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Nostalgia & History > A few tidbits from the Western Maryland goody bag.


Date: 09/22/22 04:02
A few tidbits from the Western Maryland goody bag.
Author: Roadjob

This section of TO sure makes one drift back to what were exciting times being a railfan. I love looking at all of the different posts, and thinking, for as much as I saw, I missed a lot. We had so much good railroading that disappeared much too quickly during the 70s. The reasons for the reductions were all sensible from a business point of view. Rationally we all understood that, but emotionally it wrecked us. Case in point today, the Western Maryland. This was hands down the friendliest railroad I encountered, out of a host of friendly roads in that day and age. I could write a book just on the great dealings I had with folks on that road from the top officials, to track gangs. One thing they all had in common was a love for their railroad. There was an occasional bitching, but who has not done that about their place of employment. But the WM people universally rallied around their road, and, it was rather sad to hear some former WM crewmen talk about the difference between them and the Chessie management that treated them like angry step children, as they were absorbed into the big road. All that leads to just a few morsels today to why Western Maryland was what it was....golden!

top...This one snuck up on me!! Westbound at Meyersdale Pa. 1972

middle...The famous Williamsport helpers were one of the best shows put on by any railroad that used helpers. Anything the shop at Hagerstown could throw together for a day, was the power. No two days in a row did I ever see the same helper combination.

bottom...Chessie Number, but still at home in Hagerstown. BL2 suns itself at the roundhouse.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD








Date: 09/22/22 04:06
Re: A few tidbits from the Western Maryland goody bag.
Author: Roadjob

top...Highfield at the top of the grade from Hagerstown was a great spot to plant oneself.

middle...Baltimore bound leaving Hagerstown. The "big" power frequented these trains. 1974

bottom...AJ2 is at Confluence Pa. Very common lashup for the Alpha Jets.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/22 08:35 by Roadjob.








Date: 09/22/22 07:23
Re: A few tidbits from the Western Maryland goody bag.
Author: ClubCar

These are all great photos Bill and as always, I thank you for sharing them with all of us.  My only regret is that I personally did not take more photos.  I have had a lot of history with the Western Maryland Railway during my early years of my adult life.  When I was still a kid growing up, a WM Brakeman and his family lived next door to my family.  When his family was getting bigger, he sold the house to a WM police officer.  Those were interesting times as both of them loved to talk about the railroad and they loved their jobs.  Later in life, I met George Leilich, the VP of Operations.  What a fine outstanding gentleman he was, and I got to ride on many of the WM excursion trains with the NRHS, most of the time working as a car host.  Later on, while I was employed by a major bank in Baltimore, I became a Registered Stock Broker, and the Chairman of the Board for our bank was a very good friend of W. Arthur Grotz, who was at that time the President of the Western Maryland Railway Company.  Before long, I was asked by our own Chairman of the Board of the bank to do some stock trading and other investments for Mr. Grotz.  He too was a gentleman and very proud of the WM.  Mr. Grotz lived well into his 90's, I believe 94 when he passed away.  By that time the WM had been merged into the Chessie System, a terrible mistake by the ICC as to keep real competition in the Maryland area, the WM should have been merged into the Norfolk & Western Railroad, which of course became Norfolk Southern.  The WM worked very hard to obtain and satisfy their customers.  Unfortunately, when the Chessie people took over, they discouraged the WM customers, driving many of them away to use trucks.  Then they tore apart so much of the WM to what we have today.  What a shame.
John in White Marsh, Maryland



Date: 09/22/22 07:46
Re: A few tidbits from the Western Maryland goody bag.
Author: aehouse

Book.
Book.
Book.
(Rinse. Spit. Repeat.)
Book
Book
Book.



Date: 09/22/22 07:48
Re: A few tidbits from the Western Maryland goody bag.
Author: santafe199

Yeah, what he said!

;^)



Date: 09/22/22 08:25
Re: A few tidbits from the Western Maryland goody bag.
Author: DJ-12

Roadjob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> top...Highfield at the yop of the grade from
> Hagerstown was a great spot to plant oneself.
>
> middle...Baltimore bound leaving Hagerstown. The
> "big" power frequented these trains. 1974
>
> bottom...AJ2 is at Confluence Pa. Very common
> lashup for the Alpha Jets.

Thanks Bill for that Confluence shot. I drove by that bridge last week and this perfectly fits my vision o what it would look like with a train on it!



Date: 09/22/22 10:20
Re: A few tidbits from the Western Maryland goody bag.
Author: Ritzville

Very NICE and interesting WM look back!

Larry



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