Baltimore Railroad Timeline
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
The Western Maryland Railway
The Chessie System
CSX Transportation
The Baltimore & Susquehanna Railway
The Penn Central Railroad
MDot and MARC
the Canton RR
he Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad
the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad
the Union RR
Significant Historical Events
Merger Map


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The page will highlight the major things that went on in the history of railroading in Baltimore. 
Additional references will be included for those wishing to learn more.
Standard Wikipedia disclaimer: Beware -- If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.
Original railroads of Baltimore have a before the name.

Baltimore's "Train" Guys

I would be remiss in my job as a "reporter", if I did not point out people in Baltimore, who have helped our hobby beyond words.  I am going to include Charles T. Mahan Jr. of Towson, Herb Harwood of Towson, and Fred Rasmussen of Baltimore.  All three of these fellas are top notch people, as well as railfans.

Charlie, as he was known, grew up in Towson MD, went to Towson High School (and yes, it is the same high school that Michael Phelps and three of Spiro T. Agnew's daughters went to), and lived in Towson.  His son Dick, graduated in the same class as I did from, guess where.... Towson High in 1969 (do we see a trend here?).  He had the largest collection of M&Pa pictures known, and most of the pictures from the M&Pa history book are from him.  His fantastic collection went to the M&Pa historical  group in Red Lion PA upon his death.  Below is his obit from the Sunpapers.....

Herb Harwood is also another Towson MD resident, and he, like Charlie, spent most of his spare time out taking pictures and gathering information on Baltimore railroads and streetcars.  You could find him down at the Streetcar Museum a lot when it was open.  If I or anyone else wanted to know anything about Baltimore railroads, especially the B&O - he was the go to guy.

If you are doing research on Baltimore railroading from the 30's through the 2000's, these are the guys other people go to.

Not to be outdone by Charlie and Herb, Fred Rasmussen needs to be given credit because he has turned his hobby into a career as a reporter for the Baltimore Sunpapers, and I think he held his editor at gunpoint to get every rail oriented story out there :-) :-)  (Don't believe the blurb below that obits are the only thing he does :-)  Back in 1995 when the MTA was double-tracking the north end of the Light Rail Line, myself and Steve Panopoulos were interviewed by Mr. Rasmussen about our efforts in trying to get some of the B&S marble stringers saved.

Todd's Timeline of Baltimore Railroading

NOTE: This is the only place I know of that has "it all" as far as railroad and transit history on Baltimore goes.....
NOTE: Some stuff outside the immediate Baltimore area is included for continuity.... events with PIX are things I have pictures of.... somewhere.... on slides if I can find them :-)
NOTE: any discrepancies I find will be noted :-)
NOTE: I have a separate and fairly complete timeline for the Green Spring Branch here:

Feb 28th, 1827 - The Baltimore & Ohio RR is officially chartered by the state of Maryland, by the passing of Chapter 123 of the 1826 Session Laws of Maryland

Feb 13th, 1828 - The
Baltimore & Susquehanna RR is chartered as the second railroad in Maryland

Jul 4th, 1828 - Groundbreaking for the B&O takes place, with the first shovel dug by Charles Carroll

1829 - Construction of the Baltimore & Susquehanna (B&S) begins

Nov 1829 - The B&O construction of their first bridge, the Carrollton Viaduct, names in honor of Charles Carrollton, 312ft (95m) long, and 65ft (20m) high

May 24th, 1830 - First section of the B&O opens between Baltimore and Ellicott Mills, now Ellicott City, power is provided by horses

1830's - The first railroad bridge across the Susquehanna River at Columbia PA built, built by the Philadelphia & Columbia RR (P&C), and carried carriages, wagons, and pedestrians as well as trains, known as the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, used to connect to the Northern Central as an alternate route from Philadelphia to Baltimore

1831 - The B&S reaches York Road in Cockeysville MD, obtains an amendment to the charter so it can build a line west to Westminster MD from Hollins (Relay) MD

1831 - Maryland grant the B&O a charter to build from Baltimore to Washington DC

Apr 2nd, 1831 - The Pennsylvania legislature charters the Philadelphia and Delaware County RR (P&DC) (predecessor of the PW&B and PRR)

1832 - The B&S constructs Maryland's first railroad station, Bolton Station, at Bolton and North Howard Streets, with a roundhouse and shops

Jan 18th, 1832 - The Delaware legislature charters the Wilmington & Susquehanna RR (W&S) to build a railroad from Wilmington south to the MD border (predecessor of the PW&B and PRR)

March 14th, 1832 - The Pennsylvania legislature finally charters the York & Maryland Line RR to connect to the B&S

June 13th, 1832 - The PRR reaches the Reisterstown Road & the Western Maryland line in Owings Mills MD

Dec 1st, 1831 - The B&O reaches Frederick MD

Mar 5th, 1832 - The Maryland legislature charters the Baltimore & Port Deposit RR Co from Baltimore to the Susquehanna River (predecessor of the PW&B and PRR)

Mar 12th, 1832 - The Maryland legislature charters the Delaware & Maryland RR Co (D&M) to build from Port Deposit to the DE state line (predecessor of the PW&B and PRR)

Apr 2nd, 1832 - The B&O reaches Point of Rocks MD

Dec 1st, 1834 - The B&O reaches Sandy Hook MD

Jul 4th, 1835 - The B&O completes the Thomas Viaduct, a Roman stone arch type made from granite and designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe II, it is the country's first multi-span masonry railroad bridge to be built on a curve, and it remains the world's oldest multiple arched stone railroad bridge, 8 spans, 612ft long, 59ft high, ~26ft wide, took 2 years to build

  HAER MD-3-8

1835 - The B&O's Washington Branch opens, joining "The Old Main Line" at Relay MD

Aug 25th, 1835 - The B&O begins passenger service between Baltimore and Washington DC

1836 - The P&DC begins operation

Mar 14th, 1836 - The P&DC changes it's name to The Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore RR Co (predecessor of the PRR)

Apr 18th, 1836 - The D&M and the W&S merged to form the Wilmington & Susquehanna RR Co

Jul 1837 - Continuous rail between Baltimore and Wilmington on the PW&B, separated only by the Susquehanna River, where a ferry bridged the gap between Perryville and Havre de Grace

Feb 12th, 1838 - The TPW&B and W&S merge to form the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore RR Co (notice the name does not include the "THE")(predecessor of the PRR)

1838 - The B&O begins service between Philadelphia and Baltimore, using The Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore RR, which is owned by the B&O

1840 - The York & Wrightsville RR is completed between those two towns in PA, connecting with the Northern Central, and the Philadelphia & Columbia at the Susquehanna

May 1842 - The B&O reaches Martinsburg WV

Jun 1842 - The B&O reaches Hancock MD

Nov 5th, 1842 - The B&O reaches Cumberland MD

Feb 18th, 1850 - The B&S opens the President Street Station

1850 - The B&S built and opened the Calvert Street Station

Jul 21st, 1851 - The B&O reaches Piedmont

Jun 22nd, 1852 - The B&O reaches Fairmont

May 27th, 1852 - The Maryland General Assembly grants a charter to the Baltimore, Carroll & Frederick RR to build a line from Baltimore northwest through Westminster

Jan 1st, 1853 - The B&O reaches Wheeling WV (then part of VA)

1853 - The Maryland General Assembly changes the name of the BC&F to the Western Maryland RR Co

1857 - Construction the Western Maryland (WM) begins in Owings Mills MD, a connection in Owings Mills with the Northern Central provides a route into Baltimore (for the time being)

1859 - The WM starts passenger service

1860 - Maryland grants the PRR a charter to build a line to Pope's Creek MD

1861 - The WM reaches Westminster MD

1861 - The Pennsylvania RR acquires controlling interest in the Northern Central, gets a 999 year lease, the NC is operated as a subsidiary

May 1861 - Service on the B&O suspended for the Civil War, not restored till March 1862

Nov 1862 - The WM reaches Union Bridge MD

June 28th, 1863 - The P&C RR bridge at Columbia PA burned by Confederate forces, it was the longest wooden covered bridge in the world at 1-1/4 miles in length

~1865 - The second railroad (wooden) bridge across the Susquehanna River at Columbia PA was built to replace the one burned down during the Civil War, alleviating the need to ferry goods across the river, the bridge was purchased by the PRR in 1879 - destroyed by a windstorm in 1896

1866 - The B&O begins construction of the Metropolitan Division, running west out of DC, completed 1873

1866 - The Union RR is chartered, financing didn't come till 1870

1867 - The Maryland legislature charters the Maryland Central RR (a predecessor to the M&Pa) to head northeast to Philadelphia PA via Bel Air MD and Conowingo MD, however, no track was ever laid - three more railroads over the next decade were chartered to do the same, and none of them ever put down any track either

1868 - The WM resumes westward construction after halting it for the Civil War

May 1st, 1871 - Construction of the Union RR begins

1871 - The Peach Bottom Rwy is incorporated, and construction begins from York PA heading SE, the track is built narrow gauge - 3ft, a predecessor of the M&Pa

1872 - The WM reaches Hagerstown MD, this section became the East Subdivision

1872 - The PRR begins service between Baltimore and Washington DC

1873 - The WM constructs a line from Owings Mills to Fulton Junction, where it uses trackage rights on the PW&B to reach Penn Station (then called Union Station)

June 29th, 1873 - The B&P Tunnel opens, constructed by the Baltimore & Potomac RR

Jul 24th, 1873 - First train runs thru the tunnels of the Union RR - the Northern Central obtains the right to use "it" right away

Aug 1874 - The Peach Bottom Rwy reaches Red Lion PA

Dec 8th, 1874 - The PRR takes over control and active management of the Northern Central

