Baltimore And Ohio East End Subdivision (1950s)

Discussion in 'Route Suggestions & Proposals' started by Buynot, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Buynot

    Buynot Well-Known Member

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    During the transition era, the B&O's Cumberland Division was one of the most busiest, and most scenic stretches of track across the entire system. To add the entirety of the Cumberland Division would be a monumental task as it spans hundreds of miles, so instead I would like to mostly focus on the East End Subdivision. Although the East End Sub. officially starts at Weverton, Maryland I would instead suggest the route start at Brunswick, a few miles to the east as there was a yard and engine servicing facility located there.
    cumberlandmap.PNG

    The East End sub runs from Weverton to Cumberland, Maryland (though a majority of the subdivision runs through West Virginia). A total distance of around 95 miles. Cumberland was/is home to a busy classification yard and dispatching office. This yard was crucial for moving freight across the B&O system. In addition to the yard, there were also two separate cutoffs on the East End Sub to help move fast freights through. The Magnolia Cutoff split off the mainline just past Cherry Run, West Virginia and rejoined the mainline at Rawlings. The cutoff was a near straight shot through the mountains, while the regular mainline winded its way along the banks of the Potomac River. The cutoff crosses over the mainline twice. The second cutoff was the Potomac Branch, otherwise known as the Patterson Creek Cutoff and was used to bypass Cumberland. By the time the line rejoins the main, trains will have already crossed onto the West End Sub.
    In addition to the large amounts of freight traffic on the line, the route also saw its fair share of passenger trains. Nearly all of the B&O's named trains ran along this route. Trains like the Capitol Limited, Shenandoah, Columbian and many others.

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    As noted above, the majority of the route is spent paralleling the Potomac River, with lots of double and sometimes even triple track mainline running. One of the most iconic parts of the East End Sub. is the Potomac River Crossing at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Here the line crosses a large bridge before passing by the depot. It's a scene captured many times on camera over the years. It is also at Harpers Ferry where the Shenandoah Subdivision splits off from the mainline, running south to Strasburg Junction.

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    At many points along the route, there are several branch lines that split off the main and make connections to other railroads such as the Pennsy and the N&W.

    Motive power on the B&O during this time was quite diverse. At the beginning of the decade, the B&O had over 1,000 steam locomotives on its active roster and 300 diesels. By the end of the 50's all B&O steamers had been retired and a vast majority were scrapped.
    For steam powered freights the B&O made heavy usage of their S class 2-10-2 type locomotives, better known as the Big Sixes. These engines were built by Baldwin and Lima, with the first batch being delivered in 1914, and subsequent batches being built between 1923 and 1926. The initial batch came equipped with 58 inch drivers, Walschaert valve gear, a boiler pressure of 205 PSI and a tractive effort of around 86,500 lbs. Later batches came with 64 inch drivers, Baker valve gear, a boiler pressure of 220 PSI and a tractive effort of just under 83,000 lbs. For smaller freights and locals, Q class 2-8-2 Mikados were used. Several different batches of varying stats and subclasses were ordered between 1911 and 1918. I feel that the easiest one to add would be the USRA variation that the B&O received during WWI. These engines were equipped with 64 inch drivers, Walschaert valve gear, a boiler pressure of 200 PSI and a tractive effort of around 54,000 lbs.

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    On diesel powered freights, the B&O made use of a number of different diesel models, many of which are already available in Train Simulator such as the Baldwin RF-16 Sharknoses, ALCO FA's, and various EMD locomotives such as F units and GP 9's. In some cases, even E units were used on the head end of freight trains.

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    For steam passenger trains, the B&O was very fond of using their large fleet of P class 4-6-2 Pacifics. One of the most iconic variants of their Pacifics was the P7. The P7's were initially built by Baldwin in 1927, however over time the B&O would rebuild a number of these engines into different variants between 1937 and 1946. These changes ranged from enlarged fireboxes to full, streamlined shrouding. As delivered, the P7s came equipped with 80 inch drivers, Walschaert valve gear, a boiler pressure of 230 PSI and a tractive effort of nearly 50,000 lbs. The looks for these speedsters also varied greatly over the years. As built, these engines had high mounted headlights, boiler mounted bells, B&O logos mounted on the smokebox door, and were equipped with standard tenders. As time went on, though many engines would become equipped with center mounted headlights with flying number boards, the bells were moved up, new air compressor coverings were mounted on the front of the engines (equipped with a B&O logo in the center of the coverings) and several engines had their standard tenders swapped out with Vanderbilt tenders, as they were capable of storing more water for longer trips.

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    As diesels began to take over passenger trains towards the end of the decade, the B&O would mostly use various types of E units such as the somewhat primitive E6 units which were built/delivered between 1939 and 1942, all the way up to the venerable E8 units, which saw production between 1949 and 1954 (and as noted above E units would see occasional use in freight service as well).

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    Like many other railroads, one of the first types of steam locomotives to go were the switchers. By the 1950's many B&O steam switchers had already been retired and were in the process of being scrapped. By this point, many of the B&O yards were filled with early switchers such as the EMD SW and SW1 locomotives, which entered service as far back as the mid 40's.

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    As one final quick note on motive power, another engine that would see frequent use on this route is the T class 4-8-2's. These engines were comfortable handling both freight and passenger trains at speed. The largest batch of these engines were the T-3's, built in 1942 to help meet war demands in the B&O's own shops. In total, 40 T-3's were built. These engines came equipped with 70 inch drivers, Baker valve gear, a boiler pressure of 230 PSI and a tractive effort of just over 65,000 lbs.

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    Obviously, it would be near impossible to include all of the locomotives mentioned here, but I feel that these engines would be the best to pick from on a route like this.

    So, with all that being said, what do you guys think? Would you want to see this come to TS? Is it too ambitious? Not ambitious enough? If there's any mistakes I made, or if there's anything you want to add on to this post, feel free to do so in the replies!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2021
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  2. jedi247

    jedi247 Well-Known Member

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    The route should include an EM-1 2-8-8-4 if set in the steam era.
     
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  3. NEC Railfan

    NEC Railfan Well-Known Member

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    I love the idea, I mean we have the beautiful little Kingwood Branch, so it's about time we take America's first railroad in a more grand fashion no? However, I don't know how this would fare as a 1st party route, maybe it would be best as an offering from VNH/G-Trax, in BLE and Springfield Line fashion.

    But nonetheless, of all of these I would include:
    B&O T Class 4-8-2 (the only steam offering)
    B&O SW1
    B&O E8
    B&O GP7/9
    B&O SD9
    Later DLCs could include
    B&O FA-2
    B&O H-16-44
    (whatever DTM can cook up really)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
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  4. Buynot

    Buynot Well-Known Member

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  5. jedi247

    jedi247 Well-Known Member

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    Another loco DLC could be B&Os Baldwin RF16 Sharknose diesels.
     
  6. NEC Railfan

    NEC Railfan Well-Known Member

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