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.

October 8, 2023

A Haunted Train? Op Session 26

It might still be about 3 weeks until Halloween but some crazy gremlins haunted the layout today. 

It had been about 6 months since the last session. Some of the track was shockingly oxidized and dirty.  It took me about an hour to clean up the track and wheels. But all was ready when the operators arrived.

Previous operators Len White, John Steitz, Ben Sullivan and Kelly Regan joined two first timers, Phil Taylor and Bill Mosteller. They got right to work.

We organized into two 3-man crews. John, Kelly and Bill made up one crew, while Ben, Phil and Len made up the second crew, which events would show to be the jinxed crew.

The first crew ran pretty well except that engine Haupt had some issues about half way through. So I swapped it out with McCallum.

Meanwhile crew two with Engine Fury proceeded well until the first gremlin struck. One of the axles on car 1445 fell out of its truck while switching Aquia Landing. This truck is an arch bar truck that I scratch built. A glue joint between the side frame and bolster failed allowing the side frame to flex and wheel to fall out. It was a simple fix to re-glue the failed joint. This failure never happened before.

Later as that train arrived in Falmouth the draw bar between Fury's tender and engine fell off. This was also an easy fix. It seems that the screw that holds the draw bar had loosened. This also never happened before but again was an easy fix,

Finally, as crew 2 were wrapping up their run for the day, their train stalled in the Clozet tunnel. It was very perplexing as the engine was responding to throttle and seemed normal. It turns out that there was another locomotive in the tunnel. Somehow Engine Whiton was inadvertently energized and left the engine shed. It derailed as it passed the turnout to the engine shed, but continued riding the ties until it entered the tunnel and collided with the other train. I don't think anything like this has happened before. Was it a Halloween ghost train or a rebel attempt to highjack the railroad? 

Other than that, it was a fun session. 

National Capitol Model Soldier Society Annual Show 2023

The show had an official photographer to shoot pictures of every entry.

 On October 1 I attended the National Capitol Model Soldier Society Annual show. It was well attended with 72 individual exhibitors and approximately 310 models on display. I brought three models to exhibit,  the 1/32nd scale Land Merrimack artillery gun and two dioramas, High Road to Rome and Oracle at Delphi. You can find more information at the NCMSS Webpage.

I was busy as a judge during much of the event,  so I didn't get too much time to look at the awesome models. I did take a few photos.  These models below received gold medals.   I was happy to report that all three of my entires also received gold medals. The High Rome to Rome also received the special award for Victory in Europe. 

Gold medal winning bust by Brian Howard

Gold medal flat depicting Saladin by Greg DiFranco. I thought this was a very impressive piece.