Cumberland Terminal Subdivision

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The Amtrak Capitol Limited passes through Cumberland Yard on its way to Washington, D.C. In the background are CSX freight trains. On the left is Mexico Tower, a closed interlocking tower.
CSX Locomotive waiting at the Cumberland Terminal

The Cumberland Terminal Subdivision is a railroad line owned and operated by CSX Transportation in the Cumberland, Maryland area. The line centers on the Cumberland rail yard and is a junction with three other subdivisions.

The line was built by the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road (B&O) in the 1850s as part of its original main line, known then as the "West End." To the east it connects with the Cumberland Subdivision leading to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. To the west it joins the Keystone Subdivision heading towards Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To the southwest it joins the Mountain Subdivision leading to Grafton, West Virginia.[1]

Yard and shop facilities[edit]

The Cumberland rail yard complex includes a large classification yard and an engine shop.[2] The B&O opened its Westward Transportation Yard in Cumberland in 1960. The yard is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) long and occupies 95 acres (0.38 km2). It includes an 8 track receiving yard, a 33 track hump classification yard with automatic retarders and switching, car inspection and repair facilities, and other support buildings. CSX converted the yard to remote operation in 2004, and continues to classify 1,000 to 1,400 cars per day, as of 2010.[3]

Passenger stations[edit]

Queen City Hotel in 1970, shortly before its demolition.

The B&O built a large passenger station in Cumberland, the Queen City Hotel, in 1871, shortly after completion of a rail line to Pittsburgh. Passenger traffic on the line declined in the mid-20th century, and the station was demolished in 1972.[4] Today the smaller Amtrak depot is located on the line, in the downtown area west of the yard.

CSX acquisition[edit]

During the 1970s the B&O was controlled by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, and the two companies (along with the Western Maryland Railway) operated under the single corporate identify of the Chessie System. The Western Maryland Railway once had two extensive yards in the Cumberland area but these were phased out in favor of the ex B&O Cumberland Terminal. The Chessie companies were merged into CSX in 1987.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CSX Transportation, Baltimore, MD. "Cumberland Terminal Subdivision." Northern Region, Baltimore Division, Timetable No. 4. Effective 2005-01-01.
  2. ^ mtnsub.org. "Cumberland Terminal." Railfanning the B&O Around Cumberland, MD. Accessed 2010-08-14.
  3. ^ CSX Transportation (2010). "Cumberland achieves milestone." CSX origins (newsletter). Baltimore Division, Halethorpe, MD. September 2010.
  4. ^ Newell, Dianne (1975). The Failure to Preserve the Queen City Hotel, Cumberland, Maryland. Washington, D.C.: Preservation Press, National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States.
  5. ^ CSX Transportation. "Our Evolution and History." Interactive timeline. Accessed 2012-12-02.

External links[edit]