The B&O in Western PA, 1966

by Neal J. Conway

The following are shots taken by an unknown amateur photographer and dated 1966. These are from a large batch of slides many of which were taken in Western PA in and around Ohiopyle and Meyersdale.

The above and below are the kinds of train shots I like: lots of scenery, other vintage items and perhaps a bit of everyday life thrown in. Here we see the beginning and end of a train on the B&O main line along what is probably the Youghiogheny (Yoggaganey) River. Above is a "lash-up" of five diesels, hooked up so that one crew can contol five. It must have been a really long train to require so much power. Below is a rearguard of five yellow refrigerator cars ('"reefers")--These had to be stocked with block ice and are long gone from rr use. Concluding this haul is one of B&O's distinctive bay-window cabooses.
Above: Another B&O bay-window caboose. Cabooses carried a crew that would get out and uncouple or add cars at stops--perhaps industries or small freight yards--along the way. Since railroads have concentrated freight transfer in large facilities, cabooses and crews are only used in a few special operations any more. Hershey,PA, where there is a lot of shifting cars in and out of the chocolate factory, is one place where cabooses are still used. Below: a railfan trip or more likely a one-car commuter train with a baggage out of Pittsburgh stopped at what is probably Meyersdale station. The Chessiefication of the B&O is underway as evidenced by the use of the blue/yellow C&O coach.
Another shot of a fan-trip or commuter at (probably) Meyersdale. Here we see train of RDC1 railcars built by Budd in the early 1950s and used for short passenger runs all over the B&O (and many other roads) until the 1970s. Budd Cars used a hydraulic drive inspired by WW2 tanks to transmit power from the motors to the wheels.
The sun is behind the trees and light is fading fast as a train led by GM Electromotives rounds a bend. Some of these 40s-50s built engines would last into the Chessie era and even be used on the early MARC commuter trains.

If you haven't had enough, see also:

The B&O in Western PA, 1966

Across Maryland History: The B&O Railroad's Early Days

Building For The Ages: The B&O and C&O along The Potomac

Change For The Better: The B&O Transportation Museum

My 70s Show: A Teenager's Amateur Photos of Washington, DC and Maryland Railroads, 1974-1977