1875 - The B&O builds a roundhouse and shops at the southern end of Riverside Park, now known as Riverside Yard

~1875 - The Northern Central builds a roundhouse and shops where the current Light Rail North Avenue shops is located

1876 - The WM opens a branch from Union Station east to Hillen Station, where the WM locates its headquarters

1876 - The Peach Bottom Rwy reaches Delta PA

1878 - William Waters heads a group of investors to consolidate the charters of several failed railroads to start the Baltimore & Delta Railway (B&D), built as a narrow gauge railroad in hopes of connecting to the Peach Bottom Rwy at Delta PA, a M&Pa predecessor

1880 - The Annapolis & Baltimore Short Line RR (A&BSL) obtains its charter (Baltimore & Annapolis predecessor)

1880 - The West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway (WVC&P) began as a narrow gauge line (predecessor of the WM)

1881 - The WVC&P changes its name and updates to standard gauge

1881 - The Peach Bottom Rwy goes bankrupt and is reorganized as the York & Peach Bottom Rwy in 1882

1881 - The B&O tried to gain control of the PW&B by purchasing stock, but lost the bid to the PRR - the PRR informs the B&O they will lose access by 1884

~1881 - The WM leases a line from Lurgen MD to Wayensboro and Shippensburg PA from the Baltimore & Cumberland Valley RR, this becomes the Lurgen Subdivision

Aug 1881 - The Baltimore & Delta starts construction of their Baltimore terminal

Dec 1881 - The Baltimore & Delta starts running trains from downtown to the northern edge of Baltimore City

1882 - The Northern Central purchases the Union RR stock from the Canton Company, assumes control on Mar 1st, 1882

April 17, 1882 - the Baltimore & Delta Railway officially opened and celebrated with “excursion, a dinner and speechmaking.”  The official train from the North Avenue station to Towson included two engines (the Enoch Pratt and the J.M. Dennison), one compartment car and four passenger coaches

Late 1882 - The Baltimore & Delta Rwy merges with the Maryland Central Railroad, keeping the name Maryland Central but making it Railway instead of Railroad

1883 - The B&O purchases the Delaware Western RR, and merges it into the Baltimore & Philadelphia RR (B&P), and begins construction of the line to Philadelphia - The Delaware Western had a charter, but no track - the southern end ends in Canton, and requires a ferry to get passengers to Locust Point, and then into Baltimore (see connector map under the PW&B section)

June 21, 1883 - The Maryland Central reaches Bel Air MD

1884 - The B&O looses their access to running passenger trains on the PW&B

1884 - The B&O rebuilds the Mt Clare roundhouse (where the B&O Railroad Museum is today), after losing it to an 1883 fire

1884 - The new Maryland Central Railroad completes the line through Bel Air MD to Delta PA

1885 - The Northern Central builds a roundhouse at Preston St and Guilford Ave, it was lost to a fire in 1911

1886 - The B&O finishes the B&P and starts service between Baltimore and Philadelphia

1886 - The WM's Lurgen subdivision connects with the Harrisburg & Potomac RR in Pennsylvania

Late 1886 - The WM's gains control of the Baltimore & Hanover RR, and the Gettysburg RR in Pennsylvania, to establish the Hanover Subdivision, the line connects to the WM at Emory Grove MD, heads north to Hanover PA, then west to Gettysburg PA, and finally SW to re-connect with the WM mainline at Highfield MD

Dec 15th, 1886 - The B&O finishes the Art Museum Tunnel in Philly (to Park Junction with the Philadelphia & Reading Rwy), the last tunnel on the line

Mar 1887 - The A&BSL starts operation, it is the second railroad to serve Annapolis, its route to Baltimore is more direct, and responsible for the formation of numerous communities along the way

1887 - The Maryland Central opens stations at North Avenue and Oak Street in Baltimore

1889 - The Maryland Central gains control of the Pennsylvania line and begins direct train service from Baltimore to York

~1891 - The Ruxton Station on the Northern Central is built

1891 - The Maryland Central Rwy and the York & Peach Bottom Rwy merge to form the Baltimore and Lehigh Railway, operating trains the entire length between Baltimore and York, a M&Pa predecessor

1892 - The WM establishes a connection with the B&O with the opening of the Potomac Valley RR between Big Pool MD and Wiliamsport PA

October 10, 1892 - A disastrous fire hits the M&Pa Falls Road roundhouse, the roundhouse was a total loss, and included one steam engine, loss valued at approx $5,000

1893 - The A&BSL was was sold to George Burnham Jr. and reorganized as the Baltimore & Annapolis Short Line the next year, referred to as simply: The Annapolis Short Line

1893 - The WM completes a line from Porters MD to York PA, creating the York subdivision

1893 - The depression pushes the under capitalized Baltimore & Lehigh into bankruptcy

1895 - The B&O completes the Belt Line, which includes two tunnels, and joins the Philadelphia Branch at Bay View Yard

1896 - The third bridge (steel) crossing the Susquehanna River at Columbia PA was built: the Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge, 29 days after the destruction of the second bridge - it was a combined road and railroad bridge, in 1930 auto traffic was diverted to the new Veterans Memorial Bridge, bridge dismantled in 1963 - concrete piers still left, memorial marker erected

1896 - The B&O completes the Howard Street Tunnel, which, along with the Belt Line, drives the railroad into bankruptcy

1898-1900 - The Baltimore & Lehigh Rwy and York Southern RR converted to standard gauge

1889 - The United Railways & Electric Company (URE) came into being to operate Baltimore's streetcar system

1900 - The URE builds the (huge) Pratt St Power Plant

Feb 12th, 1901 - The Baltimore & Lehigh Rwy and the York Southern RR merged to form the Maryland and Pennsylvania RR, the M&Pa's route between York and Baltimore is 77.2mi, while the Northern Central's is 56mi

1902 - The WM builds Port Covington

1902 - The Fuller Syndicate, led by George Gould, purchases a controlling interest in the WM

1902 - The WVC&P was sold to the Fuller Syndicate

1902 - The B&O and RDG break their traffic agreement with WM, more info below in the WM section

1903 - The WM starts construction of an extension from Hagerstown to Cumberland, opens in 1906

1905 - The WVC&P was merged into the Western Maryland, it was known as the Thomas Subdivision, and the line connected to the WM mainline at Maryland Junction, south of Cumberland

1906 - The WM reaches Cumberland MD

1907 - The WM acquires the George's Creek and Cumberland RR (GC&C), which had built a line west through the Cumberland Narrows, and then south to Lonaconing, Maryland

1908 - The WM enters receivership

1908 - The B&ASL electrifies, and renames itself the Maryland Electric Railways Company (MERC), the system is originally a 6600 Volt AC system, an early pioneer using a system designed by Westinghouse Electric, trackage into Baltimore built by the B&O, but the B&O is weary of high voltage overhead lines, so they built a parallel line coming into town just for the MERC

1909 - A new corporation was formed and purchases the assets of the WM, it becomes the Western Maryland Rwy Co - receivership ended in 1910

1909 - The WM builds a major shop complex in Hagerstown, including a turntable and roundhouse

1909 - The WM opens passenger stations in Cumberland MD and Hagerstown MD

1910 - The M&Pa completes an enlargement of its Baltimore facilities

1913 - The PW&B adds a train shed to the President Street Station

  President St Station, sometime in the early 1960's?, Library of Congress

1914 - New owners of the MERC switch over to "low voltage" DC system after having trouble with Westinghouse's AC system

May 28th, 1916 - The PRR lowers the floor of the B&P Tunnel by 2-1/2 feet, uses the Green Spring branch and the Western Maryland as a detour during construction

Nov 25th, 1917 - Pennsy detour over the Green Spring Branch ends

1921 - The Annapolis & Baltimore Short Line RR is purchased by the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Electric Rwy (WB&A)(Predecessor to the Baltimore & Annapolis RR), the A&BSL is reffered to as the North Shore Line

~1922 - The WB&A builds a new Baltimore terminal/station at Howard & Lombard Streets where the Holiday Inn is today

1925-1935 - Additional work done on the Union RR tunnels in preparation of electrification on the Pennsy, additional double track tunnel built

1927-1928 - The M&Pa substitutes a self-propelled diesel passenger car in lieu of steam for their passenger service

1930-1931 - The M&Pa does well enough financially to actually pay dividends before the effects of the Great Depression set in

1933 - The United Railways & Electric Company declares bankrupcy

Jun 1933 - The WB&A goes into receivership because a vote by Baltimore City would not allow the tax incentives for the railroad to be extended

Aug 17th, 1933 - Passenger service discontinued on PRR's Green Spring branch

1935 - The M&Pa runs its first railfan excursion!  BTW - the BSME is the second oldest modeling club in the United States, but the oldest for model railroading

1935 - The Baltimore Transit Company (BTC), a privately owned public transit operator, takes over operation of streetcar and bus service from the URE

1935 - The PRR electrifies the line between Washington DC and New York City

Aug 20th, 1935 - The WB&A goes bankrupt and ceases operation, the Baltimore & Annapolis RR is the railroad that emerges out of the reorganization - operation starts on Aug 21st, gets rights on the B&O to use Camden station as it's northern terminus

1935 - Passenger service discontinued on PRR's Green Spring branch

Sep 2nd, 1936 - BTC receives its first PCC car

  A PCC car, probably on Frederick Rd, probably in 1950 because of the license plate

1944 - The WM acquires the Cumberland & Pennsylvania RR, a short coal railroad out of Cumberland

1945-46? - The Pennsy double tracks the Northern Central all the way from Baltimore to York, the line is also fully signaled

1948 - National City Lines takes over operation of the Baltimore Transit Company, it lets the streetcar system "go" in favor of the cheaper to run busses

1949 - The WM begins dieselization

Nov 1949 - The B&O ends passenger service to Frederick MD

Feb 5th, 1950 - The B&A discontinues its rail passenger service and takes down the wires, substitutes busses

1954 - The M&Pa loses it's mail carrying contract with the USPS to a trucking company, this was one of their largest moneymakers

Aug 31st, 1954 - With the loss in revenue from losing the mail service, the M&Pa discontinues their passenger service

1955 - Last train on the PRR's Green Spring branch to Stevenson.

