Talbot Ave Bridge Update

I expect there will be more of these, but in the interest of keeping everyone informed, Greg forwarded an email this morning with updates on the status of the historic Bridge:

From: talbot-avenue-bridge-events@googlegroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 5, 2019 1:12 AM
Subject: Talbot Avenue Bridge demolition begins

Today, a little after 7am, Talbot Avenue Bridge closed. By midday clamps had been attached to the girders and steel extensions, in preparation for later removal by crane. By the end of the day, the wood edging along either side of the Bridge had begun to be removed.

If you would like to view the demolition process, best viewing is on the 4th Avenue side of the Bridge (North Woodside).

The removal of the girders could happen soon, i.e within the next week and as soon as the end of this week. Purple Line continues, however, to wait for flaggers from CSX, without which this aspect of the demolition cannot proceed.

Modern CSX Loco on GB Siding

This video of a folk song being performed at a recent celebration of the Talbot Ave bridge (slated for demolition tomorrow) has a neat shot of a CSX loco sitting on the Georgetown Branch lead, which I would wager is a rare sight.

A CSX loco on the Georgetown Branch siding. Still from video, credit to: Brigitte Yuille.

Talbot Avenue Bridge_Train Song from Brigitte Yuille on Vimeo. The view is right at the 56 second mark. (Thanks, Greg!)

Closeup of the loco. Still from video, credit to: Brigitte Yuille. Probably an EMD SD70 variant. (Thanks, Dave!)

Talbot Ave Bridge Candle Light Vigil and Demolition UPDATED

UPDATE 2: FYI, according to Purple Line Transit Constructors, the Talbot Avenue Bridge will close this coming Tuesday (June 4).

A Candlelight Vigil will be held on the Bridge the evening before (Monday, June 3). 

UPDATE: This has been postponed until further notice, due to a delay in the demolition schedule.
Demolition is slated to begin this Friday, May 17, 2019. There is a candle light vigil planned for tomorrow night. Here are the details:

From: Talbot Avenue Bridge <talbotavenuebridge100@gmail.com>

As many of you know, the Bridge will close for demolition this Friday, May 17 at 7am.  The evening before neighbors and friends of the Bridge are invited to an informal gathering on the Bridge to mark this transition. As the sun sets and the candle lights brighten enjoy a final moment in this historic space with other members of our community. 

What:   Talbot Avenue Bridge Candlelight VigilWhen:  Thursday, May 16
             7:30-8:00 pm – Gathering time, informal meet & greet, group photos
             8:00-8:30 pm – Sharing of reflections and stories related to the Bridge
Bring:   Lantern (optional)
Note: It has not yet been confirmed when the Bridge’s demolition will begin, but supposedly community members will be informed in advance.  A lot of the demolition is likely to take place late at night, when MARC trains are not running.  A large crane will be brought in to hoist the girders which weigh 11,000 lbs each.  Interesting factoid: The girders were fabricated from an overturned recycled B&O railroad train turntable. 

May 17 Demolition Date Set For Talbot Ave. Bridge

Looks like we have a date for the demolition of the historic Talbot Avenue bridge. If you would like to experience this historic structure, time is of the essence. It will survive for only a few more weeks. Thankfully the main beams of the bridge (perhaps the only part of it original to the 1918 structure) are slated to be preserved and placed along the Capital Crescent Trail.

East Side of Rock Creek Trestle is No More

Greg C. visited the Rock Creek site this past Tuesday morning and witnessed the missing wooden trestle. It’s gone! :'( This marks the end of an era, the bridge having stood since 1892 has finally gone down. A new pair of bridges will replace this one, carrying the Purple Line rapid transit and the Capital Crescent Trail across the valley at about half the height of the original trestle. RIP.

4/9/19 – the wooden trestle is no more. The steel 1972 rebuilt section of the west end still stands, for now. Photo courtesy Greg C.

A photo from the Friends of Forest Glen Facebook group shows the demolition in progress. If only I could have gotten up there to measure those timbers. :'(

4/8/19 – Photo by Ed Murtagh from the Bethesda Chevy Chase Back In The Day Facebook group.

