Hagerstown and Frederick Railway

3868 views
31 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,324 posts
Hagerstown and Frederick Railway
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, February 18, 2017 11:30 AM

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:21 PM

Very nice. Thanks. Great way to spend a Saturday morning.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, February 18, 2017 9:56 PM

So, BaltACD...if you and the good citizens of Maryland woke up tomorrow morning and the Hagerstown and Frederick Rwy was there intact, I am 100% sure it would be a very good thing. Regular and frequent service would displace a lot of auto traffic and would provide reliable and assured parcel and courier deliveries. In addition to providing good employment it would also be a societal benefit. 

Too bad these systems could not survive their times because I believe if somehow they upgraded and modernized through the years they would be a very integral part of these communities. Their time may come yet again, in a new form, but I firmly think that is in the future. 

 

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,324 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, February 18, 2017 11:15 PM

They are gone and not missed in 21st Century Maryland.  They were defeated by two lane barely passable highways and the Model T and Model A's and other vehicles of the day and basically out of business by 1938, despite the continuation of service to Thrumount until 1954.  The surprising thing to me is that the H&F is the origin of PEPCO, one of the major electric companies in Maryland.

I believe somwhere it was remarked that the trip from Frederick to Hagerstown with stops was apporximately 2 hours.  My home is 30 miles East of Frederick and my daughter lives just outside Hagerstown (near the Antietem Battlefield) and it takes me less than an hour, door to door.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:21 AM

Well yes I understand what occurred, and with all of them...however, I did carefully qualify my statement by stating "if somehow they upgraded and modernized through the years"...had that been viable, which it was not, not at least without governmental policies and financial assistance,  then a modern system would be in place today and your trip presumably would not take 2 hours. The point is moot because we as a society chose not to go that way. I do believe there is a future for light rail interurban systems. Not sure about streetcars, perhaps in the big cities. Toronto sure believes in them. 

Anyways, it was a fun recollection of images... some of us have remeberances of them and very fond memories. 

The town and city folk still talk about them with pride and affection. 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,926 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Sunday, February 19, 2017 1:31 PM

Hagerstown street corner

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:00 PM

Fabulous Wanswheel...meet you at the Keystone Luncheonette and we can have a "real" Coca-Cola...when it would fizz right up your nose, and watch and listen to the streetcars for a while. 

Nice street lamps too..wonder if they are still there...doubt it but you never know.

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 6,430 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:41 PM

Miningman

Well yes I understand what occurred, and with all of them...however, I did carefully qualify my statement by stating "if somehow they upgraded and modernized through the years"...had that been viable, which it was not, not at least without governmental policies and financial assistance,  then a modern system would be in place today and your trip presumably would not take 2 hours. The point is moot because we as a society chose not to go that way. I do believe there is a future for light rail interurban systems. Not sure about streetcars, perhaps in the big cities. Toronto sure believes in them. 

Anyways, it was a fun recollection of images... some of us have remeberances of them and very fond memories. 

The town and city folk still talk about them with pride and affection. 

 

Here is the fundamental problem with mass transit, especially rural/suburban mass transit in America.

I live in the rural suburbs of Maryland as well. Almost every time I get in my car (or my big F250 pickup I use for work), I am either taking something somewhere, or bringing something home from somewhere, or both. 

I'm not real fond of carrying stuff any great distances, especially if there is a lot of it (like groceries) or if it is heavy. And, I'm not real fond of walking long distances in unpleasant weather, rain, snow, cold, extreem heat.

And carring large objects on trains/mass transit is problematic to say the least.......

I suspect most people feel the same as me about this.......

I live only 8 houses from what was once a stop on the Ma & Pa Railroad, which managed to stay in operation into the 50's.

But if it was still there today, it would be of little value. Partly for the reason explained above, and mainly because it simply did not go to the places I need to go.

I suspect most of America feels exactly like me about walking in bad weather carrying stuff.

My lifestyle does not allow the European model of stopping to buy dinner food each day on the way home - what a waste of time......

