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.

January 15, 2017

Back on the Track Gang

Alicia poses by the wharf. She was helping me test reach to the tracks.
Wow, after seven years delay, I am finally starting to lay the track in Aquia Landing.
I started with a mock-up of the wharf to refresh my memory of how major components fit. I concluded that there is room to include the Passiac ironclad as well as the Mt Washington paddle wheel steamer. If I put the ironclad on the north side of the wharf then operators will have to access the tracks on the wharf by reaching over the Passaic. That task is not that bad because of the low freeboard and deck of the ironclad. Alternatively, the Passaic could be tied up alongside the steamer. To do that I would rotate the wharf to the north to make more berth space on the south side of the wharf. I could just omit the ironclad. It could be made removable and taken off for op sessions. Lots of options.

The engine house is recycled from McCooks Landing layout
I starting laying the road bed and glueing down ties. I am using 1/8 inch lightweight plywood for the road bed. For ties I am using basswood.

I plan to put the engine shed from the McCooks Landing layout  inside the wye. The mockup at the left shows there will be room for storing two engines. Some of the other McCook's Landing buildings will also be recycled into this layout.

Now that I am glueing down ties, I need to finalize the track plan. I decided to add a third yard track in Aquia Landing. That will make the yard work much more efficiently.

The first ties are glued down
I am really looking forward to bringing the first train across these tracks.

View across the wye and toward the south-west.


  1. This puts me in mind of Troels Kirk's On30 Coast Line Railroad. https://www.facebook.com/The-Coast-Line-RR-page-127409483958090/ He also has a peninsula filled with a pier and served by a RR.

    Looking at your mock-up I wondered why you have ended the pier so far short of the end of the baseboard. On Kirk's model he brings the pier end much closer to the end of the baseboard allowing for close-up views of the pier structure itself and maximum length of track.

    Nice youtube of his layout. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kETnq0ECmUo He's a professional artist and it shows in his handiwork.

    1. It's nice to be mentioned in the same sentence as Troels. I am a big fan of his layout especially how he uses card stock to make most of his structures. I featured his layout in my upcoming book, "Waterfront Terminals and Operations."

      The mockup is very rough. The length of the wharf in the mock up was limited by the size of styrene foam board I had on had. If you look at the track plan you will see the actual length.

      Note that there is a car ferry operation at the end of the wharf. That will protrude about 15 inches from the end of the wharf. I also want to leave a small strip of water mostly for photos. It will also serve as a protective area to keep loose elbows and sleeves from catching the car float model.

      The more I think about the wharf, the less inclined I am to include the ironclad. It's just too much for the scene. The wharf should have a crowded look which I think will be better achieved with several smaller ships as opposed to the large ironclad.