A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

April 19, 2012

Log Cribbing for Potomac Creek

Prototype photo showing the disused log cribbing underneath the arch truss bridge

Home made Lincoln Logs!
 As the scenery at Potomac Creek station is nearly done, I moved over to working on the creek scene under the bridge.

The first step was to build the log cribbing under the truss.  The cribbing is a remnant from the trestle. The cribbing acts as a foundation for the wooden stories of the trestle. When they removed the trestle, they didn't bother removing the cribbing.

I made the first three cribs with sticks from weeds that I collected. But I did not like the way they were coming out. They were too rough. So I laser cut 1/4 inch aspen wood into the proper shape to allow them to interlock and have the correct amount of batter (the set-back angle from top to bottom). Then I whittled and sanded each stick to a log-like shape. I used a miniature back saw to scribe bark detail in each long. Then I stained the logs and let them dry.

Next the cribs will be glued down and filled with rock.
This whole process was much more tedious than I planned. The taller cribs had 35 logs each. It took three nights of work to prepare the logs and assemble the cribs. But they came out nice and I am happy with them.

I had to cut away some of the pink foam scenery base to fit the cribs. Once the cribs are glued down, they will get filled with rocks. Then I will scatter logs, lumber debris and other flotsam around the cribs and finish the scenery details. There are lots of stumps and small bushes in the creek bottom, but very few trees.

As for the rest of  the scene, you can see the proposed location for a foot bridge near the backdrop. The footbridge will help hide the spot where the creek touches the backdrop. I also roughed in a trail under the bridge leading to the footbridge.
Proposed footbridge in the rear and the planned trail leading up to it.
A view of what the terrain at the creek bottom looked like in the ACW. It is now completely overgrown with
trees and bushes. Note the foot bridge. It was big enough to support wagon and artillery traffic.


  1. Hi, love this site as I live just down the road from the bridge! In the photograph is the south end of the bridge on the left or the right in this photo, as you said it's quite different today!


  2. I believe the last photo is looking to the east, so south in on the right.