Nov 29th, 1956 - The M&Pa runs it's last steam engine for the final time

1958 - The B&O runs its last passenger train through the tunnels and on the Philadelphia & Baltimore RR, and service between Baltimore and Philadelphia comes to an end

Jun 11th, 1958 - The M&Pa abandons the Baltimore – Whiteford segment in Maryland - this brings to an end M&Pa operations in Maryland

1959 - Passenger service on the WM ends

1959 - The Pennsy stopped running the Parkton Local, and rips out most of the double tracking

1960 - Baltimore City purchases the M&Pa roundhouse complex on Falls Road in 1960 for $275,000 for use as a "highway department warehouse"

1961 - The B&O installs CTC on 151.3 miles of mainline between Brunswick, Md. and 58th Street, Philadelphia, via Baltimore except for the Baltimore Terminal District, approx 116 od second main track removed in the process, some saved for passing siding, the $4 mil from salvage pays for the $3.2 mil project, equipment supplied by GRS (Railway Signaling and Communications, Volume 54, May 1961, page 22)

1963? - The former PRR station in Ruxton, a Frank Furness design, is torn down to make way for an apartment complex

Nov 3rd, 1963 - The last streetcar, PCC car #7407, runs on the streets of Baltimore City on the #8 line as part of a railfan excursion....  Here is a recap of that event: Mr. George G. Klein, Supt. of Rail Maintenance, took the initiative and pulled the N.Y. ERA's chartered car's MG fuse out after hearing John Engleman's insistence that 7407 go back out after the other car returned.  The other car was going to sneak out of the barn by hiding in another bay just waiting for 7407 to pull in.  Klein then told all of the 7407 riders to reboard, and had the operator go around the loop in the barn and back out on the street so that we could be the last car.  We went to Irvington Loop (John wanted to go all the way to Catonsville one last time but a supervisor knew his tricks and was there to block the tracks).  We went into the loop, posed for final photos as the sun was rising and then proceeded back to Irvington barn, becoming the last car.  7407 was saved by the Baltimore Streetcar Museum and runs on the weekends

~1964 - Local service on the Pennsy's Northern Central line ends north of Baltimore

1964 - The The B&O and C&O jointly apply for control of the WM, the ICC grants approval of the acquisition in 1968

Jan 1965 - Mayor Theodore McKeldin toured the Jones Falls Valley with the city’s director of Public Works Bernard L. Werner and Baltimore City Council president Thomas D’Alesandro III, George Kostritsky, an architect and author of the Jones Falls Valley Plan, led the group tour, as they drove past the roundhouse on Falls Road, Kostritsky told the Mayor that the site would be “an ideal place for old trolley cars” (we're still waiting for that to happen)

1966 - The Baltimore Streetcar Museum (BSM) is formed from parts of an older museum (the National Capitol Museum) start-up

1968 - The BSM moves its collection from Lake Roland in Baltimore County to Baltimore City along Falls Rd where the M&Pa had their shops, the carbarn is constructed by the City

Jun 1968 - The B&A's Severn River Trestle is considered unsafe, and service to Annapolis ends

April 30, 1970 - The Baltimore Metropolitan Transit Authority (now the MTA) takes over the operations of the Baltimore Transit Company

1971 - The M&Pa was acquired by Emons Industries, but still called the M&Pa

1971? - McMahon Bus Services, which operated several lines in northeast Baltimore County, is absorbed by the MTA, the only route incorporated by the MTA was Route 19A, which later became known as Route 105, the route was disconntinued in 2005

April 30th, 1971 - The last passenger train between Baltimore and Harrisburg ran up the Northern Central (pix)

May 1st, 1971 - Amtrak takes over intercity passenger trains

Nov 11th, 1971 - The B&O's Carrollton Viaduct is designated at a National Historic Landmark

Sep 1972 - Hurricane Agnes wipes out much of the Northern Central, and spots on the B&O (around the Henryton State Hospital on the OML) and Western Maryland (Owings Mills bridge), since the Penn Central is in poor financial condition, they never rebuilt the NC, instead, the Pennsy used the Port Road at Perryville to get to Harrisburg (pix)

  Scene similar to the OML in 1972

1973 - the MTA absorbs the B&A bus operations and gives it the designation Route 14

1973 - the WM becomes part of the Chessie System

1973 - The WM applied to abandon 125 miles of main line from Hancock MD to Connellsville PA

1973 - The WM abandons its coal piers at Port Covington in favor of the B&O's newer coal piers

Mar 1st, 1974 - Maryland (MDOT - Maryland Department of Transportation) begins a 50% subsidy for passenger/commuter service on the B&O between Baltimore and Washington DC

  in Brunswick MD, Picture by George Hamlin

1975 - Maryland signs an operating agreement with the B&O to pay for all losses from operating passenger/commuter service, and to buy equipment

May 1975 - The Western Maryland is no longer an independently operated entity

Late 1970's - West Virginia subsidizes B&O passenger (commuter) service from Brunswick to Martinsburg

1973 - The WM Cumberland station was added to the National Register of Historic Places

1976 - The WM Hagerstown station was added to the National Register of Historic Places

Apr 1st, 1976 - Conrail takes over freight operation of the Penn Central RR (and others), also takes over operation of the un-subsidized portion of commuter rail between Baltimore and Washington DC

Apr 1st, 1977 - MDOT starts subsidizing commuter operation on the Penn Central line after they threatened to discontinue service, service was still provided by Pennsy era MP-54's until 1978

  Picture by George Hamlin

Jun 14th, 1978 - The M&Pa line was further reduced to the 9-mile (14 km) York–Red Lion section

1980 - The Maryland Midland RR (MMid) starts operating on a portion of the ex PRR trackage between Walkersville MD and Taneytown MD.

Oct 26th, 1980 - The BWI station is opened on the Penn Line

Nov 1st, 1980 - The M&Pa closes the Red Lion PA freight station

1980's - The M&Pa acquires 19 miles (31 km) of a former PRR branch line between York PA and Hanover PA

1981 - Anne Arundel County purchases the B&A R-O-W from the Severn River to Dorsey Road for the purpose of building a hikey-bikey trail - it opens in 1990

Dec 1981 - MDOT purchases 22 ex Pennsy coaches for service on the B&O Camden line

1982 - Changes in the law allow the Penn Central to get rid of its commuter service on the Penn Line

1983 - The MMid purchases ex WM trackage from CSX between Highfield MD and Emory Grove MD (Reisterstown)

Jan 1st, 1983 - Public operators in the NE took over Conrail commuter lines (SEPTA, Metro-North, Jersey Transit), MDOT starts paying Amtrak to operate the Baltimore to DC trains

1983 - The WM is officially absorbed by the B&O

Nov 21st, 1983 - The MTA opens the Metro Subway line from Charles Street (downtown) to Reisterstown Plaza in the north of Baltimore City, referred to as Phase I, it is 7.6 mi (12.2 km) long segment..... The system has NO direct connection with either the light rail system or MARC!

1984 - The M&Pa abandons the line to Red Lion after the only customer, a furniture manufacturer, closes its doors

1984 - MDOT changes it's name to MARC (MAryland Rail Commuter), and organizes the three (B&O Camden, B&O Brunswick, PRR Penn) lines into one operation

(Note: here is where we get into trouble with Wikipedia, because different articles (pages) give me a date of 1984 and 1986 for the beginning of the MD SRA)

1986 - the Maryland State Railroad Administration (SRA) was established to administer contracts, procure rolling stock, and oversee short line railroads in the state

1986 - B&A #50 is donated to the B&O Railroad Museum

1987 - The Baltimore Metro opens a 6.1 mi (9.8 km) addition, extending the line from Reisterstown Road Plaza to Owings Mills in Baltimore County, much of it running in the median of I-795

July 6th, 1987 - MARC opens the Metropolitan Grove station on the Brunswick Line, first new station on this line in over a century

1988 - The Western Maryland Scenic RR takes over a portion of the WM between Cumberland MD and Frostburg MD, relocates a turntable to Frostburg, and uses the Ridgeley WV yard and shops

1989 - A passenger excursion service called the EnterTRAINment Line begins service on the MMid out of Westminster MD, the MMid provided the engine and crew - the business was succesful, but due to back taxes of $300K, they suddenly went out of business in May 1995

July 31st, 1989 - The Savage Station on MARC's Camden Line was opened

1991 - The MTA purchases the B&A for the southern leg of its Light Rail System

May 1st, 1991 - MARC extends Penn Line service to Perryville MD

1992 - The MTA opens the Light Rail line from Glen Burnie on the south end to Timonium on the north, it is referred to in the beginning as The Central Light Rail Line

May, 1993 - MARC opens the Greenbelt station on the Camden Line, 7 months before the WMATA Metro opens its station there

