A Day on the Walkersville Southern
of sunshine and wonderfully moderate temperatures combined to make the
Division's outing on the Walkersville Southern Railroad Sunday, October
17th, a huge success.
about 3 pm, the Division was treated to a guided tour of the car yard.
There we got to see a variety of rolling stock in various stages of
restoration. Most of the cars were privately owned, and were kept at
the Walkersville Southern RR yard in return for allowing the
Walkersville Southern to use them.
of the yard tour included climbing on and walking through a heavyweight
parlor car with sleeping roomettes, and a parlor area, all in
unrestored condition as it existed in perhaps the 1930's. We also
walked through a vintage cupola caboose in outstanding condition.
were several ex-Long Island Rail Road p-54 passenger cars in the yard.
One was down to the frame, while another was completely restored and
turned into a dining car. The diesel house had two small
switching diesels undergoing repair/restoration. A little after 4
pm, the train returned from its last excursion, and we all boarded. The
train consisted of a small switching diesel, a flat car converted to an
outdoor observation car with bench seating and a roof, two restored
ex-Long Island p-54 passenger cars, and a caboose.
most of the Division preferred the open flat car, several of the
members and guests rode in the p-54s. And by doing so, they got a frst
hand accounting of the infamous p-54 "ping-pong" cars by a former Long
Island Railroad conductor, Dennis Meany. While Dennis is an NMRA member
who lives in Gettysburg, he is often seen at Potomac Division open
houses, and is no stranger to our Division.
that Sunday, not only did Dennis show up, but he also wore his official
Long Island Railroad conductor's uniform, complete with hat! During
theride, he provided tales about the p-54 cars, such as why riders
would pull the shades down all the time, because the windows were made
of plain glass, and kids would throw rocks at the train as it traveled
between the Long Island suburbs and NYC. He also recalled how the steam
pipes used to heat in the cars would leak, hissing steam into the cars.
Because the steam was warm, it would rise to the top (roof) of the
cars. However, because the car roofs were not insulated, the steam
would then condense, causing it to "rain" inside the cars. He recalled
how women would get on the trains with perfectly styled hairdos, only
to depart at the end of the ride with their hairdos in shambles.
trip consisted of a slow, leisurely ride south down the old
Pennsylvania tracks towards Frederick. As we would come to a road
crossing, a volunteer would already be there and would stop traffic so
the train could cross. One picturesque spot was where we cross over the
trestle at the Monocacy river. Canoers would wave to the train as it
went over. And of course, we all waved back! The end of the line is
where Route 26 branches off of Route 15 and heads east to Ceresville.
At that point, the tracks are paved over.
train came to a stop, then backed up and we all headed back to
Walkersville. The total trip took about 1 hour and 15 minutes, and
everyone seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed the trip.