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Old 11-11-2003, 02:39 PM   #1
E.M. Bell
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Salvisa, Kentucky
Posts: 471
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Default Steam in Maryland...and a little CSX

Howdy all....

I am back from yet another trip to the Cumberland MD area. My inlaws live just outside of Pittsburg PA, meaning that when visitiing up there I have a multitude of "famous" places to go shoot, all within a hours drive. RP Contributer G.W. Brandenburg was with us this trip, and we decided to head over to Cumberland MD Saturday to shoot the WMSR and steam....and a little CSX if we had the time. Just follow the links to the by me and GW..

Departure from PA was before sunrise that morning (11/08/03) and we climbed the mountains and enjoyed the sunrise while we sped along US 40 Eastbound in the fog. Our plan was to get into the Cumberland area in time to catch Amtrak 30, which was reported to be running late. About 10 miles West of the MD state line, the altenator on GW's truck dies much for catching Amrtak We limp along into Frostburg MD and by chance find a auto parts store that has the part we need. Ater a hour of parking lot repiars (and $200) the truck is back in service and we head on into Cumberland...

Arrival in Cumberland nets a Westbound Q278 waiting for a signal at Viaduct Jct, where the Mountain sub to Grafton WV joins the Keystone sub. He has a former CR SD40-2 leader, so we pop a shot or two of him at the WAS at Viaduct and then again as he crosses Baltimore street in Downtown.

Its already close to 10:30, so we corss the river into WVA and head for the Western Maryland scenics shop. The crew is busy getting the steam engine and diesels ready for the days work, so we hang out and shoot them as they put the train together and head over to the station in Cumberland.

While they load passengers, we head up to Cash Valley and set up to shoot them at the famous Helmstetters curve. The light is tough to get right here, and GW gets the shot, while I dont so so well

From Helmstetters its on to Frostburg, end of the line for the WMSR. I had noticed a nice curve just East of the depot there on my last trip to the area, and we start hiking down to it while the train approaches, just getting to a photo location before they pop into view. Rail conditions are bad and the engine slips several time before getting to us. I opt for a low angle shot, and GW goes for the High angle..

After the train passes we grab lunch and a nap while the engine is turned and made ready to go back East. We set up again at Helmstetters for the return trip, and once again GW gets the shot, while I get screwed by the shadows..oh well...

Our last shot of the day is at the Potomac river bridge in Cumberland. The train swings around into the perfect low afternoon light.

After shooting out last shot of the day of the WMSR, we make ready to head back to PA when I hear a CSX Z-416 on the radio, getting ready to depart Eastbound. I try to figure out what that is and a light bulb goes off in my head...WLE GRAIN TRAIN!! We make a quick turn around and zip to the interlocking at Mexico, just East of the yard and set up... Just as the light starts to fade, we shoot the Grain train with a trio of WLE power...this is GW's shot, mine is still in the camera..

Thats it... a rather enjoyable day out....CSX ran a bunch of stuff while we where shooting steam, and we gladly let them all go....there will be time enough for that when there is no steam
E.M. Bell, KD4JSL
Salvisa, KY
NS Fourms
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