Thoughts about lots of things for my model railroad:
- I’m a generalist. Get too far in to detail and you lose me.
- I’ve always thought of point to point operation as boring and limited, but as large as this basement layout could be, focusing on Cumberland as the central point with B&O trains proceeding three ways out of Cumberland; WMRR with two ways out and a branch line of the PRR as well as trolley service; point to point should not be a problem.
- I like history and if it relates to the area that I grew up in, that’s great! That makes it more interesting.
- I hold to the idea that the area I want to model is completely unique and it’s been over looked as a central focus of a modeling area. So far as I’ve been able to research; others have included
as either the far western or the far eastern end of a track plan. Seldom if ever as the center piece that I have been able to find. Cumberland, MD
- I like a bit of planning, and construction, I will build building kits, and do some rolling stock assembly. Scratch building has not attracted my attention yet. I want a locomotive to run out of the box. I think I’m limited in creative skill and equipment. Bad eyesight and clumsy fingers!
- I’ve done mostly “sectional” track. Though hand-laying track has its place and I could include hand laid track at strategic viewing locations.
- I don’t count rivets on my or anyone else’s layout.
- I may or may not run prototypical consists
- If I get into Operation that may change
- Planning should include thoughts toward ease of Operation
- Late Steam/early Diesel era or could be earlier to make other stuff fit.
- DCC locomotive control (Digitrax)
- Signaling and switch control
- Computer (3rd Plan it) design
- Computer control (type to be determined)
- Hump yard in
- Lesser code track in yards.
Section II – Setting Priorities
- I want to “generally” model the Cumberland, MD area – following Wills Creek and the B&O RR west - northwest thru to at least Sand Patch Tower (SA) - 1
- Primary focus on B&O RR - 1
Western MarylandRR – 2
- WM RR has nice thru station at opposite of end of
Baltimore Avenuein where the Queen City Station used to be. The WM Station building still exists. It presently serves as center of operations for the “Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.” Cumberland
- About 10 miles out of
on the WM RR there is the semi famous Helmstetter’s “horseshoe curve.” Cumberland Cumberlandand (C&P) RR if era allows ( I might take license) – 2 Pennsylvania
- This is the RR that ran out of
Cumberlandwest through the “ Narrows” (1 mile long natural cut) to Hyndman and further west in the mid 1890’s to the B&O era. B&O finally bought it to get full access rights to the Sand Patch grade.
- PRR has a single track into
Cumberlandfrom Bedford, PA., mostly using the opposite (east) side of Wills Creek, while the last five miles into used WM trackage. This made for a very busy area on the west end of the Cumberland Narrows. - 3
- This is to be a train layout to feature both passenger and freight service. – 1
- I would like to feature a “Helper” operation on Sand Patch Grade - 1
- Freight service included (depending on era) general merchandise, coal, coke, ore, stone, car parts, etc.
industries/points of interest include: (as space and imagination allows) Cumberland
- Railroad services
- Queen City Station Hotel – 1
- 4 track - 2 platform
- “Thru” type Station
- Built in 1872, one of the original “Victorian” station hotels that the B&O RR built
- “Passenger Helpers” added here
- Passenger train consists were taken apart and made up at the station
- Tragically tore down in 1973-4 for “urban renewal” in a documented failure of the preservation effort of the National Historic Trust.
- Thru passenger service from East (Wash-Balto) to West;
St. Louisvia Keyser, WVand over Sand Patch Grade. Pittsburgh
- Named passenger trains included:
- Capitol Limited
- Bolt and Forge Rolling Mill (Dad worked there for nearly 20 years, until close) -1; Library of Congress has a good number of photos of these buildings.
- Back Shops – Repair Shops – Roundhouse - 2
- Large west/east classification yard – 1
- Ice facility – 2
- Live Stock watering
- Celanese Fibers plant - 3
Plate Glass - 3 Pittsburgh
- Kelly Springfield Tire Manufacturing (if appropriate to era) - 3
- Allegheny Ballistics Laboratory (ammunition and later rocket motor manufacturer) - 2
- “Old German” Brewery - 2
- Cement factory - 2
terminus - 2 C & O Canal
- Trolley System in
Cumberlandand through the Narrowsalong historic National Highway(US Route 40) in the 1920s – 30’s, but don’t know for sure how late. - 3
- Points of interest beyond (west)
- Major division point of the B&O just outside of Cumberland yard, “Viaduct Junction” and ND Tower at mile post 178.9. If going west to
you go left over the Viaduct. If west to Connellsville and ultimately St Louis Pittsburgh, then right toward the Narrows. - 1
- The Narrows (west of
) along with Wills Creek could be a very dramatic landscape scene. - 1 Cumberland coal mining. - 3 Mt. Savage
- Home of first iron rail manufacturing. - 3
- Swinging Bridge across Wills Creek at Burley’s - 1
- Cooks Mills with bridge over Wills Creek (I hung out there many summers swimming, fishing, and floating). - 1
- The freight “Helper” parking area called “The Pit” at Q Tower at mile post 191 - 1
- Hyndman and the several industries (sawmill, etc.) - 1
- Maxwell Brick kilns and yard - 1
- Fairhope – small town - 1
- Falls Cut Tunnel (length: 517 ft) just above Fairhope. -1
- Mance, Philson - 2
- Nice horseshoe curve at Mance (16 mi west of Hyndman, between mps 207 & 208); nearly a perfect spiral and almost 600 yards across. - 2
Central Appalachian Mountainsarea.
- Sedimentary sandstone and slate, as well as igneous rock
- Wills Creek (which the main line follows generally east from it’s origination in the hills area around Sand Patch) meets the North Branch of the Potomac River just south of
. Beginning of the Cumberland Potomac Riverproper. is approx. 870 feet above sea level. Cumberland
- Ultimately reaching the summit of the
Allegheny Mountainswith an elevation of 2259 feet.
- The 13 miles from Viaduct Junction to Hyndman were a very easy pull.
- At Hyndman the grade changes from 0.59% to 0.72% to 0.85% to 1.25 to 1.44 in just 1.5 miles.
- From Hyndman there is 1325 feet to make up. Ruling grade overall is +1.8%
- The upper end (last two miles) from Mance to Sand Patch tunnel (4,475 ft. long) the grade is as follows:
- 1.49%, 1.88%, 1.38%, 1.72%, 1.29%, 1.6%, 1.94%, 1.72%, 1.43%, and 0.51% at the tunnel
- SA Tower is just beyond the west portal of the tunnel at mile post 211
- If the layout run goes beyond Sand Patch, then to Meyersdale and
Can capture branch lines to various coal mines as well as coke ovens. - 2 Connellsville, PA.
- Branch to
for Steel Mills; pickup and delivery of coke and coal. -3 Johnstown, PA
- Branch to
for coal and coke. - 3 Somerset, PA