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Virginian & Ohio photo tribute

By Cody Grivno | October 29, 2022

Allen McClelland’s HO scale layout inspired many model railroaders

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Photo of a train passing over a bridge with rocky outcroppings above and below

Virginian & Ohio photo tribute. W. Allen McClelland, builder of the freelanced HO scale Virginian & Ohio, passed away on October 28, 2022. You can read his obituary here.

In this photo gallery, we’ll take a look at images from both versions of the V&O. The photos are from Andy Sperandeo’s article “Allen McClelland’s trendsetting Virginian & Ohio” in the July 2008 issue and Tony Koester and W. Allen McClelland’s story “One last visit to the Virginian & Ohio” from the January 2009 issue.

You can learn more about the V&O in Tony Koester’s upcoming book Allen McClelland and His Virginian & Ohio from Kalmbach Media. The book is scheduled for release on January 31, 2023.

Thanks to Allen McClelland for all of his contributions to the hobby. We hope you enjoy this Virginian & Ohio photo tribute.

Photo of man at workbench
Allen McClelland’s HO scale Virginian & Ohio was the subject of books, videos, and numerous magazine articles. Here he’s shown at the workbench doing some maintenance on a couple of road units. Paul J. Dolkos photo
Photo of man at workbench
Photo of a train passing over a bridge with rocky outcroppings above and below

Allen McClelland’s HO Virginian & Ohio was freelanced but prototypical. Here the line doubles back on itself to climb a mountain, much like the full-size Clinchfield RR, one of Allen’s favorites. W. Allen McClelland photo

Photo of a train passing over a bridge with rocky outcroppings above and below
Diesel locomotives at a locomotive servicing terminal with four sand towers

In its 1975 era, the V&O had already merged into the Appalachian Lines to compete with larger rail systems. Here at the remodeled Afton, Va., engine terminal, blue-and-white V&O units are joined by a red-and-yellow locomotive from one of the merger partners, Tony Koester’s Allegheny Midland. W. Allen McClelland photo

Diesel locomotives at a locomotive servicing terminal with four sand towers
A passenger train passes through a town and industries on an HO scale model railroad

Closely following prototype examples, the V&O of 1968 still ran a few passenger trains. However, like westbound No. 11 here accelerating through Blackstone, Va., they served a dwindling ridership, provided few amenities, and carried mostly “head-end” business, express and bulk mail. W. Allen McClelland photo

A passenger train passes through a town and industries on an HO scale model railroad
Photo of three HO scale trains passing each other

A Virginian & Ohio General Electric unit leads Electro-Motive diesels of the Allegheny Midland and V&O taking train No. 83 out of the Jimtown Yard. The V&O, AM, and Virginia Midland merged to form the Appalachian Lines. Paul J. Dolkos photo

Photo of three HO scale trains passing each other
Freight train with two diesel locomotives passing empty hoppers
Runnning ahead of an eastbound steam special, two Alco Century 424s on an eastbound freight meet an empty coal train near the summit at New Garver, W.Va. Paul J. Dolkos photo
Freight train with two diesel locomotives passing empty hoppers
Steam powered business train meets freight train

The chief executives of the three railroads that form the Appalachian Lines rode an inspection train east over the Gauley Subdivision behind V&O 2-6-6-2 no. 2900. The special met hotshot 83 at the summit near New Garver. Coal magnate Otto Brauer recently restored the compound articulated. Paul J. Dolkos photo

Steam powered business train meets freight train
Two diesel locomotives working hopper cars at a coal tipple

The Lower Yew Turn stops to switch the Otto Brauer Coal Co.’s tipple on the Stone Creek Sub on its way back to South Marlinton. This line’s sharp curves and light bridges can accommodate only smaller hoppers and four-axle power. Paul J. Dolkos photo

Two diesel locomotives working hopper cars at a coal tipple

One thought on “Virginian & Ohio photo tribute

  1. Allen: Thanks for all the great modeling and photo stories…I guess the Good Lord needed a master modeler in Heaven!

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