Western Maryland - East Subdivision
O Scale (2-rail) 31 X 26 ft., DCC operated layout represents a section
of the Western Maryland’s East Subdivision, between Highfield, MD and
Westminster, MD. Approximately 2/3 of the layout currently has scenery.
The era modeled is 1952/1953. The focal point of the layout is Union
Bridge, MD where the Western Maryland had a large car shop, and the
Lehigh Portland Cement Co. had (and still has) a large cement plant.
Union Bridge was also the site of several farming related businesses.
During operating sessions, one traveling switcher crew runs in the
morning from Hagerstown staging through Thurmont to Union Bridge. After
the crew completes switching, in Union Bridge, they return to
Hagerstown. A second traveling switcher crew runs in the afternoon from
Baltimore staging through Westminster to Union Bridge. After they
complete switching, they return to Baltimore. Both crews have the
option of switching the industries in Thurmont or Westminster either on
their run to Union Bridge or on their return to their respective
terminals. Depending on their experience, the traveling switcher crews
may be given Form 19 train orders requiring that they provide clearance
at certain times for as many as five through freights held in staging
tracks beneath the layout Several years ago, when the Soundtraxx
Tsunami HO (1 amp} decoders became available, I installed in the steam
locomotives high efficiency, low amperage motors and replaced the old
Soundtraxx decoders with Tsunami decoders. I was able to place the
decoders and speakers in the boilers so that the sound comes out of the
smokestack, not the tender. I have programmed the decoders so that the
exhaust volume is highest when climbing grades or under load, and
lowest when running downgrade.