Monthly Archives: February 2019

Maloney Concrete: Truck Colors UPDATED

The Bethesda area of my layout will feature the Maloney Concrete plant fairly prominently. I would like to have a few trucks parked nearby and the correct color scheme is important. Unfortunately I don’t have any color images showing what vehicles they owned in the 1940s and 50s looked like but I do have a few from the late 1970s. These images were shared with me by Don Wetmore and thankfully have some of the Maloney fleet pictured in the background. There is some variance here, specifically in the wheels and front bumper and guard which shows most painted red and some painted white. Cab is painted a dark green. Frame, bumpers and some trim/wheels are red. Mixing apparatus, platforms and fuel tanks are white, overall. This is just a starting point and a generalization until I can get some better photos. Last week I picked up an Athearn Mack B concrete truck that I plan on respraying when I can find the time. 🙂

John King, local historian, modeler and railfan, reached out to me and shared a wonderful photo that he took back in 1969 which shows in GREAT detail a Maloney Concrete mixing truck! Here are the details:

John writes:

This was August, 1969 in Rockville at the intersection of MD 355 and Gude Drive.   At the time this was the used car lot for Rockmont (now Ourisman ) Chevrolet. They were paving the storage yard with left over concrete.  I was working there for a summer job so, needless to say, you know who got the task of smoothing the stuff out after it was dumped.

Maloney’s Rockville plant apparently had low clearances requiring this style truck.  I remembered this style from when they delivered cement to our farm  a few years earlier. Not sure if they used this type of ready mix truck at any of their other locations or not.  I think there was a hatch on the side of the drum for loading the materials as opposed to both loading and unloading on the rear of the more modern style mixers.  If nothing else, it confirms the green paint with red frame and wheels.    
 
Also, note that the sign shows this type of truck, not the more modern ones.
August, 1969 – Route 355 and Gude Dr, Rockville, MD – Maloney Concrete mixing truck #31. Photo by John King.

Layout Update: Feb 28, 2019 – Georgetown Jct Overhaul

Well, a lot has happened on the layout since my last update, but some of the work would be difficult to spot unless you saw the before & after. Essentially the entire Georgetown Junction (GJ) area has been completely removed and re-worked. I spent some time talking to Matt R. and visiting the Junction area itself with Kelly R. After a lot of discussion and thought, I realized that my original track alignment worked for the model railroad only marginally; my prized Precision Scale B&O Q1c mikado would barely negotiate the curved turnout I had in place. This would not do. Also, I had used two successive Micro Engineering #6 turnouts; one LH and one RH, to create the team tracks and GB main. Not only was this not prototypical but it created a nasty S-curve on the main that looked wonky. I decided that it all needed to come out and the two ME #6’s would be replaced with two Walthers-Shinohara #8 RH turnouts and the curved turnouts would be replaced with wider counterparts. What I didn’t realize is just how much track would have to come up to achieve this goal. ALL of the track from where the staging enters the room down to the Rock Creek trestle had to be removed! All of it! I had to remove road bed (where I could) and reposition it. I had to cut away at glued-down-and-painted roadbed and add more to allow placement of switches. Track feeders were snipped and valleys filled with concrete patch and plaster of Paris. The outcome is that there are more curves and they are much more easy for the trains to navigate. The turnouts the team track yard at GJ is fantastic and looks a lot more prototypical. Downside- the trains switching the yard will have to utilize some of the staging track to perform moves. This is not a huge problem, as the access is not very limiting, but will require folks to move around a bit to get to their train. The good news is that switching the team track yard is not very complex. These were usually used for setting out large cuts of cars and not lots of elaborate moves. Here are some images showing my progress:

Here you can see how the main and the coal trestle siding have been re-worked at Geo. Jct.
All of the switches are being replaced and the alignment is being reworked to be more prototypical and flow better.
I am in the process of reworking all of the turnouts and track at the Junction.
B&O GP7 703 idles on the passing siding at Chevy Chase.
A view of the new turnouts at Geo. Jct. I replaced the #6 LH turnouts with #8 RH turnouts. Reworking the track required removing ALL of the track from the junction down to the trestle and re-positioning and rewiring it. Worth it, though!
All of the track here was reworked. I swapped out the curved turnouts for broader ones. I also completely realigned the team track yard turnouts and replaced them with #8’s. Previously, the turnouts were left hand. Now, they more closely follow the prototype and are right handed.
All of the track at Geo. Jct. was re-worked over the last couple weeks. Here you can see the west side of the area. Note how the main curves away further to the left to make room for larger radius curved turnouts.
This is the Chevy Chase section nearly complete. Track is not completed into the T.W. Perry siding to the right. I will be reconfiguring the team track siding a bit to reduce the curvature. I will also be building a scale model of the Rock Creek trestle to replace the temporary bridge.
Here you can see the lead coming off the Junction tracks. This is going to be a functional lead, as trains that are spotting/picking up cars at Geo. Jct. are going to need the space to work.
This shelf fiddle yard is my staging yard and future programming track. (the short stub at the bottom is electrically isolated) I will probably upgrade the switch machines to more robust hand throws. The Atlas throws are very flaky.
Trains span the doorway on this drop-down bridge. There are rare-earth magnets glued to the board and some lag bolts in the joists above so that the bridge lifts up and stays up when not in use. This is how trains access “Eckington Yard”, which I use for staging.

The Shadow Knows…

While poking around on the DDOT archives, I came across some wonderful aerial images showing the west end of Georgetown yard. This area is particularly interesting, as there were some features there that are long gone and would add lots of flavor to the model railroad. In particular, there were many small shanties and docks along the waterfront for leisure. There is a tunnel under M St/C&O Canal here that gave access to this area from the Foundry Branch valley. I believe this tunnel probably dates back to the canal’s construction, but that’s a research topic for another time. Anyway, a little itty bitty tiny detail that I noticed while looking closely at the photo is the presence of a B&O crossbuck, visible on both sides of the crossing here. Now, had the sun been at a higher position, I may have never noticed it, but they are clearly visible when this photo was taken. Very cool!

Can you spot the crossbuck?