2014 Annual Report

                                      B&O Railroad Pass from 1933       ORW Pass for 1913          

B&O Shepherd Branch

The operating crew (a round-robin group) participated in six operating sessions in 2043. We continue to run five trains during each operating session: Port Shepherd Job, Uniontown Turn (U-Turn), Twining City (TC) Switch, Second Port Shepherd, and the B&O Coal Extra to the Potomac Electric plant.

In December, with the operating crews complaining about continued derailments and slow orders, the MOW crew attempted to improve the performance of the troublesome Twining City crossing. The next operating session is in January.

Potomac & Patuxent Railroad/Ohio River & Western Railroad (On30)

The west return loops of the to-be-rebuilt railroads received road bed supports and sub-roadbed. Homasote was used for the hidden part of the On30 loop. Attempts to order HomaBed from the west coast have been unsuccessful. Management is giving consideration to a combination of homasote and cork roadbed.

Locomotive Shops

A Weaver Union Pacific RS-3 (2-rail) was sold to a local O scaler.

In the continuing saga of the Weaver VO-1000, the B&O unit was repowered with the motors from the NP three-rail unit. The motors were wired in series, a decoder was installed, and the loco was entered into service on the Shepherd Branch. The locomotive operated, but low-speed operation was difficult. At subsequent operating session, performance deteriorated. By the end of the year, the switcher was withdrawn from operation. The shop foreman isn’t sure what to try next. One option is to try to sell “as is” in the two-rail market place. Another option is to restore the locomotive to TMCC three-rail operation and offer it for sale on eBay.

Car Shops

The B&O car shops acquired a box car, two reefers, and a tank car from the estate of Doug Jones.

No rolling stock was purchased for the OR&W during the year. Railroad management continues to monitor the used car market for additional rolling stock.

Conventions and Shows

The B&O Railroad Historical Society held its National Convention in Cumberland MD in mid-September. On Friday, we were not able to enter the main CSX facility, but were shown some good viewing (rail-fanning) spots. The afternoon was spent at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Shops. We had a dinner excursion through the Narrows on the WMSR. On Saturday, we were the guests of the South Branch Valley Railroad, riding the Potomac Eagle. The morning trip, reserved for us, was north to Green Spring on the Potomac River. The second trip was part of the regularly scheduled excursion through the valley.

The annual convention of the Mid Eastern Region (MER) of the NMRA was held in Hagertown MD in mid-October. On Friday, after attending clinics in the morning, Bob Schildt and I visited three layouts in Pennsylvania. On Saturday, after an early clinic, Bob, Harvey Hersey, and I toured four layouts in Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. After a quick supper, we made it to the evening convention dessert, awards, and speaker. On Sunday morning at the annual members meeting, I began my two-year term as MER-NMRA Secretary. On the way home, I detoured to Berkeley Springs, WV to see two layouts.

In 2015, Shepherd Branch management intends to continue its assessment and overhaul of the branch’s steam and diesel locomotives. P&P management will focus on reconstruction of the three-rail display railroad. Ohio River & Western management hopes to begin construction of the railroad.