1994 - The Baltimore Metro opens a 1.6 mi (2.5 km) addition, extending the line from Charles Center to Johns Hopkins Hospital, total cost for the Metro Subway is about $1.392 billion..... The system is currently 15.4 mi (24.8 km) long, including 6.2 mi (10 km) underground, 2.2 mi (3.5 km) elevated, and 7.0 mi (11.3 km) at grade level (with roadways separated).  Eight of its 14 stations are underground, at depths of 52 ft (16 m) to 112 ft (34 m) below street level.  Its elevated stations stand from 25 ft (7.6 m) to 28 ft (8.5 m) above ground

Jan 31st, 1994 - MARC opens the Laurel Racetrack station, and closes the underused Berwyn station on the Camden Line

Dec 12th, 1994 - MARC opens the Muirkirk station on the Camden Line

Jul 1996 - MARC opens the Dorsey station on the Camden Line and closes the Elkridge station (it's still there, kinda, but the underpass has been sealed off)

Sep 9th, 1997 - The MTA inaugurates service on the Hunt Valley line, it is a 4.5-mile long extension, from the (then) end of the line Timonium Station to Hunt Valley, and includes five stops in the heart of Hunt Valley business district. Governor Glendening and state treasurer Louie Goldstein (he's as funny in person as he was on TV!) are onboard for the festivities at Hunt Valley.  The new stops are: Warren Rd, Gilroy Rd, McCormick Circle, Pepper Rd, and Hunt Valley

Dec 6th, 1997 - The MTA starts service on the Penn Station extension, which is 0.34-mile long and crosses over the JFX/I-83, the extension connects the main Light Rail Line directly into the platform level of Penn Station.  It gives riders (who can wait) a direct link to Amtrak and MARC's commuter rail service

Dec 6th, 1997 - The MTA inaugurates service on the branch line to BWI Airport, which includes two new stations: BWI Airport and BWI Business District

1997 - The MTA spends millions on installing a signal pre-emption system on the Light Rail Vehicles (LRV's), but never gets to use it because they never coordinated the stunt with the city, so the city balked about having their traffic flow screwed around with, and said NO..... a total of 3 GPS receievers were installed for various and assundry projects because none of them were coordinated with each other (how do I know this you ask?, I worked there as an ET fixing the LRV's :-)

Dec 1999 - Emons merged its M&Pa subsidiary with another area short-line, Yorkrail, forming the York Railway

Feb 2000 - A Light Rail train slams into the bumper at the end of the line at BWI station, the operator tested positive for prescription & illegal drugs

Aug 5th, 2000 - A second Light Rail train slams into the bumper at the end of the line at BWI station, the operator tested positive for cocaine, this prompts the MTA to install a "slap and go" progressive control system for the last 1000ft or so into the station, never to be really useful because no-one ever pulled that stunt again before the line was double-tracked and ATC was installed

2001 - Todd Sestero gets the ex PRR Riderwood station (also a Frank Furness design), put on the Baltimore County Historic Register, preventing the owner, the real estate agent, and a developer from going thru with plans to tear the station down and build 5 homes on the 1.5 acre lot

Oct 2001 - the Maryland Mass Transit Administration changes its name to the Maryland Transit Administration

2002 - The York Railway (ex M&Pa) is purchased by those Genesee & Wyoming guys :-)

2004 - The MTA double-tracks the south end of the Light Rail line from Camden south, including the bridge over the Middle Branch

Jan 1st, 2005 - The MTA starts double-tracking the north end of the Light Rail line from the North Ave Shops northward, service is restored to Timonium by Dec 2005, and to Hunt Valley by Feb 2006

2005 - The Hamburg Street Station on the Light Rail line becomes a full time stop, no longer open just when the Ravens are playing

~2005 - CSX starts their CPL signal replacement program in Baltimore, with a job at BA interlocking by Bayview Yard and Monument Street

2006? - CSX takes down Maryland's last semaphore, a fixed approach EB signal for the Bear Creek Swing Bridge, and replaces it with a single aspect colorlight signal

2006? - CSX replaces the CPL signals at HX Interlocking near St Denis, and re-configures the interlocking at the same time

2006 - CSX alters one of the signals at Carroll Interlocking to be a "full" CPL, it was just south of Bush St

2008 - The MMid is purchased by the Genesee & Wyoming guys

Spring 2008 - MARC places an order for 26 MPI MP36PH-3C locomotives to replace the GP-40WH-2's, delivery started in November

2012 - CSX replaces the CPL signals at Carroll Interlocking, including that full CPL (the only one remaining in the country), the fixed approach CPL signal adjacent to the Westport Light Rail station is however, untouched

Oct 17th, 2012 - MARC signs a contract with Bombardier to operate its commuter service, which ends operation by CSX, however, the conductors on the Penn line are Amtrak employees

May 2014 - CSX replaces the CPL signals at Bailey's Wye

2014 - Part of the roof of the old M&Pa roundhouse collapses due to neglect by the city in anticipation of opening a new salt dome on North Ave, the salt rusted out the steel I-beam supports

  Photograph by Eli Pousson, 2May2015

June 25, 2015 - Governor Larry Hogan cancels the proposed Red Line Light Rail System, which was going to be yet another completely unconnected rail system in Baltimore, not sharing any transfer stations/points between either the Metro, Light Rail, or MARC

Jim Berg, president of the BSME
John Engleman, former engineer on the B&O and transit specialist,_Pennsylvania) (hasn't been updated since 2002)

NOTE: I know people cringe at the thought of using Wikipedia as a "real" source because it's contents can be altered by anybody, but it still has its usefulness :-)

● The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad


The first charted railroad in the United States was the Baltimore and Ohio RR.  It had it's start in downtown Baltimore, and ran southwest to Ellicott Mills, now Ellicott City.  This was the track where the B&O had the famous "test" between a horse drawn train and the first steam powered train, pulled by the Tom Thumb.  It's a good thing that the railroad management decided to go with steam :-)

From Wikipedia..... The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (reporting mark BO) was the first common carrier and Class I railroad in the U.S. as well as one of the oldest.  During its peak years, the railroad extended as far east as Staten Island New York and as far west as Illinois.  Most surviving trackage today is operated by CSX Transportation; trackage on Staten Island is operated by the Staten Island Railway as a branch of the New York City Transit Authority.

  Mt Clare in Baltimore

Around 1900 at Thomas Viaduct, headed towards Baltimore

For more info, go here

●  The Western Maryland Railway


ALL from Wikipedia:

The Western Maryland Railway (reporting mark WM) was an American Class I railroad which operated in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. I t was primarily a coal hauling and freight railroad, with a small passenger train operation.  The WM became part of the Chessie System in 1973, although it continued independent operations until May 1975 after which time many of its lines were abandoned in favor of parallel Baltimore and Ohio Railroad lines.  In 1983 it was fully merged into the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

On May 27, 1852, the Maryland General Assembly granted a charter to the Baltimore, Carroll & Frederick Rail Road to build a line from Baltimore northwest through Westminster, west toward Hagerstown MD.  The name of the enterprise was soon changed to Western Maryland Rail Road (WM).  The line was opened as far as Union Bridge in November 1862, and it was seized briefly by the Union army during the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.  Construction resumed in 1868.  The line reached Hagerstown in 1872 and was extended a few miles to a connection with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at Williamsport in 1873.

In 1881, WM leased a line north to Shippensburg PA, and in 1886 established a connection there with a predecessor of the Reading Company (RDG).  Also in 1886, WM gained a branch north from Hanover PA to Gettysburg PA, that line was soon extended southwest from Gettysburg to meet WM's main line at Highfield MD.  The main line was extended from Williamsport and Big Pool MD, and across the Potomac River to Cherry Run WV, where it connected with the B&O.  The B&O, WM, and RDG joined forces to operate a through freight route between Cumberland MD and Allentown PA via Harrisburg PA.

WM's stock was largely owned by the city of Baltimore; the city also held its mortgage bonds.  By the turn of the century WM's debt to Baltimore was substantial, and the city was seeking a buyer for the railroad.  Bids were submitted in 1902.  The Fuller Syndicate, the company representing George Gould, was the lowest bidder but guaranteed full payment of WM's debt, extension west to Cumberland, and creation of a major tidewater terminal at Baltimore.  On May 7, 1902, the city accepted the Fuller Syndicate's offer.  The WM immediately built the marine terminal, Port Covington, and began construction westward along the Potomac (where all the good locations had been taken by the B&O, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the National Road). The line reached Cumberland in 1906. There it met the Cumberland & Piedmont Railway, which with the West Virginia Central & Pittsburg Railway (WVC&P), another Gould railroad, formed a route southwest from Cumberland through Elkins to Durbin and Belington WV.  In 1907, Gould acquired control of the George's Creek & Cumberland Railroad (GC&C), which had a line from Cumberland north through the Cumberland Narrows.

B&O and RDG had broken their traffic agreement with WM in 1902, with the result that coal from Gould's WVC&P bypassed the WM and went instead over trackage owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), which at the time controlled B&O.  The rest of Gould's empire was in trouble as well, and in 1908 the WM entered receivership, as did the Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal Railway and the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway.  The Western Maryland Railway took over the WM at the beginning of 1910 and immediately began construction of an 86-mile (138 km) extension northwest from Cumberland to a connection with the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad at Connellsville PA.

When the Gould empire collapsed, John D. Rockefeller acquired control of the WM.  Because the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) merger plan on 1921 grouped WM with B&O, B&O bought Rockefeller's WM interest in 1927 and soon increased its WM holdings to 43 percent.  Frank Taplin, who controlled the Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway (P&WV), protested B&O's action.  The ICC charged B&O with violating antitrust laws — in its effort to carry out the ICC merger plan.  PRR interests acquired the P&WV in 1929 and offered to purchase WM, but the B&O refused to sell, eventually placing its WM holdings in a nonvoting trust.

