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The Soot Line model railroad was started in the middle 1960's by my Uncle Lou Frankeny at his home in West Mifflin, PA. Uncle Lou was a craftsman and his model railroad shows every bit of that craftsmanship. All track is handlaid and all switches are custom designed and built. Uncle Lou passed away in 1987 after a short bout with cancer. Before his passing he willed the model railroad to me.

The Soot Line model railroad was begun in the mid 1960's when Uncle Lou and Aunt Isabel's youngest daughter Carol moved out of the house. Soot Line was built in Carol's bedroom. The name Soot Line is a take off of the SOO Line railroad name and adapted for the bad air quality experienced in pre-1960 Pittsburgh. Thus SOO Line becomes Soot Line.

After Uncle Lou's passing, the Soot Line was moved from his home to my home in Reading, PA. The layout is an over/under type with an upper level and lower level. The upper level loop was taken off and the lower level was cut in half to remove it from the house. The Soot Line was put back together just as it came apart.

Later the Soot Line was moved again to my house in Allentown, PA. More space allowed the Soot Line to expand where the upper level was not placed on top of the lower level but placed next to the lower level. An additional loop connected the upper and lower levels while at the same time added an additional yard for train storage.

Here's the control panel for the Soot Line. The track on the left including the yard and turntable are the upper loop. The track on the right is the lower loop. The track and yard at the top of the panel is new track laid since the Soot Line moved to Allentown.


Here is the upper loop with its turntable, engine house and yard. The Soot Line has scant scenery as Uncle Lou never wanted to do scenery as he felt a hobby should never be completed. I've kept with that philosophy as 30 years later there is still not much scenery.



This is the new part of the layout with the 2nd yard and with Soot Line's own Horseshoe Curve mimicking the PRR Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, PA.





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