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Date: 09/24/08 12:56
B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: rchgck

Hello all,

I am new to Trainorders but have been a fan of the W&P and railroads in Washington, PA since I was a kid.

I have walked most of the W&P and the Chartiers Branch of the PRR and I grew up in Tylerdale.

I used to practice pee wee football at Ramage field which was near Washington Steel and on the Tylerdale Connecting Railroad.

There used to be Chessie and Conrail trains a few times a week.

I have been researching both lines for a few years now and have tried to document through video what is left of activity in Washington.

You can search youtube for AVR-3 or my user name, rchgck.

Many of these are on what is left of the Tylerdale connecting railroad. There is a remediation cleanup going on near Jessop Steel for the old Molycorp plant. The contaminated soil is being shipped by rail. There has been more activity in the last year than since the line was severed to Wheeling in 85. Things are starting to wind down so I wanted to get as much documented as I could before the trains became shorter and less frequent.

Does anyone have photos of the W&P or the Chartiers Branch in Washington, Tylerdale, Wheeling or anywhere for that matter from the 60's, 70's and 80's that they would be willing to share here or email?

I am researching to eventually create in Microsoft Train Simulator and need as much reference info as I can get.

The photos of the tunnels were great. I walked/photographed all of them back in the spring. Spooky stuff. I have found many news paper articles since the turn of the century depicting many deaths and accidents those tunnels over the years. If there are such as thing as ghosts, that is where they would be!

The B&O Station in Washington has been restored and is now the Washington County Tourism Offices.

I stopped at the station looking for photos and was told they have none. As I was leaving, I noticed a framed photo on the wall where the dispatchers office was. It was a black and white photo of and 3 unit F3 freight train in Washington heading West to Wheeling and passing the CTC Tower on Cumberland Ave. What a find. I took a digital photo of the photo and have attached it here. I do not know who the photographer was as it was not indicated on the photo.

The W&P saw mostly Q class Mikados, S Class Big Sixes and EL Class Mallets for freights and P class Pacifics in the Steam Era. When Diesels starting showing up in the late 40s they had a great variance of power including F3's and F7's, Baldwin sharks, etc. (I am less familiar with the other units)

Must have been a sight to behold. The Pike was full of grades, hills and tunnels and in one article I read the train was often both going up and down hill at the same time and required the most skilled of engineers to run on.

Please continue the discussions, stories and photos of this once great rail line!



Date: 09/24/08 14:12
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: DJ-12

If you look at recent posts, there was just a very interesting thread on the Pike a few days back that should offer you lots of picture and info on the tunnels etc. For your viewing pleasure, I've attached a shot of what I believe to be the longest train into Washington since the line was severed as a thru route. Witness AVR-3 with 2 units, 1 load, 37 empties (mostly dirt gons) heading for Molycorp as he passes the Washington skyline back in February of this year.

Date: 09/24/08 14:18
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: rchgck

Thanks Mike,

I responded to the thread you are referring to.

Thanks for the photo.

Nice vantage point(near Trinity High School?)

I have been photographing the trains on the AVR-3 for the past two years or so.

I caught the train heading back to Glenwood a few weeks ago with about 18 cars, including the full gons from the cleanup at the old Molycorp site. I drove to Gilkeson just before the Thomas Tunnel where the grade is pretty steep and caught the train grinding up toward the tunnel.

If you search rchgck on youtube you can check it out.

The only problem is I had the stupid camera set for mediocre quality but you can still hear the locomotives drumming away.

I can only wish that I would have been catching a B&O Train or 4 or 5 Chessie units.

Thanks again,

Someone has to have photos from the Chessie Era or before...

Date: 09/24/08 14:21
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: DJ-12

Yep, Trinity High school parking lot. I have a few slides from the very end of CSX era, but no slide scanner. Maybe someday. The area the train is passing in my pic is an interesting one. There was a small vest pocket yard there near the station (in the space between the white trailer and the train). IIRC this is where the local tied up back in the day.

Date: 09/24/08 14:32
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: rchgck

Here are a few from the past week or so, including yesterday.

The first shot is shifting cars were they are stored by the AVR at the old Brockway #7 glass house in Tylerdale. This is where the old Tylerdale Connecting line ends at Wylie Ave (it was severed in the early 80's) The track would have continued across Wylie Ave and off slightly to the right in the photo. It would have connected to the PRR Chartiers Branch (later Penn Central and Conrail) just about where Washington Steel was probably less than a quarter mile down the line. This was once an extremely busy corridor. The connecting railroad was constructed by William P. Tyler, owner of the Tyler Tube Works around the turn of the century in order to open up competition in shipping rates on the railroad. It was later taken over by the B&O for joint operation of the two lines.

The second photo is just about at Tylerdale Junction on the Old W&P Sub. The train had just brought up the empties from the storage area and had put the train together for the departure out of Washington. The gons are stored to replenish the ones that are filled and removed from the cleanup site. There have been at least 20 or so gons stored on the siding for the past year and I have noticed that lately there are none. This batch you see here were just brought in, probably to finish up the clean up, as I think it is scheduled to end sometime in October. The Tylerdale Connecting is the track that turns off to the right just about where the person is standing in the foreground. This leads downgrade past the old Hazel Atlas glass house, under route 70, past the remediation site, Jessop Steel (now Allegheny Ludlum) and across a small trestle then grade crossing to the former Brockway #7 (recently Falcon Plastics) What you see in the photo is the mainline of the W&P and you can see from the photo that this was one crazy grade as was the majority of the W&P. The track drops down just past the junction and then climbs again into a curve and then out to V-Bat Plastics. The track still exists to Taylorstown and there is a fairly long and high trestle just past V-Bat over Weirich Avenue. The Tylerdale Connecting branched off near where Molycorp was and followed the valley up and under the trestle crossing the grade at Weirich to service Christopher Mine (Lincoln Hill Mine)

The final shot was on the trestle below Trinity High School heading out of Washington. This was taken a week or two ago so it's not the same train per say as the above two. Just behind the camera is the cut switch that lead to the yard that Mike mentioned. The PRR Chartiers Branch ran under the trestle and off to the left would have been the engine house, turntable and Washington facilities of the PRR and the Waynesburg and Washington, at least into the 50's.

