Posts Tagged ‘Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’

Dillon to Present at ARRC End of Year Dinner

November 28, 2022

The Akron Railroad Club will be holding its annual end of year dinner on Saturday (Dec. 3) at the New Era restaurant in Akron. The event is limited to 40 participants.

The program will be presented by ARRC President Todd Dillon.

His program will focus heavily on the Chicago Transit Authority’s 75th anniversary. This will include photographs from the Chicago elevated and the Fox River museum and the Illinois Railway Museum.

Also included will be photographs from the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and a Nickel Plate Road 765 excursion in Indiana.

Shown above are a few images from Todd’s program that he will present on Saturday night.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

WMSR Acquires ex-NYC Dining Car

November 19, 2022

Tourist railroad Western Maryland Scenic has acquired a streamliner era dining car.

The former New York Central grill diner was part of the Chattanooga [Tennessee] Choo-Choo hotel complex for more than 50 years.

WMSR officials said they hope to have it begin serving meals on their railroad during Memorial Day weekend 2023.

The dining car is expected to supplement a cafe lounge car that railroad officials said is often overwhelmed by demand for food and beverages.

The ex-NYC car, No. 456, has a seating capacity of 42. It was built by Budd in 1948 and typically operated on such trains as the James Whitcomb Riley, New England States, Ohio State Limited, The Pacemaker, Southwestern Limited and Twilight Limited.

The car became surplus when the company operating the Chattanooga hotel began a redesign and renovation project that will relocate some cars elsewhere on the property.

Four cars are being relocated to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and two others, including ex-NYC 456, are going elsewhere.

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: 5

October 28, 2022

We started our walk to Brush tunnel from Helmstetter’s Curve at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, arriving at the tunnel at 11:14 a.m.

Again, we encountered hikers and bikers on our trek to the tunnel, inside and outside and on the other side.

Before the train arrived we were joined by a rail photographer from Buffalo, New York.

Just after 12:15 p.m.the train popped into the tunnel. Fifty-five seconds later it popped out with the steamer’s smoke pulled out with it as in the final photos. What a conclusion to a fantastic weekend.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: Part 4

October 27, 2022

After photographing Amtrak’s eastbound Capitol Limited and the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’s Pumpkin Train at the downtown Cumberland stations on Sunday morning, we headed for the spot in the Narrows to await the Pumpkin Train.

With a 10 a.m. departure from the Cumberland station it appeared at the Narrows in just under four minutes.

We then caught the train at Helmstetter’s Curve at 10:20 a.m. The train passengers unloaded for kids to pick up their pumpkins. When finished everybody re-boarded for a 10:41 a.m. departure to return to Cumberland.

A few minutes later we started our mile walk on the bike path to Brush Tunnel. As we started, we encountered several pedaling track cars that had started their journey at Frostburg. The Tracks and Yaks program gives patrons the opportunity to pedal downhill from Frostburg to Cumberland.

I will conclude this series on Friday at Brush Tunnel.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: Part 3

October 26, 2022

I found that our weekend in Cumberland, Maryland, chasing Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad would prove to have a flurry of passenger train activity within walking distance of our hotel.

On the afternoon of Oct. 22, a Saturday, the passenger train with the 1309 returned to the Western Maryland passenger station just before 4:30 p.m.

The first five photos with this post, including the top image, were made at the Cumberland WM station.

As I was photographing the watering of the tender (seen below), a voice to my left asked if I was getting good photos.

The voice was again very familiar. It belonged to Akron Railroad Club member Dennis Sautters, of North Canton, who had just arrived in town. He told me he would be riding behind the 1309 on Sunday in dome car Stampede Pass.

Dennis also said he had just come from riding the Potomac Eagle. Before that he had been at Cass Scenic Railroad Park in West Virginia

On Sunday morning the Amtrak website showed that the eastbound Capitol Limited was running on time.

We were already checked out of the hotel and drove to the Amtrak station, located a short distance from the hotel, on the ex-Baltimore & Ohio mainline.

No. 30 arrived at 9:19 a.m. I had no idea that I would be happily surprised when I saw the “bloody nose” on the point.

It was my first time seeing P42DC Phase 1 heritage unit No. 161, which is the replacement for the 156 Phase I heritage unit.

While we were here we heard the horns of the Pumpkin Train arriving at the Western Maryland station across town.

We had plenty of time to see it before its departure at 9:30 a.m.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: Part 2

October 25, 2022

I continue with my chasing Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad adventure of Oct. 22.

After making photographs at Helmstetter’s Curve, we headed for Woodcock Hollow. This location is also on a horseshoe curve.

