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.

August 16, 2015

My own Alameda Trench?

Mock up of train emerging from the new access to staging. The tracks are not yet installed. 

Using the Kreg jig to add the benchwork
The Alameda Trench is a relatively new, high speed route for trains to and from the Port of Los Angeles. This new benchwork, and track  eventually, serves a similar purpose on my layout.

Armed with a fresh of burst of energy this afternoon, I started the adding the benchwork for the staging connection in the closet. I thought long and hard about whether to use a removable fiddle yard on the right side versus permanent staging in the closet on the left.

The permanent solution won.

That was the easy part. Next was the tough part of building it. I had to cut the holes and build the benchwork in the tight confines under the landing.

I was deep in the construction when Gerry Fitzgerald stopped by for a visit. Gerry's arrival was very handy as he  helped with the construction. He also helped me purge a bunch of stuff that was clogging the closet, including about 20-30 railroad VHS tapes. Given that I no longer have a VHS player, it was a no-brainer. Gerry will watch and donate them to charity when he is done with them.

Checking for clearance and level.
Gerry took some shots showing the cramped space under the stairs. The vertical clearance is tight, but it ended up being about 3.25 inches. That might be enough to clear double stacks if or when I acquire some.
I used the existing shelves in the closet to add the surface for the staging track. A piece of foam on the shelf acts as the staging platform. I may surface it with ¼ inch plywood if it gets abused.

Leveling the curved roadbed that extends through the hole took some

Foam staging shelf
Gerry examines the track plan 


  1. I had a feeling you were not going to pass up putting the staging in the closet! Definitely defines hidden staging. Thanks for the update.

    1. This is the second time I have put staging in the closet. My former N Scale DRGW Tennessee Pass layout had a large staging loop in the closet. There are a few vestiges of that in the closet. Years from now, when we have moved out model railroad archeologists will try to interpret the various holes in the walls to put together the timeline of construction.

  2. now all you need to do is build a pipe bridge around the opening with a Walther's piping kit and the hole will be invisible!