WM began dieselization in 1949, starting with the eastern end of the system, farthest from the coalfields it served.  Passenger service - which consisted of coach-only local trains - lasted barely long enough to be dieselized.

As merger plans formulated, WM could see its traffic disappear.  The planned merger of the New York Central Railroad (NYC) and the PRR (the ill-fated Penn Central) could throw traffic from the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad (part of the NYC system) onto the PRR.  Rumors circulated that the Norfolk & Western Railway wanted the WM as part of its system, which would have been ideal due to existing coordinated WM-N&W run-through agreements and WM-N&W connections in Connellsville PA and Hagerstown MD.  However, this was not to be as the B&O owned 42.88% of the WM (purchased in the 1920's), and following the C&O acquisition of the B&O in the early 1960's, plans were drawn up to combine C&O, B&O, and WM into the Chessie System.  C&O bought the remaining WM stock which B&O did not already own and B&O and C&O applied to control WM, which the ICC subsequently approved in 1967.

There was little evidence of the C&O-B&O control until 1973, when the Chessie System was incorporated to own the C&O, B&O, and the WM.  WM's single track paralleled B&O's double-track line and had easier grades and better clearances, but the expense of maintaning the line and building connecting lines outweighed any savings that might result in lower operating costs.  That same year, WM's Port Covington coal terminal was abandoned in favor of B&O's newer pier in Baltimore.  Gradually, B&O absorbed WM's operations, and in late 1983, B&O officially merged the WM.  The B&O itself merged with the C&O in 1987, which itself became part of CSX Transportation.

Today..... Much of the original WM west of Big Pool has been abandoned including the 2,375-foot (724 m) summit of the Allegheny Mountains and the Eastern Continental Divide near Deal, Pennsylvania. In addition to CSX, portions of the former WM are now operated by Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, the Maryland Midland Railway (MMID), Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and York Railway.  Other portions are now rail trails.  A portion of the former WM roadbed in Baltimore is now used by the Baltimore Metro Subway (Wikipedia got this wrong, as the Metro NEVER used any of the WM R-O-W, The Metro instead, ran parallel to some of the WM line down around Northern Parkway and Cold Spring Lane, and it's elevated at that!). The CSX is still using the WM trackage..... Todd

In Allegany County MD, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park includes the Western Maryland Railroad Right-of-Way, Milepost 126 to Milepost 160, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

More info here

  WM Penn Mar Station in 1878, photo by EM Recher.


●  the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad

From Wikipedia:

The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad (reporting mark MPA), familiarly known as the "Ma and Pa" (AKA the M&Pa), was an American short-line railroad between York and Hanover PA.  It operated passenger and freight trains on its original line between York PA and Baltimore MD, from 1901 until the 1950s.  The Ma and Pa was popular with railfans in the 1930s and 1940s for its antique equipment and curving, picturesque right-of-way through the hills of rural Maryland and Pennsylvania.  Reflecting its origin as the unintended product of the merger of two 19th-century narrow gauge railways, the meandering Ma and Pa line took 77.2 miles (124 km) to connect Baltimore and York, although the two cities are only 45 miles (72 km) apart in a straight line.

Passenger service was discontinued on August 31, 1954, and the section from Baltimore to Whiteford MD (just south of the Mason-Dixon line demarcating the Pennsylvania-Maryland border) was abandoned in June 1958.  Most of the remaining original railroad line was abandoned by 1984.  The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad acquired a former 19-mile (31 km) Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) branch line between York and Hanover in the 1980s, now operated by a successor corporation, York Railway

The 1800's..... The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad was formed from two earlier 19th-century 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railways: the Baltimore & Delta Railway, later the
Baltimore & Lehigh Railway, and the York and Peach Bottom Railway, later the York Southern Railroad.  Construction of the Baltimore & Delta Railway started in 1881, and passenger trains between Baltimore and Towson MD began on April 17, 1882.  Later that year the company was merged into the Maryland Central Railroad.  The line was extended northward to Bel Air MD on June 21, 1883, and the following January, the line was completed to Delta PA.

In Pennsylvania, the Peach Bottom Railway was incorporated in 1871.  The railway's Middle Division laid narrow gauge track between York and Red Lion by August 1874 and completed its line southward to Delta in 1876.  It went bankrupt in 1881 and was reorganized as the York and Peach Bottom Railway (Y&PB) in 1882.  The Y&PB merged with the Maryland Central Railway (successor to the Maryland Central RR) in 1891, becoming the Baltimore and Lehigh, and the new company operated trains on the combined track between York and Baltimore.

Both railroads struggled with light freight traffic and financial difficulties in the 1890s.  Because of their narrow gauge construction, the Baltimore & Lehigh Railway and York Southern Railroad could not interchange freight cars with other lines.  The two companies finally converted to standard gauge between 1898–1900 and subsequently merged to form the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad on February 12, 1901.  The result was the circuitous, 77.2-mile (124 km) "Ma and Pa" route between Baltimore and York, compared to the competing Pennsylvania Railroad's more direct 56-mile (90 km) distance between the two cities on its Northern Central Railway division.  The completed line had grades up to 2.3 percent and 55 sharp curves of 16–20 degrees (most mainline railroads seldom exceed six degrees, and even the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad's mainline through the Rocky Mountains does not exceed 12 degrees).

The 1900's..... Following the merger, the Ma and Pa operated through passenger and freight trains between York and Baltimore, as well as local trains at each end of the line, hauling mail and express, slate, marble, anthracite coal, lumber, furniture, and agricultural products to market.  Particularly on the Pennsylvania Division (Delta–York), slate from Delta and manufactured goods from Red Lion and York were mainstays of the railroad's outbound freight traffic in the early years. On the Maryland Division, inbound anthracite coal deliveries accounted for a significant volume of carloadings, along with milk from the many dairy farms in the area.  One early morning train from Fallston boarded more than 1,100 gallons of milk daily and was dubbed the "Milky Way".  The line was profitable and traffic volume was such that additional locomotives were necessary.

The Ma and Pa acquired two 0-6-0 Baldwin switchers in 1913, #29 and #30 (pictured), called "jewels of engines, in some respects the most attractive the road had", by writer George Hilton in The Ma & Pa – A History of the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad. The next year, three 2-8-0 "Consolidations" by Baldwin were added to the roster, providing more powerful locomotives for the Baltimore–York through freights.  At its peak, the railroad had 16 locomotives and 160 pieces of rolling stock, with 573 employees.

With increasing competition from trucks and automobiles in the 1920s, passenger volume began to decline along with less-than-carload freight, such as milk from the many dairy farms along the Ma and Pa's pastoral route. The Ma and Pa substituted more economical, self-propelled gas-electric passenger cars for steam-powered passenger trains in 1927–1928. Carload freight volume increased in the 1920s, however, as more industries located along the line, and earnings were strong enough for the company to declare dividends in 1930 and 1931.  The Ma and Pa's relative prosperity ended with the economic downturn during the Great Depression, which cut the railroad's gross revenues by half from 1932 to 1935.

In the mid-1930s, the Ma and Pa became an early favorite of railfans, attracted by its hilly, curving line through rural Maryland and Pennsylvania. The railroad offered several popular fan excursions pulled by its elderly steam locomotives.

Following the end of WWII, the Ma and Pa acquired four diesel locomotives for more economical operations, but traffic declined significantly. When the Ma and Pa's mail contract was cancelled by the U.S. postal service, the railroad discontinued all passenger service on August 31, 1954.  One person on the last passenger train recalled that many riders came from as far away as Boston MA and Washington DC to participate in the historic event, along with members of the National Railway Historical Society.  The picturesque line's last steam engine dropped its fire for the final time on November 29, 1956.

The lack of traffic on the railroad's 44-mile (71 km) Baltimore–Whiteford Maryland Division in the 1950s was particularly acute.  One of the last major shipments to occur was Indiana limestone for the construction of Baltimore's Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in 1956.  The Baltimore–Whiteford segment in Maryland was finally abandoned altogether on June 11, 1958, leaving only the stone abutments where the tracks crossed York Road in Towson on a steel girder bridge.  A local group of history buffs placed a bronze plaque on the west abutment in 1999, commemorating the departed railroad's place in Towson history.

In the 1960s, the Ma and Pa Railroad continued to solicit business along its line for its remaining 34.8-mile (56.0 km) Whiteford–York segment, almost entirely in Pennsylvania.  In 1964, it added a siding 905 feet (276 m) long near Red Lion to serve a new cigar box factory.  In 1971, the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad was acquired by Emons Industries.  Primarily hauling slate from a quarry at Delta, and furniture from a factory in Red Lion, the Ma and Pa's Pennsylvania Division continued in operation until June 14, 1978, when the line was further reduced to the 9-mile (14 km) York–Red Lion section.  The Red Lion freight station was closed on November 1, 1980.  When the Pennsylvania town's furniture manufacturer shuttered its doors in 1984, the Red Lion section of the railroad was also abandoned.

Today..... The Emons-controlled Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad acquired 19 miles (31 km) of a former PRR branch line between York and Hanover, Pennsylvania in the 1980s.  In December 1999, Emons merged its M&P subsidiary with another area short-line, Yorkrail, forming the York Railway.  In 2002, Genesee and Wyoming gained control of the 42-mile (68 km) York Railway, including the former M&P Railroad trackage between York–Hanover.  The York Railway currently serves 40 online rail customers and connects with the Norfolk Southern RR (in York) and CSX (in Hanover).

