Havin Fun with Real Trains on the Western Maryland Scenic

Written by Cale Leiphart on Nov 07, 2009 in - 0 Comments

It's way too quiet here lately. I don't know what the other RB Bloggers excuse are but I've been prepping for two upcoming shows (more on that later), though I did recently have the opportunity to take a trip on the Western Maryland Scenic Railway.

Making angry noises and belching smoke #734 charges up the hill west bound from Brush Tunnel.

The trip was a Photo Freight Special to benefit the John Helmstetter Farm Fund. For over a century, the Helmstetter family has farmed the land on Cash Valley Road near Cumberland, Maryland. John Helmstetter is the third generation of the family to operate the farm. The centerpiece of the farm was the large barn located near the Western Maryland Railway's famous Helmstetters Curve. The barn has been featured in countless photos taken from the early days of steam through recent railfan specials. On July 9, 2009, a fire swept through the historic structure. Fourteen cows and John's best friend, his border collie Teddy, perished in the blaze. John was injured trying to save his animals. Friends of John Helmstetter have established the John Helmstetter Farm Fund to serve as a central point for collecting donations and organizing fund-raising events to aid John in getting back on his feet. To date the fund has raised over $40,000 and progress on a beautiful new barn is already uderway.

Western Maryland Scenic's Engine #734 was the star of the show pulling a 1950's period freight train past scenic photo locales for railfans delight. The day even included some not often seen Pusher Service action. I'm a big fan of the former Western Maryland Railway and a steam nut so this was a trip I couldn't miss. The fall foliage was dropping fast but still quite beautiful, the weather was perfect, and #734 was earning her name "Mountain Thunder" as she stormed up the hill. What does this all have to do with LEGO you ask? Well I do plan to model #734 at some point.Laughing

You can see more of my photos from the trip on my Flickr Page.


About the Author


Cale Leiphart lives in York Pennsylvania and is a veteran LEGO steam builder and founding member of the Pennsylvania LEGO Users Group. His main interest is modeling steam era railroads in the North Eastern US, in particular those local to his home town of York. Outside of LEGO and trains he enjoys video games, old cars, and collecting farm toys.


You must be logged in to leave a reply.   Login