The map covers the area to the east of Baileys Wye which includes CSX's Riverside and Locust Point Yards,
and Fort McHenry
Probably the most notable "thing" in the area is
Ft McHenry, where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled
Banner in 1812, which also why Maryland started issuing the 1812 license plates last year to celebrate 200
years! The first series of the plate was
issued with an "MD" where the AH is, and then started with "AA". Starting in late 2016, Maryland started issuing all new plates continuing in
this series, but has now made the "AH" full height letters.
News Flash, May 1st, 2018: CSX has posted a notice that Locust Point Yard is now closed. Rumor has it that they may still retain the loop to service a few
customers that still demand rail service.
Another yard was also in this area, Western Maryland's Port Covington Yard. Not much, if anything at all, remains today to tell
you a railroad existed there, but where the Wal-Mart sits was right smack-dab in the middle of the old yard. Many a great steam excursion started and ended here, such
as all of the 2102 and many of 759's excursions back in the early 70's. I'll have to check the crypt for some pictures!
As far as I know, all signs of any signals are long gone from the area covered by this map.
Another neat sight, altho not related to trains, are the AT&T cable ships off to your right as your heading north in I-95.
Riverside Yard is one of CSX's main yards in Baltimore, as it is their maintenance center for them and MARC equipment, although now that Locust Point is shutting down,
it may much of it's business.
You can get into Riverside Yard from off of Fort Avenue, just before the right turn onto Key Highway if you are driving in from the Harbor area. If you don't venture
out of your car, the likelihood of being stopped is slim. Be covert in taking pictures, AND DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR! As can be seen below, you will pass
right by the remains of the old B&O turntable. The best pictures are probably taken from the end of Johnson St, where the green/yellow dot is below.
Activity here is fairly good throughout the week during the day.
Locust Point Yard
Locust Point yard is fairly accessible almost all the way around. Just pay attention to any signs you may come across, being a
marine shipping, people are fairly paranoid about people with cameras. I have never been stopped around here, but WAS while taking pictures in Hamilton
Ontario. After questioning on the spot, the Port Authority rep was OK, but he suggested in the future to stop by their office and sign in. You don't
have that luxury here in Baltimore.
With land values the way they are today, and the fact that railroads are looking to trim every unnecessary part of their operations from their books, AND, the
current downtown revival craze (as seen in the area off the end of President Street), I can see Locust Point going the way of RF&P's Potomac (Pot) Yard.
The picture below shows part of the yard that hasn't been used for quite sometime.....
Still a lot of track left in and around the piers....
I shouldn't have to tell anyone that the United States' national anthem was written "here" by Francis Scott Key, while watching the bombs bursting in the air,
really! If you are here, you SHOULD stop by.
These guys go out for weeks at a time and lay fiber optic cables on the bottom of the Atlantic. Once they start laying cable, they can not stop for ANY reason.
One of the cable channels has a special on how they pull the cables up from the bottom and perform repairs and splices on them... pretty interesting!
The first part of the Port Covington history comes from here:
In 1898, the city of Baltimore subsidized the creation of the
Western Maryland Railroad, intended as an alternative that would compete with the high prices of the
Baltimore and Ohio line, which had also been co-founded by the city
over 70 years earlier. The two networks ran side by side without overlapping to terminals on the South Baltimore peninsula, where they both unloaded coal from
Appalachia to ships that would take it up down the East Coast.
The major landowner was the Winans family, who held a large estate situated up the Gwynns Falls from the port. This stream valley connection between these two pieces
of property later became the right of way for the Western Maryland Railroad in the 1890s. And, after it narrowly missed becoming an expressway in the 1980s, it was
turned into the Gwynns Falls recreational trail during the late 1990s, connecting the waterfront to the Winans Estate, now Leakin Park.
The Winans were a family of engineers and entrepreneurs. Ross Winans had been sent to England by the B&O to study the state of the art in European rail
technology. When he returned, it was as the lead designer for the new American railroad's rolling stock. Ross's other projects included a water wheel that
powered the plumbing for the estate, and, during the Civil War, a steam powered machine gun.
The Western Maryland Railroad was bought out by its old competitor, the B&O, in 1983, and shut down soon after. Almost every trace of it at Port Covington
has been erased in a cleanup of the site by the Maryland Department of the Environment. The major pieces that remain include a large trestle bridge over the
outflow of the Gwynns Falls, and several derelict piers. One of these is now used as a berth for two
MARAD ships, the military's ready reserve, part of a large network of ships waiting to deploy personnel, vehicles, and supplies
anywhere in the world.
The second part is from Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt: As merger plans formulated, WM could see its traffic disappear. The planned merger of the
New York Central RR (NYC) and the PRR (the ill-fated Penn Central) could throw traffic from the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie RR (part of the NYC system) onto the
PRR. The Norfolk & Western Railway (N&W) could easily reroute traffic from the P&WV onto N&W lines right to Hagerstown. The WM decided to
forsake independence and join the B&O-Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) — B&O was almost half owner of WM. B&O and C&O applied to
control WM, and the ICC approved their bid in 1967.
There was little evidence of the C&O-B&O control until 1973, when the Chessie System was incorporated to own C&O, B&O, and WM. In 1973, WM applied
to abandon 125 miles of main line from Hancock MD to Connellsville PA. 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.
The USGS map below is probably from the mid or late 60's, and clearly shows the three yards of this peninsula.
photo by Bill Hopkins, taken from Hanover St
photo by Robert Knieshe, Hanover St is to the left
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while
trying to help others.
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented
I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while,
an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or
disoriented. Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the
railroads on them. If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job
of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads. Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Aerial shots were taken from either Google Maps or www.bing.com/maps as noted. Screen captures are made
with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous
and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit
is always given! Please be NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.