Division 12, Mid Central Region, NMRA, Inc., also known as the Alleghany Western Division, is a recently formed division of the National Model Railroad Association, located in Northwestern Pennsylvania and Southwestern New York.

For the most up-to-date information about our organization, membership meetings, or public events please use the News/Events page or search button at the bottom of this page.


Next Membership Meeting Event:

Virtual Division Meeting via Zoom: Saturday, March 11th, 2023, at 10 AM. Program: Bruce DeMaeyer of T-TRAK fame and Division 10 MCR. “Building a Mountain Fire Station”. Zoom link will be sent out to members prior to the meeting.

Superintendent’s Letter for March 2023

Building a railroad of any size requires a certain amount of “stuff”. There’s always a spare bit of lumber, roadbed, track, wire, and other infrastructure supplies stored here and there under or near our layouts, which can often come in handy when the railroad needs to be altered or repaired.

There’s another sort of “stuff” that gathers, though, that can sometimes get out of control. I’m referring to the too-numerous locomotives, unbuilt kits, detail parts, and other things that we purchase, store away “for someday”, and which never (or rarely) see the light of day again. I am as guilty of this as anyone, buying some things that, in my mind might make good projects, but are instead relegated to a form of oblivion under the layout.

I was reminded of this phenomenon this past fall, when I participated in a couple of estate sales of model railroaders who had accumulated basements full of stuff, and yet who had never built a railroad to any stage of operability. It was both sad and sobering to go through a fellow model railroaders’ accumulated equipment and supplies; sad, because of the unrealized potential; and sobering, because I was forced to confront my own weakness for accumulating “stuff” that might never get used or built.

Admittedly, it takes a certain amount of discipline to forgo the latest shiny “thing”, but maybe some small steps can make it easier. Perhaps your modeling focus can be narrowed: instead of “the transition era” narrow your focus to one railroad, region, and/or timeframe, i.e., “a Lehigh Valley branchline in summer 1952”. If something doesn’t fit those criteria, don’t buy it! Or, before buying yet one more kit, build one out of your stash and put it on the layout first. The ultimate first step, though, is to recognize there is a problem!

I’ll finish with this note I found enclosed in a kit I purchased from Ebay some time ago: “Hope you have many hours of enjoyment with this train car, engine, or caboose. Just so you know, it is a part of my late husband’s collection of over 70-plus years! Unfortunately, he was unable to build his layout as his health prevented it in his later years. So, enjoy it now and don’t wait until it’s too late. (signed) Grace K.”

I really should build that kit…

Mike Hauk

Superintendent, Division 12, MCR


Current Builder’s Plate newsletter available here.

Current Mid-Central Region Kingpin newsletter available here.


Know of any train shows in Western Pennsylvania, Western New York, or North East Ohio? Please send them to me at webeditor@div12mcr.org

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