I will not live in a crowded city, in some 800 sq hovel, so that mass transit can work for me. I don't work in the crowed city either.......

I love trains, I think we need to keep options open, but expecting people to make their lives more difficult is not the answer.

Sheldon 

    

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Sunday, February 19, 2017 7:34 PM

Atlantic Central/Sheldon- Well Ok good points there, well stated. The life style you have is not the same as everyone else...there are teens, elderly, those that do not drive, those without a comfortable middle class lifestyle and those that may take transit sometimes to get a break. Actually I believe a more rural or suburban setting is the best scenario for this, not a big nasty city. An hour on the hour every hour service would provide convieniet and dependable transportation along with a scheduled drop off for parcels and deliveries.

I realize I'm out in a little rubber dinghy in the middle of the Pacific on this one and it's fairly easy to shoot a hole in my dinghy. It does not have to be an all or nothing scenario...if service were there it does not mean you cannot drive your nice work provided F250. Many people would find it a boon, including business's.

I still say the day will come when both are a necessity.  

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 6,430 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, February 19, 2017 8:03 PM

Miningman

Atlantic Central/Sheldon- Well Ok good points there, well stated. The live style you have is not the same as everyone else...there are teens, elderly, those that do not drive, those without a comfortable middle class lifestyle and those that may take transit sometimes to get a break. Actually I believe a more rural or suburban setting is the best scenario for this, not a big nasty city. An hour on the hour every hour service would provide convieniet and dependable transportation along with a scheduled drop off for parcels and deliveries.

I realize I'm out in a little rubber dinghy in the middle of the Pacific on this one and it's fairly easy to shoot a hole in my dinghy. It does not have to be an all or nothing scenario...if service were there it does not mean you cannot drive your nice work provided F250. Many people would find it a boon, including buisness's.

I still say the day will come when both are a necessity.  

 

Again, I'm actually in favor of mass transit where it can be effective. In fact, I would even look at ways to make it free or lower cost than current urban systems.

I'm self employed, I am a historic restoration consultant, residential designer and old house master carpenter, I provide my own F250.....sometimes I'm on a  job site, other times I work from home.

The biggest problem is that most human "settlements" (communities) are "circular" and trains are "linear". Trains work in cities by virture of east/west - north/south grids, or hub and spoke systems - that is how the old Baltimore trolley network was. Baltimore has a grid downtown, but it quickly transforms into a radial street plan "uptown" which provided an excellent trolley network - bringing people to/from downtown and the residential areas.

Building such a network in Bel Air near where I live would be near about impossible, just from a land aqusition standpoint alone. The people are spread out, and their destinations are spread out? A lot of us live here because we really like to "limit" our contact with people.........

I'm open to solutions, I just don't see any. As for nasty cities, well they really do need mass transit. 

Not all Interurban service back in the day was slow. The Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis traveled from State Circle in Annapolis (walking distance to the State House and the Navel Academy) to B&O Camden Station in Baltimore in just over 1 hour - in the 1930's. You can't hardly do that in a car now or anytime in the last 50 years.....

Tell you what, you figure out how to get the tax system changed to the type of land tax proposed by Henry George, and I will be all in for free mass transit everywhere it is practical. Why, because the economic growth that tax system would allow could pay for such a transportation system. It would also end suburban sprawl and ubran decay.

Also, get the trucks off the highways and on to rail except for local/regional deliveries, and tear down all those fuel wasting, time wasting traffic jamming toll plazas.

Then make the airlines truely invest in their infrastructure like the railroads have to, or give the railroads the same public support the airlines get.

Then lets see who can compete with who. 

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Sunday, February 19, 2017 9:16 PM

Atlantic Central/Sheldon- 5 Stars! Good Good!

