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Into the storm by DragonWolfACe Into the storm by DragonWolfACe
Time to take a step back in time with this one.

It is winter 1940, the war in Europe is on going but we wouldnt be thrown into it for another year. Life goes on as the US economy continues to improve from the duldrums of the great depression. The reciever rings in my east Wheeling apartment, waking me up from a nap. I answer, its a friend down in the Benwood yards telling me the Benwood to Pittsburgh freight is leaving.

I thank him than hang up. Theres a shot Ive been wanting to do but the requirements are a bit extreme. But staying indoors is for the weak so Ill brave the elements.

I leave immediately, I have to walk a mile and a half, across a viaduct and through the tunnel. There is no other way and there are no roads to take to get there. Finally, after a half hour walk, I get setup. Mind you, this is 1940, so Ive managed to carry a tripod, and a heavy camera.

The waiting game enslues, minutes seem like hours but finally the rails start to sing as the rails glow from the approach of a headlight. Like a bullet out of a barrel, a ugly EL-5 exits the tunnel with smoke swirling around the tunnel portal and engine. All too soon, the caboose exits, some 60 cars back.

I exchange waves and start to head back. Its 10 degrees out and Ive been standing in a 4 foot snow drift for 40 minutes. It will be nice to feel my feet again.
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Rockyrailroad578 Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
That locomotive is Beautiful!!
GlennFresch Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I would like to add some coments from may Dad, who grew up in Wheeling - his house overlooked the west portal of this tunnel.

Thank you for the image. Interesting, the person hiked through the tunnel and photographed (I assume, sketched from photo later) from the approx. east end of the tunnel. That would have been doable. The traffic on that line was not frequent (based on ancient memories). I have strong recollections of the sound of diesels breaking out of that tunnel entrance and proceeding towards Elm Grove; but, I have no recollections of the sounds of steam locomotives. I do have recollections of steam locomotives on 17th Street, Wheeling, with their passenger consists in the passenger station. I assume that they were headed toward Pennsylvania. I paid little attention to the train operation the one time (February 1954) I travelled by train from Wheeling to Bainbridge, MD, (via Baltimore) for Navy boot camp; i.e., I assume that we headed toward Pittsburgh and made our way to Baltimore (as opposed to heading toward Grafton). On the return trip, I changed my ticket, travelled by train to Pittsburgh and, apparently, travelled by bus to Wheeling. I have some faint recollections about Pittsburgh and the B&O station. Apparently, I would have arrived home much earlier by having made this change.
DragonWolfACe Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Actually, you are correct, I did draw this from a photograph. Pg 178, top photo of Baltimore and Ohio power. JJ Young Jr took the photo. I did the storyline based on where he lived (East Wheeling) at the time and thought just how he would of gone and got this shot. I venture he could of also sat inside the tunnel outside of the weather until he heard the whistle of the eastbound frieght.

I dont know how the traffic was on the line after the demise of passenger service but before the line was closed, it had a freight each way everyday from Glenwood, PA to Benwood, WV.

Passenger trains actually went three ways out of Wheeling, to Pittsburgh, Newark/Columbus, and Parkersburg. Wheeling was a small hub in its day.
GlennFresch Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Sorry! I mean his house overlooked the east portal, the one in this picture! It was on the hill across the valley from it (on the other side of rt.70).
Trainfanatic4960 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2010
Awesome! If only you could still see scenes like that today.
DragonWolfACe Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Dont we all!
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Submitted on
February 11, 2010
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