Home

RAILWAY OPERATING DEPARTMENT

 
     
 

BACKGROUND TO THE BACKGROUND

 
     
  As Kelly Johnson's Lockheed aircraft was the first all - American subject presented by the Jet Age Reserve Model Collection suitable American trains were needed as a backdrop. Luckily, the fact that they were built to HO gauge ( 3.5 rather than 4 mm to the foot ) only added to the sense of perspective but they were also able to tell a story in their own right:  
     
  THE WESTERN MARYLAND RAILWAY  
     
  Baldwin built 2-8-0 number 763 of the Western Maryland Railway  
     
 

Baldwin built 2-8-0 number 763 of the Western Maryland Railway

 
     
  Linking the Atlantic port of Baltimore with the inland industrial areas of Pittsburgh and Chicago, the 717 mile long Western Maryland Railway also served West Virginia, one of the World’s largest bituminous coal fields


The Baltimore, Carral & Frederick Rail Road was chartered in Baltimore on 27 May 1852 to build a standard gauge route from Baltimore via Westminster to Hagerstown, Maryland but soon changed its name to Western Maryland Railway and opened as far as Union Bridge in November 1862. The WM – which often followed the Mason-Dixon Line between Maryland and Pennsylvania - also figured in the decisive American Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 but did not reach Hagerstown until 1872.


As the earlier-built Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road hugged the Potomac and other river valleys, the WM "Fast Freight Line" went up and over the Allegheny mountains, which eventually led to costly but dramatic operations. The WM did not reach Cumberland – between Hagerstown and Connellsville – until 1906 and only arrived at its western terminus on 1 August 1912. Having previously relied on Consolidation steam power, the WM then invested in a fleet of 25 slow but powerful 2-8-8-2 Mallets but returned to the 2-8-0 wheel arrangement after World War I when train speeds became an important consideration. By 1927 though these had been supplanted by 2-10-0s, which in turn were rivalled by 4-6-6-4s and 4-8-4s in the 1940s, although dieselisation began as early as 1948. The first Western Maryland diesel locomotives wore a dark livery with light, simple lining although this was later replaced by red, white and black markings.


As it avoided population centres, the Western Maryland was never famous for its passenger workings and these ceased in 1959. The company was taken over by the Chesapeake & Ohio and Baltimore & Ohio Rail Roads in 1967 and became a part of the Chessie System in 1973. The WM retained its own separate identity until 1983 but its remaining lines are now largely part of either the CSX Corporation or the Maryland Midland Rail Road.

 
     
  Since the Lockheed presentation in Cheltenham in October 2005, the range and scope of non Gloucester RCW built rolling stock and motive power available to compliment displays of British, American and Continental Jet Age Reserve Collection aircraft has grown considerably. Indeed, some limited displays composed purely of international trains are now a possibility and will be described in this section in the future. In the meantime though, October 2006 saw British Railways Western Region trains from the 1960s used in conjunction with Bristol aircraft from the same era. Click on the picture below for more details  
     
 

A Metropolitan - Cammell Blue Pullman DMU of British Railways Western Region