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Baltimore & Ohio Railroad - Steam on the West Slope

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Baltimore & Ohio Railroad - Steam on the West Slope

by Thomas K. Kraemer


The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's famous Allegheny Mountain passage across Sand Patch Grade in Western Pennsylvania has attracted the attention of railroad enthusiasts and photographers for generations. While most folks have been known to concentrate their time and efforts on the treacherous "East Slope" of the grade that begins about 15 miles west of Cumberland, Maryland, the six-mile section of the "West Slope" from Sand Patch to Garrett, Pennsylvania, through Meyersdale, is certainly worthy of historic note and documentation as well. This short stretch of mainline railroading fully represents the continuous battles of tonnage and gravity against motive power and the skills of the operating crews. In addition to the B&O's presence on the landscape, the Western Maryland Railway's Connellsville Extension line roughly paralleled the B&O from Sand Patch westward, actually crossing overhead twice on massive trestles in this concentrated area.

Irvin R. Walp (1867-1950) was a professional studio photographer and artist who lived and worked in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, during the latter part of his career. In 1929 he acquired a 4x5 Graflex camera which freed him from the restrictions of the large non-portable photographic equipment that he was used to working with, and he began to expand his photographic interests to the world outside the studio. Being drawn to the local railroad scene in hobby interest, his images ultimately captured and documented an amazing slice of local history as well as a zenith of big-time steam railroading in the 1930s.

Now, after nearly 70 years of being stored away in his family's estate, Irvin Walp’s photos provide us with an opportunity to appreciate the trackside action of B&O (and even some Western Maryland) railroad steam trains, along with some early diesel units, operating in regular service. This book, authored by Thomas. K. Kraemer, displays over 50 of Mr. Walp's photos accompanied by detailed local history, maps, and other illustrations. Chapters include: B&O's West Slope; WM's Salisbury Viaduct; Salisbury Junction; Meyersdale; Glade City; WM's Keystone Viaduct; and Diesels Invade. This book is signed by the author. If a personal note is desired, or if this is to be signed as a gift, please contact RR Trax Studios.

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Thomas K. Kraemer


2013 by RR Trax Studios



8.5 x 11 inches (landscape format)


Manufactured in USA, press-printed, color and B&W


Price:  $19.95  

This book may be signed by the author and/or personalized as a gift. Please make a note of this request (if desired) on your PayPal payment page, or contact RR_Trax_Studios to make specific arrangements.