Daily Archives: April 3, 2020

Video: My 2002 Georgetown Branch “Tour”

A bit of a misnomer, in 2002 I went out and shot b-roll video footage of the Branch between Georgetown Jct. and Rock Creek. My then-fiancee, now wife, Kristin, accompanied me on the adventure. At the time, I was taking a video editing class at the Corcoran in Georgetown, back when it was still around. I had intended to do an entire tour of the Branch, highlighting what was left of it. Well, life happened; I was engaged, we bought a house not a month earlier, and the wedding was planned for June. The GB Tour video was never made. The tapes were dumped in a box and only recently uncovered as I go through old belongings.

I captured all the footage from the old MiniDV tapes (originally shot on a Canon XL-1) and assembled them into a long, uncut timeline. This is not meant to be a compelling documentary of any kind; it’s merely a way for me to share some rare footage of the remnants of my favorite branch line. Some of what you see is long gone. Some is recently gone. For example, the Rock Creek trestle is still standing, in its pre-2000s facelift form! We even climbed atop the trestle to capture footage of the tracks. (if only I’d had the foresight to bring a measuring tape!) With all the Purple Line construction, you’ll notice much of the original right of way, which is now nearly obliterated. Enjoy this time capsule from 2002!

Bethesda Freight Station Laser-Cut Update/Teaser

This is another long-overdue update on a project. This time I’m going to show off progress on the Bethesda freight station as a laser-cut model that I created. As long-time followers will know, I drew up blueprints for the station as a basis for a laser-cut model. I am still working on some details but after a few major revisions I’ve arrived with what I feel is a good design. The first version was incorrectly scaled horizontally, but was close. The second version is right on the money, as far as I can tell. The third version is largely just a change in textures and layout to allow cutting to work better. I am hoping that with this pandemic lockdown I will have time to give a go to putting this together.

This was a first attempt at cutting the parts using design v2. I didn’t include tabs on the walls and the brickwork and concrete textures were a bit aggressive so the wood bowed quite a bit. Overall, I wasn’t too pleased with the walls. The windows and doors came out PERFECTLY!
On the left is the Garage Door. To the right is the large window in the South end of the building. The other small frames are for the smaller windows throughout the building.
A close-up of the textures in my first attempt. As you can see, the brickwork got to be a bit coarse. I am planning on doing some testing on this to see how it looks, but I am imagining the texture is a bit too gritty to look like brickwork on a station that was only 5-10 years old in my era.
Here is my second attempt at cutting v.2, with some improvements/changes. I added tabs to the design to keep it secured to the plywood frame. The textures were simplified and brickwork more defined. Otherwise, the design stayed the same. Now I need to source a few detail parts (I-beams, wood, brick, doors, etc.) and get building!