WWII era Aberdeen Proving Ground rails?

Mark Renye Jan 6, 2010

  1. Mark Renye

    Mark Renye E-Mail Bounces


    I've tried some Google and wiki searches (basically anything that doesn't involve leaving my house...):pcute:

    I am trying to learn whatever I can about WWII-era rail operations in and around the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.

    There was a lot of activity at the base in WWII, and I can only imagine the possibilities of modeling something that includes:

    Portions of the base.
    Chesapeake Bay

    There is a lot of WWII era miniatures available in 10mm scale (approx to N, as well as 20mm if HO were the option)...

    Just need to fill in those blanks about trackage and ops.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

    just guessing here, but based on my previous military experience, I would say that the information you are looking for may be classified information and may still be so. I would exercise extreme caution in seeking that information. I dont mean to be a spoil-sport or the "devil's advocate" but in these troubled times anyone seeking info about ANY U.S. military bases might cause a red flag to rise!

  3. Mark Renye

    Mark Renye E-Mail Bounces

    Appreciate the thoughts.
    I did think that the the freedom of information act released anything that was 50 or 60 years old...although I may be wrong... I know that most if not all WWII military stuff has already been declassified.
    The only thing that may be a sticking point is the role that Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort Deitrich (sp?), which is in Western MD, had in bio and chem weapons. That might explain the scarcity of some of the general overview info I am looking for in this case.

    In any event, I won't lose too much sleep over the chance that someone will red-flag me. I am squeaky clean and have no plans on traveling in, through, or near any middle eastern countries...

  4. BNbob

    BNbob TrainBoard Member

    Mark - Try contacting the Public Affairs Office at Aberdeen.
  5. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

    I do agree that it would be a neat segement of railroading to model. Something like that would give one a variety of switching moves, train make-up[this being critical due to the possibility of hazmat eg.explosives,gasses etc.] and train handling.
    Keep us posted please!

  6. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

    Besides google and wiki, one of the great sources for architectural stuff is at Library of Congress online...
    Library of Congress Home and go to "American Memory".
    Thousands of historic architectural plans, and hundreds of MILLIONS of historic photos.

    Have you looked at present-day Google-earth satellite pictures?

    Spotty historical coverage of many areas is available on

    Have you looked at historic Sanborn's Insurance maps (NOT at all good for trackage, and may not cover military areas because they may not be commercially insured...)

    Looking through the credits of a family history documentary I produced, I note the following sources that provided photos and visuals over the internet--
    Dept. of the Navy, Navy Historical Center
    Farm Security Administration- Office of War Information
    National Archives & Records Administration
    United States Army Center of Military History
    United State Navy "official U.S. Navy photographs now in the collections of the National Archives"

    Model Railroad Researching is Fun!
    (Incidently, I got interested in becoming a historian from doing model railroad research.)
  7. Mark Renye

    Mark Renye E-Mail Bounces

    hi Ken,

    The HistoricalAerials site is perhaps one of the most useful sites I have seen in a long time. Amazing.
    As to Google Earth, Aberdeen imagery is limited to the SPOT satellite images (which have a really low resolution of 6 meters (or is it feet?).
    Anyway, way too rough to be useful.

    As a fellow history buff, and internet search hound, you have given me some new tools.

    Thanks again!


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