"The Old Main Line - Part 5 "is our final video in a series surveying the oldest railroad in the Western Hemisphere. We tackled the fabled "West End " from Cumberland, MD, to Grafton, WV. This part of the Old Main Line crawls up the Allegheny Mountains with storied 17 Mile Grade beginning in Piedmont, WV, and crosses a 3-arch stone and concrete viaduct in Bloomington, Md. Not far west of the viaduct, the railroad begins serious curves and grades working up to as high as 2.6% as it climbs out of the Potomac River Valley. We show you the old stop at Bond where the B&O built its second downhill safety spur designed to catch and hold runaway trains. Also on 17 Mile Grade, we visit Hitchcock Tunnel, Swanton and Altamont.
After climbing through Altamont, the old line crosses The Glades and passes through the old resort towns of Deer Park, Mountain Lake Park and Oakland, MD. Beyond Oakland, there is a little respite before the tracks plunge down the Cranberry Grade beyond Terra Alta, WV. Screaming through McGuires Crossing, Lewis Graveyard Curve, and Amblersburg, trains make their way to M&K Junction on the Cheat River at Rowlesburg, WV. Just west of Rowlesburg, the tracks turn up again on the short but steep Cheat River Grade. On this grade, trains climb over 76 Fill and Tray Run Viaduct, a 3-arch, high stone bridge. Once trains attain the crest just before Kingwood Tunnel in Tunnelton, WV, they plunge down again on Newburg Grade. During their descent, they pass West End, a new mine spur at White Tail, old mine sites at Austin and Hiora, finally arriving in Newburg, WV.
Again, we use U.S. Geological Survey Maps to help you understand where the tracks run. This video brings you the awesome sounds of mountain railroading. You will see lots of CSX coal trains and the 2 daily freight trains. So if you want to hear trains struggling against their tonnage and the mountain rails, come along with us as we continue our Survey of the Oldest Railroad in the Western Hemisphere.
BLUE RIDGE PRODUCTIONS spent a year and a half chasing trains to bring you the very best in Railfan video. We climbed mountains and bridges. We hiked along the tracks with heavy equipment to find better ways to show you the sights and sounds of modern railroading. We've spent hours and hours editing to bring you these images and clean, exciting stereo sounds of modern railroading. In spite of all this talk of modern railroading, we also tried to find and capture significant artifacts from the old B&O that are used today to make the CSX right of way solid and serviceable. We've talked with CSX employees, retired B&O and CSX employees, historians and railroad historical society members in our attempt to give you insight into how the railroad was built and runs today (no interviews on tape). Come along with us as we ride along The Old Main Line!