1941 routing question

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Bobby S
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1941 routing question

Post by Bobby S » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:11 am

I was tracing some old B&O ROWs via Google maps and saw in 1941, a route headed west diverged just before the Cumberland MD station. (Forgive me for not remembering which, but this diverging ROW is still there). My question is would a train from DC enter Cumberland MD and not stop at the station? Unless there was a station at this time prior to diverging. The route into Cumberland is the current Capitol Limited coming from DC. Thanks for any info..
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Re: 1941 routing question

Post by mmi16 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:23 am

The B&O had the McKenzie Cutoff between Patterson Creek (East of Cumberland) on CSX's Cumberland Sub and McKenzie (East of Keyser) on CSX's Mountain Sub.

Most Freight trains went on the yard at Cumberland to be classified. Passenger trains would all stop at the station at Cumberland for a crew change, if nothing else.

This was the route used by the short lived Cincinnatian and was normally used for coal and empty trains so they could bypass Cumberland Yard. Keyser was B&O's primary coal marshaling yard for coal destined to the East, primarily B&O's Curtis Bay Coal Pier. The line was abandoned in the early 1970's

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patterson_Creek_Cutoff" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: 1941 routing question

Post by hutton_switch » Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:14 am

This now-abandoned route is better known as the Patterson Creek Cutoff, not the McKenzie Cutoff. I and some others explored it a couple of years ago, and though in rough shape in some spots, with some effort, CSX could bring the route back into service in fairly short order, PROVIDED there was a 180-degree change for the better in coal traffic. The Patterson Creek Cutoff was built in 1904 to keep through traffic from going through Cumberland, which aided in relieving the bottleneck there. About the only passenger train of consequence that went over the cutoff was the B&O's Cincinnatian, which stopped west of McKenzie at Keyser, WV, to take on/discharge any passengers from Cumberland. If it stopped in Cumberland, an additional likely hour would have been added to the Cincinnatian's travel time of 12 hours between Baltimore and Cincinnati.

Most traffic over the cutoff was coal, though B&O Trailer Jets traversed it as well. The cutoff was abandoned in the mid-seventies, though with a surge of coal traffic in the 1980's, there was talk of bringing it back into service at that time, but as usual, many things like this usually don't go beyond the talk stage. With the abandonment of the Parkersburg Sub in West Virginia, and the light traffic nowadays over the CSX Mountain Sub, it's most unlikely that the Patterson Creek Cutoff will ever see a revival.
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