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The Reading Company's Bethlehem Branch
Welcome to the web site dedicated to the construction of the HO scale model railroad in my basement. Inside, you'll find a bit of prototype information on the Bethlehem Branch, a bit of theory on modeling the Bethlehem Branch and some other useful information I feel is relevant to modeling or the Reading Company in general.
I never intended to model the Reading Company's Bethlehem Branch. I originally desired to model a portion of the Shamokin Division around Tamaqua and work the Lehigh & New England in to the picture. As I worked on finishing the room, I developed various plans to incorporate my desires. Sadly, many of these plans were of the proverbial ten pounds of sugar in a five pound bag variety. 

As I worked on the plans and room, I continued to buy equipment and other items to use on the future empire. It was during these conquests that I discovered the two excellent hobby shops in Lansdale PA. Every visit to the shops meant a brief stop at at the former Reading station to see what was up. This led to an increased desire to learn more about this piece of railroad. It was also about this time I began meeting people who lived in other towns along the branch. Visits to them always meant a trip out to explore a segment of the branch. 

Finally, I threw in the towel on the Shamokin Division plans and decided to see what I could do for a Bethlehem Branch based model railroad. The Bethlehem Branch had most of the things that had attracted me originally to the Shamokin Division (symbol freights, passenger service, coal drags, tunnels and varied topography) as well as a few added bonuses (RDC's, interesting loads originating at Bethlehem Steel and more varied local freight service).

So, without any further ramblings from me, let's step inside and take a look at my HO scale Bethlehem Branch. 

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A mid 1950's map of the Reading Company.

Here is a map of the Reading from the 1950's. The Bethlehem Branch is highlighted in blue.

©Copyright 2001-2002 by A. J. Marshall. All rights reserved.