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 2, 2016

A P48 Layout in my Basement

Several years ago I was looking and marvelling at some P48 models. To see some amazing P48 models visit Gene Deimling's blog at https://myp48.wordpress.com/

That got me wondering about what kind of P48 layout I could build in my basement. My current  Aquia Line layout is not P48. It is a hybrid using Standard O gauge with hand laid track and standard O gauge wheelsets. The track gauge is 5 feet. That would be just right for a Western Atlantic or other southern civil war era layout, but the USMRR used 4'8.5 inches.

Can you see the difference?
In an ideal world I would have gone P48. Truthfully, I'm not sure my track laying skills were good enough. By using code 100 rail, and all wood ties with 4 spikes per tie, the track looks good to me and I am happy with the decision.

Anyway, back to P48. As I wondered about it, I drew this basement filling plan for a P48 layout based on the Canton RR in Maryland. It is one of my favorites short lines. I have a track plan in my latest book on the Lever Bros plant. In my upcoming book, there is a more extensive Canton plan in N scale.

In looking at the P48 plan I realized the turnback loop at the Lever Bros and the loop into the shelf where I now have Falmouth would never work in P48, especially P48 set in a more modern era around the 1990s. So I never went any further with the design.

A few weeks ago, Jeff Peck and I were discussing the plan and I look another look. To make the plan work I would have to give up the loops. The main line would follow the perimeter of the wall.  I annotated the plan with the dark colored lines, blue for CSX and red for Canton.

It's a pretty simple layout. The Canton RR does most of the work, though CSX would switch the GM plan and a hint of Sea Girt.

The plan would not require a lot of rolling stock. One Canton SW-1500 or GP-15 and perhaps two CSX locos (4 axle to handle the tight radii) would comprise the engines roster. About 40 freight cars would be needed for work.

I hope you found this think piece useful and enjoyable. The opportunities for P48 are intriguing, but in most cases, you have to be very careful in your layout plans to accommodate the large radii and turnout number needed for good operation.

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