2010 Annual Report

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B&O Shepherd Branch

2010 was a year of construction. The company installed a permanent loading dock to serve the team track in Twining City. The dock is a modified construction of BTS Loading Dock (Kit # 17102). The dock was mated to a small freight shed that I built at and after the 2007 NMRA Convention. The freight shed underwent a significant redesign with the addition of a Grandt Line freight door and relocation on the platform. And, of course, I had to add interior lights.

The company also erected a freight house in Twining City based on the B&O Book of Standard Plans and a photograph of the former B&O Uniontown freight station. The current structure is actually a plastic-board mockup that will help with the construction of a true wooden freight house at a later date.

Robinson Coal Company erected a coal storage/distribution facility and office building on their property adjoining Shepherd Junction. The two structures were part of the K&P Brick & Bldg Co. Kit No. KP4817. Before the buildings could be finished and urban industrial backdrop was installed, a chain link fence was constructed of extra long straight pins and fiberglass window screening.

The car and engine shops were equally busy. The railroad acquired a 1950s-era B&O trailer on flat car (TOFC) from Weaver. The shops completed construction of a resin kit of an USRA composite gondola that had been set aside a number of years ago. The car was finished as C&O 29515. I weighted the car with a thin sheet of lead covered with a wood floor.

The engine shop painted and decaled an undecorated Weaver Alco RS-3 to resemble a Washington Terminal Company RS-1. This will hold a spot on the roster until I assemble the Gilmaur RS-1 kit that I acquired a few years ago.

The operating crew (a round-robin group) participated in four operating sessions in 2010. (One was cancelled due to snow.) We continue to run five trains during each operating session: Port Shepherd Job, Uniontown Turn (U-Turn), Twining City (TC) Switch, Second Port Shepherd, and the B&O Coal Extra to the Potomac Electric plant.

Potomac & Patuxent Railroad

Two-rail, DC-powered trains ran for the first time on September 24. Throughout the year, I had electrified the railroad; installed and activated Tortoise switch machines; and installed a power drawer for the DC block selectors. DC power is provided by an MRC Tech 2500 controller. Turnout controls will be installed in fascia near each turnout.

Ohio River & Western Railroad (On30)

During the year, the OR&W purchased a caboose and a boxcar. The railroad made offers for a 4-4-0 locomotive, but was consistently outbid by other railroads.

Conventions and Shows

I attended clinics on resin casting and the use of DecoderPro at the Potomac Division Mini-con in April.

In late June/early July, Chris and I went to Wales and Cheshire. We rode 14 mainline and restored trains in six days as follows: London Underground from Heathrow to Euston Station; Virgin from Euston to Crewe; Virgin from Crewe to Chester; Arriva from Chester to Llandudno Junction; Arriva from Llandudno Junction to Betws-y-Coed; Arriva from Betws-y-Coed to Blaenau Ffestiniog; Ffestiniog Railway from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porth Madog (restored narrow gauge, steam railroad); Welsh Highland Railway and Museum in Porth Madog (restored narrow gauge, steam railroad); Arriva from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Betws-y-Coed; Snowden Mountain Railway (steam cog railway); Arriva from Betws-y-Coed to Llandudno Junction; Arriva from Llandudno Junction to Chester; Virgin from Chester to Crewe; and Northern from Crewe to Manchester International Airport. We also rode a number of local buses.

Two weeks later, I joined my father and brother Bob on a tour of Great Lakes railroad museums. We toured the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth MN; the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay WI; and the Illinois Railway Museum in Union IL. We rode excursion trains on the North Shore Scenic Railroad (in conjunction with the Lake Superior Railroad Museum) and the National Railroad Museum and Illinois Railroad Museum (an interurban car). In addition to Duluth and Green Bay, we rail-fanned old and new structures in Hurley MI, Ashland MI, and Two Harbors MN. We took the harbor cruise in Duluth/Superior and also got a tour of the engine room of the last whaleback freighter on display in Superior WI.

Baltimore was the host city for the B&O RR Historical Society convention in October. On Friday, we rode the Wilmington & Western (a former B&O branch line) and toured the restored downtown Wilmington B&O station. On Saturday, we toured the Mt. Royal Station, Camden Station (currently hosting a sports museum), the Museum of Science and Industry, and the B&O Railroad Museum. All are located in Baltimore.

Nearly two dozen Capitol Area O-Scalers accepted an invitation to tour three O-scale railroads in Williamsburg VA on a Saturday in December. Our hosts were Ed Rappe modeling the Pennsylvania Railroad; Jim Taverna also modeling the Pennsy; and former NMRA President John Roberts modeling the C&O.

2010 was a very busy year for the B&O Shepherd Branch and the Potomac & Patuxent. In 2011, Shepherd Branch management will focus on replacing a faulty crossing and adding scenery at Port Shepherd. P&P management will focus on improving the operation of the display railroad. Ohio River & Western management continues to look for bargains on rolling stock and locomotives.