Rock Creek Trestle Demolition Progress

View is west, standing on the northern side of the right of way. The Creek and the trestle are behind the crane. Sadness.

Georgetown Local, April 1982

April 23, 1982. The Georgetown Local is heading down the Branch toward Georgetown and has just crossed River Road in Bethesda. B&O EMD GP38 3848 (blt 1967) is on point. From an eBay auction I recently won, photographer unknown. Note the graffiti on the nose which I assume reads “RADIO EQUIPPED.”

B&O Valuation Maps Going Online

The National Archives has started posting their collection of valuation maps online. Right now, not everything is live, but more is sure to come. Visit the collection of B&O materials here: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/1180861

I was unable to find anything Georgetown Branch related at this time, but I will be checking back and will update this post when I do. Could you find anything interesting on there? I hope so! The collection really is fantastic.

Here are a list of the val maps I need for the GB.

Layout Update: 3/25/2019 – Cables & DCC Fun

After wrapping up the curved turnout build, I haven’t been back to the layout much over the last couple weeks. A few things have happened, so in the interest of momentum, I’ll share them here.

Last Fall I inherited an old Digitrax Super Empire Builder starter set, which is about 15 years old, from an old friend. This allowed me to switch from DCC++ to Digitrax for my main DCC system. (I’ve preserved my DCC++/JMRI/RPi setup for use as a programming and testing platform.) The Digitrax DT300 throttle that came with the set appeared to have been a victim of the capacitor plague and Digitrax had some sort of warranty repair program for repairing it. It will be going back to Digitrax for the repair soon. (they are just now getting back on track after being ravaged by hurricane Michael last year.)

So far, I have been using my backup throttle, an old UT-1 which I purchased about 17 years ago so I could run trains on the old MCMR club layout. The layout was gone shortly after I purchased it and I have never really had much use for it. With my new Digitrax system, I finally do! Since earlier in the Winter when I picked up the Digitrax system, I’ve used the UT-1. It works fine for running stuff around and testing it but I have been plugging it directly into the DB150 which means I can only use the throttle at one end of my long room. So, this weekend I decided to make some LocoNet cables. I have had some old inherited Cat5 cable that was left over from the old club storage area and some 6-pin RJ12 connectors and the proper crimping tools stashed away. I broke everything out and sat on the couch and did some crimping while watching TV with the wife. It went well. I had a bit of a re-learning curve as I figured out the process again. I attempted to use the cutter/stripper on the tool I have, but it would slice too much insulation and into the wires damaging them. I ended up using an X-Acto knife to carefully cut back the insulation. I also realized that my vision requires the use of glasses and an opti-visor to really get the wires correct!

The Digitrax LT1 tester proved to be tricky, as well. I read through the directions but I must have skimmed the part that said you must have a throttle plugged in for it to work correctly. (thank you Tom M. for helping me figure this out!) Anyway, once I got that working, the cables checked out and I hooked them up to a couple of the old Loy’s Toys cab bus fascia panels I have, and voila! I could now plug in my throttle at various spots around the room. Worked fine.

Lastly, I had a little bit of fun with some non-DCC locos I have collected over the years. I decided to put some basic decoders I have laying around into these engines and see if they will run. I fired up the DCC++/JMRI system and got to testing. I managed to get my Athearn Genesis 2-8-2 USRA light mikado and my Life-Like Proto2000 S1 up and running. I couldn’t fit the S1 shell back on and in doing some online research I found that these locos have a critical flaw that needs attention before the decoder can be properly installed. That will be next on my list.

So that’s it for now. Spring is here and thus my time in the layout room is being challenged by chores, yard work and other fun things. I’m hoping that I can continue as I really do have some great momentum right now. I visited my friend Kelly yesterday and saw his Georgetown layout which is really coming along nicely! He is modeling the area of G-town from the Aqueduct bridge to the “new yard” at Wisconsin Ave, with plans for expansion. Very cool!