The Allagash Story - Mike Confalone interview

10 Mar 2014

Average: 5 (28 votes)
Video type: 
1:18:19 - Mike Confalone discusses his Allagash Railway in depth (2014)

In this two-part interview, MRH Publisher Joe Fugate talks with Mike Confalone about his Allagash Railway layout. How did he conceive it, design it, build it, and operate it? Get ready for surprising insights that any modeler can benefit from, coming from the builder of a truly superb model railroad.

•Part 1: Conceiving and building the Allagash (36:23)

•Part 2: Starting over, reliable layout operation, and more (41:56)


Mike's also putting this entire story in writing in his comprehensive 4-volume eBook series containing over 400 pages and hundreds of photos illustrating his points. Learn more about the Allagash Story eBook here.


Outstanding work on this video guys!  It's a great accompaniment to the Allagash ebook series.  It's nice to see some Allagash trains moving on the layout.  The camera work blends nicely between showing Mike during his interview and panning trains moving through the Allagash layout itself.  The interview was thoughtful and somewhat personal as Mike opens up regarding his Allagash creation, even saying that he get's restless some nights with his mind churing away at thoughts regarding the Allagash.  I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that does this!  I can't wait for more in this video series.  Between the MRH articles, the two prior video volumes (which are THE best teaching aides), the four part ebook series and these TrainMasters videos, MRH Magazine is truely breaking ground.  Mike Confalone has so much to offer the hobby world in sharing his techniques on building and operating the Allagash.  I look forward to more Mike Confalone and the Allagash in future MRH offerings. 

joef's picture

Thanks, Preston, for your kind words.

We agree, Mike Confalone is a great role model for model railroaders, and his methods for doing the hobby well go far beyond just modeling 1980s Maine in April. We think there's a lot that *any* model railroader can benefit from in what Mike is sharing. Glad to hear you see that too ... that's why we're working so hard to bring so much of Mike and what's he's doing to the attention of modelers.

wiseconnect's picture

a lot of great work there really like the size of the layout  and all the view blocks very good video

This is great stuff Joe! I like that you're showing plenty of picks of the layout as he talks and asking real questions - not just the "isn't this great" speech you get from some other layout tours. If you could do this kind of thing for other popular or ground breaking layouts it would make a great series. Also, thanks for offering the ebook series in a complete set for a discounted price. To be honest I probably wouldn't have purchased it individually but after hearing about it on the forums and seeing the package deal, it was a real motivator. Great job! 



This layout is simply amazing!  I lived for 40 years on the Maine/New-Brunswick border and railfaned Northern Maine's Bangor & Aroostook in the 1980's and 1990's.  The feel of the layout is spot on, and the scenery is beyond words.  I worked as a professionnal railroader on the New Brunswick side of the border, but we were dealing with the exact same traffic in terms of serving paper mills and lumber mills.   Mike, please keep up the good work and thanks for sharing this with us. I want to see more, especially in video format as it brings everything to life so much better than photos.   Joe, you know what you need to do next!!!  :)




Serge Lebel

QNS&L locomotive engineer,

Sept-Iles, Quebec

CN6401's picture

What a wonderful railroad and a great interview. Mike I love your choice of season to model. 

I can't wait for part 2. 

I'm hoping to be able to emulate the look of the Allagash. 


Ralph Renzetti (CN6401)

Forty Creek Railroad

Very nice and interesting video!  I love Mike's work and his presentation style.

This was a great interview, and Mike's layout is fabulous.  Thanks!

Great interview, such a fantastic layout and great source of motivation.  Keep up the great work guys! 

Thanks guys!

Mike Confalone

I am re-entering MRR-ing after 35 years.  Having the space of a  full sized barn, now with concrete floors, insulation and stone walls, I am starting in O-Scale.

Nevertheless, I have learned more from Joe's wonderful site and these amazingly talented railroaders than all other sites I have joined.  The scales make no difference, Mike's techniques, creativity and the sharing of his thought process are better than any 5 books I have read put together.

Joe and his team of folks have developed the best thing going out there period.  You have a loyal and appreciative old-newbie here.  The level of artistry and detail put ito these HO layouts is not only amazing, but an inspiration.  I hope to see some of this level of work in O-scale, (hopefully by me) especially since everythig is twice the size and alot easier to work on than HO.

Thanks Joe and Thanks Mike!


Truly a great railroad and interview. Thanks so much for the honest insightful answers and sincere questions. Great work. I have watched it four times and each time learn something new.



espeelover's picture

That Allagash Rwy is a wonder to behold. I've never been east or north of Pittsburg PA but that scenery looks like the pics I've seen of the area. The many Alco's are also a favorite of mine, as my own RR is 100% Alco and set just a couple of years earlier than Mike's. Thanks for this interview, and I'd not mind seeing more from this guy in the future. Well done!  This is giving me some new ideas for sure.

What an outstanding layout! The scenery is simply awsome. Very enlighting interview with Mike Confalone. Glad to hear I'm not the only one that likes over weighted cars. Limiting the throttles to simulate notch 8 max. Love to know how he does that. Maybe a TMTV video in the offering? Looks like alot of fun to operate and run as well as look at, easy to get lost in th scenery.

Mike is a Rock Star in this hobby. Amazing talent.