Photo Special to benefit Helmstetter farm

steve barry photo

Photo by Steve Barry.

Railfan & Railroad magazine editor Steve Barry is organizing a photo special to benefit John Helmstetter, who lost his iconic barn to fire recently.

A photo freight will be operated on Monday, November 9, to benefit the John Helmstetter Farm Fund. This limited-capacity trip will feature numerous photo runbys all along the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, including Helmstetter’s Curve. John Helmstetter will be the guest of honor on the train. The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is operating the train at a very reduced rate as its contribution to John.

Highlights of the trip include:

* Numerous quality photo stops and runbys
* Limited capacity for great photo opportunities
* Photo locations trimmed of brush

Tickets for the trip are available for a $175 donation. Use the button at the right to order tickets.

Commemorative tickets will be sent for all $175 donations, even if you can’t be on the train.

Fire destroys famous barn at Helmstetter’s Curve

Fire has claimed an iconic structure seen and photographed by thousands of steam fans over the years, and injured its owner, John Helmstetter. A video news report can be found here.


Fire of an unknown origin destroyed a barn on Cash Valley Road late Thursday and injured the owner as he tried to free his cattle from the burning structure.

John Helmstetter suffered burns in the 11:20 p.m. incident and was taken to Memorial Hospital by the LaVale Rescue Squad. He was released following treatment for injuries to his left arm and right hand, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Several cattle and a dog perished in the fire, which destroyed the 50-by-100-foot heavy timber barn

We wish Mr. Helmstetter a speedy recovery and condolences on his losses. Visits to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad won’t be quite the same.

(via Pete Lerro.)