale, your minimum radius, the brand of track you will be using and much more. The initial trial use is free but within a day I found it worth the $59.00 (U.S.) to have unlimited access. It even allowed me to establish the footprints of my buildings so I knew what would fit!