Bob Rodriguez's
Nickel City Line
August 21, 2005

Bob Rodriguez's Nickel City Line Railroad is a free-lanced short line railroad situated in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania.  The railroad runs along 102 miles of track between Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Rigway, Pennsylvania.  The HO scale layout models the Central Division of the Nickel City Line which centers on Nickel City.  The theme of the railroad is mountain railroading, using a single track mainline and steep mountain grades.  The modeled time period is the 1990s.  The 18' x 20' double deck layout is 95% complete.  Scenery is 60% complete.  Both rural and urban scenery is depicted on the layout.  6 foot high mountains as well as urban switching areas in Nickel City are completed.  The layout is Digital Command Controlled by Digitrax and uses Digitrax BD-16s for block detection and DS54s for turnout routing.  A separate dispatcher and yard master panels are available for use during operating sessions.  Besides the Nickel City Line Roster, you will see equipment from the "still surviving" Pennsylvania and Chessie System Railroads.  You can see more of the Nickel City Line at

As a member of the Prince William County Railway Club (, Bob has used his railroad creating experience in designing and building a multilevel railroad.  Relying on the camaraderie of friends, Nickel City was born.  This empire occupies a finished basement room approximately 12 by 22 feet allowing for the broad expanse of the scenery covered Allegheny Valley in central Pennsylvania.  Interchanging with several other rail lines, these include the PRR, Chessie(B&O), Conrail, and Amtrak. 

Extending from southern Shippensburg in the south, the Nickel City winds it way through other towns and cities including Harrisburg and ultimately ending in north central Ridgway.  Using the large rear area of the room, but on a lower level are serious yard and engine servicing facilities.  This is the only area that is in the processes of finishing.  Including the large roundhouse and 135' turntable to the diesel servicing tracks and assorted related buildings and passenger station buildings, Nickel City is alive and prosperous.  Sitting in slide in racks, two of Bob's traveling club modules live their respective lives.

If a functioning railway weren't enough, computer control is in the offing as well as operating sessions using Shipit.  Members of his operating group also receive certificates of credit relating to time served in various capacities.  Bob's efforts ultimately lead that member earning their Dispatcher certificate.  And finally what could be better said, that Digitrax makes operations run smoothly.

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