With the railroad on an uphill climb, the 1309’s stack talk was heard for several minutes before its arrival as seen in the top image.

The next three images show the train after its arrival in Frostburg, Maryland.

In the first photo below you can see Akron Railroad Club member Dave Shepherd on the right.

Photos three and four show my former brother-in-law and his son Own enjoying the steamer.

The plan was to have a nice leisurely lunch in LaVale. We did at the Ruby Tuesday restaurant. After lunch we drove back to Helmstetter’s Curve to see the departure of the 2 p.m. Pumpkin Train as shown in photo five.

The photo at Helmstetter’s Curve is the return departure of at 2:45 p.m.

We then walked the bike path the quarter-mile to West Helmstetter’s to await the return of the steam train.

During our relaxing wait we saw a continuous passing of bikers, joggers, hikers, mothers with children and strollers, and also railfan heading to Brush Tunnel.

Photos six through nine are the excursion shortly before 4 p.m. We then started back to the car at Helmstetter’s.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: Part 1

October 24, 2022

A few weeks ago my former brother-in-law Karl and his son, my nephew Owen, became available for a railfan adventure the weekend of Oct. 22-23.

Our destination would be Cumberland, Maryland, to see the Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

We departed Geneva at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday.

Our destination was Helmstetter’s Curve, which we hoped to reach in time to photograph the arrival of the first Pumpkin Patch train of the day that would have departed Cumberland at 10 a.m. We arrived at Helmstetter’s at 10:15 a.m. and set up at the cemetery overlook.

A few minutes later one other car pulled up next to ours. From a distance as they got out of their car I noticed they looked very familiar.

To my surprise they were Akron Railroad Club members Don Woods and Dave Shepherd. After exchanging greetings, we heard horns. The photograph above is the arrival of the Pumpkin Patch train.

After getting our photos, I suggested to Karl that we head to Ridgeley, West Virginia. My thinking was that the 1309 would have to be there to wait for the return of the Pumpkin train.

I was correct and the next three images were made at Ridgeley.

We then drove to a spot in the Narrows. The steam train would be about a half hour behind its scheduled 11:30 a.m. departure from Ridgeley. It would depart the Cumberland station about noon.

The next photo is at the Narrows at about 12:08 p.m. followed by photos made at Helmstetter’s Curve at 12:25 p.m. Part 2 of the series will continue to Frostburg.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Benefit Raises Money for PRR Steam Restoration

October 18, 2022

One famous steam locomotive made a special excursion last weekend to raise money for the restoration of another well-known steamer.

Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 pulled an evening dinner train on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to raise money for the restoration of Pennsylvania Railroad Class K4S No. 1361.

The excursion raised more than $13,000 for the restoration of the PRR 4-6-2, which is currently housed at the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, Pennsylvania.  

During the nine-car excursion from Cumberland to Frostburg, Maryland, the 1309 carried a former Pennsy three-chime passenger whistle.

The money raised during the excursion came from ticket sales and an on-board silent auction of photographs and other railroad memorabilia.

For more information and to view photographs of the excursion, visit https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/western-maryland-scenic-no-1309-powers-benefit-train-for-altoona-museum/

WMSR Paints GE Unit in ‘Fireball Livery’

September 16, 2022

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad has painted a GE locomotive into the black-and-yellow fireball livery of its namesake railroad.

Trains magazine reported that the treatment was given NIWX No. 558, a 33-year-old B32-8 four-axle Dash 8 unit.

The reporting marks are for the Northern Illinois & Wisconsin Railway Corporation. It arrived at the WMSR earlier this year in a Norfolk Southern livery.

The unit is being leased to WMSR by NIWX, a locomotive leasing, finance, and equipment management firm.

The original Western Maryland Railway had only two GE locomotives on its roster, a pair of 44-ton switchers built in the 1940s.

WMSR repainted the 558 in its shop in Ridgeley, West Virginia.

The tourist railroad plans to use the 558 on excursion trains to Frostburg, Maryland, and other events in the upcoming weeks.

Rain Damages WMSR Track, Trips Cancelled

September 12, 2022

Recent rains damaged the tracks of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, prompting the tourist railroad to cancel trains through Sept. 11.

Officials said the damage occurred to about 250 feet of track on the West Virginia side of the North Branch Potomac River.

That meant trains were unable to cross the river to reach the station in Cumberland, Maryland. No equipment was damaged by the flooding.

Workers have since been dispatched to repair the damaged track. The next scheduled excursions on the WMSR are set for Sept. 15.