Northern Maryland’s Baldwin Moguls

Through the last quarter of the 19th century, the Northern Maryland freight revenues increased. Inbound coal, both anthracite for home heating and bituminous coal used by the railroad and online businesses were a major part of the increase. Slate products from northern Hartford county and wood to and from the various mill were also major online freight products. Moving agricultural products, the reason the railroad was built always brought money to the balance sheet. To move all of this, the railroad relied heavily on its three Moguls. At times, they even were used in passenger service to cover for one of the two Americans. The addition of the ten-wheelers in the late 1880s caused a reshuffling of motive power with the Americans only handling the Westminster to Manchester passenger and freight service. One mogul worked the Manchester to Hanover turn, one handled the Manchester to Bel Air turn, and one handled the Manchester to Parkton turn. By 1914, the Manchester to Parkton turn had become a mixed train following the Hanover to Parkton morning passenger train. The mixed ran six days weekly except Sundays. The freight varied daily, but the combine and L.C.L boxcar were always part of the train.

In 1914, both second number one, a Baldwin 8-22D, and the rebuilt Cooke Mogul were used on the Parkton Branch mixed. Let’s take a look at a similar prototype and potential models for the Baldwin Mogul.

I have always liked the rebuilt Nevada County Narrow Gauge Mogul #5, featured on the dust jacket of Gerald M. Best’s Nevada County Narrow Gauge. I have always liked John Hugh Coker print and use it as the prototype of the Northern Maryland’s mixed train that served Beckleysville. The engine is currently preserved at the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad museum, which you can visit online here. The museum has a brief history of the engine’s long and storied work life. As for models of this little engine, I am not as fortunate. I could only find that it was made in On3 by Iron Horse Models. Here is a photograph of the model on the Brasstrains.com website. I have never been able to find this model though or I would have considered building Beckleysville in O scale. Fortunately, Railmaster Exports has a generic Baldwin 8-20/22D kit which I purchased with some extra parts to create a similar version of the rebuilt “5”.

Before I go any further, an explanation of Baldwin Locomotive Companies unique classification system. I found an excellent explanation at the SOuthern Methodist University’s Degolyer Library. If you are interested in learning more, go to this website. Below is a section that I accessed to make it easy to understand.

Baldwin Class Numbers:The Baldwin Class number was a rather complicated classification system initiated in 1842 and used until some time around 1940. For example, The class number for the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway can be described in the following manner.

  • 10-24 D 35
  • 35 = Indicates the 35th locomotive in the class.
  • D = 3 pairs of driving wheels
  • 24 = Number representing size of cylinder
  • 10 = Indicates a total of 10 wheels

a. The initial number is the total number of wheels of all kinds under the locomotive. The second number indicates the cylinder diameter in inches, the cylinder diameter being obtained by dividing the classification number by 2 and adding 3 to the quotient. The above classification number of 24 indicates a cylinder diameter of (24 ÷ 2) + 3 = 15.

  • A fraction, 42/68 indicates a compound locomotive having two sizes of cylinders.

c. The letter designation indicates the number of pairs of coupled driving wheels.

  • “A” = special class of high speed geared locomotive with one pair of driving wheels. Also rack railroad locomotives.
  • “B” = one pair of driving wheels.
  • “C” = two pairs of coupled driving wheels.
  • “D” = three pairs of coupled driving wheels.
  • “E” = f our pairs of coupled driving wheels.
  • “F” = five pairs of coupled driving wheels.
  • Double letters = articulated locomotives having more than one set of coupled driving wheels.

Now if I use the Baldwin classification system correctly, the NCNG 5 has cylinder size of 13×16 inches. This makes it an 8-20D. It has smaller cylinders than my Railmaster Export models, but I can live with that difference of 2 inches.

Next post, I want to spend some time discussing the Northern Maryland’s lone non-Baldwin engine, a Cooke Mogul.

Northern Maryland’s Baldwin Moguls

Picture of a finished Railmaster Export 8-22D kit attached to my box.

Northern Maryland’s Baldwin Moguls @February 2021

By: H. Mathews

Reality vs Imagineered: The Northern Maryland Railway, Part I

Why Beckleysville? You would be hard pressed to attempt to find it on a map. Did it ever have a railroad? The reality is no, but it may have. In my original design, Beckleysville was at the end of a branchline of the equally imagineered Northern Maryland Railway.

Chartered in the “hay-day” of narrow gauge railroad building in the early 1870s, it somehow survived until 1920. The Northern Maryland was to run from Havre de Grace along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay through the farmlands of Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, and Frederick counties to its western terminus in Frederick, Maryland. A branch to Hanover, Pennsylvania was planned as well. As with most grand designs this never truly materialized. The railroad ended up running from Westminster, Maryland to Bel Air, Maryland serving farm communities in Carroll, Baltimore, and Harford counties several miles below the Mason-Dixon Line. Northern Maryland story is similar to the Lancaster, Oxford, and Southern railroad’s history. The railroad’s best days were in the past when we catch up to it in Beckleysville. World War One did see a slight uptick in freight revenue, but increased use of trucks after the war saw the little railroad fade into the weeds and eventual abandonment in the mid 1920s.

The closest railroad to Beckleysville is the equally unknown Gunpowder Valley Railroad. However, the stillborn Parkton and Manchester Railroad planned right of way may have gone through the area as well. The Parkton and Manchester, or sometimes listed Manchester and Parkton was going to be a narrow gauge railroad

Distant influences are the Stewartstown Railroad, New Park and Fawn Grove RR (later part of the Stewartstown RR until it was abandoned), the Lancaster, Oxford and Southern (also 3ft Gauge), and the Maryland and Pennsylvania RR and it’s narrow gauge predecessors. Of course, some of the right of way ideas are borrowed from the Northern Central Railroad, which was taken over by the Pennsylvania RR.

The Gunpowder Valley Railroad was a standard gauge shoreline about 3 miles or so in length built from the Western Maryland connection about 1/2 mile north of Alesia, Maryland. It served at least one paper mill and one gunpowder mill. It’s right of way is mapped at the “Abandoned Rails” website. The newspaper clipping below is the auction notice in November 1898.

Clip from the Baltimore Sun newspaper, Friday November 11, 1898.

The Parkton and Manchester was a planned narrow gauge railroad, presumably in 3 foot gauge, connecting to the Northern Central in Parkton and the Western Maryland in Manchester, or so I think. There isn’t much history that I have been able to unearth regarding the company or it’s organizers. Presumably, the railroad was aiming for the agricultural business in the Bachmann Valley area of eastern Carroll County. The line was about 14-17 miles long and about maybe 3-5 miles of the eastern end we’re graded. Part of a fill built to cross Owl Branch (creek) just west of Parkton can still be seen from southbound I-83 and on Google Earth.

Editor’s Note: This post was getting very long so I decided to break it down into shorter posts.

Reality vs Imagineered: The Northern Maryland Railway, Part I

@ January 2021.

By: H. Mathews