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Winchester Paston & Portsmouth

The WP&P is a fictional railroad, as modeled by Michael R. Rountree.  Begun in 1896 as the Paston Valley Lines and dependent on its mainline connection to the Baltimore & Ohio, the line eventually grew across the West Virginia / VA border to reach the town of Winchester and then a connection with the Norfolk & Western beyond.  Ultimately, following reorganization under the new WP&P name, it reached Portsmouth, VA.  The line met its "demise" in 1967, when at long last the major shareholder N&W finally completed its takeover.  The north-south line between Winchester and Portsmouth was abandoned, but the coal-productive line west from Winchester was preserved as a branch and as a bridge route to the B&O.  The route is modeled as it would be in 1971, with a heavy N&W influence but with the remnants of WP&P equipment in evidence.

In the real world, there are two shortline railroads in the area where my model railroad is fabled to run.  Thus, the WP&P can be said to be a combination of the Winchester & Western and the South Branch Valley; my prototype research tends to orbit around these two, at least when I'm not absorbing all things Norfolk & Western.  On the SBV one can ride a famed scenic excursion, the Potomac Eagle, so named because as it runs alongside the south branch of the Potomac, it passes by the eyries of bald eagles, which can be seen from the train. The SBV started just as a B&O branchline, but the WP&P imagine what might have been if this line had run not north to the B&O main but rather east and over the mountains; the Winchester & Western is, in this scenario, imagined as the descending route down into Winchester.


Tunnels Are Boring

Where my main line enters a helix between Oxmore and Trellisville, I needed to dress up the entry and exit as tunnel portals. In the past I’ve just used a portal casting and nothing else, but it doesn’t look realistic to not see the walls of the bored out tunnel behind the portal. I decided to fabricate some liners for the first few inches of track, and this is how I did it.

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Weathering With Oils

I was encouraged by an online friend to give a new weathering method a try, and this is the result.

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Oxmore Benchwork

Oxmore sits on a tricky piece of real estate, fitting onto a wedge that goes from the drop-leaf bridge at the wide end down to a point near a basement support column, and then it must fit between the column and the stair.

Class J Railfanning

In June, I was able to fulfill a long-desired goal – to experience a train trip behind the mighty Norfolk & Western Class J! This was the final excursion of 2016, and took place in Manassas, Virginia.

Twigs and Tweezers

How hard can it be to build a log cabin?

I decided to give it a try.

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Model Railroading is Fun!

It's the World's Greatest Hobby. If you're a model railroader, too, you might be interested in exchanging Rail Passes with me. The Rail Pass is really just like a token or collectible card, though in the real world such passes were issued to V.I.P.'s to enable them to travel for free. Owning one meant that you were someone special, and I have created a Rail Pass for the WP&P that I can give out to persons special to me. If interested, read all about it and contact me to work out the particulars.

Layout Design

One of my favorite aspects of the hobby is layout design. In fact, it's the reason why I went into my chosen profession, architecture! Ever since my teenage years I have been filling up pads of graph paper with sketched dreams. Every now and then, I will add some featured plans as articles here, to show some of my work. Most of the time, these are revisions to plans posted by others, as I frequent various model railroading forums and love to help out. Of course, you can view my own layout plan, as well as the design of my N-Trak module, both of which exhibit some good design features.