Rowlesburg Railroad Reunion Day
Labor Day Weekend 2006

At their meeting on May 28, 2005 the Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee approved plans for Railroad Reunion Day in Rowlesburg as part of the big Labor Day Weekend events. Working in conjunction with the Rowlesburg Area Historical Society, Ambulance and Firemen as well as the Park Commission, the whole town is inviting all railroaders and their families and friends, and all of the descendents of railroaders now gone, to an old fashioned reunion at the Train Depot Museum, the Ambulance Service Function Hall and the Rowlesburg Park.

At one time or another, hundreds of railroad workers have called Rowlesburg home. No matter where they live today, they are invited to Rowlesburg for a grand day of story telling, meeting old friends, great food and music! As part of the celebration, the Railroad Museum will be dedicated and a fabulous model train exhibit will be open to the public. The Train Depot Museum dedication will take place at 11:30 A.M. and the model train exhibits will open to public at noon. Food and music will be offered in the Rowlesburg Park.

When people think of Rowlesburg, they think of trains! The town was named after an engineer for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and aptly so. The high point of railroading here was during WWII when dozens of trains moved in both directions daily assisting in the war effort. Rowlesburg was almost buried in smoke, soot and cinders from the many trains rumbling through town. At the peak of the steam era, 21 huge Mallet locomotives were stationed at M&K Junction on the edge of Rowlesburg helping trains up the mountains out of Cheat Valley. Following the war, steam engines gave way to diesels in 1949 and the station was closed as a major repair shop in the 1960s. Still, the helpers are there doing their job.

The Town of Rowlesburg wants to recapture the excitement of railroading by hosting railroaders, their families, model train enthusiasts, young and old, and just plain kids and families who are interested in trains. Rowlesburg still is a great place to watch trains. Model trains will be set up in the Train Depot Museum and the new Ambulance Function Hall near the railroad crossing on Route 72. The Mon Valley Model Railroad Club will be bringing its large 24 foot mobile layout. The Mon Valley Club had its layout at the Forrest Festival in Elkins and it was a big hit. The Northern Virginia Model Railroad Club is bringing its mobile layout which is also 24 feet in length. There is plenty of parking and lots to see! The people will be able to walk around the sets and watch them operate.

In addition to the two model train layouts owned by the Historical Society, the Train Depot Museum houses B&O memorabilia and many priceless old photos. The museum will be open all day. The model railroad exhibits will be open on Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend. Retired railroaders from Rowlesburg will be there to answer questions about the operation of the railroad. Do come and ask lots of questions! Model railroad clubs are invited to bring mobile layouts to be displayed.

In addition, the Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee and the Area Historical Society will sponsor rides to the top of Cannon Hill so that folks can get a bird's eye view of the town and the railroad that built it. A regiment of Union soldiers and cannons were stationed on Cannon Hill overlooking the Cheat Valley. They saved Rowlesburg and its famous railroad bridges from the Rebels during the Civil War. Viewers can see where the battle took place.

For more information on Rowlesburg Railroad Reunion Day, call Tim Weaver at 1-978-465-5816, or E-mail wtcweaver@aol.com.

The Mon Valley Railroad Club and the Northern Virginia Model Railroad Clubwill have a display in the Rowlesburg ambulance building located between the depot and the post office. The club has on their layout, for your information, a coal mine, the station at Cass, a farm and lumber mill, a yard, and most of all the model of D tower on the B and O at Grafton. Most of the members have B and O, Western Maryland and other railroad equipment that will give the people some different variety to enjoy.

The B & O Model Train Sets purchased by RRC, Inc. and donated to RAHS will be on display at the depot. The trains will travel along a platform which has been built around the upper perimeter of two rooms by our own *Walter Shaver*.

The helper photo sure looks a lot like the grade up to Tunnelton.
Photos are from the Sentinel, a publication of the B&O Historical Society of Baltimore.