Todd's Railfan Guide to
Frederick MD

In General
Getting Here



In General

Frederick is a beautiful town, and 30 minutes wandering around the downtown area a few blocks west of the train station will prove that point.  Frederick back in the old days was the center for so much, and history is everywhere.  If you are into these kinds of things, the visitor center would be the best place to start, as they have excellent displays and a really well done video that takes about 14 minutes.  Check it out!  Some of what you will see is down in the Floobydust section.

The B&O entered Frederick off the tail of a wye at Frederick Junction south of Frederick, the sight of Battle of the Monocacy during the Civil War.  Fredrick Junction is on what is known as the B&O's Old Main Line, which runs from Relay/St Denis in Elkridge MD, to Point of Rocks MD.  It was the B&O's first route west, built between 1828 and 1835, until it started building the now current mainline going through Washington DC in 1835. 

MARC now has two stations in Frederick: Monacacy and Frederick, plus a small train yard just south of I70 at exit 55.

There are no Amtrak trains coming into or through Frederick.

Market Street is the east-west divider, and Patrick Street, slightly north of the tourist area where the creek runs through, is the north-south divider.

If you really want to spend some time in the area looking for bits and pieces of the Old Main Line, check out Steve's tour in the second link below.
Check out the following links for additional info:

For other guides of the area, check out the Central Maryland index page at:
This includes:
Boyce and Berryville VA; Harpers Ferry WV; Brunswick, Hagerstown, Point of Rocks, Mt Airy, and Point of Rocks MD

Getting Here

From the north, whether I83 from Harrisburg (and beyond, like Rochester, Albany, or Syracuse), or from NJ, NY and beyond (coming down I95), take the Beltway west around Baltimore to I70.  Take I70 west to exit 55, and Frederick will be on the north side of the interstate.  Exit 55 is the most convenient for the railroad stuff in this guide.

If you are coming from the west, you'll probably be on I70 already, so just stay on it till you get to exit 55.

Coming up from the south west, as in I81, I would suggest getting off at exit 307 and taking VA277 till it hits US340 in about 6-7 miles, and stay on it till you get to Frederick, about a 30 minute drive (it's about 25-30 minutes faster than going up to Hagerstown, and then taking I70 east - even tho you don't have the luxury of interstate speeds).

From DC, you have several choices, but the quickest way is to head up I270 to Frederick.  You can get off at exit 31 for the Monacacy station, or continue up 270 till you hit I70, then head east to exit 55.


Click here for the Frederick map in PDF version.

Click here for the Central MD map in PDF version.

Click here for all of the maps Central MD maps in one PDF.


    1         The MARC Frederick Station and ex-B&O Depot

The Frederick station occupies the old B&O depot near downtown Frederick.  It also serves as a hub (transportation center) for the local bus system, TransIT.


Evidence of the B&O bridge over the creek can still be seen.

Assorted shots in and around the station.

    Not sure where the milepost came from.....

Being a transportation Center, there is a constant flow of buses coming through.

    2         East Yard

This yard stores the MARC equipment when not in service, ie, overnight and the weekends.  There isn't a whole lot in here, usually, during the weekday.

The above photos are from a nice sunny weekend in 2004, below, a rainy weekday in 2010.

Stuff in the yard.

          July 2012, storage shed going up!

    3          The MARC Monacacy Station

This station is off of Urbana Pike, which is exit 54 off of I70, or exit 31 from I270.  Look for Genstar Dr and turn in there, the station is at the end.

                These pix from 2004

    4          The Walkersville Southern RR

A short drive north of Frederick is a shortline excursion railroad, the Walkersville Southern.  To get there, head north about 5 miles on US15 out of Frederick, and take a right onto Biggs Ford Road (a little over a mile north of MD26, Liberty Road), and go ~3 miles into Walkersville.

The trains run May through October, on Saturdays and Sundays... HOWEVER, they only run on Saturdays during July and August.  The fare is 10 bucks for an adult, $5 for kids.

The railroad used to be part of the Pennsy's track into Frederick, via Woodsboro, Keymar (where it crossed the Western Maryland), Taneytown, Littlestown PA, Hanover PA, and finally York PA (and on to Harrisburg).

Their website is at: http://www.wsrr.org/

I now have a railfan guide for the Walkersville Southern RR, and it is here

    5          Former B&O Depot

This building does indeed have railroad origins. It was the B&O passenger station that Abraham Lincoln stopped at October 25, 1862 on his way to visit the Army of the Potomac.  For more information, click here


    6          Former B&O Depot

Not sure, but this building sure looks like a railroad leftover.  Frederick used to have a plethora of them 30 year ago!  Mr. Benjamin writes and tells me that the photo is of a truncated B&O Freight station lopped off when the rail yard was turned into parking lots and an Art Center in the 1990's.




The high color light signals along the spur are from Safetran.

A US&S two color color light dwarf signal controls movements into the station.  It looks like there used to be a green lens in it.

     Looking south from Wisner, don't see many green speed limit signs on CSX!

  Grade crossing adjacent to the station on Wisner.

  Grade crossing at South and Hamilton.

    2      Signals and stuff at the north end of East Yard.


          The grade crossing and signs on the north side of the yard.

    3      Signals controlling train movement out of the yard and onto the spur.


    4      Signals at the south end of the yard.


Crossing gate at the south end of the yard.

A derail at the south end of the yard, to prevent trains from heading out onto the spur and towards the mainline.

    5      THRU      13    

I'm open for contributions if you have them.... 12 and 13 are only accessible by trespassing onto quarry property.


The Frederick Visitors Center

This visitors center does an extremely good job of telling you about the Frederick area.  The recently done "film" on the area is also well done, and anyone who wants to know more about Frederick and Fredrick County should take it in.



Fire and Police

This is the United Fire Company, and it is located just north of All Saints St on Market Street.  The other pictures of Ambo 38 were taken at the MARC station.




Scenes Around the Downtown Area

The pictures below show what an excellent job the city has done with the downtown "canal" area.  Take advantage of the many restaurants and shopping opportunities the area has to offer.





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