South Cumberland/B163

South Cumberland/B163

South Cumberland area

1908 and 2012 topo maps

South Cumberland was and is a neighborhood in Cumberland through which the WM mainline ran. The WM main came out of Welton Tunnel and crossed the Potomac River for the 8th time before again crossing the C&O Canal at the Hagerstown/Elkins Division marker. From that point the WM ran past homes as it crossed Virginia Ave. and River Ave. Just past River Ave. The WM served Brocks Salvage Yard before crossing the C&O Canal again. After crossing the canal the WM crossed back over the Potomac River on the 9th bridge before it disappeared into Knobley Tunnel. This section of track west of River Ave. was saved during abandoment to reach the salvage yard here. This went on up untill I believe 1997 when the salvage yard closed. In 1998 the tracks were pulled up from Maryland Jct. through Knobley Tunnel, across the Potomac and up to River Avenue. A new road (Canal Parkway) was constructed just to the west of River Ave. and the right of way was bulldozed away.

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Down in the Brock's Salvage Yard

On the day of the "Big Hook", twin GP40-2's idle on the Virginia Avenue Industrial Track "elephant Style"; and you can see how the track went upgrade into Brock's Salvage. Second photo is from the headend of the Ridgely Switcher, looking down the Virginia Ave. Industrial Track towards the WM main on June 13, 1989. This track connected from the main to Brock's Salvage Co., today, you can't even tell there was a track here.(Brian Paulus)

The WM right-of-way before and after construction of the Canal Parkway. This was a new road that called for removal of the WM tracks and right-of-way. The right-of-way was bulldozed aside becuase the City of Cumberland didn't want a railroad crossing to deal with. (1/11/97 and 4/26/01)

A WM train stops to do some switching at the salvage yard in South Cumberland. In 1992, this was the end of the track. The train in the previous photo was at this location. The track to the right of the locomotive was still intact although hidden by the tall grass. When this section of the WM was still in use as an industrial spur, CSX train would pull down to here and back into the salvage yard by using the wye here. After picking up the cars or setting off the train would pull out and use the western leg of the wye on it's way back to Cumberland.

Here is a photo of the former Virginia Avenue Station in South Cumberland in 1917. (thanks to Mike Yetter and Warren hart for photos) The station was the same design as WM's Hancock Station. Between River Ave. and Virginia Ave. a building for a petroleum company was constructed in the late 1980's directly on top of the former WM right-of-way in South Cumberland at the site of the station. However from Virginia Ave. east, the WM right-of-way is open and runs thru the back yards of nearby homes. (2003)

story from a railfan

Just a few years back there was a rumor that surfaced saying that Knobmount was going to reopen along with Welton Tunnel, just like it was from May 75 to Jan 76; however, the Cumberland Mayor said "There will be no more trains through South Cumberland again!", and down the tubes that went.

Looking west from Virginia Avenue crossing towards River Ave. And Knobley Tunnel. This photo was taken just days after the first rails were lifted in 1976. Notice were the rails were left in and two crossties forming an "X" mark the end of track. The rails were also left in at the crossing. The track removal work was done during the week and Don could only get out to photograph on the weekends. (1976, Don Biggs photo)

To the east on the WM, the railroad once crossed the C&0 Canal again on this bridge.

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