WINCHESTER and WESTERN
Known by locals as the “Weak and Weary” for it’s slow speeds, the Winchester & Western is gaining more traction year after year. The line operates it’s original mainline between Gore and Winchester, VA and also the former Cumberland Valley/PRR/PC/Conrail Winchester Secondary from Winchester to Hagerstown, MD. The railroad recently celebrated it’s 100th birthday in 2016.
High hood GP9 498 basks in the light in Winchester and Western’s Corning Yard. GP38 2197 rests on the adjacent track.
The Winchester and Western switcher passes by the Clearbrook Shopping Center Convenience Store as it approaches US Route 11. Off to the right on the Lane siding are oil tankers for Flying J located a few miles to the North.
A southbound Winchester and Western train special from Hagerstown to Winchester crosses Mill Creek in Bunker Hill, WV on an original Cumberland Valley Railroad stone arch bridge that dates to the railroads construction in 1889.
High hood GP9 498 built for the Nickle Plate in August of 1956 and numbered 498 and renumbered to 2498 by the N&W upon acquisition of the prior railroad.
The interior look from inside the cab of the numberboard and headlight fixtures.
An almost daily occurrence when the Winchester and Western makes its run through town. This night was no different. Seen here at West John Street a couple hundred feet south of the CVRR station as the horn and roar of the engines brings traffic to a halt.
An eastbound coal drag passes thru martinsburg, WV. Shot from an open window on the seldom opened pedestrian bridge.
The locomotives have just passed the former B&O Station and WW Headquarters at the corner of Kent and Piccadilly Streets in downtown Winchester on the joint CSX/WW mainline on it’s way to taking 28 empties back to Gore.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad station built in 1893 still stands along the CSX/Winchester and Western mainline through downtown Winchester. Until 2013, the upper floor housed the headquarters of the W&W when it was moved to Inwood, WV.
The Sandman follows Route 50 west along Gap Run and runs pretty level at this spot but will soon begin to tackle the climb up to Gainsboro.
With 28 empties in tow, the Winchester and Western “Sandman” twists and turns on the original right of way as it climbs up Gainsboro Hill on it’s trek to the base at Gore, VA. In July of 2016 the railroad celebrated it’s 100th birthday of the company’s charter. 2017 will mark the century mark for much of the mainline still in use today including this stretch between Winchester and Gore.
The Winchester and Western “Sandman” bringing loads from the mine at Gore comes around a curve halfway between Hayfield and Winchester. This line is part of the original Right of way and travels through backyards and weaves by picturesque rural settings. Thanks to Chris Eads for his July 2010 Railpace Winchester and Western guide that alerted me to this location.
Rolling through downtown Martinsburg from Hagerstown, WW 86 passes the Cumberland Valley Railroad Station on King Street.
ALL THAT SHIMMERS IS GOLD
Built in November of 1959, 752 an ex-Conrail 7527, PC 7527, NYC 5972 continues to be a work horse on the Winchester and Western roster in the Virginia Division. This and an assortment of other first generation EMD’s engines along with a few later models grind their way up and down the rails. Weak and Weary no more!
The “Sandman” passes thru downtown Winchester and begins it’s journey west back to Gore.
Off Indian Hollow Road in western Frederick County, VA the W&W “Sandman” begins its climb uphill out of the Hogue Creek Valley in it’s journey towards Gainsboro at the top of the grade in July 2013. The segment of track from Winchester to Gore, VA is part of the original W&W grade built in and around 1917 that at one time extended all the way to Wardensville, WV and supplied wood for railroad ties for the Baltimore and Ohio.
NEW & OLD
MUSSELLMAN PLANT – INWOOD, WV
Running down the northeastern flank of Great North Mountain
Rolling along south of Martinsburg is the Winchester and Western returning back to Corning Yard located a few miles North of Inwood, WV.
86 passes south by the former Cumberland Valley Station in Martinsburg.
WW 86 passes this former Cumberland Valley Railroad passenger station depot in Martinsburg, WV. The station has seen 5 railroad’s in it’s lifetime and currently serves as offices for an architect firm.
