PRR Panhandle Division in O Scale

The Prototype - Background & History

This layout is my second attempt to model the 7 miles of the PRR Panhandle that ran through the northern panhandle of West Virginia and Steubenville, OH. The Panhandle was a second mainline of the Pennsylvania Railroad that ran from Pittsburgh to St. Louis. It existed from 1848 through 1995. Grif Teller immortalized the double track bridge across the Ohio River in the painting "Crossroads of Commerce" which appeared in the 1953 Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar. That bridge still stands and the track using it serves Weirton Steel (now Arcelor Mittal) and the brick refractories and businesses on the New Cumberland secondary. Unfortunately, from Weirton Junction through Burgettstown and points east, the track has been pulled up and the right of way has been converted to a hiking / bike trail.

I grew up in Weirton, WV in the 1950s & 1960s. I left in 1978, but still have family and other ties in the area. The PRR double-track bridge at MP 42.11 was always a source of fascination for me, even as a small child going to Steubenville with my parents and grandparents. However, it was not until I saw Teller's painting (in the late 1990s) that I realized what I wanted to model.

Layout Facts & Features: