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.

December 15, 2015

A Most Enthusiastic Visitor

Mike Hart stopped by tonight to drop off three Washingtonia Palm trees that he made for the PoLA layout. Mike runs Hart of the South, a small company that makes the most realistic HO scale palm trees out there. I sent Mike some prototype photos of the trees I needed. He used his kits to make these three trees. They really look great in the ultimate location. If you need palm trees for your layout, check out his website.
Prototype shot
Luke's reaction on seeing the layout, priceless!

While Mike's trees are awesome, getting to meet his son Luke and showing him the Aquia Line was the highlight of the evening, if not the year. Luke is a precocious 9-year old that is already well versed in civil war history and is also a train fanatic.

 His reaction on seeing the Aquia Line was the best ever. It's times like this when all the work becomes worth while.

I asked him, "do you want to run steam or diesel?"

"Steam," was his rely.

Good boy.

He got to run a train from Falmouth to Aquia and back.

Running a train on the Aquia Line
He and his father posed with period clothing for a photo.  We had a great time and were it not a school night, we might still be here. Luke also enjoyed seeing the collection of dioramas I have.

He left with a box load of goodies including a bunch of excess Perry miniature zoave figures and several magazines to inspire him.

Mike and his son.


  1. Excellent!

  2. Always glad to see new, younger people become interested in model railroads. Thanks, Bernie, for all that you do for the hobby.

  3. This young man is the future of 19th century railroading! Thanks, Bernie, for taking the time to continue to inspire young boys like this and us "young boys" wearing the garb of old men.

  4. Thats what it is all about...inspiring the young to carry the torch forward!!!! Way to go Bernie