Lots of Railroad history in Washington.

Date: 09/24/08 14:50
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: rchgck

Here are some good articles on Wheeling and the W&P that ran on the website "The Bullsheet Monthly"

I tried to look up Byrne Waterman after reading this article a few years ago but I found that had unfortunately passed away.

I don't think this site exists any longer except in archive form.

Recollections, Mentors; and Present

By Byrne Waterman . . .

[Reprinted with permission from the January 2003 issue of "News and Notes," publication of the Retired Administrators of the B&O Railroad.]

In 1827, when the B&O set out to build the railroad west from Baltimore, the goal was to meet the Ohio River within 25 years. At that time, the actual point on the river was not decided; just get there to connect-up with the Ohio River packet boats, the then "Gateway to the West." Western expansion was a popular item - land was opening up, new outlets for eastern goods, new markets for western products coming east.

The National Road, called the "Pike," had opened in 1818 and provided a 130-mile road between Cumberland and Wheeling, Virginia [now West Virginia]. While but a two-lane wagon road, it did become a 'modem nightmare' with its heavy movement of multi-team wagons, stagecoaches, horseman, pedestrians, herds and flocks of animals, traveling in both directions; congestion, yet it just about cut in half the previous 8 days travel time between those two points.

Train connection to Wheeling occurred on December 24th, 1852, at a point called Roseby's Rock, named for a local construction foreman, Roseby Carr. The story goes that the actual connection fueled a large celebration in which "quantities of spirits" were consumed. During the celebration, a local stone cutter engraved a large rock "Rosbby's Rock." Whether the party celebration actually took place or not, evidence points to the fact that the rock read 'Rosbby's Rock,' and not 'Roseby's Rock.' Years later, the spelling on the rock was corrected. With this train service, the eastern seaboard and the Atlantic Ocean were now connected to the Ohio River. The first through trains from Baltimore arrived in Wheeling, Virginia, about three weeks later.

Wheeling became a thriving industrial city. Numerous industries like steel, glass, tobacco, ceramics and tile were founded and flourished. With all of this, the B&O prospered

Benwood Yard became the switching center for the Wheeling area; trains to and from numerous origins and destinations shuttled cars through this yard for reclassification and dispatchment.

Gary W. Schlerf, in the B&ORRHS "Sentinel," 2nd Quarter, 1998, gave some interesting statistics for Benwood Yard in the year 1952. Namely: 6 receiving tracks, 10 classification tracks, utilized flat switching; had a yard capacity of approximately 750 cars with a daily car handling of 1700; numerous miscellaneous tracks for much needed capacity for interchange and the steel corporation needs; 23 stall roundhouse and machine shop supporting a daily dispatchment of approximately 78 locomotives; a daily average of 61 trains operating into and out of the yard with 19 scheduled freight trains. As in the late 1930s, Benwood was a very busy, busy place.

The actual date of my awareness of, or my acknowledgement that I had been smitten by the subject of railroads, is a dark unknown. Some time in the late 1920s, I was aware of a railroad that I could hear several times a day as its trains blew for a public road crossing. This crossing was about 2 miles from my home in the Woodsdale section of Wheeling, West Virginia. I did not realize at that time, that the whistle of each and every train was instilling in me, deeper each time I heard it, a secret desire to consider a job in railroading and that is what my life's work would eventually encompass.

I do know that at a very early age, I began to collect the public timetables of the B&O, the PRR, and the W&LE, the three railroads operating into Wheeling. The B&O was my favorite as they had numerous trains to and from Pittsburgh running over what was known as the WP&B, the Wheeling, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, or referred to as the "Pike." These were the trains that I heard blowing for the Mt. de Chantel road crossing.

In 1934, I entered high school, the school being about 1/4 mile from the B&O's Wheeling to Pittsburgh line. Trains running on this line were clearly visible from the school. While no passenger trains traversed the line during school hours, there was quite often a long freight of which I would make a record. The intervening valley would be filled with dense smoke as these coal or merchandise trains fought the slight grade. I noticed differences in power and began to seek questions about such. The father of one of my classmates was Mr. C. C. Pitcher, the Trainmaster at the B&O's Wheeling Station. I would ask her to ask her father about something that I did not understand; she would give me the answer the following day.

I remember during my freshman year we had to prepare a term paper with pictures and text on a favorite subject. I chose as my title "The History of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad." I wrote to Mr. Daniel Willard, President of the B&O Railroad, Baltimore, and told him of my project and asked if there was any material the railroad could share with me to help. I not only received a nice letter from him but the Director of Public Relations, Mr. R. M. Van Sant, sent me all kinds of information, including the two volume set of Hungerford's "History of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad." That whetted my thirst for even more printed material. About this time, I found on the newsstand several popular magazines containing not only fiction but locomotive rosters, train schedule information, maps, etc., and lots of photos. If there were anything on the B&O, PRR, or W&LE, I was in my glory.

