Meyersdale in Somerset County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Western Maryland Railway
Financier George Gould purchased the Western Maryland as part of a transcontinental railroad scheme that would stretch from Baltimore to San Francisco. Gould extended the WM west to Cumberland, but went bankrupt, and his grand dream died. New management opened the Connellsville Extension in 1912 to connect with the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, and to move traffic to the eastern seaboard.
Construction of the 86-mile line cost nearly 12 million dollars and used the latest technology of the day, which included concrete, steel, dynamite, compressed air, and electricity.
The double-tracked Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which ran parallel to the WM, gained control of it in the 1920s. But because of legal considerations the WM remained independent. Eventually the Chessie System controlled the line, and abandoned it in 1975.
Erected by Great Allegheny Passage.
Location. 39° 48.995′ N, 79° 1.264′ W. Marker is in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, in Somerset County. Marker can be reached from Main Street. Touch for map. The marker is on the north side of the historic Western Maryland Railway Station. Marker is at or near this postal address: 529 Main Street, Meyersdale PA 15552, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Meyersdale Centennial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lest We Forget (approx. 0.3 miles away); Flora Black (approx. 2.9 miles away); T/Sgt. Melvin F. Wooten (approx. 5.2 miles away); General Robert Philson (approx. 8 miles away); Berlin (approx. 8 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 8 miles away); John Nelson Davis (approx. 8½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Meyersdale.
More about this marker. The marker is sponsored by: The Allegheny Trail Alliance, Somerset County, National Park Service.
On the right side of the marker is a set of images. The upper photograph shows "A Western Maryland Railway steam engine approaches the Eastern Continental Divide near Deal, Pennsylvania."
The lower photograph shows "Modern technology in 1911 - the Harley Track Laying machine was steam-powered and self-propelled. A ten-man track gang could lay cross ties quickly for the 39-foot steel rails that were delivered to the roadbed."
The rail map on the lower right shows "The Connelsville extension was part of a well-maintained, mid-sized railroad system. The extension specialized in freight, carrying grain, coal, general merchandise and time-sensitive material from the Mid-west to the East coast."
Also see . . .
1. Western Maryland Railway. Details of the railway. (Submitted on January 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. The Historic Western Maryland Railway Station In Meyersdale. (Submitted on January 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
3. The Western Maryland Railway in the diesel era. 1991 book by Stephen J. Salamon. (Submitted on April 18, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
4. The Western Maryland Railway: Fireballs and Black Diamonds. 1992 book by Roger Cook and Karl Zimmermann. (Submitted on April 18, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
5. Western Maryland Diesel Locomotives. 1997 book by Patrick Stakem. (Submitted on April 18, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
6. The Western Maryland Railway Story: A chronicle of the first century, 1852-1952. 1952 book by by Harold A. Williams and A. Aubrey Bodine and published by the Western Maryland Railway Company. (Submitted on April 18, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
7. Western Maryland Railway Revenue Equipment: Boxcars and Refrigerator Cars. 2006 book by by William J. Oertly and D. A. McFall. (Submitted on April 18, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 12, 2008. This page has been viewed 1,280 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 12, 2008. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.