Monthly Archives: June 2023

Talbot Avenue Bridge Preservation and Park

One of the great things from all of the Purple Line destruction/construction is the preservation of the historic Talbot Ave bridge that once spanned the Metropolitan Branch at Georgetown Junction. As you may recall, back in 2019 the bridge was removed in preparation for the installation of the additional two tracks and a new overpass. The County planned to save the bridge for a future installation in a park, and we finally have some renderings of what it may look like.

Lyttonsville Park rendering with the Talbot Ave bridge feature

At the Lyttonsville Park community meeting, a slide presentation outlined the current designs and status. Link to the slide presentation:

In the presentation are several really neat photos of the current state of the bridge. The girders, one of the only parts of the original 1916 construction, are preserved, sitting atop the pedestrian bridge sections that once topped the Rock Creek trestle. Not sure of the current location; probably in a Purple Line storage yard.

A hundred years of weather, deferred maintenance and punishment has not been kind to the old steel, and it shows. I’m so grateful it will be refurbished and preserved; a small piece of railroad history that will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come. I’ll take it. Plus, I can actually go and get more measurements if I need them! 🙂

Where Trains Once Ran; A Georgetown Branch Documentary

Well, this was a special project that I can finally share with everyone. A few months back I was contacted by a Georgetown University graduate student who was putting together a brief documentary on the Georgetown Branch; specifically its history and transformation into a rail trail. We initially shared stories and historic reference material and eventually I was interviewed on-camera at home. I think the project turned out brilliantly and my hats off to Evan, the director, producer, writer – well, everything! He did an awesome job capturing the entire story of the Branch. I hope you enjoy!

Where Trains Once Ran

Georgetown Branch Track Chart and Turnout List

I spent a bit of time mocking up the layout track plan in Google Sheets and coupled that with my turnout list. This will be used as part of my wiring package to keep handy for troubleshooting and planning. Having the line drawing of the layout will also come in handy for operations planning and as I work toward my NMRA AP Dispatcher cert, I will build off of this diagram. Here’s a PNG (below) and a link to the original, on Google Sheets.

Layout Progress Update: June 19

I spent a few hours working on the area around Rock Creek today and figured I’d throw an update on the blog. When my cousin Eric visited a few weeks back, he helped me get started on cutting and fitting Styrofoam to fit the area and flesh out the basic land forms.

Cousin Eric helping to cut and install Styrofoam as basic land forms.

Today I moved the project forward. First I spent a bit of time planning out the area near Chevy Chase. I decided that I could include the bridge next to T.W. Perry so I added a base for the feature. Here’s a couple prototype photos. It was hard to get a wide shot because there was a fence just behind me.

2015 view of the bridge next to T.W. Perry
2015 view of the bridge next to T.W. Perry

Oh, and sorry to say, this bridge was completely demolished in 2019 when the Purple Line construction passed through the area. 🙁 Anyway, here’s where it will fit on my layout:

The bridge across nothing.

Because the trestle is adjacent to the T.W. Perry scene, I had to work out both areas at the same time. So here’s some shots of how it all turned out:

Hope everyone is doing well and tackling their own model RR projects!