Helmstetters Curve was a hairpen curve up Cash Valley. The winding tracks hugged the mountain side weaving in and out to gain elevation up to the summit at Deal, The curve was a popular place to photograph trains on the Western Maryland, perhaps the most popular on the entire railroad. After the eastbound track was removed, CTC was installed from Cumberland to Deal. A signal was placed in the western section of the curve, between the cemetary at the cut. Today only WMSR trains pass the curve, even though the route over the Alleghenies was shorter and easier the B&O's.
The above photo is said to be dated 1906. It is a construction photo of the right-of-way here at the Helmstetter Farm. The same barn in the photo still stands today. As you can see in the photo a trestle was built first before the fill. Track was laid and as the cuts were made fill was dumped over the side of the trestle to create the fill. The same construction process was done prior at the 3rd Potomac Crossing on the West Sub. A similar photo is on that page as well. Thanks to Sam Wilson for this photo.
View Larger Map