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 10, 2017

The Transfer Bridge at Aquia Landing

Barges and rail cars on wharf at Aquia Landing
I was unable to find any prototype photos of the transfer bridge at Aquia Landing.  The photo at the left the shows the end of the wharf where the transfer bridge should be, but the transfer bridge  is not visible.  It may be obscured by the railcars, or it may not be present. The photos do show clearly that there are two tracks on the wharf.

With no prototype photo of the actual transfer bridge to guide me, I made a two-track transfer bridge using the photos from similar facilities at Alexandria and City Point as a guide. There was also a transfer bridge at Manchester, VA at the end of the war, but that one was much different from the other two and was used to load cars to ships as cargo and not on rails.

Transfer bridge at City Poin

Triple transfer bridge at Alexandria, but only the center
ramp has rails. perhaps it is still under construction when the
photo was taken,
Overall, I based my transfer bridge on the structure at Alexandria, but with 2 vice 3 tracks. But I used the block and tackles from the City Point transfer bridge instead of the lever arms of the Alexandria facility.

The model blocks and tackle are home made and they actually work, though the blocks will break if you tug the lines too hard. I broke three in the construction process.

The sloping access deck was based on the Alexandria
transfer bridge

The biggest difficulty with this project was the track spacing. I set it 2.63 inches to allow 8 cars on the float track.  But that made for a very tight clearance for the central post of the transfer bridge gallows. It took some careful work to provide clearance for the post and lifting ropes. In retrospect, I should have made the tracks about 2.75 or 2.8 inches apart.

I can shift the  barge to load each track. I am not sure I will do that in op session. But I can do it for photos.
It's a tight squeeze

A few more details on the barges and this project will be wrapped up.


  1. Absolutely stunning! Well done!

  2. Great work Bernard. I really need a mountain howitzer, HO scale (or close). Do you have a source? I have tried several places and Nada.

    Richard Wehr
    Scottsdale, Arizona

    1. Musket Miniatures has a mountain howizter in HO https://musketminiatures.biz/collections/ho-22mm-american-civil-war-brigadier-range-infantry