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Peter's Model Railroading


This is a web site owned by Peter Vanvliet. Its primary focus is to document the construction of my model railroad, which is accurately based on the Pennsylvania Railroad's "Chartiers" branch as it existed in the summer of 1924. The models are in S-scale (1:64). This web site is updated every Friday. A summary of my past month's activities are shown at the bottom of this page.

Most photos contained within this web site can be clicked to view a larger version. All photos on this web site are copyright © Peter Vanvliet, unless otherwise indicated; All Rights Reserved.

The active project, the Hazel coal mine tipple, as of November 25, 2022.

My layout is modular/sectional in nature, currently consisting of one module, with many more planned. The first module, which is shown here on the right, is now a year and a half old (the module box itself) and I am happy with its design, its construction, and its ability to stay rigid over the seasons. It serves as the template for all future ones.

This first module will be part of a set of modules that are centered around the Hazel coal mine in Canonsburg, PA. The main building is finished, but it is not yet attached. The support structure that it sits on is built, but not yet painted. I am making some final modifications to the support structure in preparation for the painting phase.

In summary, the module is made out of Gatorfoam boards. The main building is built around a plywood substructure to which I glued 485 individually-formed aluminum corrugated sheets. This took me 25 weeks of available modeling time to complete. The support structure for the building consists of a combined total of 1,146 individual pieces of ABS and styrene plastic. The incline in the back consists of 168 pieces. These last two took me a combined total of 30 weeks of available modeling time to complete. So, from the concrete foundation pads up, you are looking at over 1,800 individually-cut and shaped pieces (including the windows which needed to be kitbashed). Click the "The Layout" button to learn all about the details and the hundreds of photos I have taken along the way.

October 28, 2022

This week I was able to build the bottom frame of the incline structure that spans the creek in the back of the coal tipple.

November 4, 2022

This week I was able to build the top frame of the incline structure, and attach it to the bottom frame.

November 11, 2022

This week I was able to build the vertical supports that holds the coal mine tipple incline's top frame to the bottom frame.

November 18, 2022

This week I was able to finish the construction phase of the incline, which sits at the back of the module.

November 25, 2022

This week I officially completed the construction phase of the coal mine tipple's support structure. The last modification was to add the corner braces at the top of each of the open bays near the front of the structure. I added a close-up photo to the bottom of this page. I am working on any final tweaks to make sure the main building sits flush with the top of the support structure, all in preparation for painting the support structure and its incline framework.