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Eastern Railroad Discussion > A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve


Date: 07/11/19 06:33
A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: jmbreitigan

July 1, 2019 we traveled to Grantsville, MD. to see the sights. Namely Casselmans Bridge ( Built in 1813 - 1814 to carry the National road (route 40) across the Casselman River. The 354-foot-long (108 m) stone arch bridge spans 80 feet (24 m) with a 30-foot-high (9.1 m) arch. Declared a National historical Landmark in 1964. ) We also ate at the Casselman Inn which we enjoyed. While there we traveled to Frostburg, MD. and checked out the station and turntable there used by the Western Maryland Scenic RR. Nothing going on so we decided to follow the track towards Cumberland as best we could looking for decent view points. Our first visit to the area. All I knew is there was supposed to be a "Hands on the Throttle Run" that day ( July 1 ). Roaming around we wound up at Helmsetter's Curve. We sat in the shade at the parking area for those using the Great Allegheny Passage trail. While sitting there we heard a horn blow. Too close to be CSX down in Cumberland. In a short time what I assume was the "Hands on the Throttle" train appeared. #450 was pushing what looked like several empty passenger cars towards Frostburg. Even though the sun was a little too high I got a few pictures. Not knowing where to go I figured we should wait for the train to return while trying to frame a decent shot for the return. In a little over an hour the train returned.

1. We get a friendly wave from the cab as the train goes by us on the way to Frostburg.

2. I figured basically a nose shot was best with the high sun. The Helmsetter's sign is to the right on the hillside.

3. A freshly painted HEP car I assume ? Corrections welcome.

One More Picture ............

 








Date: 07/11/19 06:37
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: jmbreitigan

5. Here is a picture of Casselman Bridge with the name sake river flowing underneath. I might add that route 40 no longer travels across it.

Thanks for looking, John




Date: 07/11/19 06:41
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: bigkidpgh

I think that the bridge is much more aesthetically pleasing than that train...... :-)



Date: 07/11/19 09:59
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: DTWilson

jmbreitigan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> 3. A freshly painted HEP car I assume ?
> Corrections welcome.
>

Correct that is the new "Generator Car" as they call it. ... Construction of the car was funded by a local bank and will soon have their logos painted on it. It has a Large Caterpillar Genset in the forward 2/3rds of the car and the rest of the car is room to haul bicycles up the mountain. The "Gen Car" makes itself well known in the train coming west with it's straight vertical exhaust. The last two weekends we sat at the curve and could hear the Genset running well before the train arrived at Helmsetter's.
Not all of the current WMSR coach fleet has generators....

Tim W.



Date: 07/11/19 11:58
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: espeefan

How steep is the grade through here?

Posted from Android



Date: 07/11/19 12:07
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: Cole42

espeefan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How steep is the grade through here?
>
> Posted from Android

Without looking it up, I want to say around 1.5%.  The ruling grade for the WM was 1.75% if I remember correctly, but that was closer to Deal and I think it was around 1.5 near the curve.



Date: 07/11/19 14:52
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: warren1977

Cole42 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> espeefan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > How steep is the grade through here?
> >
> > Posted from Android
>
> Without looking it up, I want to say around
> 1.5%.  The ruling grade for the WM was 1.75% if I
> remember correctly, but that was closer to Deal
> and I think it was around 1.5 near the curve.

Wrong, but here's a nice grade chart to clarify; 1.75% steady from Cumberland to Colmar, just east of Savage Tunnel. The 0.59% reflects the grade through the tunnel up to Deal.
There was a helper pocket at Colmar until track was removed from operation.




Date: 07/11/19 15:15
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: warren1977

jmbreitigan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> July 1, 2019 we traveled to Grantsville, MD. to
> see the sights. Namely Casselmans Bridge ( Built
> in 1813 - 1814 to carry the National road (route
> 40) across the Casselman River. The 354-foot-long
> (108 m) stone arch bridge spans 80 feet (24 m)
> with a 30-foot-high (9.1 m) arch. Declared a
> National historical Landmark in 1964. ) We also
> ate at the Casselman Inn which we enjoyed. While
> there we traveled to Frostburg, MD. and checked
> out the station and turntable there used by the
> Western Maryland Scenic RR. Nothing going on so we
> decided to follow the track towards Cumberland as
> best we could looking for decent view points. Our
> first visit to the area. All I knew is there was
> supposed to be a "Hands on the Throttle Run" that
> day ( July 1 ). Roaming around we wound up at
> Helmsetter's Curve. We sat in the shade at the
> parking area for those using the Great Allegheny
> Passage trail. While sitting there we heard a horn
> blow. Too close to be CSX down in Cumberland. In a
> short time what I assume was the "Hands on the
> Throttle" train appeared. #450 was pushing what
> looked like several empty passenger cars towards
> Frostburg. Even though the sun was a little too
> high I got a few pictures. Not knowing where to go
> I figured we should wait for the train to return
> while trying to frame a decent shot for the
> return. In a little over an hour the train
> returned.
>
> 1. We get a friendly wave from the cab as the
> train goes by us on the way to Frostburg.
>
> 2. I figured basically a nose shot was best with
> the high sun. The Helmsetter's sign is to the
> right on the hillside.
>
> 3. A freshly painted HEP car I assume ?
> Corrections welcome.
>
> One More Picture ............
>
>  
You definitely got the more significant historical object with the bridge.
What a difference in two years with the WMSR; 6/9/17 photo by WW Jenkins
And 4 years ago; 10-23-15






