Access by train/transit:
DC Metro, Red Line (end of the line)
CSX's two-track mainline that heads west out of the Baltimore/Washington
area treks through Gaithersburg. It is the Metropolitan Division.
The other way out of Baltimore is the Old Main Line, which splits off from
the Baltimore to DC mainline in Elkridge MD, goes thru Frederick MD, and
joins up with the Metropolitan Division in Point-of-Rocks MD.
The Gaithersburg train station is a great place to watch activity from, and
a number of things, like the parking garage overpass, provide a nice
back-drop for EB trains (those headed into DC).
As for MARC service, Gaithersburg sits on the Brunswick line, which goes all
the way to Martinsburg WV. Metropolitan Grove is the station to the
west of Gaithersburg (~3.6mi), and Washington Grove is about 0.9mi east.
If you happen to be at the Gaithersburg Fairgrounds, you need to be near the
tracks to catch them as they come by, for there is no real way to know when
something is approaching, so it is not possible to run and catch 'em, trust
me, I know... been there, done that (at least tried :-)
Signals on the line are now standard "Darth Vader" style color lights,
having replaced the B&O CPL's around 2015? or so. Darn.
Although Washington Grove and Shady Grove are technically
outside of the city limits of Gaithersburg, they are being included in the
In the very first episode of the final season of THE WALKING DEAD, we find
one of the search teams (with Neegan and Daryl) entering the Metro system
at the Shady Grove station, altho they depict the station as being underground.
The area is especially lucky to be in the middle of a "touristy" area, and
as such, there are plenty of places to eat at - catering to almost every
1) Come down I-95 to the Washington Beltway, I-495, and go west. Get
off at I-270 and head to exit 11.
2) The other way, which I use since I am on the north side of Baltimore, is
to head west on I-70, and get off at exit 68, MD 27, and head south thru
Damascus. Take a left when you get to Frederick Rd (355), and take
If you are coming from the west, ie, PA, WV, etc, find your way to I-70, and
when you get to Frederick MD, take I-270 south towards DC (exit 53).
Get off at exit 11, MD 124, which is Montgomery Village Ave. Take a
left at the end of the ramp to get over to Frederick Rd/MD 355, and take a
Coming up from the south via I-95 in Virginia: take the DC Beltway west to
I-270 (exit 170), and then get off at exit 9A/B for I-370 over to Frederick Rd at Shady
Grove, or exit 11.
The interchanges at Frederick MD.... it is a mess, and you need to pay
attention!!! If you want to go down to Harpers Ferry or Brunswick,
take US 15 at the blue arrow.
From Wikipedia: The station was originally built in 1884 for the Metropolitan
Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O). The station was designed by Ephraim
Francis Baldwin, and consists of two historic buildings. The passenger station is
a one-story common-bond brick structure with a gable roof. It is nearly identical in
plan and dimensions to the Laurel MD station Baldwin designed, also built in
1884, although the rooflines and settings are quite different. About 90 feet to
the east of the station is the freight shed or loading dock, a brick structure about
45 ft × 20 ft. Its north and south facades are divided into six panels with a door
in the second and fifth bays on both sides. The station was extended to the east in 1905.
photo by BobDrzyzgula via Wikipedia
Gaithersburg Community Museum
GPS Coordinates: 39.14166, -77.19276
From Wikipedia: The Gaithersburg Community Museum is located in the restored
1884 B&O Railroad Station complex, and includes the freight house, a history park
and a caboose. The museum features exhibits about the city's history, as well as
historic railroad artifacts and equipment. The Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad
steam locomotive Consolidation #14, along with a caboose and a Budd RDC are on
display in front of the freight shed.
GPS Coordinates: 39.14567, -77.21465
A massive steel girder bridge for two tracks, spanning 4+4+2+2 highway
lanes, with concrete abutments and 4 intermediate supports. I'm sure
this bridge was rebuilt from what the B&O had built when they widened I-270.
CSX over Quince Orchard Rd/MD 124
GPS Coordinates: 39.14695, -77.21906
A steel girder bridge for two tracks, over a four lane road, with concrete abutments.
Span also goes over one sidewalk, not separated from the road.
CSX's Metropolitan Branch was a former B&O line, as such, they used to have
CPL signals on the line, but they were converted over to standard color
light signals around 2012.... sorry.
At the Gaithersburg Fairgrounds
The Metropolitan Branch was signaled for traffic in both directions on both
tracks, hence, the signals were back to back on the side of each track.
There was also a siding at the fairgrounds, which had a dwarf CPL
controlling movements onto the mainline.
What Came Before - The CPL Signals
The Fairgrounds Siding
I haven't walked down to the siding lately (read: the past 3 or 4 years),
if it is even still there, to see if CSX still has a signal on it.
Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Volunteer Fire Dept
GPS Coordinates: 39.14172, -77.19665
13 E Diamond Ave, Gaithersburg MD 20877 https://www.gwgvfd.org/
This is a former fire station located just down the street from the Gaithersburg MARC station.
It now houses a small fire museum and is where they have their meetings.
They have another station, Station #28 in Derwood MD at 7272 Muncaster Mill Rd, 20855.
Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Volunteer Fire Dept / MCFRS #8
GPS Coordinates: 39.15513, -77.20953
801 Russell Ave, Gaithersburg MD 20879
The website above has a list of all of the fire stations in Montgomery
County. All stations, including volunteers, are numbered as part of
the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service numbering system.
This fire station is on the "backside" of Lakeforest Mall.
Station 8 houses Engine 708, Ariel Tower 708, UTV 708, Brush UTV 708B, Brush
708, Medic 708, Medic 708B, Ambulance 708 and Ambulance 708C.
Station 8 is the busiest in Montgomery County.
Courtesy of the University of Texas Library, click here for their index page.
2010_1108gaith, 2008_1102gaithc, 2016_1112Nall
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 or Bing 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 inaccurate, wrong, or not true.