Its been a long time, where have you been?

Hard to believe, but it’s been over a year away from any serious modeling or blog posting. As any follower of the blog knows, this hasn’t been the first time for a break in the hobby for me. Thanks to several friends’ modeling efforts though, model railroading has never been too far away.

Recently, while cleaning up dust bunnies on my modeling desk, I pondered why over the last two decades have there been so many starts and stops to various projects. A stroll through past blog posts can easily confirm the many starts and stops. I never did find an answer to the frequent stops and starts, besides there seem to be many factors that caused me to stop one project and move on.

One contributing factor was not have a place to put the layout. Any layout was always being moved around in the basement, I decide to fix that issue by working on framing out my basement and creating an area for my woodworking, model train, and board game hobbies. Having a dedicated work area is a must.

I’m doing all the work myself, in my limited spare time. Everything means just that framing, wiring, insulation, Sheetrock, and painting. Takes time when you have 15 to 30 minutes here and there, but I’m getting there. I’m almost at the end of a 40 foot long wall, and almost to the pivotal corner at the back of our basement.

The good news, that long wall is going to be home to my model trains, and the work areas for modeling. So stay tuned, a new modeling project is coming soon!

Field Notes: Bentley Springs

Editor’s Note: As part of my rethinking of the blog, I decided to create a series dedicated to research. Field Notes will be a place for me to keep resources, notes, maps, and photographs of various topics. My first Field Note post is about the defunct village of Bentley Springs.

Over the next several posts, I will be discussing an imagineered project that I have enjoyed working on over the past few years when I decide to do some Model Railroading. The Northern Maryland Railway was “born” while walking along the NCR Hike and Bike trail in northern Baltimore county in Maryland and Southern York county in Pennsylvania. Bentley Springs, once upon a time a village that contained a passenger and separate freight station, as well as a 40 room hotel and water bottling plant is a short distance to the east of where we live. We usually start our trek from the parking lot and either go north or south from there. Within the area the village once occupied there are three short bridges over Beetree Run and a cut. Beetree Run, Bentley Road, and the NCR/PRR right of way all navigate their way through a rather small stream valley.

Recently Graham wanted to go “ down to the trail” to take pictures of the beaver dam and hopefully the beaver for a science project. I had been wanting to take pictures of the south end of Bentley Springs as well because the cut and first bridge area make for an excellent transition from staging to visible layout. I took a lot of pictures and we have some historical photographs to dig up as well so this first episode will most likely run over several posts.

Let’s start “Railroad South” at the cut and move maybe hundred yard or less to the first bridge. Just south of the cut is a fourth bridge.

The cut looking from railroad west to south. I do not know the curve radius, but it seems sharp considering the NCR was the Pennsylvania RR’s backdoor to Baltimore.
Standing at the edge of the cut and looking railroad north. Bentley Road comes up a short grade and crosses the former right of way directly in front of me.
Looking south towards Bentley Rd crossing and the cut.
The east side of the bridge (Bridge 31?). Beetree Run runs under the bridge. It’s current is usually faster, but the beaver made a dam not to far below the bridge.
View of the west side of the bridge. The beaver “pond” is to the left. The bridge is the third and final crossing of a Beetree Run before the cut.
The bridge number and mile marker. I will need to walk south and find mile marker 31.
The beaver dam. Recent rains had damaged it as well as leaving trash along the top. Graham assured me the water level had been higher.

Field Notes: Bentley Springs @January 2021

By H. Mathews