By Mike Burke
The Club had been awarded the opportunity to visit a home layout of Bernie Kempinski (pictured) Bernie is a noted Civil War Historian and renactor of the period. The Club traveled to Bernie's home in Alexandria Virginia, not far from where the Potomac Yards actually were. Bernie brought us down and showed us his exciting Civil War era model train layout. It is built in "O" scale, so it is the next size up from what the PWMRC uses, but here is the kicker. Bernie's locomotives, though they run on "Digitrax" are battery operated. His track does not have electric current in it.
The layout is a rolling diorama of the Civil War as it goes through Northern Virginia . It depicts the United States Military Railroad in the Civil War time period ranging in space from Fredericksburg to Manassas.
We got to see the famous "Roundtable" at Manassas Junction, (then known as Tudor Hall) the Stone House in the Manassas Battlefiled, We got to see the city of Fredericksburg off in the distance as well. Bernie told us about the movements of troops and the importance of the United States Military Railroad and it's operation through Aquia Landing just north of Fredericksburg. Also on his layout he has the entry port for the tunnel at Crozet, outside of Charlottesville at Afton Mountain.
Bernie maintains an active Blog located at : http://usmrr.blogspot.com
Bernie goes on to show the work of General Herman Haupt, who was one of the most notable railroad men of the Civil War. The PWMRC members really enjoyed the visit to his home layout and we took these pictures: