2011 Annual Report

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B&O Shepherd Branch

Scenery construction continued throughout 2011 with a focus on Port Shepherd. Working from back to front and from left to right, I added A. C. Saur & Sons and Blue Bayou Bar and Grill, a bridge carrying industrial tracks, the large Perfect Parts complex, Ottenberg Bakery (salvaged from the old railroad), and Skee Rambler Bicycle shop. (Sidenote: Chris’ grandfather owned the Saur grocery store in Kent City MI.) Korber kits 919 and 920 were combined to create a new structure for Greenberg Publishing in Twining City. The former Greenberg Publishing building was repurposed for National Plumbing Supply in Port Shepherd.

The MOW department continued to work on the crossing at Twining City. A kink near one of the frogs causes derailments too frequently.

The engine shop painted and decaled another undecorated Weaver Alco RS-3 to resemble a Washington Terminal Company RS-1. This will take the spot of the Weaver VO-1000, with China drive, that continues to be an erratic operating problem.

The operating crew (a round-robin group) participated in seven operating sessions in 2011. 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

There was very little activity on either the two-rail or three-rail portions of the P&P this year. Exhibitions trains were run occasionally for visiting dignitaries. Three-rail locomotive 825, a Lionel 4-4-2, developed a serious electro-mechanical problem that the engine shop has not been able to remedy.

Ohio River & Western Railroad (On30)

During the year, the OR&W purchased a stock car, a gondola, and a 4-4-0 locomotive. The OR&W sold a 2-8-0 locomotive at the NMRA National Convention silent auction, recovering the cost of the 4-4-0.

Conventions and Shows

I used the Potomac Division Mini-convention in April to unload $30 worth of excess railroad materials, but could not sell my initial 24 issues of Rail Model Journal.

The NMRA National convention was held in Sacramento CA in July. My focus, throughout the convention, was on Operations SIG (OpSIG) activities. I attended numerous clinics on operations, timetables, train orders and track warrants, and car forwarding systems. I operated on two railroads: Dave Clemens’ Idaho-Montana Railway & Navigation Co and the Sacramento Central Modular Railroad. On Thursday afternoon and evening, I toured the Sacramento History Museum, walked the streets of “Old Sacramento,” and explored the California State Railroad Museum.

I departed Sacramento for Denver on Amtrak’s California Zephyr (Train No. 6). The overnight train arrived nearly five hours late. Monday morning, my dad arrived on the west-bound California Zephyr (Train No. 5), about three hours late. We then spent the next six days exploring railroad and other scenic highlights along the Front Range between Denver and Colorado Springs. We either toured or rode the following: Fortney Transportation Museum, Caboose Hobbies, Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, Garden of the Gods, Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railway, Cripple Creek District Museum, Cliff Dwellings and Pueblo Museum, Royal Gorge Train, Leadville Colorado & Southern, Georgetown Loop Railway, Colorado Rockies baseball game, Colorado Railroad Museum, and Denver trolley and light rail.

Sunday night, we left Denver five hours late on Amtrak No. 6 and it only got worse. Because of floods in the upper Midwest and high temperatures, we lost another 11 hours as we crossed Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois arriving in Chicago Tuesday morning at 4 a.m. Rather than wait all day in Chicago, my dad took the morning MegaBus to Toledo. I headed to Midway Airport for a Southwest flight to Baltimore via Buffalo. Since one of my checked bags decided to deplane in Buffalo, I had to file a claim before taking Metrobus and Metrorail home.

The B&O Railroad Historical Society Eastern Mini-convention was held in Hyndman PA in early August. Chris and I camped at Rocky Gap State Park, east of Cumberland, over the weekend. I spent Saturday at the mini-con while Chris relaxed at the park.

Four members of my round-robin operating group and I took a mid-summer field trip to Clifton Forge and Roanoke VA. We toured the C&O Railway Heritage Park, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, and the O. Winston Link Museum.

The 2011 O Scale National Convention was, once again, combined with the annual September meet in Indianapolis IN. Two special events were planned for Wednesday: an On30 and a Proto:48 mini-convention. Both were disappointments. Rooms were set aside, but no program was planned for either group of modelers. I didn’t find anything particularly noteworthy about the convention, but I did purchase a Weaver B&O Wagon-top box car. Chris joined me on Friday and we spent a lovely weekend with her niece and family.

The annual MER Convention was held in Cary NC in late October. My focus was, once again, on operating sessions. On Thursday night, I operated on Bruce and Cherie Faulkner’s CSX Shenandoah Division, formerly Clinchfield territory. This is mainline railroading with signals, track warrants, and long trains. On Sunday morning, I was running ACL freight trains between Wilmington NS and Spartansburg SC on Dave Koss’ railroad. The focus was more on switching and local operations. Both of these railroads are N-scale. Otherwise, I attended eight clinics, visited three open houses, and won a door prize. Again, I could not sell my initial 24 issues of Rail Model Journal.

In 2012, Shepherd Branch management will focus on completing the 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.