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The Baltimore & Ohio was chartered on February 28, 1827. Construction began the following year and reached Cumberland, MD in 1842. The railroad could not enter Pennsylvania, due to the strong lobbying efforts of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1853 the railroad turned south and then west building through to Grafton, WV and Wheeling. The line stretched all the way to St. Louis, MO in 1857 and reached Chicago in November 1874.
The Pittsburg and Connellsville built east from Pittsburgh in 1847 and reached Connellsville in 1854. Under B&O control the line was completed over Sand Patch to Cumberland in 1871. The line received double track in 1902. The Pittsburgh & Connellsville was merged into the B&O in 1912.
The C&O had acquired 61% of the B&O stock by 1961 and officially took over control of the B&O in 1963, but the railroads were not merged to form the Chessie System until February 26, 1973. The Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line merged on November 1, 1980 forming the CSX Corporation.
The timetable page above was from a 1967 employee timetable. The following series covers two different cabrides on helper sets between Hyndman and the top of the hill at Sand Patch in the Fall of 1974, plus a couple of later visits to the tower at Sand Patch in 1980 and 1988.
I saw a westbound train leaving Cumberland, Maryland just as I was coming into town. I reversed course and got ahead of it for a picture. This mineral train (Extra 3699 West) is at Elerslie, MD and about to cross into Pennsylvania. Engine 3699 is a GP40 built by EMD in 1969. Disk 119