Parkhead/B108.5

Parkhead/B108.5





Parkhead was most popularly known back in WM days as the location of the eastern most hotbox detector on the West Sub. The other being near Paw Paw, WV. between the 6th river crossing and the C&O Canal crossing. Parkhead was the first passing siding west of the long double track stretch that ran from Hagerstown to Ernstville. The passing siding was just short of one mile. There were signals 108.9 and 108.8 at the West End of the siding. About 1/4 east into the siding was the first of the two hotbox detectors of the West Sub. At the East End of Parkhead there was also a short side track. This track was perhaps an old station track or used for MofW equipment or camp cars. This was some of WM's straightest and fastest territory as I-70 closely parallels the WM here. The highway is directly on the other side of the pole line. The highway is so close here that a chain length fence was constructed. A friend of mine once told me a story of how he tried to race a WM red/white/and black-GP40 on a westbound train along here. He said he could not keep up with the train even on I-70. So it indeed was the "Fast Freight Line".


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Old construction photo at Parkhead about the B109 milepost taken in either 1904 or 1905. (thanks to Mike Yetter for finding photo)

The WM curves east into a long flat straight-away parallel to I-70. This was the former west end of the Parkhead passing siding. Signals 108.9 and 108.8 were once located here.

The B109 marks the west end of the nearly mile long Parkhead passing siding. Automatic block signals 108.8 and 108.9 were also located here at the west end of the siding. I-70 is just to the right of the WM power poles. The first of two hotbox detectors on the West Sub was once located not far east of here.

Arthur Bloch and his wife had parked east of Hancock and walked west in April 1970, on their return walk to the car a WM train came by headed West. At the time the passing track at Parkhead was being used to store freight cars. (photo by Arthur Bloch) 9

Midway along the passing siding in June 1994. By this time the tracks here through Hancock to Woodmont had only been missing for 7 years having been removed in 1987 by CSX. The tracks remained down all the way to Tonoloway nearly 9 miles west of Hancock for use as storage tracks and to retain rail service to Hancock. The remaining 34 miles of the West Sub was removed in June 1975 resulting in many more years for mother nature to transform the right-of-way back into a forest.

A very early photo looking west from the East End of Parkhead. (Thanks to Jim Coshun for photo)

The former hioghway once crossed the WM here on an overhead bridge. Later the road was upgraded and the bridge removed when I-70 was built. The East End of Parkhead was located here at the B108 milepost. This was also the location of a short side track.

This road crossing is midway between the East End of Parkhead and the WM bridge over Licking Creek. The road provides acess the the C&O Canal and the WMRT.

A WM train and crew pose for a picture on the Licking Creek trestle in 1904-1905. The train is headed west.

A side shot of WM bridge 107.6 over Licking Creek. The second photo is an old WM marker that displays the bridge number.

Another view from atop the bridge looking east. It looks as if the right-of-way has been taken good care off as it looks like the brush has been recently cut back. Later in 2001 the WMRT had been constructed over the bridge.



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