December 28, 2016

A Farewell to Arms

...or "How Bernie Got His Landing Back. "

A foggy sunrise at the front. One final photo before the WWI layout heads up to the B&O Museum.
The Cambrai diorama safely loaded in Dan's vehicle

Dam Toomey and Travis Harry from the B&O Museum came by today to pick up the Battle of Cambrai WWI railroad diorama. The diorama is fully described in my book, "Model Railroads Go to War."  The diorama will be part of the B&O Museum display on the U.S. participation in WWI. The B&O Museum has one of the French friendship boxcars. Hopefully this diorama will help them enhance their exhibit. I am looking forward to seeing it on display.

Dan and Travis pose by the cleared peninsula
For the past couple of years the diorama occupied the flat portion of the Aquia Landing peninsula. Now that the diorama is on loan, I can start actively planning on building the next phase of the Aquia line.

As I discussed in previous posts, I would like to convert the peninsula to a turn back loop. The problem is that I really need to make the loop  track with as large a radius as possible to accomdate my O Scale locos. While 28 inches is possible, 30 or more is much better both visually and operationally. (O scale modelers of modern standard gauge would be shocked by such a small radius. That is the nice thing about modeling the ACW in O scale. It's really like designing an HO layout.)

Mocking up the loop track. CINCHOUSE thinks this point  is too narrow
and she is much thinner than most of my RR friends.
I took a piece of masonite and mocked up the fascia for a 30 inch loop. If I bump out only the north side of the peninsula, the aisle between the layout and the closet-bathroom has about 21 inch choke point. While the bump out doesn't interfere with the HVAC closet door that opens into the aisle, it does constrict movement. CINCHOUSE (aka Alicia) doesn't like it much.  So we tried a mockup where each side of the peninsula is bumped, but each to a lesser amount. The seems to work much better.

Mock-up with bumps on both sides of the peninsula 
I mocked up a couple pieces of pink foam to create a view block representing the ridge. It looks like it should work. See the concept sketch below.

The main drawback to this layout with the turn back loop and ridge is that to make the Aquia Landing landing fully functional, I would have to take out PoLA and build the Aquia wharf in its place.

However, If I build the landing on the existing peninsula  like in Option 1, then the USMRR and PoLA could coexist.  So if I go with the Option 4 then what to do with PoLA is the next decision. I can foresee three possibilities: sell it off in whole or by parts, convert to a FREMO module set or build as a shelf layout in my office. Hmmm, it's good to have options.

I have a few weeks to think about this as I have to finish up the custom model (which is nearly done and will be delivered this Saturday), and I finish the Borax factory on PoLA. But it is good to start thinking about and start work on the Aquia Line again.

Concept sketch of how the peninsula would look. The ridge is high enough to block my view across it.

1 comment:

  1. The new track plan is interesting enough although I still think the original idea of a harbor scene there is more fun and interesting than a landlocked peninsula with a high ridge line (which I realize has prototypical utility).

    If nothing else building a harbor scene at the peninsula location in the basement allows you the option of "completing" Aquia at least in part, if not completely, leaving the rest of the space open for other layouts like POLA, something else, or even eventually expanding Aquia into the rest of the space. With the ridge line addition you need the rest of the space in the basement to build a Civil War era harbor scene.

    I think you should go with the original plan and build the harbor and have the option of either building a series of smaller layouts over time in the POLA space or expanding Aquia depending on how things look 3-4 years from now.

    Just my 2 cents.