Beautiful Day for Steam on Wild Mary Scenic

 

Coming around the famous Helmstetter's Curve.

First of two images showing the train coming around the famous Helmstetter’s Curve.

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With the perfect fall weather that we had on Saturday, I drove to Cumberland, Md., to catch one of the last runs of Western Maryland No. 734 before its mandatory rebuild.

For a scenic railroad, there aren’t very many places to catch the train. Unlike the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad where Riverview Road parallels much of the route and there are many accessible points, there are just a few on the way to Frostburg on the WM.

We set up at Helmstetter’s Curve, a famous horseshoe curve like nearby Mance, Pa., on the former Baltimore & Ohio mainline or the big one near Altoona. Just as in the steam era this is a good place for photos.

The other area, ironically, is past the yards at Ridgeley. W.Va. Passengers don’t get to ride this trackage but it’s necessary to turn the locomotive.  For the creative railfan, this turning operation can yield some interesting photos.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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