The current Cumberland Sub is an integral part of today’s CSX system. Like other lines across the nation, it too has gone thru modern transformation. It’s beginnings date back to the 1840’s as the “East End” of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Cumberland Division and part of it’s main line from the Ohio River to Baltimore. The Sub runs mostly alongside the famous Potomac River. Locations along it’s length are notable among many railroad historians and include Harper’s Ferry the birthplace of the American Civil War. Martinsburg, site of the 1877 Strike against the railroad. The Magnolia Cutoff, the 14 mile realignment in the Paw Paw Bends that includes 2 river crossings and 4 tunnels and finally, to it’s namesake Cumberland.
eastbound train passes by the roundhouse and station complex
END OF AN ERA: The Capitol Limited has been a fixture on this line minus 10 years since 1923. Also a fixture on this former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad mainline are it’s color position signals. This week marks the end of an era for the Cumberland Sub as these signals come down. These long standing symbols of railroading will no longer carry the call of “Amtrak 29, west on one (or in this case two), clear Dry Wall.”
CAROTHERS STREAKING: A westbound lights up B&O in April, 2011
HANSROTE SILHOUETTED: The westward B&O Color Position Light signal stands against the dusk sky in April, 2011. Two months before it’s demise.
BEARDS ROAD CROSSING: A full moon rises over the tracks.
DUSK AT HOBBS
LIT UP LIKE DAYLIGHT: Q370 rolls under the B&O Color Position Light Signal Bridge at Great Cacapon, WV on Friday January 6, 2012. Thanks to Sean Hoyden for letting me have a try at this using his equipment
IC A DEATH STAR
FOGGY APPROACH, SHENANDOAH JUNCTION WV
Goodnight FRED: Cherry Run, WV
CEMENT PLANT RUINS: Nestled just west of Hancock on the former B&O “East End” (today’s Cumberland Sub) stand the ruins of an industry long gone near Grasshopper Hollow.
PAW PAW, WV: The west portal of Carothers Tunnel sits in the distance and an east bound train streaks by in this long exposure taken in the roughly 2 minutes it took for the train to pass as you see it’s end of train device flash.
CAROTHERS SKY, PAW PAW WV
MAGNOLIA RECONSTRUCTED: Looking east and the B&O CPL’s don’t have much time but in order to build a new crossover, the west bound signal mast will be removed in order to make room. Hence the replacement CPL’S on the modern masts.
OUT OF TOWNERS
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: westbound empty hoppers lit up under the Dry Wall signals. Totally by accident as the red is from the tail lights of a truck and the blue from the led lantern I used.
CSX V008 approaches the signals at Red Rock just east of Hancock on it’s way back from Brunswick with empty covered hoppers in tow after unloading grain at Miller Milling In Winchester.
An eastbound coal drag passes thru martinsburg, WV. Shot from an open window on the seldom opened pedestrian bridge.
RAINING CATS AND DOGS
“THE END IS NEAR” The B&O Sentinels time is running short as witness to the work being done on their replacements. L415 is making a cut to leave a shopped car in the yard. Q388 moves onto main one to make room and cut its train. In the distance, K676 and Q216 wait to depart the terminal.
“MEXICO FALLING” In addition to today’s Class ! railroads and Amtrak, the Baltimore and Ohio CPL signals at Mexico at the east end of the Cumberland Terminal have seen a various degree of power pass by throughout the years including Chessie, Western Maryland, C&O, Wheeling and Lake Erie, Family Lines, Conrail, Norfolk and Western… the list can go on. Sadly, the signals end is near as CSX signal crews are actively working to upgrade the old generals here and at West Hump.
“A SCENE SOON TO CHANGE” CSX Q216 passes by the closed Mexico Tower and the soon to be replaced B&O CPL signals as E705 patiently waits with a new crew to head westward.
“WEST HUMP” Twilight is falling around the CPL signals inside the Cumberland Terminal known as West Hump. The signals are in their own twilight as their fellow brother and sisters at Mexico and across the CSX system.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH Norfolk Southern’s Virginian unit leads CSX intermodal train Q138 by the former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Roundhouse complex and Amtrak station in Martinsburg, WV.
My daughters wave to the oncoming train. Here is Q138 with Kansas City Southern “Southern Belle” 4771 at the front passing by the station in Martinsburg.