John W. Richardson's The Commonwealth (HO)

Over 5 Years on Tour
Contact Information
John W. Richardson
820 DeKalb Avenue N.E., studio # 7
Atlanta, GA 30307
Wheelchair Accessible: 





1 8x16 plus 1 8x12 both lengthwise in the space with a connecting crosswise section 5x3


freelance, definitely!!


Central Pennsylvania


1945 to 1955 with moderate adjustments aka: modelers licence to allow for incorrect locomotives and rolling stock


staging yard with a twice around continuous operation main line

Len. of Mainline

Approx: 200'

Layout Height

48" to 56"


L girder with open joists, plywood/homasote laminate cookie cuttered for table top.




Code 83 ns for the main, code 70 ns for sidings/industry


#8 on the main, #6 yards and industry

Min. Radius


Maximum Grade

2 1/2%


None yet due to a promise made to the intown operators group not to put any scenery in place until the trackwork was proofed for 6 months!!!


Masonite, painted for sky and horizon.



Wheelchair Accessible


The layout from my previous residence was donated to one of the intown operators who lost his layout along with his house in the 2008 500 year floods. The new residence is in a two story loft, with the layout upstairs, and definitely freelanced. The staging yard, which will be hidden under the Williamsport downtown represents both Harrisburg, Pa. and Emporium, Pa. depending on direction of travel. The freelance Commonwealth RR is based on the Pennsylvania RR's Northern Central division serving Baltimore and both Buffalo, NY and Erie, Pa. There is a coal branch as this was a major industry and loads producing business for the division. Williamsport will have appropriate industries, along with the several towns served on route to Emporium. One simply imagines that the Pennsy never owned the Northern Central and it continued operations as an independent line. I am a huge passenger train fan, so there will be an imbalance in the amount of passenger service offered, but then unlike the prototype it doesn't cost the model RR anything to run an excess of passenger service!!!


From the north suburban areas come into town onto the I-75/85 connector. Take the Freedom Parkway exit, getting in the right lane. At the first traffic light, turn right onto Boulevard. Go to the 4th trffic light at Edgewood and turn left. Cross the new bridge over the beltline. After the traffic light at Krog Street there will be a stop sign at Wadell. Watch carefully now for the right turn onto Spruce Street. Park on the street across from the gate marked 820 DeKalb Avenue, Inman Motor Works. The pedestrian gate is to the left of the auto gate, and will be manned by a local NMRA volunteer. Cross the parking lot and enter the first garden walkway, going all the way to the back to unit # 7 on the right.