W&W NEW YEAR’S LULLABY: Holding down the fort during the 2015 New Year’s holiday are an assortment of power in Corning Yard. On the left is GP9 403 (not pictured), GP10 752 and GP9 709. On the right are the newer GP38s 2196, 2689 and 2182 under a moonlit sky.
For the past few years until very recently this shot has has not been possible due to schedule changes on the railroad but now they are back to their normal operating times. The Winchester and Western Hagerstown run, more affectionately known as “86” returns with 75 cars thru downtown Martinsburg by the former Interwoven Mill facility on Sunday November 15, 2015
Heavy rains have inundated the region and passing south through Martinsburg, WV along Tuskegee Street is Train 86 on the former Cumberland Valley Railroad after interchanging with Norfolk Southern’s Vardo Yard in Hagerstown, MD.
Winchester & Western manifest Train 86 returns to Corning Yard in this photo taken in March 2013. The train has finished its daily run up to Hagerstown and Norfolk Southern’s Vardo Yard and back passing rain showers and threatening skies.
Train 86 passes through the northern parts of Martinsburg, WV in the last light of the day. The train has already interchanged with NS in Hagerstown, MD and switched some cars around at Berkeley Station Siding in order to make their CSX drop off in town a little easier.
Falling Waters is a spot where a short stream fed by springs abruptly changes levels into multiple waterfalls before entering the Potomac River just off to the right. The Confederate Army crossed here in 1863 after it’s defeat at Gettysburg. The section of the Cumberland Valley Railroad south of Hagerstown, MD to Winchester, VA was built in 1889 as an extension of the mainline from Hagerstown north to Harrisburg, PA.. The section of line stayed in CVRR.PRR,PC,CR hands until 1986 when Conrail sold it to the Winchester and Western. Here WW train 86 passes over the the stream and river access on a 3 span concrete and steel girder bridge.
The days WW local has just begun interchanging cars in Martinsburg, WV after a long day on the rails. To the right is the old ice plant. GP9 459 was built by EMD in July of 1955 for the NKP. Nice to see it still retains ithe NKP flavor being in the WW scheme.
WW 86 crossing the waterfall at Falling Waters adjacent to the Potomac River.
WW 86 at Gower’s Feed Mill at Williamsport, MD.
Winchester & Western train 86 is seen making it’s way south after dropping off a train and picking up 5 cars in Norfolk Southern’s Vardo Yard in Hagerstown, MD. The train has just entered WW territory behind the Gowers Feed Mill where a siding is located where like this day you can find some maintenance of way equipment.
Heading south from Hagerstown after interchangin with NS, Winchester and Western 86 passes thru communities and farmland rolling towards the Potomac River on the old Cumberland Valley Railroad.
SANDMAN’S FOGGY DAYS Winchester and Western’s “Sandman” out of Gore, VA has seen better days. With fuel prices at a steady low, Unimin, it’s parent company and biggest customer has been trucking many loads out of the mine leaving the railroad with odd and end jobs. Today it leaves with WW 1200 in tow after being serviced and being returned to the Essroc plant in Martinsburg, WV where it now see’s its regular service. The train is rolling down Gainesboro Hill just south of it’s namesake town.
FOGGY GLIMPSE A scene eerily gloomy as the fog stuck close to teh ground. The Winchester and Western “Sandman” rounds the sweeping curve as it navigates the original WW line built a century ago downgrade from Gainesboro and approaches the Hogue Creek Valley.
“STEPHENSON” Returning from Clear Brook, VA to pick up a few flat cars, The Sandman approaches Winchester on the former CVRR/PRR/PC/CONRAIL line.
At the former Williamsport Road crossing.
The Winchester and Western “Sandman” with empty hoppers in tow, returns from it’s namesake town back into Gore, a tiny hamlet in northwestern Virginia and since 1944, the western terminus of the railroad that once spanned through the thick forests’ to Wardensville, WV.
Approaching Hagerstown from the south near Halfway, MD.
On original W&W trackage, power pushes about 30 empties west from Gore to the sand mine under peak fall foliage color. The Winchester & Western tracks originally ran another 20 some miles to Wardensville, VA but was cut at the sand mine in 1944 after traffic and timber resources declined.