Baltimore Harbor District
modeler Paul Dolkos hosted a layout open house with so much fine
modeling one visitor said, ”I came to be inspired and I was, but also
left somewhat intimidated.”
The layout, the Baltimore Harbor
District, features Paul’s innovative structures using photographs
supplemented by styrene cornices, windows and steps. The first coverage
of such buildings appeared in the cover story of the October 2011 Model
Railroader, followed up by more detailed article in the May 2012 issue.
Paul’s coal yard was another cover story in the December 2012 MR.
layout, set in 1955, includes Baltimore harbor operations and
neighborhoods. Motive power includes that of the Baltimore & Ohio,
Western Maryland, Pennsylvania and Canton Railroads, used on local
switch jobs or transfer runs. Attention to prototype photos enables the
layout to represent the harbor in er, verisimilitudinous, ways.
car float revealed a variety of details down to the life preservers
required by maritime rules. Asked whether the float was kit built or
scratch built, Paul said the float is a Home Depot Special—a one inch
board. The exacting barge structure showed us what expert craftsmanship
can do with the most basic of materials.
One feature of the
layout that caught everyone’s attention was the CVP Easy DCC command
control station mounted on keyboard drawer slides so it can be slid out
of sight since its not used for normal operations. Also on this drawer
mount is the programming track. The master control panel can also be
used to operate the layout’s moveable swing bridge, although this is
normally done with a wireless throttle.
All the layout’s
trackwork is complete. He built his benchwork in two rooms, one used
for staging. The benchwork is in part cantilevered off the walls, part
normal tabletop benchwork, built with cabinet-grade 3/4 plywood covered
with homosote. In my experience, rarely has so much attention gone
into the quality and strength of the benchwork. Engines performed
flawlessly, gliding over scratch-built switches on the main line, spurs
and in yards.