Also included in this set are some nearby photos of modern day CSX operations on the former B&O main line. You can see the full album here.
Detail of the keystone and inscription at the top of the western entry arch.
Eastbound interior view with flash and without. The old towpath is what has made made this a natural trail conversion. The adjacent Western Maryland RR trail project is stalled due to the need for engineering work to make the bridges and tunnels compatible with pedestrians and cyclists.
Approaching the eastern portal from the west.
Most of the tunnel is lined with brick. The stone blocks are only at the ends for show and to support unstable rock.
Eastern portal is built like the western one.
You can see how trying to build a cut through the mountain was quickly proving to be unsustainable.
These large blocks of slate have been stabilized with tie bolts.
The opposite side of the cut. made of looser material, recently gave way and slid down into the canal, blocking it.
The eastern approach to the tunnel has three sets of locks to elevate boats to the level of the Potomac river on the other side of the bend. This is lock number 66.
A boy scout troop had camped on an around Lock 62. This shows the western gate structure that saw some concrete reinforcement before it was removed from service.
Across the Potomac River on the West Virginia side, one finds the CSX Cumberland sub. ORLEANS ROAD interlocking was where the previously 4-track line allowed westbound trains to choose between the original, low grade, alignment that followed the river or the newer Magnolia Cutoff that literally cut off a number of river bends through a series of bridges and tunnels. As freight locomotives became more capable the low grade route was abandoned and the line reduced to 2 tracks. Here we see a Clear indication on track 2 for an eastbound train.
The Cumberland Sub between Hancock, WV and Cumberland, MD was part of an early B&O CTC project in the 1950's with ORLEANS ROAD included as the first interlocking west of the manned tower at HANCOCK. The interlocking was re-signaled around 2012, but an adjacent property owner bought or was given the former eastbound B&O CPL bracket and it sits on his yard to this day.
Soon enough an eastbound merchandise train appeared with two CSX ES44AH's. #3136 and #719.
While exploring the old bracket signal I made a new friend! He was a bit shy however ;-)
Heading back to Baltimore I caught CSX AC4400 #271 on the Baltimore Belt Line exiting the Charles St tunnel.
Some BWI rail station action with Acela Express power car #2038 and MARC MP36PH-3C #23.
Southbound weekday MARC local with cab car #7845 meets northbound MARC express with MP36PH-3C #35 at the Amtrak/MARC BWI station around 4pm.
Finally, I made a pit stop in Salem, NJ to photograph Washington Union Terminal Company RS-1 #59. The unit is in increasingly poor condition along with the rest of the former PRSL Salem Branch as the county tries to restore the line and attract new business to replace the departed Anchor Glass.
The old PRSL freight house still stands, but the yard has become completely overgrown.
Well that's it for this week. Next time we have a special guest photo set from the Alaska Railroad.