Two different summers, I made a train trip to Cleveland, Ohio, on the W&LE. That line had a station adjacent to the B&O's Wheeling station, and their tracks terminated at their station. For the train to depart from Wheeling, the locomotive had to run around its train, then back out of Wheeling until it reached a wye track at Terminal Junction, Ohio. There, the locomotive would move to the head end. The last car, in the 3 or 4-car consist, was an observation car with a rear platform. Once the locomotive was on the head end, folding chairs could be set out on the platform and that is where I rode. Cinders, smoke and dirt - you got a lot for your money those days. A paradise for someone interested in trains.

I began to take photos of any and all railroad equipment that I could; locomotives being of special interest. Want ads in the magazines were scanned for pictures available of B&O power. When it was possible to pickup a 'Builder's Photo,' I was in my glory. Also, I began to buy books on American railroads; this practice lasted for many years until I had acquired a nice library.

Through two other high school friends, I heard that their father, Mr. T. J. Bloecher, was the Division Engineer of the Wheeling Division, his office also in the Wheeling Station. Through his daughters, I got to meet Mr. "B" who would invite me to his home on Sunday evenings where I would ask him many questions on various aspects of railroad operations, problems, etc. From Mr. B, I got my first Employee Timetable - it was for the Wheeling Division. This gave me an insight into railroad schedules, speed restrictions, special instructions, etc., covering many areas that were foreign to me. He reviewed for me the Operating Divisions on the B&O, where each division was located and even supplied me with a copy of the Operating Book of Rules.

About this time, Mr. B set up an appointment for me to spend a day with the Chief Mechanical Officer, the Master Mechanic, at the Benwood Yard Terminal. I went early and followed that man around all day - was thrilled to death, seeing the workings of this large roundhouse, how steam engines would come in from the road, or from the Wheeling station, 5 miles north of the yard - go across the cinder track, how the grates were dumped and checked, watched as a man would crawl into a semi-hot fire box to check for flues that might be leaking; followed the overall inspection of a locomotive to determine if possible repairs might be needed; accompanied a hostler spotting a loco under the coal tipple and the penstock; and placing the outbound engine on the 'ready track.' Witnessed the installation of a new 'tire' as it was fitted onto a driving wheel-a dirty, hot and messy job. I remember asking the MM about the possibility of becoming an apprentice machinist in his roundhouse, but was informed that, when an opening did occur, preference usually went to a son of an employee working there.

I learned that Wheeling was a 'Hub' for the various divisions coming together at this point - Pittsburgh Division, Wheeling Division, Grafton Division, and Columbus or Newark Division. Each division had its own particular locomotive power assigned and those engines moved in and out of this terminal on trains designated to stations on those divisions. I believe it was then that I was told that just about every passenger train into and out of the Wheeling passenger station had an engine change at the station. A train from Pittsburgh would have its power cut off after arriving and another engine attached - one assigned to the division that contained the train's destination. Weight limitations of bridges partially determined the size of power. Here again, Mr. B explained to me the subject of Bridge Ratings and how they varied over the various divisions. That was why the 'ready track' at Benwood Terminal contained such a variety of power.

Benwood Yard itself was a very busy terminal. Long coal trains would come in from the south - the West Virginia coal fields, heading for the lakes; long tank car trains would arrive from the down-river chemical factories; Columbus and Cincinnati trains of box cars loaded with miscellaneous merchandise traffic would be dumped into the yard to be switched; trains from Pittsburgh contained steel products of all forms to be integrated to outbound traffic from this point, meshed in with the empty coal hoppers returning from the lakes; this was a busy, busy place.

Immediately adjacent to the Benwood Yard was the Benwood works of the Wheeling Steel Corp. where the principal product was pipe. Carloads of pipe came out of that facility every day; every train leaving Benwood yard carried some.

Switching of Benwood Yard was a 24-hour operation. My request to tour the yard operation was declined based on the safety factor. In fact, when I tried to return to some of the yard areas at a later date to photograph some of the locomotives, I was stopped, asked to leave and told "not to come back."

My desire to learn more about railroad operation centered more on the station area. There were four station tracks, from a double track system from the Benwood Yard area with a single track leaving for Pittsburgh. All track movements were handled by an interlocking tower, 'WR,' located in the station track area. I started to spend as much time as I could on the station platform which was easily accessible from one of the city's streets on the east end of the station. In fact, the main track from Wheeling in an easterly direction, to Pittsburgh, ran right up the center of 17th street. When the B&O police began to notice I was on the station platform quite a bit, trying to take pictures, I was again asked to leave and advised not to come back or I would be arrested for trespassing. As stated before, all passenger trains had their power swapped, so I retreated to curb side on 17th street and observed the cut offs and hook ups. There, I was on city property and could not be asked to leave. Got to know a few of the carmen, "car knockers," and they, while waiting for a train to arrive, would chat, answering my seemingly unending barrage of questions. So often, the switching of the station tracks would occur directly in front of my curb side perch - just plain loved it!

Seventeenth Street was only about 8 or 10 blocks long. At the extreme end of the street the railroad right of way took off on its own. At this location was a track-side signal which puzzled me until one of my friends explained its meaning and referred me to the signal section in the Book of Rules. That signal, so it was explained, was actually controlled from a machine located in Washington, Pennsylvania, about 32 miles north and the system was called CTC, Centralized Traffic Control. This signal was the first signal on the Pittsburgh Division. While the switching of the Wheeling station tracks would occur, that signal would display two horizontal red indications. When a train was scheduled to leave Wheeling for Pittsburgh - that signal switched to two vertical green lights with a white light overhead - I would be in my glory, the adrenaline flowed! I could not get enough information about the B&O.

