It looks like the funding for the Purple Line construction is in jeopardy after the release of the White House budget this morning. As many of you know, the Purple Line will connect Bethesda with Silver Spring (and beyond) and will be built on the Georgetown Branch right-of-way between Bethesda and Georgetown Junction.
The state will likely miss a March 31 deadline for clearing trees before the migratory bird nesting season begins. That will delay by another five months any major construction from starting on most of the trail.
A sad, sad day indeed. A couple of weeks ago I learned about the eminent demise of the famous Talbot Ave bridge which has spanned the Metropolitan Branch and Georgetown Branch of the B&O for nearly 100 years. The bridge was built back in 1918 and is somewhat of a special legend among railfans being that the girders appear to be sourced from an old turntable, giving it the distinctive profile. This shape is recognizable in so many photos shot over the ages at the Junction. I, myself, have visited the bridge many times, shooting photos of it and from it and enjoying it as a landmark. I’m terribly sad to hear of its eminent demise and will miss seeing it at the Junction as it altered forever with the Purple Line destruction not far off. At least it will live on in my basement, as I plan on modeling it on my railroad. Here are a couple links covering its history:
I was contacted by a really nice gentleman named Mark V. via the B&O Yahoo Group who indicated he had some photos of the GB that he had shot ages ago (more on that later). What really piqued my curiosity is that he mentioned he is working on a model of the GB for Train Simulator 2017! We exchanged a couple emails and he sent me a link to a video showcasing his progress. Wow! This is incredible. I will update more when I get it. Have a look for yourself here:
So far he has completed from the Junction with the Met all the way down to the crossing over Rock Creek. The details are fantastic. The track layout is a more modern arrangement, what existed near the end of the branches life. I am really excited to follow his progress and see more of the development! I may have to pick up a copy of Train Simulator 2017 myself! If you’d like to contact Mark V., you can reach him at email@example.com.
My friend Kelly is moving along on his Georgetown Branch layout, making great strides and some impressive progress! My model RR club, RMRRS, visited his layout a couple months ago and were really impressed. He has since completed the “paving” in Georgetown and reworked and scenicked the Georgetown Jct. area. Very cool!
Just discovered this while perusing some websites. It dates back to 2008 but it includes links to the author’s Flickr page with many photos of this iconic bridge that dates back nearly 100 years! Interesting read. Enjoy!
I recently discovered the most excellent Bethesda Chevy Chase Back In The Day Facebook group, which is loaded with memories from back in the day. A few railroad related photos and stories, which are fun, but I particularly enjoyed this dark, psychedelic film which ends with a sort of twisted murder rampage. It’s not that graphic but the music and filming style makes it pretty fun to watch. Anyway, what’s this got to do with the Georgetown Branch? Well, the final “scene” of the film part of this movie was staged on the bridge across Bradley Blvd.! You get some neat scenes (albeit short) showing the tracks and surrounding area. Enjoy!
I was interviewed for an article recently published in the Gazette, a local Montgomery County paper. The article covers the tracks recently uncovered in Bethesda (old team tracks, I believe) and how they provide a link to Bethesda’s industrial past. I myself got to see some of the tracks uncovered a month ago and it was a really special sight.
I have another more personal-centric blog and over the last year or so I’ve posted a couple entries related to my GB construction progress. They won’t be linked directly here, but you can browse the Railroad category on the blog and see the entries there.
Broke down some old benchwork from a members’ old layout (sorry Andy, but it will find a new home elsewhere on the layout – everything, including screws, was salvaged)
Built a box frame for the benchwork at one end of the room
Sanded the section of spline roadbed that is complete
Planned the addition of a small section of spline roadbed to join the existing stretch which is the location of the Government Mapping Agency siding (paper, etc.) and placed an order for some CVMW flexible turnout kits to use here. (There is a slight curve and a conventional straight or curved turnout will not work properly.)
Next up will be installing the siding, installing the box and building out the benchwork, starting the upper deck and working on the helix. Photos from the evening will be posted soon in the Gallery.