The Model Railway Show – Episode 0023

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Model Railroading by Gaslight

In this episodeā€¦

Bernard Kempinski, layout builder, US Military Railroad.
Paul Scoles, layout builder, Pelican Bay Railway and Navigation Company.

Modeling a Railroad at War

Railroads have played an important role in warfare, moving soldiers and supplies to the front lines. But the relationship between railroads and conflict is rarely modeled.

For Bernard Kempinski, the combination was too interesting to pass up. He served as a US Army Captain, owner of Alkem Scale Models, and the author of several magazine articles as well as two books, Model Railroader’s Guide to Steel Mills and Mid-Size Track Plans for Realistic Layouts.

And he’s taken on a challenging – and – rewarding subject: The US Military Railroad in Virginia. Inspired by the fine O scale locomotive models available from SMR Trains, Bernard relies upon several sources for information, including the collection of Civil War Era glass negatives at the US Library of Congress, 19th Century railroad construction manuals available on Google Books, and a Yahoo Group dedicated to modeling Civil War railroads.

Bernard joins Trevor to discuss the challenges of researching a railroad that ran 150 years ago, as well as how one approaches the modeling of such emotionally-charged topics such as war and slavery.

19th Century Narrow Gauge

Author Paul Scoles is famous for his scenery work.

In November 2009 he started writing a series of scenery clinics for Railroad Model Craftsman magazine, inspired by The Skyline Limited – a well-known book on the Kaslo and Slocan Railway. Paul is also a regular contributor to the Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette and he has produced a series of DVDs which he sells through his web site.

Paul’s work often features his beautiful Pelican Bay Railway and Navigation Company, an Sn3 layout set in Northern California in 1895. Those planning to attend the 2012 National Narrow Gauge Convention in Seattle, Washington will have an opportunity to see Paul’s layout in person.

In conversation with Jim, Paul explains that his model railroad reflects influences ranging from John Allen to Allen McClelland. He also describes the challenge of finding suitable 19th Century locomotives and how a New Zealand company (now with a U.S. distributor) came to the rescue.

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Episode 23 (mp3)

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Next time on The Model Railway Show:

Trevor speaks with Tim Warris about how a passion for track turned into a successful hobby business.
Jim talks to John Johnston about the Canadian Association of Railway Modellers.

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