City Point Model Railroad Planning

city point movable railroad
This is my first shot at a plan for building a true HO scale City Point model railroad.  Basically since I don't have the space, the idea would be to build it in modules that could be fitted together when I have the space, or perhaps even at shows.  The white lines delineate each module.   I figure that if the first couple modules were of the warehouse on the right, they might even be made compatible with standard HO modules, with the use of some adapter modules.  This version assumes that the backdrop would be on the bluffs, with the operator standing in the river.

Many major and minor things need to be worked out - here are just a few thoughts.

Second proposal - Below is a version with the river on the backdrop.  The front of the layout starts at the base of the bluffs, with the operator standing on the bluffs.
a version with a view from the bluffs

masked version with reclaimed bluffs
Here is a refined version of the river on backdrop version with each module outlined in green.   This image has areas not modeled cropped out.   I managed to reclaim some of more the bluffs, including Grant's HQ on the west end.  The barracks on the hill are removed to provide better access to the yard and trackage on the wharfs.  There are no switches on joints between modules and as much as possible, the joints run vertically up and down slopes, rather than across them at an angle.  Joints between modules are straight, with no curved junctions between modules.  There are a few joints with odd angles, but I figure that it would be easier to do this than having a joint running through a important piece of scenery.  A total of 10 modules, all fitting within a 4'x8' form factor would be required.  I think 1 additional module would be required to feed the yard for proper operation.

latest with old track
More refinements - most significant is the track plan.   I've modified Merricks map with photoshop to reflect the trackage as seen in many of the photos available from the Library of Congress.  Take special note of the tracks leading to the engine house.   Two extra tracks and crossover switch servicing main warehouse are also removed.  Also gone is the warehouse added in March.  Some small buildings that appear in photos of the yard have been added.

Major Update 3/11/14

After some recent digging, I think I have come up with a much more interesting time frame. to model, and shifted my focus.

In March, 1865 there was heightened quartermaster activities related to preparations for a major campaign. On March 27th and March 28th, 1865, a lot was also going on at Army Headquarters.
There were several meetings among these men during the late afternoon and evening of the 27th and also the next morning.

Up through the 28th, the 114th Pennsylvania Zouves were on provost duty at City Point. The 114th Pennsylvania had one of the best bands in the Army of the Potomac and it was known to serenade General Grant several times a week while on provost duty. They were still uniformed in Zouve attire, even at this late date in the war.

Several thousand prisoners were captured at Fort Stedman on the 25th – I don’t yet have information on transportation dates, but they were almost certainly shipped to prisoner of war camps through City Point, shortly after that battle.  I do know that at least some of the captured Confederates were kept in a  barracks at City Point for at least one night.

Newly recruited units were arriving in this general timeframe to reinforce the armies for the upcoming spring campaign. Because of the great need for troops during this period of the war, the Union armies didn’t wait for new regiments to completely get recruited, but would often send incomplete regiments to the front, following later on with remaining companies. An example of this is the 18th New Hampshire, which had 6 companies sent to City Point in September, followed later on by individual companies, as they were recruited. At first, the regiment was attached to the engineer brigade and helped build the City Point defenses. Later on, they did some service in the trenches. Company H arrived at City Point on March 30th. Company H was given weapons and rudimentary training on the 31st and joined the regiment in a firefight in the front lines the very next day. On April 3rd the 18th New Hampshire joined the army as they occupied the vacated Confederate trenches. They also participated in the pursuit of Lee’s army.

What follows is an updated map of the proposed layout.

March 2014 Layout
In this version, the 1865  track plan was added back in.  Also the modules were shifted around a bit to better keep major features from crossing between modules.   The most surprising part of the evolution of the plan, is how similar this plan is to the first one listed on this page.  Shape of modules is designed to make track as accessible as possible to operators.

I am now working on detailed planning of the first module, which has to be the yard area around the engine and roundhouse.   Here is a enlarged version of that module.

Engine House Module

This module is about 6.5' long by 4' wide.  In order to get things going quickly, I plan on building a first pass of this module using basic modeling techniques.  Buildings will initially be cut out of foam board with glued on printed photo paper siding and roofs.  Track will be recycled Atlas flex track and switches from my last layout.  The major emphasis will be to get basic bench work and landscaping techniques figured out.

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