Helmstetter’s Curve is the iconic Western Maryland Railway photo location, made famous over decades of photography. The curve will be the focus of east and west bound photo opportunities during this Photo Freight run. Over the three days, participants will be able to shoot trains from above, below, and alongside the tracks in a variety of lighting.
There will be day and nighttime photo opportunities at Ridgeley Shop, Cumberland’s Western Maryland Railway Station, and at Frostburg (including the depot and turntable).
Other significant locations include Brush Tunnel (both portals and at different times of the day to capture lighting opportunities), the Double Truss Bridge at Eckhart Junction, Maryland Junction, the B&O/WM Interchange, and a variety of scenic curves and straightaways along the route.
A completely new opportunity will be the site of the February, 2016 landslide just west of Old No. 9 Switch. The railroad there had been carved out of hills created from old piles of early 19th C mine waste (called “gob”) which became saturated with storm water and slumped toward the base of Jennings Run Valley. After a five month, $1 million earthmoving project, the railroad at that location now sits at the top of a natural amphitheater. The shot from 300-500 feet across the valley resembles classic early 20th C Appalachian railroad viewscapes, and is certain to become a new classic Western Maryland Railroad photo location.
Throughout the three days, we will be mindful of actual and predicted light conditions at each location. Trains Magazine and its partners will handle nighttime and special lighting. Our objective will be to place the freight train in the most interesting locations when the lighting and other conditions are most satisfactory.