August 19, 2015

Expanding the USMRR Aquia Line

My grandfather had a habit of saying right after dinner, "So what are we eating tomorrow?" At least he waited until after dinner.

Why am I discussing expanding the Aquia Line when I haven't finished the  Port of LA Project Layout? I have been updating the talk I will be giving at the Portland NMRA Convention next week. The final part of my layout update talk is about future plans including possible expansion plans for the Aquia Line.

Notice I said "possible," as there are also some other ideas I'd like to try too.  But for now, here is a plan that shows the Aquia Line layout expanded to occupy the same benchwork footprint as the PoLA Layout.

There is an immediate implication of this potential expansion. That is, I would not build Burnside's Wharf in the current planned location. Instead, I would just add two stub tracks where the wharf was originally planned, as shown in this expanded plan.

This plan adds a longer run between Aquia Landing and Burnside's Wharf, closer to the actual prototype distance. It also allows for more room to model ships at Burnside's wharf. There is space to display the ironclad Passaic at anchor off shore, perhaps with a tug or gun boat escort. Although I have almost completed the Passaic model, I decided not to place it at the wharf at Aquia Landing. It just doesn't belong there. Being anchored off the shore is a much more logical spot for the ironclad warship.


  1. Bernie

    Looking at your fine work i wonder what Bob Smaus would say about the project. He was, to me, one of the first to model modern wharf areas and did do marvelously. Yours is equally great


    1. I visited Bob's old layout in the LA area about 10 years ago. He is a great modeler and a nice person. His layout reminded me of Paul Dolkos' old B&M. I credit Bob as an inspiration with his LA port module many years ago. See this blog post

      My current layout is much bigger, more literal interpretation of the Port of LA with a tight focus on a small area of the huge complex.

    2. Hi Bernie,

      This "possible future" Aquia track plan makes sense by moving Burnside's Wharf to the extreme end of the layout thus giving operators a nice long run out to supply ships on a long scratch built dock and trestle. This would also allow some nice swamp or tidal modeling. It also gives allows you to place the sea at the end of the layout. Not to mention a great deal of oceanic space for the USS Passaic and maybe a tug and some smaller supply ships out there refitting her or just milling about at anchor.

      It would seem there would also be a section that either folds down or is removable over the entrance to the office. That should be no problem for op sessions.

      In addition I would think another small siding by the future Borax Plant/Sawmill would also work as a place for crews to pick up and spot a few more cars. It may not have been there but such a a track would prove useful as another industry that will take up little room in a big space


  2. Nice trackplan! I wish to be able to have you draw mine up some time :)

    1. This can be arranged. Send me a note to discuss further.