Mr. Bloecher would call me if any problems or derailments occurred in or close to Wheeling. One time he told me about the derailment of a large Mallet engine on the Pittsburgh line. I got a friend to take me there. Seeing one of these big boys on its side - Wow.

The PRR had a single line into Wheeling along the river, coming directly from the north and Pittsburgh. There was one passenger train, several cars and a Pullman, arriving every morning. About 4:30 PM, that train departed Wheeling for Pittsburgh with the sleeping car for New York. Often, I would try to meet the morning train as I became good friends with the regular Fireman. One day, I asked to see the cab of his locomotive, a 'K-4.' Ended up riding it to PRR's turntable and small roundhouse in Benwood. This friend shared with me a copy of a PRR Employees Timetable, other railroad material and a PRR trainman's lantern. However, it was the B&O that really held my interest. Adjacent to the B&O's station was a small yard, called Hempfield Yard. Here, for the first time, I saw box cars that were being used to handle new automobiles. These cars had either 'end doors' or extra wide side doors and the interior included a device called an "Evans Auto Loader." I think that each car could carry three automobiles. It was interesting to see the local auto dealer's personnel unload these autos. The yard itself had ramp platforms to accommodate the unloading of numerous gondolas and flat cars.

Passenger trains fascinated me the most. At home, I had a schedule of all passenger trains on the Wheeling-Pittsburgh line hung on my wall with the approximate times they should be blowing for the Mt. de Chantel grade crossing. I do remember several times, while I would be studying and not remembering if I had heard a certain train or not. I would call the Station Master at the Wheeling station and ask if such a train had departed or arrived on time. After several such calls, I was dubbed a "train nut" and told that I should not call any more.

The activities at the station were very busy at certain times of the day. A train might arrive from Pittsburgh - its power cut-off - a new locomotive would be attached so that train could continue on when ready. Often immediately adjacent was another train, awaiting for possible connecting passengers; its destination different. Soon, the two trains would depart for their respective cities.

In intermediate times, passenger cars would be brought to or taken from the station for servicing at the Passenger Car Yard, several miles away. That yard was adjacent to a city street so I could observe activities without "trespassing."

Wheeling Station itself was a beautiful three-storied brick and stone building, built about 1908 or 1909. Division offices occupied the upper two floors. My friend, Mr. Bloecher, and the Division Engineer's office were on the second floor. Since the building had stairs at each end of the building, I visited often. The Chief Clerk, a Mr. Perry, had two daughters in my high school, so I was warmly greeted each time I stopped by. I believe I always had several questions to ask; always got answers.

Passengers entered the station on the ground level into a large waiting room with a very high ceiling. In one corner was the Station Master's Office, the occupant always visible in his smart dark uniform and proper formal cap with the words "STATION MASTER" boldly displayed above the bill. As a train was announced, his presence was at or close to the door leading to the short aisle directly beyond the station proper that ran beneath the four-track viaduct with the large iron gates leading up to the track level. All passengers had to climb up steps to catch their trains. A Gate Man would be on hand to direct passengers; particularly when two trains would be departing within minutes of each other.

As mentioned before, Wheeling was quite a hub for the B&O. In the late 1930s, the passenger station had 24 arrivals and departures each day including 8 terminations and originations. Trains moved between Wheeling and Pittsburgh; between Wheeling and Parkersburg and Huntington; Grafton; Cleveland; Columbus and Cincinnati; Newark, Willard and Chicago. There were night sleeping cars from Wheeling for Washington, Chicago, Cincinnati and even Charleston (via C&O at Huntington).

Mail and Express station trucks were constantly being loaded and unloaded at the east end of the station tracks where the street provided easy access. Most trains being handled at this station had both mail and express cars in their consist.

For the last year of the 30s and the first year of the 40s, I was working for the Wheeling Steel Corp. as a traveling auditor. My office was on the south side of the 13th floor of the tallest building in town with an unobstructed view of the Wheeling station, 6 blocks away, and the tracks leading to the station from the west and Benwood Junction. Since all trains en route to Pittsburgh had to travel through the station, I continued my early habit of recording all train movements when I was in town. When auditing books at the Wheeling Steel's Benwood Works operation, I would work in a building adjacent to the main track between Benwood Jct. and Wheeling station where I was fully aware of all traffic between those two points.

Then came 1941-42: L. Byrne Waterman became Lyman B.-private, U. S. Army. I was drafted, going first to Clarksburg, West Virginia (over the B&O's old main line), for the pre-induction physical; then later, from Wheeling to Cincinnati (via Columbus). So my closeness with B&O and Wheeling came to an end.

Unfortunately, so many of my B&O collectables, timetables, lanterns, flags, books and much printed materials, etc., were given away by my family in my absence. They thought, I guess, that I would have other thoughts and interests when I returned.

Of course - in 1950, I entered the service of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad as a graduate Civil Engineer and retired in 1981 - 31 years later.

Epilogue . . .

In September, 2002, I heard about an up-coming meeting scheduled in Wheeling to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the B&O RR entering that city in 1852. I remembered the 100th anniversary of such an event; the railroad in Wheeling was still very active at that time. I knew that since then there had been some downgrading. What was there now? I had to go.

West Virginia Northern Community College, with its main campus in the former B&O passenger station, was one of the sponsors of the two-day 150th Anniversary Celebration. At the initial reception, the college, in the former waiting room of the passenger station, hosted an exhibit of artifacts and photographs from the college Alumni's B&O collection as well as a post card collection from a private source. A local railroad historian provided a slide presentation, outlining a short version of the events leading up to and the completion of the rail connection, December 1852.

