[N&W] Re: Hagerstown

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 6 22:52:25 EDT 2004

A good start would be to check out Mason Cooper's book on the Shenandoah 
Valley RR.  You will get a good look at what train consists were from the 
earliest days right up to the 1990's.  Hagerstown would be an interesting 
junction to model.  In the days before the Pennsy had to divest itself of 
its 33% ownership of N&W (a condition of the N&W, NKP, WAB merger) most 
traffic was interchanged with Pennsy.  As I recall, the amount interchanged 
with the WM and the B&O at Shenandoah Jct. increased.

Shomo yard was and is of modest size.  It was always switched by PRR 
locomotives, but the expenses were split between the two railroads.  Until 
recent years a small car repair facility was part of the yard.  At one time 
there was also an icing facility for reefers.  At the far north end of the 
yard was a small 3 stall engine house.  It was built in roundhouse 
configuration, but no turntable existed.  It sat in the middle of a wye 
which was used to turn engines.  There was a large concrete coaling tower 
and a large water tower.  The water was delivered to engines via 
standpipes.  Father north toward downtown Hagerstown was the passenger 
station, originally built by the Cumberland Valley RR.  At least in my 
lifetime, the passenger trains were run throughs with only a change of 
motive power. Up until 1957, the N&W postal-baggage was cut out in 
Hagerstown, and parked on a siding right in front of the station.  It laid 
over 24 hours until heading south the next night. There were two through 
tracks with the siding between them. About '57 or '58, the tracks were 
moved about 200 ft. west of the station and elevated to eliminate grade 
crossings.  The station remained open but an elevated platform with baggage 
elevator was built.  That is still there after all these years, but the 
station was demolished in the 1970's.  It closed after passenger service 
ended in 1962.  The freight station, used by both roads, sat two blocks 
north of the passenger station.

.  Depending on the time period you want to model you probably know by now 
what N&W power you will need.  However, in steam days, Pennsy ran 2-10-0's 
and 2-8-2's in freight service.  I think a K-4 was used for passenger 
service.  However I do have a pic of an E-6 Atlantic in Hagerstown.  A B-6 
0-6-0 worked the passenger station and did chores around town, but I think 
the larger power worked the yard.  For the diesel era, most of the common 
EMD and Alco products of both roads could be seen in Hagerstown.  I recall 
seeing the southbound passenger train come in from Harrisburg one evening 
in 1960 with a single unit, red Alco PA.  I don't recall helpers on N&W 
during steam days.  The freights were relatively short by today's 
standards, but boy, did they run fast!  The 1960's brought a lot of unit 
coal trains on the scene, with frequent helpers.  This was not so much for 
horsepower needs, but to prevent slack action from pulling the trains 
apart.  The Shenandoah Division has a sawtooth profile, and slack would run 
in and out of lengthy trains breaking knuckles.  Some years ago, there was 
a feature in Model Railroader on an N scale layout representing PRR's 
Cumberland Valley line.  It had a representation of the N&W connection, 
with some N&W motive power included.    I hope all this info is enough to 
get you interested in using this as your layout theme.

Rick Morrison

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