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.

September 9, 2017

Holy Cow! Great Work Session

I'll get to the cow later, but today we had a very productive work session.  Eight members of the USMRR construction corps showed up to work.

Mat Thompson and Pete LaGuardia arrived first. They went to work installing the booster to the Aquia Landing section of the layout. I had previously run the main power buses to Aquia Landing, so just they needed to swap out the wires at the main junction panel. I thought this job would take a few hours, but Pete and Mat finished in less than an half hour. We even tested it by shorting a section, and as designed, the other sections continued to work.

Wooden joint bars
With the booster connected, Mat went to work installing wooden joint bars to the finished part of the layout, while Pete started drilling holes and adding feeders to the tracks at Aquia Landing.  Pete was the model of efficiency as he got all the feeders installed and soldered.

Next "Loco" Leonard White and John Salmons arrived. They immediately went to work spiking track at the wye in Aquia Landing. Over the past week I had finished all the spiking of the new track at Burnside's wharf. With Loco Len and John's work, there are only about 6 or 7 feet of spiking left to do. Whew!

Track spiked, painted, and with feeders. What
are those B&M cars doing there?
Next, John "I read the email and brought my Floquil Pen" Drye arrived. He went to work painting track. Unfortunately, his paint pen was dried up, as were all of mine. So he ended up painting with a brush and acrylic paint. Later I fired up the airbrush and got busy painting rails with Vallejo acrylic paint.

Next to arrive was John Barry (yes that is the third John if you are keeping score). He went to work with Mat adding joint bars. After about an hour or so they used all the joint bars I had prepared. I need to cut some more on my laser.

new freight cars in various states of assembly 
JB Weilepp (no one knows if the "J" in "JB" stands for John. If so, that makes 4 Johns) arrived. He had worked on a box car kit at home. Earlier in the week, Paul Dolkos also brought over a box car kit that he had worked on. With the one I built, and two more flat cars, we now have 5 more cars in various states of partial assembly. JB had to leave, but he took another kit home to work on.

Carrot cake break
Doug Gurin was the last to arrive. At about the same time my mom showed up with a delicious home-made carrot cake. It didn't take long for the work crew to desert their posts for dessert.

After a tasty snack, I managed to get the crew back to work. Doug took over rail painting duties as JD had to leave.

Planking in between the rails on the wharf
I worked on planking the area between the tracks on the wharf. John Barry helped.

By 5PM, we broke for dinner. Doug and John Barry stuck around for dinner. During the dinner conversation we learned that John Barry not only has a pet horse, which we knew about, but he also has a pet cow. The cow came with the house that he bought in rural Virginia. And to top it off, the cow got pregnant and now John has a calf. How the cow got pregnant when John does not have a bull is a story for another time, but not to worry, it was not an immaculate conception. Of course my mom immediately suggested eating John's pet calf. Even Doug seemed to favor the idea of eating fresh veal.  Geeze, tough crowd!

All in all a great work session. Thanks guys.


  1. Awesome! And, hysterical post. Now, you need some figures tomemorialize all their hard work. Like a John quartet entertaining some troops. Mat can be the wharfmaster. Doug, JD and JB can be... well, it is all up to you. All in all, sounds like folks had fun. Most important part.

  2. I see you've met Mr Barry.....