Reality vs Imagineered: The Northern Maryland Railway, Part II

Editors note: This is a continuation of my post from earlier in the month. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, start with that one before reading this post.

The Parkton Branch

After some research, I adjusted Beckleysville’s history. Originally, Beckleysville was planned to be the terminal for a small branchline of the Northern Maryland Railway. The never completed Parkton and Manchester Railroad though offered an interesting alternative and created an opportunity to build a through station instead of a terminal.

Why the change? Looking at a system map as well as the Hanover subdivision (Dutch line), I realized that the Northern Maryland could provide passenger service from Westminster, Hanover, Manchester, and stops between to a morning and evening commuter train on the Pennsylvania Railroad that originated and terminated in Parkton. This service would be able to allow passengers to arrive in Baltimore at Pennsylvania Railroad’s Penn Station where they could board a train on the Pennsylvania’s vast rail network. I realized passengers could also use the Western Maryland Railroad, but I am not sure if the WM ran commuter trains on the main line from Westminster or on the “Dutch line” to pick up potential passengers in Hanover. Regardless, Western Maryland’s Baltimore passenger terminal would still require a streetcar ride to Penn Station or the Baltimore and Ohio Station to access the North American rail network. In the imagineered world of Beckleysville, it appeared that the “P and M” branch offers a unique service to citizens along the Northern Maryland’s western lines, including its short Hanover and Parkton branchlines.

Beckleysville and the Parkton Branch

The story that Beckleysville’s is telling still remains very much the same. The village is a small hub of agricultural activity in the north western area of Baltimore county in late Spring to early Summer 1914. Vehicles are mostly still horse drawn with a few internal combustion vehicles. Farming and local mills, whether sawmill, paper mill or gunpowder mills are the industries that brought the railroad through the village. The big modeling change is the morning passenger train to Parkton and its late afternoon early evening return train to Manchester. A daily except Sunday handles freight, and local express and passengers. The challenges from a modeling standpoint is changing from a terminal station to a through station. I’ll talk about that more as the project progresses.

Next time I’ll return to the design of Beckleysville.

Reality vs Imagineered: The Northern Maryland Railway, Part II

@ January 2021

By: H. Mathews

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