A small, 3-mile (5 km) fragment of the original railroad line still exists between Laurel and Muddy Creek Forks in York County PA, maintained by the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society.  Founded by enthusiasts and former employees in 1986, the group has restored the Muddy Creek Forks station and also has a small collection of rolling stock there.  The preserved Red Lion station is now a museum operated by the Red Lion Area Historical Society.  Another section of the Ma and Pa's old right-of-way was converted in 1998 to a rail trail in Harford County, Maryland. Now 6 miles (10 km) long, the MA & PA Heritage Trail through Bel Air is used for hiking and biking.

In Baltimore, near Pennsylvania Station, Ma and Pa track remnants and the old roundhouse, freight shed, and yard shed are still around.  The Baltimore Streetcar Museum now operates in this area, and uses the freight shed for storage of old streetcar parts and shop machinery.

In York County, the Muddy Creek Bridge, Delta Trestle Bridge, and Scott Creek Bridge-North were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

The whole story is here

Last train thru Towson MD on June 11th, 1958, photo by Charles T. Mahan, who just recently passed away (2102), I went to graduated HS with his son Dick.
When I moved into Towson in 1966, the freight shed was still there across the street from the original Towson Library.

Photo of the Red Lion PA depot, taken by John Lloyd.


The Chessie System

In 1972, the B&O RR, the Chesapeake & Ohio Rwy, the Western Maryland Rwy, and the B&OCT all became merged into one entity called the Chessie System.  Engines retained some former identity in the form of a small B&O or WM under the engine number on the cab.

In Short - from Wikipedia..... Chessie System, Inc. was a holding company that owned the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O), the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O), the Western Maryland Railway (WM), and several smaller carriers.  It was incorporated in Virginia on February 26, 1973, and it acquired the C&O (which controlled the other companies) on June 15.  On November 1, 1980, Chessie System merged with Seaboard Coast Line Industries to form CSX Corporation.  However, the Chessie image continued to be applied to new and re-painted equipment until mid-1986, when CSX introduced its own paint scheme.  The B&O and C&O were not legally merged out of existence until 1987, when the company's official successor, CSX Transportation was founded.

Headquartered in Cleveland OH, the Chessie System was the creation of Cyrus S. Eaton and his protégé Hays T. Watkins, Jr., then president and chief executive officer of C&O.  A chief source of revenue for the Chessie System was coal mined in West Virginia.  Another was the transport of auto parts and finished motor vehicles.

The signature symbol of the Chessie System was its "Ches-C", a large emblem incorporating the outline of the C&O's famous "Chessie" the kitten logo.  The Ches-C was emblazoned on the front of all Chessie System locomotives, and also served as the "C" in "Chessie System" on the locomotive's flanks, and on other rolling stock.  The Chessie System itself did not own any locomotives or other rolling stock, rather, equipment would be placed on the roster of one of the three component railroads.  While all three companies shared a common paint scheme of yellow, vermillion, and blue, actual ownership of the equipment was denoted by the reporting marks C&O, B&O, or WM.

For more info, click here


CSX Transportation

CSX took over the operations of the Chessie System railroads in 1987, when it merged with the Seaboard System.  CSX's operations in Baltimore have changed little over the years, with few exceptions... one being the WM/B&O interchange track in Westport, and the other the loss of the former WM Port Covington Yard.

Starting in ernst in the late 2000's, CSX embarked on a CPL replacement program.  The Halethorpe Tower/St Denis area converted around 2008, Carroll interlocking went away in 2012, as well as Curtis Bay interlocking, and the Bailey's Wye area is complete as of 2014.

More info here


●  The Baltimore & Susquehanna Railway
The Northern Central Railway

The second railroad to start-up in Baltimore was the Baltimore & Susquehanna Rwy, which started in downtown Baltimore, and headed north to Pennsylvania.  It was charted on February 13th, 1828.  The state of Pennsylvania did not want to allow a railroad being built for/from Baltimore to tap the resources of southern PA, so they did not initially approve the railroad coming into the state.  The B&S, after reaching Cockeysville to tap the quarry, applied to Maryland for a change to it's plans.  It split off at Relay (later Hollins to avoid confusion with a town of the same name on the B&O in SW Baltimore County), and then headed off towards Westminster MD, in hopes of being able to get to Gettysburg.  In the process, they created what was called the Green Spring Branch

In the beginning, railroads did not use the common wooden tie, and experimented with stones to support the rails.  The B&S was one of four or five railroads to use these, and my page on marble stringers is here.

On March 14th, 1832, the PA legislature finally authorized the construction of the York & Maryland Line RR, to connect with the B&S.  The line between York and Baltimore was completed by 1838, and travels through some really beautiful countryside. 

On March 10th, 1854, the MD legislature approved the merger of four railroads into the Northern Central (the B&S, the Y&ML, the York & Cumberland RR, and the Susquehanna RR). 

The Pennsy acquired controlling interest in the Northern Central in 1861, in an effort to compete with the B&O.  After that, it was operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the PRR. 

The line between Baltimore and Harrisburg was double-tracked by World War 1.  This line came to and end in September 1972 with Hurricane Agnes ripping through the area - at this point, the line had been in operation for 134 years.

The line had one local passenger train, called the Parkton Local, which ran from roughly xxx to 1959, and went from their station downtown to the northern Baltimore County town of Parkton, which today is conveniently located off I-83 at exit 34.  The depot there remains today as head of the NC Trail.

More info here

  A NB Northern Central train in Lutherville MD around 1918.

The Penn Central Railroad


The only railroad in Maryland that became part of the Penn Central railroad system was the Pennsylvania RR.  The merger of the PRR, the New York Central, and the New Haven RR happened in 1968, and all freight and passenger operations continued under the Penn Central flag. 

The Penn Central fumbled along with passenger service, losing money from the beginning.  Being that passenger service over most of the United States was in poor shape, and losing money, Amtrak was formed in 1971 and took over the Penn Central's passenger operation on the Northeast corridor.  The last passenger train between Baltimore and Harrisburg via the Northern Central, a single E unit and a coach, was the day before Amtrak took over on April 30th, 1971.

For a boatload of info, check here



On May 1st, 1971, the federal government took over the vast majority of passenger operations from railroads across the country.  This included the PRR/Penn Central's operation on the Northeast Corridor between Washington DC and Boston.  Passenger service on the B&O was not included in this deal, probably because Amtrak considered it a duplication of service.  Amtrak today, is still obviously still going strong, and the NEC is one of the few "lines" that pays for itself.  They continue to invest heavily in infrastructure by upgrading the track, the overhead wire, and the signaling system.

For more info, look here


●  Maryland Department of Transportation
●  MARC - MAryland Rail Commuter


In 1974, Maryland's MDOT gave the B&O a subsidy to help keep the Camden Line service alive.  In 1975, Maryland agreed to fund the entire operating deficit, and agreed to buy new rolling stock.   Maryland finally assumed all operations of the commuter service in 1982, over the former B&O line between Baltimore and Washington DC. 

The MARC named arrived in 1983, after it assumed commuter operations from Conrail.

MARC is considered the fastest commuter rail service in the United States, but only because the Penn Line operates on the Northeast Corridor.  Even though MARC bought a couple of the Acela type engines, it still mostly runs diesels on the Penn Line.

  From Wikipedia, Jan 2008

 MP36PH-3C Cab

  An earlier MDot train NB on the Thomas Viaduct


Ahhhh, the railroad we all love to hate.  When the Penn Central, and most of the other Northeast railroads started getting into financial trouble in the mid 1970's, the government's solution was the formation of Conrail.  Conrail was incorporated on October 25th, 1974, and assumed operation of the bankrupt railroads on April 1st, 1976.  It took over the Penn Central, the Reading RR, the Central RR of New Jersey,  the Lehigh Valley RR, the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines, the Erie-Lackawanna, and the Raritan River RR.  Conrail itself, as large as it was, felt the strain of a lackluster economy, and on June 1st, 1999, was divided up into two parcels, with about 40% of it going to CSX, and 60% of it going to Norfolk Southern.  In areas where the government felt the market would be too lopsided, they left Conrail intact in northern New Jersey, south Jersey/Philadelphia, and in the Detroit area in what they call Conrail Shared Assets Operations, and ownership is both CSX and NS.

Conrail also inherited commuter operations of it's predecessor railroads except for MARC, but in 1983, finally gave them up.

From the Conrail Website.....

Conrail began operations in April 1976, although its origins go back to the earliest days of railroading in North America (not really, you could say that abut any railroad today with all of the mergers that have taken place since 1830, Todd).

The oldest segment of what became Conrail was the Granite Railway Co., built in 1826 to carry granite blocks for the Bunker Hill Monument in West Quincy, Massachusetts.  Nearly 150 years later, scores of railroads in the Northeast and Midwest had been acquired or merged into six different lines: Central Railroad of New Jersey, Erie Lackawanna, Lehigh & Hudson River, Lehigh Valley, Penn Central, and the Reading.

In the early 1970s, one by one, these six railroads entered bankruptcy.  Although there were many reasons for the economic difficulties they faced, chief among them was competition from trucks, subsidized by the federally-built Interstate highway system, and an archaic system of economic regulation which prevented railroads from responding to the needs of the market.  As freight revenues declined, railroads deferred maintenance, allowing tracks and equipment to fall into poor condition, and as service levels deteriorated, more business went to trucks.  Requirements to run money-losing passenger service added to the rails decline.

The federal government, recognizing the national economic importance of the six railroads, responded by creating Conrail and appropriating the funds needed to rebuild tracks, locomotives and freight cars.  While Conrail succeeded in rebuilding the railroad, the problem of severe economic regulation remained.  With the passage of the Staggers Act in 1980, many of these constraints were loosened, giving railroads more freedom to compete with trucks.  Later, other legislation transferred the burden of operating money-losing commuter rail service from Conrail to state agencies.  In the 1970s, Congress created Amtrak to take over intercity passenger service from the nation's freight railroads.