 

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 12,897 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Monday, February 20, 2017 4:32 AM

Some of the light rail systems do in fact resurrect the kind of service and use an advanced form of the technology that the interurbans provided.  And some do in fact have decent passenger loads and are clearly a great benefit today totheir communities.   And those that continue to use private cars benefit by reduced traffice congestion or no great increase in congestion as population increases.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Monday, February 20, 2017 10:00 AM

Dave sums it up very nicely. Someday we will have the very best of both worlds.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,926 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 12:45 PM

Hagerstown again, probably same day as the football parade.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,324 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 3:25 PM

Hagerstown Brewing Co.

Old Breweries

The Hagerstown Brewing Co. opened in 1935 and closed in 1937 it was open for 2 years. Breweries that are only open for a couple of years like this did not have a long time to produce advertising and collectibles so they tend to be more scarce than breweries with more longevity. Breweries that started up right after Prohibition was repealed, up to around the 1950s are the last group that represent highly collectible and valuable Breweriana for the most part. The period after Prohibition was when cans became popular so some of the rarest and most desirable cans come from this period. For cans to be very valuable they need to be rare, and in very good condition in most cases. The Hagerstown Brewing Co. was in an active brewing city. Hagerstown, MD was listed as having 14 breweries, which is quite a few. Sometimes a large number of breweries can lead to an active collecting community that will be willing to pay more for breweriana items than other collectors.

http://www.oldbreweries.com/breweries-by-state/maryland/hagerstown-md-14-breweries/the-hagerstown-brewing-co-md-155b/

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 4:20 PM

BaltACD- Do you know if the building that housed the Hagerstown Brewing Company is still there? Are the track's still there?..any of them? 

Wanswheel- Great find and posting. I personally witnessed those scenes a zillion times, not there of course, but it was a scene repeated everywhere several times a day. ...and am glad I recall the sounds, smells, the "air" ..all of it. 

In one scene with a workman walking alongside a coach, the coach appears to have no lettering...any thoughts or am I wrong about this. 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,926 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 6:20 PM

Miningman, I think the unlettered coach is in the 'Hagerstown station' picture, car 3313(?), ahead of the Railway Post Office car in this train:  

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 6:51 PM

Wanswheel- Thank you....fascinating.

3 seperate Railroad stations and the streetcar/interurban. Must have been great to be a kid in Hagerstown in those days.

My town had 2 stations, one shared by Wabash, CNR and Pere Marquette, the other the Lake Erie and Northern interurban. CNR had 2 branches emanating from town, both to ports on Lake Erie. 

The Canada Southern was just to the North of this and we resided along its mainline. 

Those everyday scenes depicted can apply to almost anywhere, just change the lettering on the cars. Very little of that remains. 

  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • 2,925 posts
Posted by ACY Tom on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 9:13 PM

Too many questions to keep track of.

Hagerstown Brewing is long gone. The WM tracks were moved out of the street to an elevated alignment on the other side of the station about 60 years ago. The little alleyway that ran parallel to the old WM alignment was widened considerably, and is now Burhans Blvd. The old WM passenger station and office building is now the Hagerstown Police Dept. At one time in the very distant past, there were actually at least four steam road passenger stations in Hagerstown. These were the main WM station, the nearby Cumberland Valley (PRR) station, the B&O station at Summit Ave. & Antietam St. across from the Dagmar Hotel (current site of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail newspaper), and a little-known secondary WM station on the north side on N. Potomac Ave.

Most, but not all, of the downtown buildings are still there, including the Hotel Alexander. The Keystone Luncheonette is long gone, but there are some other very nice places in the downtown area now to take its place, so you can still get your Coca Cola, although I'm not sure whether it will fizz up Miningman's nose. Some of those old street lamps still exist in the area of Potomac & Washington, as shown in the photos, but the've been supplemented by taller, more modern lamps.

At least three H&F cars exist: A passenger car at the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, a freight motor at Thurmont, MD, and a passenger car in private hands on private property near the old right of way. The building that served as H&F's Hagerstown carbarn still exists at Summit Avenue & Lee St. 

The "unlettered" coach appears to be a PRR P70, and the PENNSYLVANIA lettering is barely visible on the letterboard. 

