Old 09-24-2007, 01:00 AM   #1
TonytheTiger
Ex. Railroad Employee
 
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 136
Default A day on the CSX Cumberland Subdivision

CSX Cumberland Subdivision - September 22, 2007

I had originally intended to head to Hancock on this day to watch the tower close for good, but that had already occurred earlier in the week. So, I just went to Hancock to see how it had changed. One thing for sure, bland silver metal boxes do not have the same character as a stately old interlocking tower . . . .

http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892933

I thought that I had better photograph some of the other old structures in the area before they too are threatened by demolition . . . .

The passenger station
http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892936

An old scale house (I donít know if it is still in use)
http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892937

Shortly thereafter the dispatcher came onto the radio to direct the eastbound Amtrak Capital Limited around a westbound and eastbound train. It needs to be on #1 track when it arrives in Martinsburg. The westbound train was on #1 track, and it had to wait for an eastbound train to pass by on #2 before it could cross over. Soon the eastbound arrived and I went up the steps of HO Tower to get close to an operatorís eye view . . . .

http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892934

After it cleared, the westbound train crossed over . . . .

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While I was waiting for Amtrak to come through, another westbound passed by on #2 track . . . .

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Just a few seconds after the markers cleared, Amtrak came speeding through . . . .

Image © Rob Kitchen
PhotoID: 202756
Photograph © Rob Kitchen

The view is a lot different without the old CPL signals. After these trains passed I decided to drive up to Grasshopper at the west end of the yard at Hancock. I had never been there before, and I wanted to see what was up there. On the way, I found the Berkeley Springs stone train parked in the yard . . . .

Image © Rob Kitchen
PhotoID: 202761
Photograph © Rob Kitchen

I was pleasantly surprised to find a large signal bridge with good Ďol B&O CPL signals at Grasshopper . . . .

http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892938

From here I headed to Martinsburg to check out the old station and shops. The station was closed for the weekend, but the view of the shops was phenomenal . . . .

http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892939
http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892940
http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892941

The text of a West Virginia State Historical Marker follows:

The B&O Railroad reached Martinsburg in 1842, and by 1849, a roundhouse and shops were built. These first buildings were burned by Confederate troops in 1862. The present west roundhouse and the two shops were built in 1866. The east roundhouse was built in 1872. These buildings represent one of the last remaining examples of American industrial railroad architecture still intact and in use. These structures serve as important reminders of the status of the railroad in the mid-19th century and the role it played in the economic development of Martinsburg, the county, and the state.

The date on the sign was 1978, so, apparently, the B&O was still using this facility in the Chessie years.

While I was here, an eastbound train passed the station . . . .

Image © Rob Kitchen
PhotoID: 202765
Photograph © Rob Kitchen

I left Martinsburg and took the back roads to Shenandoah Junction. I met several railfans there and watched an eastbound train pass through. The light was terrible, so I was satisfied to just watch it pass by. A northbound NS train also passed overhead on a bridge, and I also chose to skip the photo because of the bad light and angle. I did notice that afternoon CSX eastbounds would be really nice to photograph on the east side of the junction because of the light angle and S curves. I will have to return here, but today, I wanted to check out Brunswick. I have vague memories of being in Brunswick in the early 80s, and I have a photo of RDC cars in the MARC yard and a steam train passing through, but those experiences are not clear now. I set up in the MARC parking lot and began taking photographs, beginning with WB Tower . . . .

http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892942

. . . . then the MARC Station . . . .

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. . . . and finally, some of the CSX power visible in the yard . . . .

http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892946

Earlier in the day, a pedestrian was struck and killed on the mainline in Montgomery County, so train traffic was held up during the investigation. It was now late afternoon, and radio traffic was picking up, telling me that things were going to be breaking loose. First, a westbound single stack train stopped just long enough for a crew change . . . .

Image © Rob Kitchen
PhotoID: 202770
Photograph © Rob Kitchen

Not too long after that, Amtrakís westbound Capital Limited came blasting through . . . .

Image © Rob Kitchen
PhotoID: 202771
Photograph © Rob Kitchen

I heard that another westbound would be coming in a little while, so I thought that I would try to photograph it passing the Point of Rocks station. I packed up and headed out of town. Of course, as I was coming down Route 15 into Point of Rocks, the westbound was passing by. Also, the mainline it would have been on was in deep shadow, so a photograph would not have been possible anyway. However, the station was in beautiful light, so I took some photos of it . . . .

http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892932

Image © Rob Kitchen
PhotoID: 202768
Photograph © Rob Kitchen

. . . . and of the remains of the tower behind it . . . .

http://rgkitchen.rrpicturearchives.n...aspx?id=892945

Soon after I took these photos, four of the railfans I met at Shenandoah Junction earlier in the day showed up. Itís great to be part of such a friendly community of railroad enthusiasts. I had a great time along the old B&O mainline and will be back again for sure!
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Rob Kitchen
Harrisburg, PA

You know you are old when the first car you owned is now considered a "Classic".

Last edited by TonytheTiger; 09-24-2007 at 04:24 AM.
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