Beckleysville: Revisiting an old friend

I recently discovered the original sketch for Beckleysville. It did not have a turntable, or the versions that incorporated a wye. After looking at the plan for a few moments, I decided this is perfect. Compact with four switches four, and including the buildings I really wanted to model. Perfect, out came the two surviving baseboards that had been built for the large On30 version of Beckleysville.

Why would the Northern Maryland Railway have a branch to Beckleysville? More on that in the next post. For now, the primary reason for the branchline is not in Beckleysville but the paper mill in Hoffmanville, the station stop before Beckleysville. The general store-coal-lumber dealer is a secondary reason. The granary is really a slow mover, express, LCL, and the team track are revenue generators in the pre UPS era of 1914.

One item that is missing is a turning facilities for a steam locomotive, no wye on turntable. Their is a prototype for this, the 9 mile long Strasburg railroad in Lancaster county Pennsylvania has no wye or turntable. An interesting idea to run the engine in reverse one way, a practice not commonly seen in the prototype or on model railroads. I like the idea, so no turning facility, there is enough back and forth in switching and getting the combine to the end of the train. The Beckleysville branch is probably a 6 to 9 mile long run and in the winter during snow the train would have pushed the plow to clear the line once the storm had subsided. Besides, the season being modeled is May-June 1914 and snow will not be an issue.

Beckleysville: Revisiting an old Friend @December 2020

By: H. Mathews

Barriers to Model Railroading part V: Model what?

How many times have you built a model railroad only to finish it or even half finish it and say to yourself, “ I don’t like it”? I’m sure every modeler has had that experience at some point in time. I know I certainly have more than once. Over the years, especially the last twenty or so I have started and stopped many projects. What have I learned in that time? You will never have enough of whatever, be it time, space, or money. Something will limit you and you will stop. Next step is no what to do?

Over the past several years, Model Railroading has been a back burner hobby. Other things have pushed it there until the realization is that a lot of projects got started but never really finished because I lost interest. The problem was looking towards a finished layout. Many layouts never came about because somewhere along the way an intermediate step created a roadblock or became its own project. Ultimately, this led to the hobby becoming a back burner and other things taking up more of my interest.

Recently, I sat down at my modeling desk and cleaned up the dust bunnies, pushed some stacks of stuff around to see what they were and discovered a small book of trackplans and model railroad ideas. Was an interesting stroll down past ideas and projects. several different Beckleysville plans in On3, On30, S standard, Sn3, and one in On2. The Emerson Railway, a Maine two footer in On2 was in there as well. While looking at the Emerson plans, I realized some of the issues centered around rolling stock and motive power issues. No wonder I didn’t finish any layouts. Beckleysville had more trackplans than industries, and almost as many scale and gauge ideas to match the abundance of trackplans.

So, let’s return to the question at hand, what to model? Let’s look at the question in a different light. To succeed, Beckleysville needs a scale, track gauge and a plan. Emerson needs rolling stock and motive power. Pick something and go.

Barriers to Model Railroading part V: Model what? @ December 2020

By :H. Mathews