• Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

  • A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads
A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by Legio X
I visited the Ordnance Museum at APG this past weekend, and, while indulging my interest in military history and equipment, I was also able to do some railfanning. There is a network of spurs within the post, one of which runs past the Ordnance Museum. It is here that the German 11" railway gun known as Anzio Annie is displayed. The rails of the spur are rusted, and don't look like they've seen movement in awhile. I saw a U.S. Army SW-8, #2008, I believe idling at the post's engine house. At this location were a number of flatcars loaded with ties, but whether they were old or new, I could'nt tell.
Anyway, how often is there freight movement on the post, and which Class 1 serves it, CSX or NS? Is it served by a spur directly off the NE Corridor, or by another freight-only line belonging to the Class 1? Are there any other locomotives based at APG, or is the SW-8 the only one?
If you're in the area visit the Ordnance Museum at APG. It is awesome, especially the displays outside, including the Anzio Annie. Make sure, though, that you have good photo I.D. to show the D.o.D. rent-a-cop at the gate. He gave me a hard time, in fact treated me like an animal, when I showed him my NYPD identity card and shield, saying "I don't recognize those....they're probably fake. Show me something else or we're done here......sir." This was the only cop at the gate wearing the Stetson, the others wore baseball hats. I have never been treated like this by another person holding the title of police officer, even before 09/11/01. Obviously all he's done in his short career is work this gate at APG. So, to see the Ordnance Museum and the SW-8 at APG, humor the prick and have ten photo id's and your birth certificate. It's a small price to pay to see some awesome displays.

  by Ken W2KB
He probably has seen too many of those people wearing the NYPD baseball caps and Tee shirts. :wink:
  by RailVet
USA 2008 is the lone remaining locomotive at the post. USA 2037 was moved to Indian Head Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, MD, and turned over to Navy ownership close to two years ago, although the Navy has done little with it or the base rail system since then. At APG, the rail system is mainly used for load collision testing. The line connects to Amtrak's NEC but I don't think there's been any interchange in years. Those old ties have been sitting on Army flatcars next to the enginehouse for at least two years now, maybe longer.
  by p51
There's a lot more to look for if you know where to look. Ask where the Ordnance Center HQ is. There was an engine house behind those building when I was stationed there in 1998 for the Ordnance Officer Basic Course. The tracks go off into the "secret squirrel" area, but the public can't go back in there (I've been in there, not much to see train wise anyway). I was there for almost 6 months and never saw one train running.
Legio X wrote:So, to see the Ordnance Museum and the SW-8 at APG, humor the prick and have ten photo id's and your birth certificate. It's a small price to pay to see some awesome displays.
Man, it's a sad day when a gate guard at a military post actually requires the kind of ID that a military post needs. My God, what kind of world do we live in?
  by RailVet
The last SW8, USA 2008, left APG in June. Railpace magazine featured a picture of it aboard a flat car enroute to the railroad museum in Sacramento. An employee working on some heavy equipment near the enginehouse in early July said there's been some interchange - maybe a few cars of heavy equipment each month - following the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and it is handled by a trackmobile or some sort of "non-locomotive." It's kept in the restricted area when it's not in use and the enginehouse is used for non-rail equipment.

  by p51
If I recall correctly, they were loading up an S-1 when I was there in 1998. I took a roll of film of it, will have dig it up in my files somwhere. It would have been about July or August. I never did find out where it was going....
  by RailVet
I asked about the Alco at the time it was being prepared for movement and a post employee said it was headed to a rail historical group in Western PA, although he wasn't certain just where. I'll check into it and let you know what I turn up.
  by RailVet
A picture of USA 7371, the Alco S1 that once served at Aberdeen Proving Ground, can be viewed here:


Scroll down through 3/4 of the page and you'll find it. The caption notes it belongs to the Western Pennsylvania Railway Historical Society, but unfortunately I have no information yet on where it's located.
  by RailVet
APG's old Alco is reportedly in New Castle, PA, and is not reported to be operational.

  by p51
Yep, that's the one. That was the summer of 98. I remember how flipping hot it was watching them move her around.
I'm glad to hear it wasn't scrapped, but sad to hear it still isn't running.
  by cogdills03
Anyone know where I can find older pictures of USA 7371 from Aberdeen Proving Ground before is was sold and transferred to Ohio? All the ones on my google searches are from 98 or after it was no longer running on APG or transferred.
  by scratchyX
FYI, The army ordnance museum is no longer at APG. Additionally, the track mobile looks to be used on a two mile long portion south of the enginehouse, But most of it is in a gated area.
And it's rare movements.
I don't think the route has been used north to the Amtrak interchange in a decade.