The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad's Shepherd Branch is an urban railroad serving a quasi-fictional, diverse industrial base in southeast Washington, DC in 1958. Motive power is first generation road and yard switchers as rostered by the B&O and Washington Terminal.
The modeled portions of this O scale railroad, shoehorned into a 20' x 16' basement space, represent Shepherd Junction, Twining City, Uniontown, and Port Shepherd. The rail line linking these industrial centers is the Shepherd Branch. Shepherd Junction guards the connection of the Shepherd Branch to the Alexandria Branch. Shepherd Junction is also adjacent to Benning Yard that is represented by three staging tracks. A switcher from Benning handles the industrial activity at Shepherd Junction and Twining City. The industries include a coal distributor, team track, freight house, and printer.
Uniontown, at milepost 2.7 on the branch, is served daily by the Uniontown Turn, better known as the U-Turn. Uniontown is a complex industrial area with a bulk oil dealer, furniture plant, grocery supply company, warehouse, and a scrap metal dealer. The B&O interchanges coal hoppers with the East Washington Railroad which delivers the hoppers to a coal-fired Potomac Electric power plant.
The branch terminates at Port Shepherd where the B&O serves marine pier 5, a major parts manufacturer, a plumbing supply fabricator, and a marine sand, gravel, and cement facility. The yard at Port Shepherd is undersized which makes switching the port challenging.
The track plan for the Shepherd Branch was developed in 2001-2002. Initially, I intended the railroad to be the Potomac & Patuxent Railroad, a name that I had been using since 1985. About 2007, I decided to give the Shepherd Branch back to the B&O where it belonged and only use the P&P on my 3-rail display layout. This is why you see references to the P&P on these track diagrams. Also, the Anacostia Industrial area was renamed Twining City.