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David Parks
Cumberland West - Western Maryland and B&O, HO

Note: this layout is available as two sessions: one featuring the B&O and the other featuring the WM, choose accordingly or choose both.

The Western Maryland and B&O in 1953 Cumberland, Maryland. The layout is single layer in a 1200 sq. ft. room with Mole staging. The backdrop, scenery and bridges are mostly complete. Coal is the local focus. Both railroads have a Dispatcher, Stage Manager and Coal Manager. The Coal Manager works with the Dispatcher to regulate coal loads and empty hopper traffic. An operating session focuses on one railroad with the other sometimes offering moving scenery.

The B&O includes the junction of the Pittsburgh and Cumberland Divisions and part of the West End Sub. The B&O is double track main with “Current of Traffic” rules using B&O 9 aspect Color Position Lights (CPL) signals. Five Tower Operators control interlocking sections. They use computer touch-screens to manipulate switches and signals with pseudo Standard Signal graphics. The B&O has many named passenger trains and some passenger switching in Cumberland. B&O coal mines are off-line. Operations center on the Keyser coal switching yard and a small manifest yard.

The Western Maryland includes the junction in Cumberland, along with parts of the Thomas and Connellsville Subs. The WM is single track with many on-line mines and uses timetable and train orders. Only a single passenger train is scheduled. Most station operator positions are unmanned and the train crews communicate with the dispatcher. WM local activity is dominated by local coal mines.

Both railroads are “bridge” lines with an abundance of thru manifest traffic. Each railroad is operated independently of the other, except for interchanges and minor trackage rights.

NCE-DCC is used for train control while a separate Loconet controls signals and accessories. Stage routing is controlled via computer screens. Car forwarding uses car cards and waybills for manifest freights. Coal and empty hoppers use multi-car coal orders. Communications is via a 1950’s era 14 station multi-line phone system. Variable speed fast clock.

Here's a 10 minute video of the Western Maryland:

Here's a 45 Minute Video on the B&O in Cumberland in the style of a 1950s Documentary

More information can be found at

Revised 12/17/2016