Big Spring/B99.8

Big Spring/B99.8

The Western Maryland Railroad extended its tracks to Big Spring in 1892. Samuel P Angle took advantage of the railroad and built a grain elevator next to the tracks the same year. In 1895 Angle brother William Harrison purchased the elevator. Eventually Williams son Guy took over operation of the elevator, which housed a general store and post office.

Big Spring/Clear Spring Station was built in 1892-93 but was referred to as Clear Spring Station by the railroad. The original Clear Spring Station was destroyed by fire in 1929. On August 8, 1929 the name was finally changed to Big Spring Station. In the 1940's the operators office was built by the railroad.

The train-order agent controlled a set of crossovers here up until the double track was reduced to single track from Hagerstown to Big Pool. Big Spring is also the division point for the "Pool" and "Gate" blocks today under CSX operation. The block signs are here along the tracks right next to the abandoned WM office which will soon be gone if not already.

(thanks to Mike Yetter for the info)

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WM's Big Spring Train-Order Office and Agent Office while still in operation. (Ray Wongus Collection of the WMRHS)

A few shots at Big Spring in 1977, first a look at the front of the office when it was still being used, notice the porta-jon. The semaphore still stands high and did long after the office was closed. Some railfan must have it now. Other photo shows a coal train lead by B&O jeep 6576 with WM Chessie painted caboose 1872 bringing up the rear. (All photos 1977 by Don Biggs)

CSX D721 passes the abandoned Big Spring train order office as it enters the "pool" block.

Looking inside at the operators desk and freight shed at Big Spring. (Feb. 2002)

The first photo shows the double track still in as well as the crossovers at Big Spring. When this photo was taken the westbound main track had been downgraded to empty hopper storage. Second photo is of CSX coal train V810-26 enters the "gate" block passing through Big Spring. By the time this photo was taken Big Spring had been single track for years. (June 1998)

A coal train with pushers passes by the quiet town of Big Spring. This is a rare move by CSX to have pushers on the WM. They would normally put enough power on the head end at Cumberland. (11-7-98)

CSX stack train Q016 bound for Chamberburg, PA on the WM Lurgan Sub speeds up the slight grade away from the Potomac River and Four Locks on the C&O Canal. The train is passing the former mill at Big Spring on a rainy December 31, 2018 at 1116 am. The photo is slightly blurred as the train is running about 50 mph and the roads were just too wet to get ahead of it by the time I got towards Ashton Road so I gave up the chase and returned to McCoy's Ferry for CSX D720.

West of Big Spring the WM crosses Four Locks Road and here at Hassat Road on 2 large concrete arches and fills. As my family and I are waiting for the train we have a pickup just pull up and stop just as the train crosses the fill heading westbound towards Big Spring. CSX train Q016 on January 26, 2019 at 1138 am.

Stories from Railfans

�In September of 1980 C&O 614 had just had her initial restoration to service completed in the Hagerstown roundhouse and was dispatched west to Williamsport on a break in run. 614 was to be added to the head end of a coal train at Williamsport. The timing was poor since the helper had just gone up the hill with another train so it was decided to run 614 lite west for a longer test run. At some point 614 would return to Williamsport and the coal train. I was following 614 with a bunch of tools in my pickup as a chase truck. When an inspection was done in front of the Big Spring office it was discovered that a cylinder cock was damaged on the right side of the engine. While we were fixing the cylinder cock 614 sat by the office and the little community was dark while everyone slept. After the repair 614 whistled off for Williamsport and with cylinder cocks roaring marched out of town. I was left standing on the ground with the another crew member and watched as every light in town suddenly came on. I will never forget 614 sitting by the little office with the signal hovering over her.�, John Bohon

Above are two pictures of an O scale model of the Big Spring train order office. David Eisinger built this sometime in the 1980,s. He measured the entire structure and photographed it inside and out. He then created a scale drawing of it and built the model.

The real structure measured 32'-3" long by 12'-4" deep. It had a sister office at Security, on the East Sub.

David Eisinger wrote about a visit to Big Spring, "As a side story, as I was measuring and sketching the building the locals that lived in the big house directly behind the train order office came over to me. They asked me what I was doing. I told them I was taking measurements to build a model of it. they were disapointed as they where hoping I was from the railroad and was going to paint it. They then invited me in their house for lunch. At this time the building still had its BIG SPRING signs on both ends. I told then I was suprise that no one had taken them by now. Their responce was, "why would anyone want them?"", David Eisinger

The Clear Spring passenger station pictured here in 1917. It looks as if the WM Train-Order Office was built on top of the old Clear Spring station site. Third photo is the old Clear Spring Freight Station.

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