Salisbury Viaduct
A loaded coal train is seen coming off of the branch from Salisbury Junction. To see the entire sequence involving this drag and the branch click to the Salisbury Junction, Branch and Mine pages NOW.

Our drag is in "Run 8" pulling as hard as possible, because the balance of its 80 loaded hoppers are still ascending the 2% grade on the Salisbury Branch.

This shot was taken from the historic farm road bridge over the main. The bridge which can be seen in photos below, was a railroad span built by the Bollman Bridge Company in the 1800s. It once carried trains of the B&O over Wills Creek, in Hyndman PA on the other side of the mountains. Until recently it carried cars over the former B&O main.
On a fall day in the early 90s, before the power line maintenance crew cut down the trees along the hillside, R216 swings under the Bollman bridge as it approaches Salisbury Junction.
On a hot summer day in the summer of 1996, an eastbound drag sweeps up the hill towards Meyersdale.
In a scene reminiscent of the rolling mainlines of the L&N, a gray C-30-7 coasts downgrade under the Bollman Bridge. Within a few years this classic span will probably be gone. Its tonnage rating has been reduced several times over the last few years and it is in disrepair so it has been closed to traffic. The railroad will also need more clearance if they intend to run the high cube, domestic stack trains that they want to.
Just after passing under the farm bridge trains sweep around a long curve and pass under the Western Maryland Railway's long trestle over the Casselman river valley. Believe it or not, this huge trestle was not the WM's longest, that honor goes to the Spring Garden Bridge, a low pile trestle near Baltimore. Today the only traffic over this high bridge is railfans, hikers, and bikers using the "Allegheny Highlands" Rails to Trails path.
In this scene we see our coal drag again as it notches down and starts to coast towards the river valley below. In a few miles the train will reach Yoder and Garrett, where the power will do the run around and the train will wait for a pusher to arrive. Once ready the drag will come back up the hill and grind east over Sand Patch.
At the apex of this long sweeping curve eastbound trains are now fully entrenched on the final grade of the west slope. Trains leave the banks of the Cassellman near the hill in the background and begin to climb a steady, steep 1.2 to 1.6 percent grade to reach the Flaugherty Creek valley and Sand Patch Summit. In the early afternoon one can find a string of eastbounds that can keep the hill busy until sundown. Here we see the first of six eastbounds on this September day in 1991. The Chessie GP40-2 leads three other units pulling "Jet" train R136 over the hill.
On a more recent day, a pair of widecabs descend the grade with the counterpart train; Q135.
BACK GO: < EASTWEST > Copyright 2001
Iron Horse America