Bill Kachel – Pennsylvania RR, Cosmopolitan Division (HO)


PRR 1965 New York to Pittsburgh; diesel and electric, catenary on over half, operating coal loader and rotary coal dumpers, steel mill, ocean-going vessels with harbor, and let’s not forget Horseshoe Curve. Layout built to recreate the mighty PRR in its glory days. Also includes the Hell Gate Bridge, and the Zoo Interlocking in Philadelphia. Around the wall with access areas. Bill is noted in the area for having developed a reliable method for constructing catenary. This layout is truly an amazing feat of model railroading engineering and is open to visitors during the November Model Railroad Open House schedule for PA, DE, MD and NJ.

Videos by Bill Fagan
Cab View – Pittsburgh to New Haven (05/15/2016)
Cab View – B&O in Pittsburgh Branch 1 (05/15/2016)
Cab View – B&O in Pittsburgh Branch 2 (05/15/2016)
Cab View – Port Road Branch (05/15/2016)
Cab View – Bridgeport Branch (05/15/2016)
Cab View – Sunnyside Yard to Reading RR Port (05/15/2016)
Caboose View (05/15/2016)
Flyover (05/15/2016)

GALLERY NAVIGATION: Click on thumbnail. Slideshow controls at bottom of screen. Click on X or photo to exit.

Photos from 2009 by Howard Kaplan


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  1. I’m sure I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said, but flat amazing. I am from the northwest, and seeing your photos and videos are inspiring. I drove truck long-haul for twenty years and seeing your layout brings back memories of the Pennsylvania area. It makes me want to plan a trip east to see the layout in person…. What are your open house dates? When is the best time to come to be able to spend sufficient time to really see and appreciate the layout? Thank you for sharing the layout through pictures.

  2. Fred,

    I don’t know how often Bill checks in, so I’ll respond for him and if he has anything to add, he can certainly do so. Thanks for your kind comments. Bill is typically open during the November open house event held in the Eastern PA/NJ/DE/MD area. The website for that is Starting in late September or October you can view and download the schedule. He’s typically open from 11AM-4 or 5PM, so you can come and browse to your heart’s content. But chances are you’ll probably want to see other layouts that day, as well. In total there’s well over 150.

    Howard Kaplan

  3. This is fantastic. I worked for the PRR as a freight conductor and worked in Sunnyside Yards and NYC Penn Station and also several yards in New Jersey from 1966 thru 1972. I am retired now and for the past year have been working on a HO layout of just Sunnyside Yards. I do not have the room for all 31 passenger yard tracks. I am modeling the loop around the yard, the passenger yard, the engine yard and engine house and several of the buildings at Sunnyside; mainly the commissary building. I am still working on the engine yard. I have a long way to go.

    But this is fantastic.

    If mine comes out a 10th as good as this, I will be happy.

    Gary Manganiello

    1. Hi Gary,

      I doubt Bill checks in here much, but if I can I’ll certainly pass on your message to him. He loves to show off his layout, so if you’re ever planning a trip to the Philly area, contact me (Howard–I’m the webmaster) and I’ll try to put you in touch with him. He also typically opens his layout to the public during the November Open House event, and the schedule will be posted on the home page of the website in October.

    2. Hi Gary – if you ever open up your layout to the public, I’d love to see it. Riding through or by Sunnyside Yards has been a favorite since I was a kid. Best, Julian

  4. This is amazing! Amazing!! Is there a trackplan published anywhere?

  5. I would like to visit your layout. I have visited The Keystone and Lehigh Valley railroad. They said seeing your railroad was a must.

  6. I would love to visit this layout. I live in Houston Texas. I can be contacted by email or cell phone ( 281/802-2307).

    1. Contact me, the webmaster, through the website and I’ll put you in contact with Bill Kachel.

      Howard Kaplan

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