Of course WM 4-6-2 202 is preserved at Hagerstown City Park; a WM Baldwin diesel switcher and a GE 45 tonner from a local industry are at the Roundhouse Museum; and several WM, B&O, and RDG cabooses are preserved in town, too. There are a couple of items of passenger equipment at the Roundhouse Museum, including a PRR B60 baggage car like the one in the photos. 

Tom

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 9:43 PM

ACY/Tom- Terrific stuff. Thanks for the answers. It's important to connect the dots. Glad to hear some of the street lights are still around. 

One last question ( if you don't mind) ..what is "delicious Maryland food" as seen on the banner in the Hotel Alexander picture?  Now I know what delicious food is but what makes it "Maryland". Maybe I should go down there this summer and find out, if you still have it that is. 

Sadly, Coca-Cola not the same..for starters they used real sugar back then not corn starch stuff and the ingredients were super high grade, the real deal, nothing was processed, or less expensive "substitutes".

  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • 2,925 posts
Posted by ACY Tom on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 10:08 PM

Since I wasn't born here, there are probably a lot of folks who would say I'm not qualified to answer the question about Maryland food. In general, I would call it Comfort food, in large quantities, with a very heavy emphasis on Crabs. Dessert is required, and not optional. You could do a lot worse. There's no restaurant at the Hotel Alexander any more, but there are quite a few other good ones around town. 

The decisions made at Coca Cola headquarters should not be held against Hagerstown restauranteurs. When it comes to colas, I personally prefer R-C when I can get it, or Pepsi as a second choice. Aside from colas, there's Vernor's Ginger Ale. Don't get me started on Root Beers. And when it comes to the other kind of beer, I'm even more picky. 

Tom

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 10:24 PM

Wow!...great response. "Dessert required...not an option" "large quantities of comfort food" ... Maryland food sounds divine. 

RC Cola used to be everywhere but have not seen it in years. 

Vernors ginger ale is da bomb! I think it comes from Detroit. I see Canada Dry tried to copy it with something they call 'Dark' ginger ale but it's not the same, close but no cigar. 

I'm actually seriously heading in that direction for vacation this summer so I'm putting Hagerstown on my itinerary. 

  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • 2,925 posts
Posted by ACY Tom on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 10:50 PM

Miningman:

Check for a PM. 

Tom

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,926 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 11:20 PM

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:09 PM

Wanswheel - What happened here? Weird. 

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:50 PM

ACY/Tom

This is the Photo of the Day that peaked my interest. Upon further digging it was pointed out to me that an example of this class exists and is running once in while. That inspired me to plan out a Maryland vacation this summer.

Everytime I see pictures of the Western Maryland itself I am amazed at how spotless and ship shape things are. I know many roads did so, Soo comes to mind, many others but WM always had the bell polished and the whole operation seemed as if it was run like a Swiss watch. 

  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • 2,925 posts
Posted by ACY Tom on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 9:58 PM

The photo shows WM H-7b number 750. Unfortunately, the only surviving WM rod engine is K-2 Pacific 202 in Hagerstown City Park. The locomotive operated by the Western Maryland Scenic on their Cumberland - Frostburg service as WM 734 is actually a modified engine (Lake Superior & Ishpeming 34) with a modified NYC tender. As such, she is a pretty good, but not 100% accurate, representation of an H-7b. She is currently out of service, pending a federally mandated trip to the shop. In the meantime, C&O 2-6-6-2 compound Mallet 1309 is being prepared to take her place in excursion service later this year. The plan is to return the "WM" 2-8-0 to service when her rebuild is complete.  

Tom

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,926 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, February 23, 2017 10:37 AM
  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,324 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Friday, March 31, 2017 12:59 PM

Some old film clips - Hershey Transit Co (which ended in 1946) and H&F footage from 1953 including meeting WM train at Thrurmont.  Clips of freight movement on the H&F.

 

Visions from a different world.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,752 posts
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 01, 2017 6:18 PM

Just love these little excursions into time. I could smell the air! 

Thanks BaltACD

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter

Search the Community