By 1981 Conrail began its financial turnaround.  After June 1981, Conrail would no longer require federal investment, and finished the year with the first profit in its history.

With Conrail continuing to succeed in providing high quality service for its freight customers and improving its financial outlook, the federal government sold its ownership interest in Conrail through what at the time was the largest initial public stock offering in the nation's history.  This March 26, 1987 transaction, with added cash payments from Conrail to the U.S. Treasury, produced about $1.9 billion for the taxpayers and returned the Northeast-Midwest rail freight system to the private sector as a for-profit corporation, as Congress had envisioned when it created Conrail as Consolidated Rail Corporation.

In the spring of 1997, Norfolk Southern Corporation and CSX Corporation agreed to acquire Conrail through a joint stock purchase.  The Surface Transportation Board officially approved the acquisition and restructuring of Conrail on July 23, 1998.  The approved restructuring plan transformed Conrail into a switching and terminal railroad that operates on behalf of its owners, Norfolk Southern and CSX, in the Shared Assets Areas of Northern New Jersey, Southern New Jersey/Philadelphia, and Detroit.

For more info, click here or here.

● The Canton Railroad

The Canton Railroad Company is a rail logistics provider that offers freight services to industrial, manufacturing and port related shippers. It is located in eastern Baltimore City and Baltimore County MD.  The railroad was formally founded in 1906.  Eventually the Canton Railroad Company would be created to serve the industrial heartland of Baltimore.

Their website is here.

From Wikipedia:

History.... After the federal government enacted legislation in 1905 approving the dredging of shipping channels to the Baltimore harbor to a depth of 35 feet, the Canton Company of Baltimore, a marine terminal operator, sought to develop property it owned in southeast Baltimore for use by manufacturers and shippers. This necessitated access to rail services. Since neither of the two local railroad companies, the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) and Pennsylvania Railroad Companies, were willing to extend their lines to undeveloped areas, the Canton Company decided in 1905 to build its own local railroad.

The Canton Railroad Company was chartered in 1906 by the Canton Company, to serve industrial, manufacturing, and shipping customers in the Baltimore port area. Its tracks, starting from the interconnection with the Pennsylvania Railroad, were laid during the period from 1905 through 1914. The Canton track interconnected with the B&O Railroad in 1910. Rail operations began in 1907.

The Canton Company was purchased by the conglomerate International Mining Company in 1960.  It passed through several owners in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1984, alleged financial improprieties by the owners of the Canton Development Company, then the owner of the railroad, led to its being placed into receivership.  The State of Maryland purchased the Canton Railroad at a bankruptcy auction in 1987 for $875,000 to provide railway access to the Seagirt Terminal of the Port of Baltimore.

The Canton Railroad dispute with Maryland involving whether the state franchise tax on railroad activities in the port of Baltimore violated the Import-Export or Commerce Clauses of the Constitution led to the Supreme Court case Canton Railroad Company v. Rogan, 340 U.S. 511 (1951).

Current operations: Today the Canton Railroad is owned by the Maryland Transportation Authority and operates as a for-profit enterprise.  Engines used by the Canton Railroad are painted yellow and black in a pattern similar to that used in the Maryland and Baltimore flags.  The railroad currently operates 6 miles of mainline and 17 miles of secondary track.


Below is a sampling of Canton engines from the early 80's.

● The Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad


From Wikipedia:

The Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad was an American railroad of central Maryland built in the 19th century.  The railroad, the second to serve Annapolis, ran between Annapolis and Clifford along the north shore of the Severn River. From Clifford, just north of the present day Patapsco Light Rail Stop, it connected with the B&O's Curtis Bay branch so that trains could travel to Baltimore.  In 1921, when it was called the Annapolis and Baltimore Short Line, it was purchased by the larger Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railway (WB&A), and then emerged from the WB&A's 1935 bankruptcy and closure as the Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad.  B&A electric passenger operation between the two cities continued until 1950, at which time the rail line became solely a freight carrier, operating buses for passenger service.  Freight service to Annapolis continued until June 1968 when the Severn River Trestle was declared unsafe.  In the 1980s the line was completely shut down.  The right-of-way now serves as part of Baltimore's light rail system and as the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail.

The Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad was chartered in 1880, by a group of New England promoters as the Annapolis and Baltimore Short Line and began running in March 1887.  This freight and passenger line was an integral link between Annapolis and Baltimore, transporting almost two million passengers per year until competition from nearby highways forced the railroads' closure.  It was the second railroad to serve Annapolis and provided a faster connection to Baltimore, taking a more direct path along the north shore of the Severn River and then crossing the river into Annapolis.  The railroad transformed the once-secluded banks of the Severn to a series of suburban communities.

The railroad started as a steam powered line running from Bladen Street in Annapolis, crossing the wide Severn River estuary on a long timber trestle, and on to Clifford on the B&O line, where it used the B&O tracks to terminate at Camden Station in Baltimore.  Because the A&B Short Line created an almost straight line southeast from Baltimore it snatched much of the Baltimore-Annapolis trade away from the Annapolis, Washington & Baltimore Railroad on which passengers had to change trains at Annapolis Junction.

At some point prior to 1892, a small connecting line was built between the A&B and the AW&B at the Bay Ridge Junction wye where the AW&B met the Annapolis and Bay Ridge Railroad.

Reorganization: Business was slim in the early years, and in 1893 the railroad was sold to George Burnham Jr. and reorganized as the Baltimore & Annapolis Short Line the next year.  Universally it was called simply “The Annapolis Short Line.”

Modernization: The line was electrified in 1908, and changed its name to the Maryland Electric Railways Company, providing clean, comfortable, faster, and more frequent service.  Unlike most electric railways of its time, which employed a low voltage Direct Current electrification, the line installed a 6,600 volt, 25 cycle, single phase Alternating Current electrification system newly developed by the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company.  The pioneering AC system was less than fully successful, however, and in 1914, new owners switched to DC.  When it did, the B&O was wary of a high-voltage overhead line over its tracks between the Clifford interchange and Camden Station. (Both the WB&A and Short Line then used 3300v AC) So the B&O built a new line for the Short Line between Cliffords and its mainline at Russell Street, paralleling the South Baltimore branch through Westport.  This line ran immediately west/south of the Curtis Bay and South Baltimore branches, passing under the Curtis Bay branch along the way.

Purchase: During its heyday, the years between 1918 and the late 1920s, the B&A transported as many as 1,750,000 passengers per year between Baltimore and Annapolis. Trains left every hour from 6 am through 11 pm (during rush hours, the trains left every 30 minutes).  Because of its strong performance, the neighboring WB&A bought the Annapolis Short Line in 1921 and it became part of the WB&A system in which it was called the North Shore Line. Afterward, Short Line trains were routed over the WB&A between Linthicum and the WB&A's new Baltimore terminal at the corner of Howard & Lombard Streets, now the site of a Holiday Inn.  At the same time, most of the old Short Line track between Linthicum and Westport was abandoned, except for a section between Baltimore Highlands and the B&O Cliffords interchange which was kept to handle freight to and from the B&O. The "new" (B&O-built) Annapolis Short Line ROW between Cliffords and Westport was also retained for freight interchange, though this segment was later abandoned in 1979.

The End: Following World War II, gasoline and cars came back. At a hearing in November 1949, the Maryland Public Service Commission reported "The rails are worn and would have to be replaced if passenger service is continued; the cars and trains are antiquated, decrepit, and unattractive means of travel; schedules are slow, and there is no inducement, save that of necessity, for anyone to travel the area by rail. While not yet dead, it is moribund”. The B&A substituted buses for rail service: by February 5, 1950, the B&A Short Line made its final passenger run.  The electric wires were removed, but the railroad remained intact for diesel-operated freight service.  The B&A purchased a diesel that remained in freight service to Annapolis until June 1968 when the Severn River Trestle was embargoed.

The freight was now terminated at Jones Station where Annapolis Lumber and Supply Company sent trucks to collect freight. At this time, the Naval Academy converted their power and heating systems from coal to oil. By the early 1970s, all that remained in service was a six-mile (10 km) stub to Glen Burnie.

The Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad's public bus system was absorbed by Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) in 1973 as Route 14. The company continued as a charter bus service using motorcoaches into the mid-1980s, but eventually ceased service.

In 1979, Anne Arundel County purchased the 66-foot (20 m) wide corridor between Glen Burnie to Arnold for the purpose of creating the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail and park.  The remaining line north of Glen Burnie was shut down in the early 1980s and sold to the State of Maryland to serve as the southern leg of the light rail system. In 1986, B&A number 50 was donated to the B&O Railroad Museum.

Down in Glen Burnie, the light rail still uses this short trestle.

  In downtown Baltimore

  Map showing WB&A system, including former B&A line.

  Marley Station 1944.

  Arnold Station 1945.

  Glen Burnie Station 1941.

●  the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad

From Wikipedia.....

Around 1830, the Pennsylvania state legislature sought to improve transportation between Philadelphia and points south.  On April 2, 1831, it chartered the Philadelphia and Delaware County Rail-Road Company, allotting $200K to build a rail line from America's largest city to the Delaware state line.  In July 1835, surveyors began to look at possible routes, and in October they reported that the best option, a 17-mile line, would cost $233K to build.

Meanwhile, the Delaware and Maryland legislatures were doing their part to create a rail link to Wilmington and Baltimore.  On January 18, 1832, Delaware chartered the Wilmington and Susquehanna Rail Road Company (W&SRRC; $400K) to build from Wilmington to the Maryland state line. 