On the following day, John Hankey, formerly of the B&ORR Museum, gave a short talk on the anniversary - what it meant, asking the question, "Why celebrate 150 years. What place did the B&O have in American history?" One of the big assets of this new rail connection was the elimination of the difficulty of getting from the seacoast to the Ohio River. Traffic over the National Road could only move at the rate of 4 to 6 mph. People lived very frugally; had few luxuries; worked primarily for survival. Now people started to look beyond their own property lines. People in the east began to think that other parts of the country were a part of the same country. The whole concept of travel changed - Wheeling to Baltimore - "Overnight." Amazing! The railroad opened this giant "can of worms" - offered many solutions as well as problems. The railroad became a "tool" opening up the plains, the prairies, areas totally unknown; removed restrictions for travel. Within a little more than a decade, Federal troops were being sent by rail from the east coast into Wheeling; loaded on riverboats and sent south to southern areas of conflict.

One of the anticipated highlights of this anniversary celebration was a scheduled bus tour to places that were important to the railroad in its early days. The tour went out to the area of Roseby's Rock. Recent rains had flooded the creek so actual driving to the rock itself was not possible but the rock could be seen from the road. The tour returned to the point where the Old Main Line tied in with the Ohio River Branch near Moundsville. While the switch and tracks had been removed, the old right-of-way was clearly defined, evidence of the point where the Ohio River had been initially reached. Within a few miles north was the beginning of the once flourishing Benwood Junction Yard.

Today, there are but a couple of tracks, only for receiving long trains, principally coal from southern West Virginia, where CSXT power is cut off and power of the W&LE takes over for movement to the lakes. W&LE has purchased the Benwood-Bellaire railroad bridge as all CSXT (B&O) train movements in this area have ceased.

Benwood Yard no longer has any engine facilities, car facilities, or a coal tipple. All yard offices are gone except a small concrete block yard office handling radio and communication equipment. The rest of this once thriving yard area is covered with weeds, brush and small trees. Nothing exists; even the Wheeling Steel Corp. furnaces, rolling mill and its steel making facilities are gone. Benwood has apparently become strictly an interchange facility for lake coal and the return point of empty hoppers for southern West Virginia. No through trains from Newark and Columbus - the line abandoned; no service even into Wheeling proper or on to Pittsburgh as these lines have been abandoned and dismantled. The only rail connection is south to the river line to New Martinsville and beyond to Huntington or to the Short Line via Brooklyn Junction.

Wheeling's passenger business ceased in June, 1961. The passenger station was closed in October, 1961. In 1976, the property was purchased for the West Virginia Northern Community College. The adjoining track area and overhead viaduct supporting the station tracks were removed in the latter part of 1980.

In walking around the outside of the station, I found it very sad. The entire viaduct and elevated tracks of the former station were all gone. A short drive up 17th street - the street once containing the main line tracks to Pittsburgh - brought back fond memories. The tracks in the street were gone; the signal tower that once stood at the end of the street and provided train protection to eastbound trains to the Pittsburgh Division was no longer there.

Within the former station, the college has made some very interesting changes. In the former waiting room area with its high ceiling, two floors have been added providing additional classrooms and labs. The interior of the building had been painted and is warm and inviting. The area immediately adjacent to the front of the building has been changed into a nice park plaza. Years ago, there was a row of buildings that faced 16th Street, one building being the city's central bus station. That row of structures is now gone. A fine improvement.

Perhaps the saddest part of my anniversary attendance was that I saw only two references to the name "THE BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY." One place was on a bronze building plate immediately adjacent to the front door of the college and, if one looked carefully, the second was in the chiseled cap stone above the central doorway.

Thoughts traveled back to the many friends who aided, encouraged and supported me before and during my association with the railroad. The one man who really did so much and stood out more than anyone else was Mr. T. J. Bloecher. His friends called him Ted or Teddy, but he was always Mr. Bloecher to me. His almost weekly Sunday evening sessions, in my younger days in Wheeling, kept alive, at first, the challenges of a Civil Engineering career. The satisfaction of accomplishment, a reflection on his own personal life in which he attended night school for ten years to acquire his Engineering Degree while working for the Erie Railroad in New York City, along with the thoughts of working in engineering were the thoughts of relating that line of work to a railroad career. Yes, he instilled in me the "engineering bug"; then slowly nurtured the thought of changing a very enjoyable hobby into a life-long profession.

In 1950, after I had received my degree in Civil Engineering, it was Mr. Bloecher, still employed by the B&O but now in Baltimore, who again became a mentor, adviser, counselor and still the perfect gentleman. Our then every-so-often chats, advice when asked, provided a great guide with a mature approach, based on his many years of dedicated service to his railroad. In my book, he was a great man, a sincere friend and to whom I owe so much. While he is no longer with us, I will never forget him for all he did for me.

In thinking back to those early days in Wheeling in the 1930s and then, years later, after my 31-year service career with this great company, I found that that old passion, those old interests, those old desires that were instilled in me some 70 plus years before, have not gone away. They are still there; but my old railroad in Wheeling is gone.

Glenwood Tower Closes

[By Wade H. Massie] . . .

Yet another manned interlocking tower has ceased operation. CSX's WJ Tower (Glenwood Jct.) closed on Oct. 1, 2003. The present tower was built in 1908 and was a typical two-story frame Baltimore and Ohio tower located in Pittsburgh, PA, next to the Monongahela River. Standing guard at milepost 323, along the P&W Subdivision at the east end of Glenwood yard, the tower controlled movements on the P&W and also the W&P sub where the latter entered the yard. The P&W sub begins in Rankin, four miles east of WJ, and continues on to West Pittsburg (correctly spelled without the 'h'), about 56 miles to the northwest. The W&P begins at Glenwood Jct. and runs southwesterly, ending 33 miles later in Washington, PA. The current W&P is the remnant of a through line that ran to Wheeling, WV, 62 miles away.

