Monthly Archives: January 2020

Early Aerial Photos of DC

These aerial photo mosaics shot over DC in the early 20th century are incredible.

Aerial photographic mosaic map of Washington, D.C., Sept 13, 1922,0.313,0.095,0.079,0

Aerial photographic mosaic, Washington, D.C., 1918,0.534,0.27,0.225,0

It is striking to me just how built-up the city has become over the last one hundred years. Looking at the mosaic from 1922, I’m not certain there is a bridge across Canal Rd. at the future site of Arizona Ave. It appears there is only the bridge across the Canal. Perhaps there was a smaller bridge there? My sources are not clear. More research is in order!

Georgetown Barges and Tug Boat Considerations

Went to the big Railroad Hobby Show in Springfield, MA this past weekend and wow, it was a doozy. The show was massive and loaded with great stuff. I picked up a few cool things for the Georgetown Branch, including a Sylvan Scale Models HO Barge with Coal resin kit. I also checked out the Sea Port Model Works tables and took a good hard look at some of their models. Just lovely. I have my eye on one of the harbor tugs for my own layout.

But, the whole thing got me thinking about what the barges looked like in Georgetown in the heyday of production down at the waterfront, by Smoot Sand & Gravel. Here are some cropped aerial images to get the juices flowing and get some ideas going. Enjoy!

Note what appears to be a tug, nestled among the barges.

Unfortunately I don’t have dates for these images. They are part of a book that was loaned to me by H. Smith and now resides at the B&O RR Historical Society Archives in Eldersburg, MD. The images seem to date from the late 1940s to the early/mid 1960s. You can view these and more images from this collection, in full size, in my Gallery.

A Side Project: MD Tower

I’m playing catch-up on a few things and this is one of them. Better late than never, and all that. A friend is building a spectacular HO scale layout focusing on operations around Clarksburg, WV as the centerpiece. He asked if I could assist with building a laser cut model from some similar plans published in Model Railroader some years ago. I scanned in the drawings and went about trying to scale everything to fit. A bit of tweaking and I had a version 1.0 ready to go. This was laser cut and engraved into mat board, which is a great prototyping tool for making laser kits. Actually, I think it would be a great material overall for making inexpensive laser cut kits, but I digress. Here is a photo of the completed structure:

MD Tower in HO scale, version 1.0

The roof is made with strips of masking tape over the mat board, to give the look of shingles. This was a quick-and-dirty job. Just to get it done. Obviously, all of the windows, doors and other pieces are missing. This is to get the fitting correct.

I gave this version 1.0 structure to Matt and his buddy Brian couldn’t wait to paint & weather this stand-in model and get it situated on the layout with a few small modifications. I think it looks pretty awesome for a few minutes of work! 🙂

More is to come on this project. I am in the process of trying to develop the aluminum window frames, doors and other final pieces. Should be a neat model when it’s complete! Stay tuned…

New Photo Of Rock Creek Trestle

As you all know, the Rock Creek trestle was torn down last Winter/Spring. I was able to take some photos before the final blow was struck and thankfully captured some crucial images of the structure. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take measurements, as the deck had closed before I had a chance to get up there, although a crane operator mentioned that the girder bridge section was slated to be preserved, as it was deemed historic. (dates back to early 1900s)

Montgomery County Parks Dep’t. posted this on Twitter today:

Site of the B&O Rock Creek trestle.

The view is from the hiker-biker path and is facing to the North. To the left, you can see the old abutment built by the B&O in 1972, which held the rebuilt section of the trestle. (steel) In the foreground, if you look very closely, you will see the old wooden pilings, cut down and about to be entombed in concrete. Here is a photo I took about one year ago today:

Jan 16, 2019: B&O Rock Creek Trestle
Jan 16, 2019: B&O Rock Creek Trestle

I am currently in the process of building a model of this trestle. More updates soon.

Jan 21, 2019: Layout Update (Only One Year Late)

Yep. This video was shot just over a year ago. Why am I posting it? Because it’s been eating me up and I decided enough was enough. Sometimes seemingly simple goals become unrealistic whether because they were set too high or other things got in the way. In this case, it’s a bit of everything. The transmission repair project took over last Spring and dominated my spare time through the Fall. HPDE season prep and subsequent packing up/cleanup took the rest of the Fall away. I was burned out and it took a while to get back into the swing of things.

So, enjoy this video. There’s actually a good bit of track work and layout progress that is NOT depicted in this video, so I need to do a new one! I will work on cleaning up the layout room and getting a new video done. In the meantime, enjoy this. Post any questions/comments below.

One final note, this video was done without any real production. I just wanted to “get it done.” Forgive the lack of quality and I hope to do better in the future. I would also like to do some features on the side projects I’m working on like building the Bethesda station and the Rock Creek trestle. Lots going on!