Western Maryland Scenic Railway - FallColors Railfan Trip
this page revised  09/18/00
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  On  Oct.25,1999  I attended one of  Carl Franz's famous photo trips at  Cumberland Maryland.  These trips take place annually at  various locations ( Cass, WM Scenic, & some short lines ).   The goal is to recreate steam trains of the past for the railfan photographer, in a scenic environment ( eg. Winter snow and Fall colors ).
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   This day it was a 7 car freight train behind  Western Maryland Scenic Railroad's  #734.  It was a beautiful sunny day set against mountain backgrounds displaying the peak of  Fall color !   We made  40+  photo-runbys done exclusively for those on this chartered train.  Carl picks the photo locations based on the site's opportunities and the lighting.  Photographers  ride the train to the sites.  Once everyone disembarks,  the train makes several photo runbys.  Then everyone climbs on for the next site.

  At a meeting held at our hotel the night before, we were briefed on what to expect and saw prior years slides.  The next morning our trip began at dawn and lasted until dusk.  We photographed the freight train at locations like the famous horseshoe shaped curve known as Helmstetters Curve.

WM Scenic RR. Background:  Their eastern terminal is Cumberland MD.  The western most point is 16 miles away at Frostburg.  The track is mostly the former  Western Maryland Railroad until the point known as Switch#9.  At this point the WM Scenic runs on the old Cumberland & Pennsylvania Railroad.  Grades at times reach 2.8%  and  there is a 914 foot tunnel passing through  Piney Mountain.  The steam engine is a 2-8-0  ex-LS&I #34; sister engine to Nelsonville's HVSRy #33.

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The day before the "Photo Extra"  ran,  I photographed the train while it was on scheduled tourist trips.
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Here #734 is seen at the Frostburg, about to be turned on the turntable.
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Photographers can ascend the staircase for a better vantage point.
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#734 smoke partly obscures it during the turning for the return trip to Cumberland.
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The following day's  Photo Extra begins at dawn.
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#734 emerges from the yard and passes the conductor during switching.
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Our train sets at Cumberland Station as it "Takes Water" ( photo#3 & photo#4 ).
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The sun's  morning golden light catches #734 on Helmstetter's Curve.
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WM#734 approaching  the  Brush Tunnel   and  entering it.
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Railfan photographers walk into Brush Tunnel  preparing for the interior photo.
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Sorry ...not all  images  scanned  yet ,  check back in  Nov. 2000
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Other Related Links
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Steve Barry's  Photo's of  last year's Winter trips !
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WM  Railway  Historical Society
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WM Scenic Railroad  Home Page
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