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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: Mark Damien on February 11, 2007, 02:13:54 AM



Title: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: Mark Damien on February 11, 2007, 02:13:54 AM

G'day all,

I was hoping one of you would remember the name of the Working Steam Railway[Narrow Gauge I believe, in the US], that was running tourist trips.
The town council was going to have the tracks ripped out & the purway turned into Cycle Paths & the locos as static displays. Unfortunately that's all I recall.
It was one of the threads on the old forum.
I wanted to find out what happened to it -  did it get a reprieve?.



Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: SteamGene on February 11, 2007, 09:25:28 AM
I think you mean the standard guage Scenid Western Maryland.  I rode it last year and it and the trail are at peace. 
Gene


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: jayl1 on February 11, 2007, 12:08:08 PM
Gene is correct - the Western Maryland Scenic (Cumberland to Frostburg, Maryland) was to be changed to a bike/hiking path.  They run an ex- Lake Superior & Ispaming 2-8-0 and an ex-Reading/Conrail GP30.  They also have a turntable in Frostburg.


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: SteamGene on February 11, 2007, 12:28:20 PM
It's a nice ride.  They were working on the path over the Narrows using the railroad bridge, which was double tracked so there is plenty of room for both train and bikes.   The locomotive whistles at each grade crossing where trail crosses track.  The only real problem I can see is the  tunnel, and a sign with train times could alert hikers and bikers that perhaps this is not the best time to go through the tunnel. 
BTW, while the trip begins on former Western Maryland mainline, the Frostburg end is on a former short line which actually tunneled under Frostburg.  The Frostburg turntable is an addition added by the Scenic Western Maryland. 
Gene


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: Mark Damien on February 11, 2007, 06:50:20 PM

Thanx Gene & Jayl1,

I'm so glad lunatic fringe decided to come to their senses & co-habitate. Why anyone would even consider this course of action.

I was plannig a trip over within the next two years & wanted to see it before it was converted, but it sounds as though it is safe for now.

I had a look at the site [Thanx for the name] & it looks like a lot of fun.

Sadly, Sydney's 3801 Steam loco & coaches do not have such a certain future. A private company has been maintaining & running the historical loco for the last twenty years, but the lease is up & the New South Wales Government does not want to extend it. The Erecting shed where 3801 is maintained is owned by the goverment, & is on prime land near the city, in an area that is fast being re-developed. The non profit company "3801 Limited" has lost 3801 for 2007, but is fighting on to get it back.

http://www.3801limited.com.au/helpus.htm

I can understand the private railways in the US have the right to do whatever they want with their old steam era equipment, as sad as that can be, but the railways in NSW belongs to the people of NSW -  WE paid for it after all.

I'll get off the soap box now & look forward to riding behind some US steam soon. It's gonna be great!

Best to you all.






Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: SteamGene on February 11, 2007, 09:36:34 PM
G'day, Mark.
I'm sad to hear about the problems with 3801.  One of the things that helped Scenic Western Maryland was a petition.  The logistics means that a lot of the riders will spend the night in or around Cumberland, Maryland.  The comments section of the petition made that clear.  I not only bought a ticket, but I had a motel room, had dinner and breakfast in Cumberland and lunch in Frostburg.  I'm sure many did the same thing. 
Gene


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: Mark Damien on February 11, 2007, 11:58:40 PM

Gene,

When I visited the Western Maryland Scenic Home page, & thought the ticket prices quite reasonable.
Do you know if the WMSR runs profitably or does it require donations etc to keep running?
It just seems awfully good value.
 


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: Hamish K on February 12, 2007, 05:40:58 AM
On 3801

The loco is now with the New South Rail Transport Museum and will be operating excursions in 2007. See http://www.nswrtm.org/3801/ (http://www.nswrtm.org/3801/). There was never any question of it not being preserved. The dispute is over who should operate it - I don't intend to take sides on that one.

Hamish


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: SteamGene on February 12, 2007, 03:09:15 PM
Mark,
I don't know whether the SWM is for profit or a non-profit.  I guess it wouldn't be too hard to find out.  I know the whole complex is telling the story of Cumberland as a historic part of American transportation:  National Road, first gap through the mountains into the west, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, etc.  I think it's the only place in the U.S. where you can see an interstate highway bridge pass over a canal boat basin and see the smudge of coal smoke on the modern bridge. 
Gene


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: Lee Carlson on February 12, 2007, 03:44:59 PM
Mark,

If you come all this distance to visit the Western Maryland, you'll be very close to the East Broad Top Railroad.  It is the oldest surviving narrow gauge railroad line in the U.S.  The company has been in continuous
operation since 1872 and has never been abandoned.

http://www.ebtrr.com

Lee Carlson


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: Mark Damien on February 12, 2007, 07:01:46 PM

Hamish,
That's great news. We all thought it was ending up as a static display. Unfortunately, the Erecting shop at Eveleigh might not be so lucky. We'll hope & pray for the best.

Gene,
It sounds great - I can't wait.

Lee,
East Broad Top Railroad - I'm there. My family will of course only allow me so much "Train Time", but hopefully they will succumb to it as well.

====================================

In your opinions, do you believe travelling interstate by [modern] rail is still adequate?
I don't really like Coaches & driving - well I'm sure the lines on your roads are very nice, but whiteline fever is not my idea of fun.  ;)
I visited the "Vacations by Rail site & it looks all OK, I just wondered if any of you have travelled this way?




Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: SteamGene on February 12, 2007, 07:19:18 PM
Mark,
Let me echo Lee's suggestion.  the East Broad Top is well a visit to both ride it and explore it.  If you time your visit correctly, you can ride the Western Maryland Scenic on Friday and the East Broad Top on Saturday.   Be warned that the closest motel to Orbisonnia is more than 20 miles away, but it is nice. 
Don't forget to turn east to hit Strasburg and then Railtown (?) Strasburg is in the middle of Amish country, so lots of buggies.
Gene


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: Paul W. on February 12, 2007, 07:24:46 PM
Lee is correct, the EBT is an awesome RR. Depending on how much train time you have, the Strasburg RR near Lancaster PA is a great place to spend the day. Not only can you ride the RR where all the coaches are wooden and restored beautifly, but you can cross the street and visit the RR Museum of PA, or visit the Toy Train Museum, or Choo Choo Barn which is an O guage layout which is worth the trip.
Your only problem will be deciding what to visit.

Good luck!


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: Hamish K on February 12, 2007, 07:28:54 PM
Mark

The only interstate USA train travel I have done was New York - Boston on the regional (not ACELA) service - it was a pleasant, if not particularly fast, journey along the Connecticut coast. On that experience I would certainly be willing to try AMTRAK again.

I don't know if your going to Canada - I also travelled by VIA rail between Montreal and Quebec City - again a good journey.

Hamish


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: SteamGene on February 12, 2007, 07:38:48 PM
BTW, If you have kids who know nothing of steam, I'd try Strasburg first.  followed by Steamtown (forgive the goof) and then WMS and EBT in whatever order.  There is also a trolley museum at the EBT station in Orbisonnia.  I really should ride it some day. 
You will also see some beautiful country. 
Gene


Title: Re: US Working Steam Railway turned into Cycle Way?
Post by: Mark Damien on February 12, 2007, 08:08:23 PM

Aaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
I WANNA GO NOW
NOW, NOW ,NOW ,NOW.

DON'T tell me anymore.....the anticipation will kill me.



Seriously though, I'm really going to enjoy this trip.

Thankyou for the suggestions & any more will be welcome.

I have some friends in Vancouver so will see some of Canada as well.