January 22, 2013

Rail Guns Delivered

Dan stands by one of the exhibits.
I delivered the model rail guns to Dan Toomey at the B&O Museum.  Dan is the curator in charge of designing the War Came by Train Exhibit at the B&O Museum. The exhibit changes each year to reflect the major events of that year 150 years ago in the ACW. The rail guns will be part of the third year exhibit.

The second year the exhibit focused on the Invasion of Maryland and the battle of Antietam, especially the aftermath in treating the casualties. Note the hospital car models behind Dan.

I also had the honor of buying the first copy of Dan's new book titled, "The War Came by Train -  the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad during the Civil War." It was hot off the press and Dan was graciously enough to sign it for me. I will do a detailed review once I have had a chance to read it. But in flipping through it I was excited to see it is not a dry economic description of the railroad, but a detailed account of the people, battles, equipment and operations of the railroad. There is a remarkable picture in it that I have never seen before of several B&O engines in front of the hotel in Grafton, WV.  I look forward to reading the book.

Dan gave me a  brief tour of  the museum to see what is new. The Mason is out getting a boiler refit, so it was replaced with a restored Camel engine.  It is a beautifully ugly beast -  resplendent in its red wheels and trim. I failed to get a picture of it. Doh!

Saying good bye to Dan, I drove to M.B. Kleins hobby store, now in Cockeysville, MD. I picked up some basic supplies, though MBK doesn't have a good supply of scratch building materials.

I purchased two new colors of the Woodland Scenics fine-foliage, light green and olive green, to test against the backdrop. I can't decide which color is best.

 After dinner I proceeded to work on the Truss bridge. I realized that the trusses visible in most of the photos we have were not pin-connected like my earlier arched truss, but "standard" Howe Trusses with counter braces and cast iron pockets for the diagonal members and wrought iron rods for the tension members. Note that the diagonals are doubled in one direction and single (the counter brace) in the other.
It took several hours of drawing to redesign the parts, but once I cut them on the laser, assembly proceeded quickly (including the 828 NBWs!) I need to finish the stringers, ties, rail and upper truss and it will be ready for placement on the abutments, which also need to be made.

In placing the bridge, over Muddy Creek it looks like we need to push the left abutment back about one more inch. That is easy with the foam construction we used.

I also realized that I have half of the diagonal bridge members reversed in the model. In a Howe truss the doubled diagonals should be symmetric to the vertical center line. So three panels are one way and three the other.

I laid them all out the same.  I hope that will not be too hard to fix.




Finally, to wrap up a big day, Andy at Train Troll sent me some photos of the packet boat that will be on the left hand part of the layout. This is an HO scale model of a scow-hull towboat that he will scale up for the O Scale packet boat. It is very similar to the Clinch that we decided to use on the layout.
















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