B&O in Fairmont, W. Va.

Eric Hansmann <ehansmann@...>

Ron Hildebrand wrote:

Are you sure it wasn't the B&O on the west side, and the Monongahela RR on the east side? I used to live in Fairmont during my first year of high school back in '61, and the Monongahela RR wasn't much more than a rust streak on, as I remember it, the east bank.


Good Morning Ron,

For Fairmont, W. Va., you are correct, partially. The rails in Morgantown, W. Va., were as I described.

The Monongahela Railroad crossed the river near Prickett's Fort and entered Fairmont on the east bank. Much of the action on the Monongahela Railroad centered on the coal mines north of Fairmont. Two volumes of images and history are due soon on this unique railroad that was originally co-owned by the PRR, B&O, and P&LE.

The B&O actually ran on both banks of the river in Fairmont, but it wasn't as apparent in the downtown area. The B&O's FM&P sub crossed to the west bank of the river just downstream of Rivesville. The line then met the original Main at the south end of the Fairmont Yard, at FM&P Junction.

Just before the B&O FM&P sub crossed the river, a branch split at Palatine Junction. The Palatine Branch served several industries in East Fairmont, including the Sharon Steel Coke works. Additionally, the Hickman Run Branch split mid-way along the Palatine Branch. Hickman Run served the huge Owens Bottle plant that operated from 1910 to 1970. At one time it was the largest producer of Coca-Cola bottles in the USA. The Hickman Run Branch also included an interchange with the Monongahela Railroad, but discussions with B&O crews who worked this branch has turned up scant evidence of much interchange.

For anyone interested in a small to mid-sized prototype that could offer a wealth of possibilities to display and operate freight cars and locomotives from the pre-1960 period, Fairmont, W. Va., and Clarksburg, W. Va., offer a few diverse possibilities. Both areas were busy rail points between 1920 and 1960. Had to bring this back to the group mandate somehow.

Eric Hansmann
Morgantown, W. Va.
....modeling Elkins, W. Va., circa 1925

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