Albert Pugliese's Pugsburg Rail Road

December 29, 2018

Slide Show by Marshall Abrams

Albert Pugliese's Pugsburg Rail Road
by Albert Pugliese

The Pugsburg model railroad is a freelance HO railroad 24' by 32' layout  with sections of floor to near ceiling scenery. Penny, C&O and some B&O steam is present  with some early diesels. There is a two track mainline with an additional point to point logging line . The layout is about 75% done with hundreds of Hydrangea hand made trees. Real materials such as moss and lichens are heavily utilized along with real dirt and coal. The layout was designed more to be a railfan running layout rather than a layout built for operations. Although limited operations can be done the layouts primary design is to showcase running long double headed freights and passenger trains. I believe the hobby is to be shared and I am now at the point where I would like to share it as much as possible since much of it looks finished enough to show.
My mentors are the late Harry Clark (featured in Alan Keller's Great Model Railroads, Vol. 8) and my friend Howard Zane who is famous in the hobby. Harry taught me the techniques of using wild Hydrangea to make trees moss and how to use as many natural materials as possible. Howard Zane also comes by so I can solicit his advise as well .His work also inspires me.  I am also heavily influenced by George Sellios and I am building a city, Pugsburg, which is heavily influenced by the big city on his Franklin and South Manchester. I also have 19 of his kits and also enjoy scratch building and kit bashing many of the structures.
Control is Northcoast DCC . The city although fictional has many historic Baltimore icons some yet to be built such as the Bromo-Seltzer Tower and American Brewery. Many of CMRs skyscraper kits are also featured. I have two rules for the railroad. Number 1 there are no rules and number 2 no nit picking! Anything that can detract from the fun or joy of the hobby is not welcome.
The large sawmill 4' x10' was built by Harry Clark and I have added a 8' lumber yard to it. The town of Cass West Virginia sits across it on a 20' x 7' wide hill. Aisles are narrow so it is not handicap accessible however the entrance is thru the garage with NO steps so folks with moderate disability can still get in. Construction started in 1997 and continues to this day. The purpose of the railroad is for the logging line to feed the hungry mill at Cass and to deliver freight and passengers to Pugsburg and to the mountain resort yet to be built.

The open house was very successful with a total of 27 signed in attending. All in attendance were very polite and appeared to enjoy the layout. It is my tradition to allow visitors to run the trains which frees me up as a host to answer any questions. Due to my limited aisle space it was quite crowded. Perhaps next time I may have time slots or a waiting area in the event 10 or more folks show at the same time so smaller groups can more easily see the complete layout. I greatly appreciated all who made special trips to come and hope it was as enjoyable for all who visited as it was for me. One of my model railroad mentors, Howard Zane, who was in attendance always said  what I, too, firmly believe. Model railroading is an art form and art is useless if it is not shared. I hope to be asked to have additional open houses in the future. My wife Silvia and I thank all who came.