Sandwiched between the P&W sub and the leads to the yard, WJ was a key junction on the B&O for many of its 95 years of service.

Throughout the B&O era, Glenwood Jct. remained a busy point on the railroad, despite the fact that many B&O trains used trackage rights on the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie, whose main line ran on the opposite side of the river. The P&LE trackage rights, which began in 1934, were primarily used by passenger trains on the mainline and priority through freights that did not have yard work in the Pittsburgh area. The trains that did pass through WJ's plant were numerous and varied, however. Freight trains from all directions converged upon Glenwood. Commuter trains to B&O's downtown Pittsburgh station plied the line between Pittsburgh and Versailles. These trains passed through the heart of the American steel industry, giving passengers a view of several large steel mills along the Monongahela River. The commuter trains ceased operations in the late 1980's due to a large decline in ridership. Many of the once bustling steel mills had also shut down by this time.

In addition to the commuter trains, there was also passenger service on the W&P line which ran to Wheeling, WV. Passenger service on the W&P ended in the 1950's.

Many freight trains served Glenwood Yard, which was the largest B&O facility in Pittsburgh and also featured a locomotive shop. Freights from Buffalo, NY; Willard, OH; Wheeling, WV; and Connellsville, PA, would all work in Glenwood. Just west of the yard, Jones and Laughlin Steel operated a huge mill which provided a seemingly unending supply of traffic for the B&O. Glenwood served as a collection point for freight from other B&O yards in the area, and industrial traffic was strong throughout the region. With countless carloads from the mills, the trains were plentiful as they passed WJ.

The 1980's brought great change to the area and little of it was for the better. The recession had forced the closing of many steel mills throughout Pittsburgh. With the mills gone, much of the local traffic base had eroded. The J&L mill became an LTV Steel property and much of it was shut down. LTV retained the coke plant and unit trains of coke were sent west from Glenwood until the coke plant finally shut down in 1998. The W&P was severed as a through line to Wheeling in the mid 80's, and service was cut back to a tri-weekly local to Washington. This was a far cry from the W&P's important status as a secondary mainline.

In its final years, WJ normally saw only a fraction of the trains that once ran past the tower. After the LTV coke plant shut down in 1998, local traffic declined accordingly, as the coke plant usually produced one loaded train every day. Through freights were also greatly reduced, but there were exceptions to this, however, as the P&W would see heavy traffic if there was a derailment or track work on the P&LE which CSX acquired in 1992. Recent major track work on the P&LE in 2002 and 2003 provided a short-lived increase in traffic past WJ. When the tower closed, the only trains normally passing the tower included a few local freights; Amtrak trains 29 and 30, the Capitol Limited; and the occasional through freight.

CSX now plans to lease to the Allegheny Valley Railroad the lower P&W sub from Glenwood MP 322.8 to Glenshaw MP 7.5. The AVR will also lease the W&P from Glenwood to the end of track, near Washington. The upper portion of the P&W is slated to be leased to the Buffalo and Pittsburgh. CSX filed a petition to discontinue service on the middle portion of the line between Glenshaw and Bakerstown (see STB notice, below), but late word has it that the Buffalo & Pittsburgh has now offered to lease that portion of the line from CSX as well. Because CSX is only leasing the P&W and not selling it outright, it is possible that through freights may pass WJ once again, but most likely only in the event of a derailment on the P&LE sub.

Shortly after the closing of WJ, some of the classic B&O signals in the area were eliminated. This coincides with a project on the P&LE sub to rewire signals to provide Seaboard-style aspects. Signal fans take note: P&LE signals are still in use in the McKeesport area and B&O signals can still be photographed along the P&W, beginning at Marion Jct. and Laughlin Jct., about two miles west of WJ. Active interlocking towers remain at Connellsville, PA, to the east and Newton Falls, OH, to the west.

The tower remains standing, but the "Glenwood" signs on the east and west sides of the tower have been removed. WJ now joins the ranks of its abandoned neighbors across the river, the former P&LE Becks Run tower and the old PRR Beck tower. This area now has the distinction of being home to three abandoned towers within a two-mile radius. One has to wonder how many other locations can boast such an interesting characteristic. It would be wise to get your photos of WJ sooner, rather than later. Recent history has shown that CSX doesn't usually waste much time before razing old towers.

Like much of the antiquated infrastructure around it, time has finally caught up to WJ. B&O F7s will never again haul ore and limestone to the J&L mill, and Budd cars won't be shuttling commuters to downtown Pittsburgh any time soon. But there is hope for the future with the upcoming transition to the AVR. Perhaps their customer-oriented service will increase business on the W&P and lower P&W subdivisions.

Farewell, WJ.

Date: 09/24/08 16:30
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: rchgck

Corporate Genealogy
Tylerdale Connectng Railroad

The Tylerdale Connecting Railroad is a corporation of Pennsylvania having its principal office at Philadelphia, Pa. This company kept no accounting records prior to December 31, 1902, and no records of its corporate operations were kept subsequent to that date. Therefore, no information can be given from its accounts regarding its corporate operations, and only partial information regarding its financial dealings and investments.

The Tylerdale Connecting Railroad is controlled jointly by the Baltimore and Ohio and The Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company, each company owning 50 percent of its capital stock. On the other hand, the records reviewed do not indicate that this company, itself, controls any other common-carrier corporation.

The property was operated from October 26, 1900, the date of completion, to December 31, 1917, by the Baltimore and Ohio for the joint benefit of the two controlling companies. Since January 1, 1918, it has been operated by the United States Railroad Administration.


