ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING ON NOV. 18 will be held at 7 PM in the board room on the second floor of the Allegany Museum on the corner of Pershing and South Mechanic streets in Cumberland MD.

Since this event is the last public business meeting of the year, chapter officers and committee chairmen will present final reports on their activities. The admission of any new members will be considered, and dues payments for 2021 will be received from current members. A review of the second year of operation for the Cumberland Railroad Museum will be given. Preliminary plans for next year will be discussed, and monthly meeting dates will be selected. The major item of business will be the election of officers and directors who will serve next year. All WM Chapter members are urged to attend this meeting.

Chapter Mtg – Oct 21

OCT. 21 SOCIAL MEETING PROGRAM of the WM Chapter NRHS will be held at 7 PM in the Cumberland Railroad Museum at 17 Howard Street, among the shops at Canal Place. Parking is available in the lot along Howard Street beneath the I-68 bridge north of Footer’s Dye Works building. The meeting is open to the public at no charge. Meeting Program Chairman Jeff Geiger has selected to show the thirty-minute video, Memories of the Western Maryland: Steam & Diesel. This 1992 video program, produced by Marc S. Balkin of New Medford, New Jersey, is based on color archival film with synchronized sound, maps and location graphics. The Western Maryland Railway was famous for huge steam locomotives, streamlined 6 diesel F-units, and spectacular scenery. This nostalgic full-color portrait of the rail line in its heyday offers all three in abundance. The program opens with an exciting showcase of steam locomotives on the Elkins branch, featuring heavy coal trains going up the 3-percent Black Fork Grade, with motive power provided by as many as seven steam locomotives! Viewers will also see the huge 2-8-0 Consolidation, 2-10-0 Decapods, and 4- 6-6-4 Challengers that muscled tonnage over the Allegheny Mountains. Diesel power is represented by a parade of F-units hauling freight trains from Cumberland to Connellsville. Many famous WM locations are viewed, including Salisbury Viaduct spanning the Cassellman River valley, Deal at the Eastern Continental Divide, Helmstetter’s Curve rounding the Cash Valley, and the impressive Cumberland Narrows. Memorable footage includes pacing cinematography of a massive Challenger steam locomotive operating on adjacent double track. Captured are scenes of the locomotive engineer at the throttle as he intently controls the iron horse’s climb up the long, steep mountain grade. Jeff Geiger says the selection of the meeting’s second feature will be determined by the audience. Several new video programs have been recently acquired, and attendees at this meeting may look through the video collection and see which ones may be interesting to them. The one chosen by popular demand will be shown during the second part of this month’s social meeting.

Chapter Mtg – Sept 16, 2020

SEPT. 16 SOCIAL MEETING of the WM Chapter NRHS will be held at 7 PM in the Cumberland Railroad Museum at 17 Howard Street among the shops at Canal Place. Parking is available in the lot along Howard Street beneath the Interstate Route 68 bridge north of Footer’s Dye Works building.

The meeting is open to the public at no charge.  Meeting Program Chairman Jeff Geiger has chosen to show the seventy-minute video, Western Maryland : “End of an Era,” on the 55-inch , 4K Ultra HD video screen mounted on the west wall of the railroad museum. Recently, the audio has been augmented with the addition of a Bose sound system that provides a richer, wider audio spectrum.

In the mid-1970s, renowned railroad cinematographer Emery Gulash brought his 16mm movie camera to the Allegheny Mountains of northeastern  West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania, and lovingly photographed the Western Maryland Railway before its total absorption by the B&O Railroad and Chessie System. Seen here is mountain railroading in the East at its best.

Chapter Mtg – Wednesday, June 17, 2020

B&O steam and early diesel-powered trains from the mid-1950s and 160s will be seen in action during the monthly meeting of the Western Maryland Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, on Wednesday, June 17, at 7 p.m. in the Cumberland Railroad Museum among the shops at Canal Place, 17 Howard St. The event is free and open to the public.

The hour-long video program, “B&O odyssey,” was filmed between 1954 and 1964 by renowned railroad cinematographer Emery Gulash. Included are scenes of massive steam engines and streamlined diesel locomotives moving trains on tracks of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Ohio and western Pennsylvania. A 27-minute video, “Altoona at Work,” focuses on how thousands of workers built and repaired steam engines, electric locomotives and railcars for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The Western Maryland Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered in 1977 to promote the appreciation of rail trans­portation and its heritage. The chapter is especially focused on the history of railroads and rail transit lines that have existed in Western Maryland and nearby parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Members usually meet on the third Wednes­day of each month, and receive a monthly newsletter with information about chapter activities, railroad news and local railroad history.