The Georgetown Branch

Baltimore & Ohio's Georgetown Branch

An HO Scale Model Railroad

Slipping through the suburbs of Montgomery County Maryland in the early 1900’s the Georgetown Branch split from the Baltimore and Ohio Metropolitan Subdivision in Silver Spring Maryland and ended in Georgetown Washington D.C. 

The mainstay of the branch was freight service mostly building materials, lumber, steel, coal for home heating, and in Georgetown coal for the steam generating plant that heated congressional buildings in Washington D.C.

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About The Model Railroad

Construction of this HO-scale model railroad began in 2019, and the modeled era will be in the mid-1950s to 1960.  

The room is approximately 25 feet by 25 feet. The benchwork is modular and constructed of 3/4 inch x 3-inch birch plywood. The modules are assembled with pocket screws and painted on all sides to help control expansion and contraction. The 3/16-inch masonite backdrops are removable and the entire layout is completely free-standing.   

All track on the layout is Micro Engineering code 70 except for staging and the non-operable mainline tracks at Georgetown Junction, which is code 83. Turnouts for the most part are Mirco Engineering #6 with a few handlaid #9’s at the junction. I used a mix of Central Valley Turnout Ties and PC ties for those.  

The Georgetown Branch Track Plan

Train Control

Trains and turnouts are controlled with DCC. A single Train Control Systems CS-105, and a pair of  UWT-100 WiFi Throttles power the layout.

Turnouts are controlled with DCC Concepts Cobalt Digital turnout motors that can be operated via throttle, local panels, or pushbuttons disguised as ground throws along the route.

Because most turnouts in Georgetown are buried in the street it is hard to see the turnout position in most cases. To eliminate confusion, routes were created for the sidings, and those are configured using an NCE Mini Panel wired to control panels.

Control panels along the waterfront are hidden in barges, more on that later!

Locomotives are equipped with TCS WOW sound decoders and every locomotive is equipped with keepalives. Combining keepalive capacitors with powered frogs at the turnouts ensures smooth, reliable operation. 

Photo Gallery

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