The Tylerdale Connecting Railroad was incorporated June 8, 1899, under the general laws of Pennsylvania. The date of organization was June 13, 1899.


The road owned, amounting to 2.838 miles, was acquired by construction. The main line extending from Tylerdale Junction to Woodland Avenue, Tylerdale, Pa., about 1.305 miles, was built in 1899 and 1900, and the branch from Sugar Creek Branch Junction to the plant of the Lincoln Gas and Coal Company near Lincoln Hill, Pa., about 1.533 miles, was built in 1917.

Original data source: Valuation Reports Vol. 42 pp 683-684
Interstate Commerce Commission
Washington, DC
April 1933

Although published in 1933, the report is "...as of date of valuation" which was 30 June, 1918

Date: 09/24/08 17:45
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: RuleG

While I have no photos to share, it may be of interest to you that one of B & O's Safety Express excursions behind the 614 steam locomotive operated over this line in September 1980. The train stalled on the Streets Run grade a few miles after departing the B & O Station in Pittsburgh.

The former Waynesburg & Washington depot is located just a few blocks from the former B & O depot in Washington.

Good luck with your endeavor.


Date: 09/24/08 17:49
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: rchgck

Thanks Dave,

I saw the train come through town but unfortunately had no camera.

What a sight to behold!

I remember it well.

Wish I could go back to about 1965 with a couple of tripods, a few video cameras, a few digital cameras and a few terabytes of storage... ha.ha..


Date: 09/25/08 00:58
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: JimmyJam

I did find out for fact that "The Pike" ceased to exist as a through line in 1985. I thought maybe it hung on until 1986 but it didnt. Over a year span, Benwood went from a somewhat active hub to virtually non-existant. Benwood based crews had to bump down to New Martinsville, Fairmont, Grafton or even Parkersburg WV. The squeeze was on even more when the FM&P(The Sheepskin) was abandoned after a huge washout just above Morgantown WV several years later.

Back to the W&P though, its great to see daily activity on that line again. The Interchange at Bruceton with the W&LE looks better than it did 30 years ago when there was daily activity on it. The B&0 used to set off Bi-Levels there to send over to Rook Yard to have unloaded. Anybody remember the old ramp at Rook ?

Date: 09/25/08 10:35
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: jrevans

JimmyJam Wrote:
> I did find out for fact that "The Pike" ceased to
> exist as a through line in 1985. I thought maybe
> it hung on until 1986 but it didnt.

Great discussion guys. I was born and raised in Washington, PA so I have fond memories of the line. I am almost positive that the W&P wasn't severed until 1986. I was a senior in Trinity, (graduated in 1986) and would watch many long, through freights from the school. My friends would laugh and call me "choo-choo charlie" as when I heard a train, I would go to the window to sharpen my pencil. :) The neatest sight that I saw once was a rail train winding through the trestle down there. Amazing to see the rail bend so much.

Anyways, I don't have crap in the way of pictures. I may have some CSX locals on VHS from 1985 or 1986, but nothing digital, or even that I may be able to find. (I wonder if the tapes would still play?) I caught my first cab ride in the summer of 1985 down on the Tylerdale Connecting Railway near Molib. There were a bunch (five?) four axle EMDs and the crew saw me there by my motorcycle with a scanner and called me aboard. Let my blow the horn if I recall. I had a boombox with me and actually recorded the event on cassette, but have never listened to it.... We ran down to Jessop (the steps scraped the asphalt by the walkway) to switch some cars out of Findlay Clay. They offered for me to ride back up with them to the main line (they were going to Eat n' Park) but I didn't want to leave my motorcycle there on Green Street. In retrospect, I should have taken the ride. :(

I worked two summers at Jessop (86/87) during college and checked out all of the mill trackage. Jessop stopped using rail service after B&O hit them with a big bill for re-railing locos after a derailment in house, but once a year they cleaned the tracks up in case there was a truckers strike.

I remember eating at the old McDonalds on Chestnut and seeing long trains go by. Especially neat were the MOW hopper trains with the XXX painted hoppers. I also recall crews parking their train at the signal by Pizza hut on a Sunday to watch Steelers games (they had a portable TV) and eat Pizza.

Lots of memories of riding on I-70 to Ogelbay Park and seeing trains along the way on the highway. It's hard to believe that CSX cut the line off, but they did.

I would love to see your pictures, but I'm a legacy TO member and can only see thumbnails of them. :(

Do you have a link to the other W&P thread?

Date: 09/25/08 10:46
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: DJ-12

jrevans Wrote:

> offered for me to ride back up with them to the
> main line (they were going to Eat n' Park) but I
> didn't want to leave my motorcycle there on Green
> Street. In retrospect, I should have taken the
> ride. :(
I suspect if you'd left you motorcycle down there you would have had to walk home. Things seem to have a way of up and disappearing in that part of town.

Date: 09/26/08 07:42
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: chichi41

In regards to the spur to the Bailey Mine. There was actually some grading for this branch completed but there was never any rail laid. If you look closely at Google Earth you can see this grade running along the west side of Route 519. It is very easy to see between Interstate 70 and US Route 40.
Ron Wilson

Date: 09/26/08 08:13
Nah, that's an old line
Author: jrevans

That was actually a really old line.

I have a great book titled "The Feet on the Panhandle" (about the Waynesburg and Washington Railroad) and it has a nice little section on local rail history.

The line in question was indeed the "Chartiers Southern" with an alignment from starting at VanEman (on the former Chartiers Valley RR) through Eighty Four, to Glyde (where the tunnel is) down to the PRR Marianna Branch.

