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August 27th, 2007
Not one of my best-ever days of exploring... we took off from our hotel in New Philadelphia, Ohio a bit north to Brewer, Ohio for the Wheeling and Lake Erie shops. We asked for but were not granted permission to enter the yard to see the shops and were told there were no trains scheduled until a few hours later. Disappointed and photoless, we headed south and east, crossing into West Virginia at Steubenville and working our way up to Wheeling, sometimes hearing but never finding any trains. We to enter the yard to see the shops and were told there were no trains scheduled until a few hours later. Disappointed and photoless, we headed south and east, crossing into West Virginia at Steubenville and working our way up to Wheeling. After crossing through Pennsylvania, we returned to West Virginia at Morgantown. We got off there and looked at the two sets of tracks straddling the river through town on the map. One showed on the map as a shortline we had no other record of, the other as CSX. A quick survey of the tracks showed that neither was accurate, with the CSX tracks being a bicycle trail and the other's use being ambiguous. By now coming up on 5 pm and still trainless on the day we headed south again, disappointed, only to see head/ditchlights coming under the Interstate 79 as we were getting on Interstate 68. Off the next exit, back around, into Morgantown, and off to find a shootable location for the mystery train on the mystery tracks. After a while, a slow, 120-car CSX coal train passed us at a small bridge we managed to find in time. From there we made Cumberland a few minutes before sunset, narrowly missing the Capitol Limited Amtrak train and getting a handful of units parked around the shops and the yard, making up for an otherwise abysmal day.
Cumberland is the site of a large CSX yard and former Conrail locomotive shops. It is non-stop action with plenty of things to see from all sides.
A train pulls out of Cumberland yard.
August 28th, 2007
Tuesday morning we woke up at our hotel in Hagerstown and, determined not to duplicate the previous day's failure to get anything went to what seemed like a safe shortline to catch something. We travelled across the mountains on secondary highways to Union Bridge, the home of the Maryland Midland, and found the yard inaccessible with no sign of life. After a few minutes driving around we were pleasantly surprised to see serviceable tracks up a street to a local industry, and upon cursory inspection found a locomotive switching inside. Overjoyed, we travelled back down the hill and set up to wait for the train to come out of the industry and head back to its yard. Within minutes, the lone GP9 popped out of the facility... and backed back into it. After two hours of playing hide-and-seek with a train that had no obvious intention of leaving and with no decent shots we headed back south, following the Maryland Midland tracks southward. We periodically checked backroad crossings to see the state of the tracks in a vain attempt to get ahead of any train that may have been running and were baffled to find the tracks grown in and abandoned one crossing after finding them shiny. We determined that the line ended in a gravel pit and was abandoned beyond it. Somewhere on this exploration our scanner antenna disappeared from its mounting on our roof, although curiously our scanner continues to function reasonably well without anything but the base. From there we went on to the Brunswick MARC station and sat there with a friend from the area we had travelled there to meet until it was time to go toward Washington, DC for dinner.
Union Bridge, Maryland
Union Bridge is the home of the Maryland Midland railway, some ways north of Fredericksburg. There is active street running in this town (mostly at night), however locals say this street running will be goon in the near future.
A Maryland and Midland GP9 teases us at the top of some street running for a couple of hours before we run out of time and push on.
Brunswick is a large CSX yard at the end of the MARC Brunswick line out of Washington, DC to the north-west.
A CSX rack train heads west out of Brunswick as a manifest train enters the yard on the other side of the parking lot.
A MARC train pulls to a stop at Brunswick station, reversing back toward DC and allowing a freight train to finally leave Brunswick as yet another freight leaves from the other side of the lot.
CSXT 7509 leads a westbound out of Brunswick.
A MARC train performs its station stop at the end of the Brunswick line.
The Amtrak Capitol Limited darts through Brunswick MARC station.
Garrett Park, Maryland
Just outside the beltway, Garrett Park holds the CSX (and MARC) Brunswick line into Washington, DC
A MARC train heads out of town on the Brunswick line.
August 30th, 2007
We stayed in Easton, Maryland after a late-night drive to the Maryland-Delaware penninsula, and headed directly for Federalsburg, Maryland for the Maryland and Delaware. We found the company's shops and office in short order, and a pleasant company employee when asked told us that the train was on its way to Cambridge, Maryland, and would be going across the entire network to the interchange with NS at Seaford, Delaware, before returning to Hurlock Junction. Acting on this information, we went directly to Cambridge where we found that the railway's self-touted tracks to the harbour in the city were abandoned and removed. Slightly frustrated, we started heading out of town, and went up a road toward a large grade crossing. As we approached, the crossing activated and we set ourselves up waiting for the Maryland and Delaware train with its small set of cars and rare CF7 locomotive to finish its work and head back east. After a long wait, it came back out and we chased it briefly, finding it too slow to chase and still get anywhere else in one day. From there we headed into Delaware to the interchange at Seaford hoping to find something - anything - there, but quickly decided heading north to the Norfolk Southern yard at Harrington would be a better bet. Sure enough, as we pulled into town we found ourselves pacing a covered hopper unit train of some description. Hoping to get ahead of it, we pulled off at a road where we found two locomotives sitting on the main. We looked around for a way to shoot the train but weren't able to find an angle. Hoping the train would proceed northward, we headed north a few miles until we found a good shot and began to wait. It quickly became obvious that the train wouldn't be coming so we returned to Harrington and found the train, complete with the two units that had been sitting on the main, sitting there talking to the Diesel Doc. We went into town, shot the yard power, returned to the head end of the train and shot what we could of it, then headed north for New Jersey. We crossed just south of Wilmington and quickly found a yard in Penns Grove with two NS trains in it. We shot them as best we could then took off northbound hoping to make it to Connecticut before it got too late.
Cambridge is on the west coast of the Maryland-Delaware penninsula and is the end of the Maryland and Delaware shortline's operations.
A Maryland and Delaware CF7 works at the end of the line in Cambridge, Maryland.
Linkwood is a small town between the small towns of Cambridgee and Hurlock, Maryland along the Maryland and Delaware shortline.
Maryland and Delaware's CF7 slowly trundles toward Delaware.