The Schuylkill and Lehigh Railroad Club is dedicated to building, maintaining and operating a model train layout inside an actual 19th century passenger car (Coach Car #72) at the home of the WK&S Excursion Railroad located in Kempton, Pennsylvania.
The actual Schylkill and Lehigh Railroad was chartered in 1880 and ceased operations in 1923. The Schuylkill and Lehigh was acquired by the Reading Line and became the Schuylkill & Lehigh Branch of the Reading Railroad.
The coach that contains the layout was an Atlantic City coach #72 built in 1889. The coach was later sold to the Ironton Railroad and converted to a tool car; windows boarded up, seats removed, etc. In the early 1960's it was moved to the WK&S Railroad in Kempton, Pennsylvania and was initially utilized as a small museum. In the mid-1960's, the Schuylkill & Lehigh Model Railroad Club was invited to create a model railroad layout inside the coach car. construction of an HO model train layout began in the in the coach car in 1965 and the innaugural running of model trains began the spring of 1967. Today the coach continues to serve as the home of the Schuylkill and Lehigh Model Railroad Club.
The layout is an HO gauge representation of the Schuylkill And Lehigh Branch of the Reading Railroad.
The layout was originally built in the mid 1960's and has been evolving since that time. There is no admission fee to enjoy the layout but a good-will donation is accepted. Each year, with the help of visitor good-will donations, the club's dedicated members add new track, new buildings, scenery and up date operating equipment.
In August of 2012, the club purchased and installed new carpeting. The color scheme of the carpeting was selected to closely resemble the Schuylkill & Lehigh colors and to handle the wear and tear of frequent visitors passing through the coach during each season. The following year the club members installed a new ceiling. In 2015 railings were added to the stairs at each end of the coach car and repairs were made to the platform at the north end of the car.
Watch for the seasonal opening of the Schuylkill and Lehigh Model Railroad the first Sunday in May, 2015. Hope to see you then!