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Mountain Rails, W.V.
Magnolia Cutoff

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Along the Potomac River on the former B&O rails in the Shenandoah Mountains and rolling hills of northeastern West Virginia  are a series of spectacular crossings, tunnels, and sparkling vistas that thrill the soul.
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Eastbound at Magnolia bridge: (Click for full size)
Above: CSX Q401 {Cumberland, MD-Hamlet NC} .
Left: CSX Q451 {Cumberland, MD- Richmond, VA}

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LMSX Blue unit on CSX Intermodal Q134 {Chicago, IL- Baltimore, MD} Eastbound on the Magnolia bridge

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Eastbound at Magnolia bridge:
Above
: single unit Intermodal, (AC6000CW Leading) CSX Q130 {Chicago, IL-Portsmouth, VA}.
Right: Intermodal CSX Q138 {Chicago IL- Baltimore, MD} 

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(AC4400CWs) ENGINES # 127 & 144 on coal train CSX U887 {Morrisons, MD to CSX's Penn Mary Yard in Baltimore, MD. Eastbound at Carothers Tunnel

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The photos on this page were taken in the area surrounding Pawpaw, West Virginia (in conjunction with the TotalCSX Fanfest II) at Carothers Tunnel, Kesslers Bridge, Graham Tunnel, Magnolia Bridge, and Stuart Tunnel.

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CSX Coal train E199 {Powerpark, FL- Newell, PA}
Westbound at Carothers tunnel with CSX 469 & CSX 375 (AC4400CWs)
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Above left and below left and right: CSX Local Mixed train D720 {Cumberland, MD- Hagerstown, MD} Eastbound at Pawpaw, WV/ East portal of Carothers tunnel.  Click Photos For Full Size.
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Magnolia Cutoff
by Jason Breakiron

The Baltimore & Ohio railroad created the "Magnolia cutoff" also referred to as the "Highline" in 1914 which actually saved time compared to it's parallel running River line also known as the "Lowline". The two B&O lines ran together until 1961 when the B&O removed the "Lowline" & made the cutoff it's primary route through the rugged West Virginia & Maryland Mountain ranges.

Today CSX Transportation owns the former B&O lines of the Magnolia Cutoff which make for fantastic railfanning with the line's four double tracked tunnels, 2 gigantic open decked girder bridges & a massive concrete retaining wall that acted as a shelf for the mainline above the former lowline.

The tunnels Randolph, Stuart & Carothers which all are in West Virginia, except for the Historic Graham tunnel which is located in Maryland, see heavy mainline rail  traffic of all sorts & have endless possibilities for those into railroad photography. All of these factors combined make the Magnolia Cutoff  a sort of railfan heaven which is highly recommended!!!

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PO-30 Amtrak Capital limited {Chicago-Washington D.C.} with AMTK 127 {Acela livery} & AMTK 13 (P42-9Bs)

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CSX Automotive train L217 {Philadelphia, PA-
Detriot, MI} Westbound at Carothers tunnel

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Above and below: WLE {Wheeling & Lake Erie} Z415 {Hagerstown,MD-Connellsville,
PA}, grain trains, Westbound at Magnolia bridge. (SD40s below)

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CSX MOW unit eastbound at Magnolia

Above Left and at Right:
BNSF 6479 {A RARE SD45-2} & CSX 7149 parked at Mexico which is the eastern end of CSX's Cumberland yard.

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(SD70MAC) CSX Coal train E101{Baltimore, MD
- Grafton, WV} westbound at Magnolia

Roaring out of the mist and

thundering through the Night

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(C41-8Ws) UP 9442 & UP 9440 on CSX Q136
{Chicago, IL -Philadelphia, PA Eastside

 

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