July 24, 2012

Thud Bridge?

George Wallace stopped by tonight to visit the layout.  George is an experienced O Scale modeler who was a founding member and former president of the O Scale advocacy Group O Scale Kings. He is a retired U.S. Air Force officer who flew F-105 Thunderchief fighter bombers in Vietnam and elsewhere. The "Thud" was one of my favorite USAF aircraft as a kid.

After a brief introduction, George and I did a brief operation session. He ran the engine while I was the brakie. He was short on time so we didn't get to finish, but he got a good feel for the layout. I am now fairly certain that we'll need two man crews even though the trains are short.


  1. This blog and your work is completely awesome. I have been fascinated by your work on the Potomac Bridge. In your research did you ever encounter what method they used to destroy the first bridge before they replaced it with "beanpoles"


    Darian Robbins

  2. I believe the original bridge was burned by the rebs when they retreated. The rebs also pulled up all the rail and ties. Then they had cavalry ride up and down the roadbed to ruin it. In spite of all that, the USMRR was able to quickly put the line and bridge back in service.

    As far as I know, there are no photos of the original bridge. I suspect it was some type of truss. If anyone ever finds a photo, please let me know.

  3. Thanks, for the info Bernie. In your research into railroads and bridges, have you ever encountered a time when a bridge was destroyed using a torpedo the like Herman Haupt described in his "Military Bridges" Book?


  4. That is a good question. I cannot think of an example without doing some more research, but there must have been some. I suspect that they were used in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and march to the sea, as Sherman makes mention of the Pioneer Corps using the hooks and levers in his memoirs. They must have tried the torpedoes, as Smeed and others worked Haupt in Virginia before moving west to support Sherman.

    I was just reading in a book about the Vicksburg Campaign that the rebs used barrels of turpentine to soak the timbers of the bridge over the Big Black River in order to burn it.