No, it’s not done. Just mocking it up for fitment.
No, it’s not done. Just mocking it up for fitment.
As you may or may not know, I have a helix to connect the upper and lower decks of my Georgetown Branch layout. I built the helix ages ago, back in 2003 for my previous layout. It was designed to fit below a set of stairs and as such is relatively tight, with 19.5″ radius curves and a 2.9% grade. (yikes!) Thankfully I mostly run small B+B locomotives! One thing that is lacking is any sort of protection for the trains as they traverse the helix from falling off the edge and cascading to the floor. I thought about cardboard or mat board strips but decided against them as I didn’t like the idea that they would crease or break if I had to reach in to re-rail a train. I have been kicking this idea around for ages and recently had the idea of using polypropylene folders. These are the flexible-yet-stiff plastic folders you find in a lot of school binders. When I was cleaning out a supply cabinet, I found a stash of old folders from my son’s grade school days. Perfect. So I got around to testing this out.
I first remove the inner folder piece (seen in the photo above as a lighter green) and then set the edge of the folder against a sheet of glass and lay my steel ruler down atop it. I then score until the sheet is cut through.
Next, lay the strips on the side of the roadbed, keeping it parallel to the bottom, and use a staple gun to fasten to the plywood.
Some of the staples will not go in all the way and I tapped them in with a hammer. Occasionally I would miss and have to remove the staple with a screwdriver and try again. I really like the way this is turning out.
I have long-wondered what type of tug boat operated at the Smoot Sand & Gravel plant in Georgetown. While searching in some old newspaper snippets I saved over the years, I came across the following image from the Washington Evening Star, April 6, 1960, of a census-taker working at the wharf by Smoot. In the background is a nice view of the tug that was working at that time.
Here’s a cropped image, a bit zoomed in:
Back in January, at the Amherst Model RR show in Springfield, MA I picked up one of these lovely 53′ Harbor Steam Tug models by Seaport Model Works:
I’d say it’s a pretty good relative match for the one seen in the photo, size and shape-wise. I’ve already got a Sylvan Scale Models HO scale coal barge kit to use with the tug. Should make for a very nice scene.
I was gifted some shelving my Grandfather had built for his house on Cape Cod many years ago. It once sat in the laundry room and held baby food jars full of nuts and bolts as well as small jars of oil and other knick-knacks. When the house was being closed up, I had asked for it since I knew it would make a wonderful paint storage rack and currently I was just using a few odd cardboard boxes. Well, over the years I have outgrown that little set of shelves and finally decided to construct some new ones, this time using MDF.
This project took about a half day, as it took a good bit of ripping and fitting to get everything right. The back and shelves themselves are 1/4″ MDF and the sides are 3/4″ MDF. I used a dado blade set to cut grooves in the sides for shelves and to recess the back panel. In retrospect, I could have recessed it a bit more and could have fit the shelves a bit tighter, but it all worked out just fine in the end. The back was glued and tacked on with nails. Shelves are glued in place. I hand painted it two coats of semi-gloss white, some paint I had leftover in the garage. The fact that the paint is a bit “tacky” means the paint jars don’t slide around on the shelves. The whole thing sits on a rail that’s screwed to the wall, with L-brackets up top screwed into the studs. I modeled it after the shelves my Grandfather built with shelves set to accommodate the various paint bottles I have collected. Overall, I think it’s just right for what I need and it turned out well.
Al Moran kindly shared these two wonderful photos over on the CSX “Cap, Met, and OML” subs, Railfans Facebook Group of a local servicing Mason-Dixing Recycling, which occupied the old E.C. Keys property for some time. Once the Branch was abandoned, a small amount of track remained near the Junction, servicing the plant.
Thank you, Al, for allowing me to share these here on the blog! He writes: B731-08 (possibly D780-08 not sure when the change occurred) with CSX 4234/CSX caboose 904130 at Georgetown Jct after working the last remaining customer on the Georgetown Branch (a recycling place) on 09/08/93. 29 years ago today.
I picked up this print off of eBay a couple months ago. Based on comparisons with this image, my notes and Historic Aerials, I believe this dates between 1953 and 1957. I could probably narrow it a bit more with more time, but that’s pretty good for now.
If you have additional information about the image, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
The last several weeks proved to be some of the busiest for me at work and as such progress has slowed. Today, however, I tackled another milestone – completing all of the assembly for the trestle structure itself. I tacked on the final bracing, stringers and girts to complete the lower section. Here’s a few photos of what it’s looking like:
This means that the to-do list is getting shorter and shorter. Here are a few highlights of what’s left:
Exactly one month since my last update and I’ve made some great progress on the Rock Creek trestle model that I’d like to share.
On Friday I built a sled/jig thing to facilitate installing the bents perpendicular and square. More on this in a moment. First up, I needed to flip the top of the bridge over, as it was mounted with track side up. I then took the opportunity to extend the lines that indicated where the bents would be installed, as this would guide my sled/jig later. I also measured where I wanted the straight edge to be and installed it with double-sided tape.
Next it was time to install the center deck girder section (which I had previously built, painted, weathered and installed ties and tie plates). I prepared some 5-min epoxy and lightly brushed it to the back side of the rails. I carefully positioned the bridge in place and weighed it down while the glue dried.
I then completed the blocking around the deck girder.
The sled/jig allowed for me to install the bents perpendicular and square to the base. This took a bit of finagling to get set up properly but made the job go fast once the system was in place.
And here we are with the completed bents. It’s looking pretty good!
If you flip over the photo you can sort of get a feel for what the completed model will look like.
Ok – that’s all for now. I’m very pleased with how this is coming along and up next I’ll be installing all of the stringers and girts to get this over the finish line! Stay tuned…
I’ll take what I can get. Here’s a very brief shot of Georgetown, looking toward the Smoot Sand & Gravel plant and Key Bridge. Pretty cool! (Fast forward to 2:56 if it doesn’t begin at that mark.)
And here’s another from the 1940s: (Starts at 4:42)
Another from 1940: (Starts at 0:51)