The book states that the B&O was supposed to have owned, and maybe built the Chartiers Southern from Eighty Four to Marianna, even though no physical connection existed in between the two railroads. The book says that the line was started South from VanEman in 1908.

I grew up in Washington and remember driving along side of the ROW on Route 519, from I-70 down to Route 40 where the grade was quite evident. The bridge abutments were even put in, but the track was never laid. I ventured close to the portal on the South side, but never saw anything. There was a pond there at the South portal and rumor has it that the tunnel had caved in and was partially flooded.

As stated in the book, this unfinished ROW was sold to the Monongahela Railroad on Feb 28, 1929 (along with the other C.S. lines). I wonder if this ROW was passed to Conrail and now owned by NS? That'd be interesting....

Here's a thread about this line:

Date: 09/26/08 08:27
Re: Nah, that's an old line
Author: rchgck

Hi guys.

I have more to post but will be busy most of today.

Jim, Ron, I will be in contact.

Somewhere I have a newspaper article on the Chartiers Southern.

There was a map recently on ebay.


I don't know if you guys know about Penn Pilot, but if you don't, you should check it out.

You can find a steamer on the W&P near Claysville.


There is also some good info on The Pike here.




Date: 09/26/08 09:30
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: JimmyJam

The Pike did in fact cease as a through line in Nov of 85. This came from Glenwood's retired Trainmaster who in fact was the Conductor on the OV33/34 runs at the time. I remember there was a diner that the crews used to love to eat at less than a half mile east of the Old Station in Washington. In fact it was at the West End of the Siding. I believe the diner is long gone though, just like the siding itself.

Mike's pic of that AVRR train in Washington is certainly a rarity as far as train size goes. On occasion it may leave Glenwood with 30-40 cars but that includes cars for Galvtech just across the river from Glenwood. From what I understand, the yard crews make the run to Galvtech now more often than not.

Another little known fact was if and when Glenwood Yard was full, they would stage thru freights for The Pike down on the old Pittsburgh Branch going into downtown Pittsburgh. Some of the old Road Trains that ran over the Pike had some interesting names. " The Steel" and the "Bottle Run" were thru freights to Benwood then you had the Tylerdale Turn and the Elm Grove Switcher. Occasionally the Tylerdale Turn would get sent thru to Benwood if there were too many cars for "The Bottler" to handle. It also did all the Interchange work along the way at Bruceton and Montoursville plus its usually sizeable at the time set-offs and fillouts for Washington itself and Tylerdale. The Elm Grove Switcher was a Mine Run that ceased running in the mid 70s when the Mine in Elm Grove closed.

Date: 09/26/08 11:17
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: DJ-12

Galvtech work is handled either by AVR-1 or AVR-3 depending upon whats going on on a given day. In either case, this is usually done with a quick run across the river and back to the yard in the morning before AVR-3 heads towards Washington. This avoids having to drag extra cars to Washington and back unnecessarily. Regular carload interchange with the W&LE at Bruceton, is normally handled by AVR-3, with AVR-1 using the 6 axle power handling the unit train moves to Bruceton and occasionally heavy moves of regular freight that would put AVR-3 over tonnage up Streets Run Grade.

Date: 09/26/08 11:34
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: rchgck

Date: 09/26/08 11:36
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: jrevans

JimmyJam Wrote:
> The Pike did in fact cease as a through line in
> Nov of 85. This came from Glenwood's retired
> Trainmaster who in fact was the Conductor on the
> OV33/34 runs at the time. I remember there was a
> diner that the crews used to love to eat at less
> than a half mile east of the Old Station in
> Washington. In fact it was at the West End of the
> Siding. I believe the diner is long gone though,
> just like the siding itself.

Good information. The timeline seems about right.
I also seem to recall that they stopped running
through trains before the line was ripped apart.
Do you have any info about that, or did they run
the trains up to the time when they ripped up the

I wonder if the restaurant was the Kozy Korner, located
on Maiden Street. That's by the West end of where
the long siding used to be, just down the hill from
the car wash. I used to love looking at the cool
turnout there, as it was on a curve. I think that
my parents ate at the KK on their wedding night, but
that restaurant is no more.

> Another little known fact was if and when Glenwood
> Yard was full, they would stage thru freights for
> The Pike down on the old Pittsburgh Branch going
> into downtown Pittsburgh. Some of the old Road
> Trains that ran over the Pike had some interesting
> names. " The Steel" and the "Bottle Run" were thru
> freights to Benwood then you had the Tylerdale
> Turn and the Elm Grove Switcher. Occasionally the
> Tylerdale Turn would get sent thru to Benwood if
> there were too many cars for "The Bottler" to
> handle. It also did all the Interchange work along
> the way at Bruceton and Montoursville plus its
> usually sizeable at the time set-offs and fillouts
> for Washington itself and Tylerdale. The Elm Grove
> Switcher was a Mine Run that ceased running in the
> mid 70s when the Mine in Elm Grove closed.

Although I was young, I remember passing some small
mines in WV, close to Elm Grove, when riding on the
Chessie Steam Special. In Washington, there was a
lot of freight traffic for all of the glass plants
that used to be located there. I remember lots of
tracks located right by the station in Washington.
I think that the PRR line served the same glass plant
from the bottom of the hill, by the W&J field. I
remember seeing a few PC lettered Conrail trains
servicing the Judson Wiley facility near the W&W

Hard to believe all of that trackage is gone now.


Date: 09/26/08 11:53
Re: B&O- Wheeling Pittsburgh Sub - The Pike
Author: rchgck

Some photos on the W&P.





I wish there were more of these around.

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