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 20, 2017

Merry Christmas

Hope you have a Merry Christmas. I am off to Rochester, Minnesota. I will be presenting a talk to the Mayo Clinic Charter House on Thursday on Railroads of the Civil War.

 While I'm gone take a look at a tweaked version of V18. I opened up the aisles a bit and shortened the Falmouth peninsula to make access easier by the choke point. Now there are nearly four feet or greater aisles at almost all points without sacrificing 10 car trains with a 36 inch minimum radius.

I also added a continuous run (CR) track across the bottom of the new peninsula. I am really ambivalent about having a CR, but it does add two additional spurs that can be worked in an op session. However, the idea of having to disguise the holes into backdrop really turns me off.

The next bugaboo was the swing section on the office door. I examined the door more closely to determine how it could be built as a swing gate. I concluded that building a swing section with a sky board attached to the door would work very well. This is a case where the low ceiling actually helps, see the photo at the left. Note the low ceiling over Andy's and Tom head (yes, Tom is smiling).  I would put a sky board right on the door and paint the corresponding trim molding a sky color.

One thing I really like about this plan is that it provides a new job on the Aquia Line to replace the lost jobs of PoLA. The new job would be the Burnside Wharf switcher. That job would work like a short branch line out of the Aquia Landing yard, which it was in reality.  The Burnside Wharf crew would  work the sidings on the Burnside wharf and on the new warehouse.  It would reduce the switching of the road crews a little, but they seem busy enough already, especially with having to switch the car float.

Overall, this plan solves the cramped Falmouth problem, adds a job to replace the loss of PoLA, and provides a longer siding at Falmouth so that the railroad can handle 10-car trains.  It also leaves a lot of aisle space for visitors and operators.  Furthermore, it makes taking photos of Aquia Landing easier, as there will be  continuous backdrop behind it when shooting across the wharf to south.  Finally, it isolates the operators at Aquia Landing from Falmouth, hopefully increasing the feeling of distance.  The sky board on the new peninsula would not extend to the ceiling, but only to the level of the window sill, which is about 6 ½ feet high.  And then there are the ships. There would be room for Passaic and a large paddlewheel schooner, though I becoming convinced I should covert Passaic to a pond model. I could even add a Baltimore clipper, as you can see several of them in the prototype photos.

....It's looking like a win-win design.


  1. Hi Bernie:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family.

    I wished I had known you were coming to Rochester today since I live just south of the Twin Cities pretty close to your route to the Mayo Clinic, in Farmington, MN.. Maybe next time we can get together, of if you are staying over tonight here is my cell phone # 612-430-1591.

    BTW, although I am not much of a fan of early railroads I really do like yours and the additions you plan to persue next year?

    Take care,


    1. Thanks for the note. We will try to connect next time we visit.

  2. It seems that you are comfortably settled on this version. Great! Nice balance of space vs ops, and photography as well didn't think of that!
    Cant wait to see the build process on the blog. BR Scott

    1. Thanks. I'm glad you are following along on the blog.