B&O Wheeling Freight Terminal Operations – Pt 4

Mike is busy sorting out freight cars in the yard.

Mike is busy sorting out freight cars in the yard.

Another successful operating session was held on the Wheeling Freight Terminal. Mike visited from Las Cruces and ran the team yard job while I took the freight house work. A total of 75 freight cars were switched among the inbound and outbound movements. A description of the session processes was started a few months ago. The last operations update described using undecorated and partially completed models among the freight car fleet. It’s time to wrap things up with how outbound cars are handled.


Before a session begins, clerk inventory sheets are compiled for the outbound team yard and freight house cars. In addition to the usual car code, reporting mark, and partial car number, a destination is included for each car. Here’s one of those outbound inventory sheets.

The inventory sheet for team yard outbound cars.

The inventory sheet for team yard outbound cars.

Wheeling, WV is a hub of B&O rails to send traffic east and west. There are two eastbound routes, one to Pittsburgh and the old main line from Moundsville through Grafton. One subdivision follows the Ohio River all the way to Kenova, KY. While this follows a southward direction, the B&O considered this as a westward destination from Baltimore. Once the rails cross the Ohio River, the westward line splits into a subdivision to Columbus and Cincinnati, and another to Cleveland. In addition to these destinations, an empty car can be sent to the clean out track. The following destination codes are used on the outbound inventory sheets.

  • EB – PIT
  • EB – GRA
  • EB – OR
  • WB – COL
  • WB – CLE
  • MT – clean out track

After the freight cars are pulled from the freight house and team yard, they head back to the inbound/outbound yard where they are blocked by destination. On the prototype, all outbound cars from the freight terminal go to the Benwood yard a few miles south of the facility. I don’t know if the freight terminal crews actually blocked the outbound cars to minimize work in Benwood. I added this as another layer of the operating experience on a small model railroad. It offers crews a bigger picture of the B&O operations in Wheeling and it’s a nice way to wrap up a session.

Outbound blocks of cars at the end of a session.

Currently, the outbound cars are tagged with a destination at random. I might start using a six sided die to determine destinations. I don’t think my own picks aren’t very random!

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2 Responses to “B&O Wheeling Freight Terminal Operations – Pt 4”

  1. This has been a great series – I’ve really enjoyed the overview of operations on your layout and it shows just how much operating fun can be packed into a modest space. Thanks for sharing and keep the posts coming!
    – Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

  2. Bill Michael says:

    Enjoy the posts. Would like to be on email updates

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