Date: 07/11/19 19:00
Re: A Few Photos at Helmstetter's Curve
Author: GM50

Thank you for posting the picture of the bridge. It was designed with such a high arch to accomodate future boat traffic on the proposed C&O Canal. Ground-breaking ceremonies for the both the C&O Canal and the B&O were held on the same day, July 4, 1828. Both projects encountered serious delays in their quest for Cumberland, but the B&O reached Cumberland by 1842, beating the canal by eight years, and that's as far as the canal went.

Grantsville was my hometown, and the bridge was still open to traffic when I was a boy. I remember it as a steep arch while riding over on the back of our pickup. Local lore (from my father) had it that someone drove over the bridge fast enough to leave the road surface and clear a volunteer who lay on the road as the vehicle sailed past overhead. (No, neither the driver nor the volunteer was my father ;-). 

Spruce Forest Artisan Village and Penn Alps Restaurant and Craft Shop, located at the east end of the bridge, are also worthy stops if you are in the area.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/19 19:03 by GM50.



Date: 07/12/19 04:51
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: jmbreitigan

DTWilson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jmbreitigan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> > 3. A freshly painted HEP car I assume ?
> > Corrections welcome.
> >
> > 
> Correct that is the new "Generator Car" as they
> call it. ... Construction of the car was funded by
> a local bank and will soon have their logos
> painted on it. It has a Large Caterpillar Genset
> in the forward 2/3rds of the car and the rest of
> the car is room to haul bicycles up the mountain.
> The "Gen Car" makes itself well known in the train
> coming west with it's straight vertical exhaust.
> The last two weekends we sat at the curve and
> could hear the Genset running well before the
> train arrived at Helmsetter's.
> Not all of the current WMSR coach fleet has
> generators....
>
> Tim W.

Thank you Tim for the info.
John



Date: 07/12/19 04:55
Re: A Few Photos at Helmstetter's Curve
Author: jmbreitigan

GM50 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank you for posting the picture of the bridge.
> It was designed with such a high arch to
> accomodate future boat traffic on the proposed C&O
> Canal. Ground-breaking ceremonies for the both the
> C&O Canal and the B&O were held on the same day,
> July 4, 1828. Both projects encountered serious
> delays in their quest for Cumberland, but the B&O
> reached Cumberland by 1842, beating the canal by
> eight years, and that's as far as the canal went.
>
> Grantsville was my hometown, and the bridge was
> still open to traffic when I was a boy. I remember
> it as a steep arch while riding over on the back
> of our pickup. Local lore (from my father) had it
> that someone drove over the bridge fast enough to
> leave the road surface and clear a volunteer who
> lay on the road as the vehicle sailed past
> overhead. (No, neither the driver nor the
> volunteer was my father ;-). 
>
> Spruce Forest Artisan Village and Penn Alps
> Restaurant and Craft Shop, located at the east end
> of the bridge, are also worthy stops if you are in
> the area.

We did visit Penn Alps Resturant and Spruce Forest Artisan village. Just one old home was open. We plan to return there. Also New Germany State Park is nice.
John



Date: 07/13/19 00:59
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: BrutusII

LTEX #450 ex-Amtrak, ex_OHCR or ?



Date: 07/13/19 06:21
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: espeefan

warren1977 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cole42 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > espeefan Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > How steep is the grade through here?
> > >
> > > Posted from Android
> >
> > Without looking it up, I want to say around
> > 1.5%.  The ruling grade for the WM was 1.75% if
> I
> > remember correctly, but that was closer to Deal
> > and I think it was around 1.5 near the curve.
>
> Wrong, but here's a nice grade chart to clarify;
> 1.75% steady from Cumberland to Colmar, just east
> of Savage Tunnel. The 0.59% reflects the grade
> through the tunnel up to Deal.
> There was a helper pocket at Colmar until track
> was removed from operation.

Thanks for the info!



Date: 07/13/19 21:33
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: brc600

The HEP car looks like an ex Amtrak 1400 or 1500 series MHC (Material Handling Car). Likely, it'll become a generator car.



Date: 07/13/19 21:34
Re: A Few Photos at Helmsetter's Curve
Author: brc600

BrutusII Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> LTEX #450 ex-Amtrak, ex_OHCR or ?

X-Iowa Northern F40PH converted to freight service with walkways added on the ends.



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