Western Maryland Railway


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The Western Maryland Railway (WM) was a an eastern class 1 railroad that operated between Baltimore and Hagerstown, Maryland, and to Cumberland, Maryland, Elkins, West Virginia, and Connellsville, Pennsylvania. It had branch to the coal mining areas of Durbin, West Virginia, and Shippensburg and York, Pennsylvania. It also had a secondary
Western Mqryland
Western Maryland
April 25, 1948
main line reaching Hanover and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Its primary product was coal shipments from West Virginia mines to the Port of Baltimore and to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania region. It connected at Connellsville, Pennsylvania with the Pittsburg and Lake Erie and Wheeling and Lake Erie railroads. In the 30's and 40's the WM provided air-conditioned coach service, with several trains between Baltimore, Union Bridge, Thurmond and Hagerstown. It also ran a train between Hagerstown and Cumberland, two trains from Cumberland to and from Elkins and a train from Elkins to Durbin, West Virginia..
History of the Western Maryland Railway
1852 - The original main line began with the chartering of the Baltimore, Carroll and Frederick Railroad with the intent of building a rail line from Baltimore west to Washington County, Maryland.
1853 - The Maryland General Assembly changed the name of the company to Western Maryland in 1853.
1857 - Construction began from Owings Mills. An existing Northern Central Railway branch line terminating at Owings Mills was used to connect into Baltimore.
1859 - Passenger service inaugurated.
1861 - The railroad was completed to Westminster.
1872 - Hagerstown reached. This section became the East Subdivision.
1873 - The WM built its own line from Owings Mills into Baltimore, and built a connection from Hagerstown to Williamsport, in order to access coal traffic from the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
1876 - The railroad opened Hillen Station in Baltimore, which became the company headquarters.
1880's - The West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway (WVC&P) built into a huge swath of timber and coal territory in the Allegheny Highlands of West Virginia. In the large valley near the mouth of Leading Creek and the Tygart Valley River, the WVC&P constructed the city of Elkins, West Virginia.
1881 - The railway's first extension into Pennsylvania was a line from Edgemont, Maryland, to Waynesboro and Shippensburg. This line became the Lurgan Subdivision and was leased from the Baltimore and Cumberland Valley Railroad.
1886 - The B&CV section was connected to the Harrisburg and Potomac Railroad in 1886.
1886 - A second route into Pennsylvania was acquired by the WM when it gained control of the Baltimore and Hanover Railroad, and the Gettysburg Railroad, This line connected to the WM main at Emory Grove, proceeded north to Hanover and Gettysburg, then southwest to connect again to the WM at Highfield, Maryland, near the Pennsylvania border.
1892 - The WM established a connection with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with the opening of the Potomac Valley Rail Road (controlled by WM) between Williamsport and Big Pool, Maryland. This connection brought a major increase in through-freight traffic.
1900 - WVC&P opens line to Durbin, West Virginia,(the Durbin subdivision), and connects with the C&O.
1903 - Construction of an extension from Hagerstown to Cumberland started.
1904 - Terminal at Port Covington on the Patapsco River in Baltimore completed.
1905 - WVC&P merged into WM. Known as the Thomas Subdivision, the line connected to the Western Maryland mainline at Maryland Junction, south of Cumberland.
1906 - Hagerstown to Cumberland connection completed. This became the West Subdivision.
1906-12 - Extension tp Connellsville, Pennsylvania completed.
1909 - Major shop complex at Hagerstown completed with a roundhouse, machine shops and related facilities. Rail yards at Hagerstown were also expanded.
1912 - Connections at Connellsville to the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad opened.
1913 - The Cumberland Station is built. (It is currently owned by the National Park Service and is station to the tourist railroad the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, and a visitors center for the C&O Canal National Historic Park.).
1915 - WM obtains trackage rights on B&O from Bowest Junction (2 miles south of Connellsville) to Chiefton, WV, which provided access to coal mines in the area west of Fairmont, WV.
1927 - Tthe WM purchased the Greenbrier, Cheat and Elk Railroad, which ran from Cheat Junction, on the Durbin sub, to Bergoo. This line became the GC&E subdivision.
1929 - WM's purchase of a line from the West Virginia Midland Railway extended the GC&E sub southward to Webster Springs. While these lines were originally built as logging railroads, the WM also used them for coal operations.
1931 - Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad connects with WM in Connellsville. (P&LE now is the Wheeling and Lake Erie)
1941 - Diesel's begin use in yard work.
1944 - The WM acquires the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad.
1949 - Diesel's start on main line work.
1954 - WM discontinues use of steam locomotives.
1959 - Passenger service discontinued.
1964 - C&O-B&O files for permission to obtain WM.
1970 - Thomas Subdivision (old WVC&P) abandoned.
1973 - WM becomes part of Chessie System, owned by C&O and operated by B&O.
1987 - WM merged into C&O which became part of CSX.
Current - Much of the original Western Maryland line has been abandoned including the crossing of the Allegheny Mountains and the Eastern Continental Divide near Deal, Pennsylvania after going through Savage Mountain in a 3,000 ft tunnel. The elevation at Deal is 2,375 ft (724 m). In addition to CSX, portions of the former WM are now operated by West Virginia Central, the Maryland Midland Railway (MMID), Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and York Railway. Other portions are now rail trails. A portion of the former WM right of way within the city of Baltimore is now used by the Baltimore Metro Subway.

Western Maryland Map
Western Maryland Timetable Map - 1948


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- Various editions

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Copyright Richard Parks, May 2, 2009, revised November 26, 2011