On March 5, Maryland chartered the Baltimore and Port Deposit Rail Road Company (B&PD) (with $1,000,000) to build from Baltimore to the western bank of the Susquehanna River.  The B&PD began operating trains in 1835, in Baltimore between the Basin (today, it's known as the Inner Harbor) waterfront and the Canton area.

On March 12, the Delaware and Maryland Rail Road Company (D&MRRC) was chartered for $3,000,000 to build from Port Deposit or any other point on the Susquehanna's eastern bank to the Delaware line.

The year 1836 saw several milestones.  The P&DCRRC opened its first segment of track, the state upped the railroad's allowable expenditures to $400,000, and the company changed its name, on March 14, to The Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad Company.  On July 4, the PW&B began building its bridge over the Schuylkill River, the most significant obstacle on its route.  The bridge would cross at Gray's Ferry, south of the city.

Work proceeded in Delaware and Maryland as well, and by July 1837, there was continuous track from Baltimore to Wilmington, broken only by the wide Susquehanna River, which trains crossed by ferry at Havre de Grace.

On January 15, 1838, the PW&B opened service from Gray's Ferry to Wilmington. In December, the Schuylkill bridge was completed.  Named the Newkirk Viaduct after PW&B president Matthew Newkirk, it allowed trains to run from downtown Philadelphia to downtown Baltimore, with only the Susquehanna ferry interrupting the ride.

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) began using the tracks that same year to offer service to Philadelphia.

The disadvantages of tripartite ownership of the Philadelphia-Baltimore line had become obvious.  The D&MRRC and the W&SRRC had already merged to form the Wilmington and Susquehanna Railroad Company on April 18, 1836.

On February 12, 1838, the four state-chartered railroads were merged to form the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad Company.  (The new company's name differed from its predecessor's in that "The" was not part of its formal name).


In Philadelphia, the line ended at Broad Street and Prime Avenue (today Washington Avenue), where it connected with the Southwark Rail-Road (built in 1835) to reach the Delaware River.

In 1839, the railroad's ticket agents advertised daily mail-and-passenger trains that left Baltimore's Pratt Street station at 9:30 a.m., stopped for lunch in Wilmington, and reached the Market Street depot in Philadelphia at 4 p.m.

In 1842, Newkirk resigned as PW&B president. He was replaced by Matthew Brooke Buckley (1794-1856), who had become a PW&B board member on Jan. 10, 1842, and one week later had taken over leadership of one of the railroad's three executive committees, the Northern one.  As president, Buckley helped create the first telegraph line from Philadelphia to Baltimore (and hence from points north and south) by agreeing to allow the builder to use the PW&B right-of-way in exchange for the use of the communications equipment.

In Baltimore, the PW&B ended at President Street.  In 1850, the railroad opened a new station, with a 208-foot (63 m) barrel-vaulted train shed.  Service onward to Washington, D.C. was facilitated by drawing the coaches by horse down Pratt Street to the B&O terminal.  Unwieldy as it was, the arrangement allowed the railroads to compete with the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad (Pennsylvania Railroad after 1857) on routes west from Philadelphia.  By 1853, the Camden and Amboy Railroad and New Jersey Railroad were also part of this agreement, providing through service from New York City to the west.

The PW&B also extended its reach into Delaware — on March 15, 1839, it bought the New Castle and Frenchtown Turnpike and Rail Road running from New Castle DE to Frenchtown MD but it took 13 years to connect the line to the rest of the PW&B. The New Castle and Wilmington Railroad was chartered to do so, and opened in 1852. The line also provided a connection with the Delaware Railroad, which the PW&B took over and began to operate on January 1, 1857. In 1859, the NC&F was abandoned west of Rodney, the junction with the Delaware Railroad. By 1866, these moves and others allowed the PW&B to dominate the Delmarva Peninsula rail market.

In November 1866, the Susquehanna was bridged at last by the PW&B Bridge, a 3,269-foot (996 m) wooden truss, creating a continuous rail connection between Philadelphia and Baltimore.

To avoid swampy areas and serve more populated ones, the PB&W built the Darby Improvement, which diverged from its existing main line just south of the Grays Ferry Bridge, passed through Darby, and rejoined it at Eddystone, just upriver from Chester.  The new inland track opened on November 18, 1872.  The PW&B dispensed with the old alignment less than a year later, leasing it on July 1, 1873, to the Philadelphia and Reading Railway for 999 years with the stipulation that it would be used solely for freight.  (The Reading dubbed the line, along with some connecting track, its Philadelphia and Chester Branch, southbound trains reached it via the Junction Railroad (jointly controlled by PW&B, Reading, and PRR) and continued on to the connecting Chester and Delaware River Railroad.)

The PW&B, which had competed so fiercely with the PRR, began to see their interests align.  In 1873, the PRR opened the Baltimore and Potomac Rail Road from Baltimore to Washington.  The PW&B agreed to allow the PRR to use its track between Philadelphia and Baltimore, helping the PRR to offer a shorter and more direct trip to Washington.

On May 15, 1877, the PW&B formally absorbed the New Castle & Frenchtown and New Castle & Wilmington railroads, forming a branch line from Wilmington to Rodney.  On May 21, 1877, it absorbed the Southwark railroad, extending its main line to the Delaware River waterfront.

PRR subsidiaries

A number of branches were built, bought and sold from 1881 to 1891, as described below.  In 1895, the main line was realigned and straightened at Naaman's Creek in Delaware. The old line would become sidings for Claymont Steel.

The PRR's Baltimore and Potomac Rail Road was formally leased to the PW&B on November 1, 1891.

The Elkton and Middletown Railroad, opened in 1895, was originally intended as a cutoff between the main line at Elkton, Maryland and the Delaware Railroad at Middletown, Delaware. However, only a short piece of track serving industries in Elkton was ever constructed. It was consolidated into the PB&W on September 15, 1916.

The PW&B merged with the Baltimore and Potomac on November 1, 1902, to form the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad.


  • Southwark
  • 60th Street/Chester
  • South Chester
  • Edgemoor
  • Augustine Mill: Also called the Brandywine Branch, it was built in 1882 from Landlith north along the Brandywine Creek to reach the Augustine Mills of the Jessup & Moore Paper Company, and was later extended further north to serve the Kentmere and Rockford Mills of Joseph Bancroft & Sons.
  • Shellpot: Also called the Shellpot Cutoff, it was built in 1888 from Edgemoor (near the crossing of the Shellpot Creek) around the south side of Wilmington to a point on the main line between Wilmington and Newport. It served as a freight bypass, to avoid what was then street running on the main line through Wilmington.
  • Delaware Branch: Formed from the old New Castle & Frenchtown and New Castle & Wilmington trackage between Wilmington and Rodney, via New Castle. It was sold to the Delaware Railroad in 1891.
  • New Castle Cut-off: Built in 1888 from a point on the Shellpot Branch just across the Christina River from Cherry Island, south to New Castle and a connection with the Delaware Branch. It was sold with the Delaware Branch to the Delaware Railroad in 1891.
  • Delaware City: Sold by the Newark and Delaware City Railroad to the PW&B in 1881. It ran south and east from the main line at Newark to Delaware City.
  • Port Deposit: Built in 1866 up the Susquehanna River from Perryville to the river town of Port Deposit. In 1893, it was sold to the Columbia and Port Deposit Railway, also PRR-controlled, which connected with it at Port Deposit.
  • Baltimore Union

    The map below shows the route of the PW&B's tracks through downtown Baltimore to connect with the B&O RR.


●  the Union RR

From Wikipedia, as part of a story on the Union Tunnels......

The Union Railroad was 9.62 miles (15.48 km) in length, extending from the northern terminus of the Baltimore and Potomac Rail Road to the southern terminus of the Northern Central Railway. The junction with the Baltimore and Potomac lies between Pennsylvania Station and the northern portal of the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel.  The Union Railroad joined the Northern Central at Bayview Junction, on the northeast side of Baltimore.

Although chartered as early as 1866, active steps to finance construction of the railroad and tunnel came only in the autumn of 1870, and actual construction begun May 1, 1871. On July 24, 1873, the first train passed through the tunnel.  The original tunnel began at Bond Street, and passed under the bed of Hoffman Street to Greenmount Avenue, crossing under Dallas, Caroline, Spring and Eden Streets, Central and Harford Avenues, and Ensor, Valley and McKim Streets.  Its length is 3,410 feet (1,040 m).  The total cost of the road and tunnel was some $3,000,000.

As soon as the Union Railroad was completed, the Northern Central Railway obtained the right to use it, and in February, 1882, the Northern Central purchased the Union Railroad stock from the Canton Company, and assumed control March 1 of the same year.

In the map below, the railroad ran between the two yellow arrows.

Significant Historical Events

On January 4, 1987, Amtrak Train 94 crashed into a Conrail freight locomotive in Chase.  The Conrail engineer had been smoking marijuana, which caused him to miss numerous warning signals.  Fourteen passengers were killed, making this Amtrak's deadliest crash ever at the time.  The crash became national news and led to new safety regulations and drug testing in the railroad industry.  The crash also caught the attention of President Ronald Reagan, who honored some of the local people of Chase for helping passengers who escaped shaken but unharmed from the trains.  The community now known as Chase was originally founded as "Chase's Station" in 1850 as a stop for the Baltimore Railroad.  From Wikipedia, notice they have the name of the railroad WRONG, this is why teachers don't like students to use Wikipedia as a reference source for research.

Merger Map

This map appears elsewhere on my websites.  There are also a few family history charts I have put together, located here.


New in 7/7/2012!
Last Updated: 03/23/2017