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Baltimore and Ohio Railroad

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad

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The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was one of the oldest railroads in the United States and the first common carrier
Common carrier
A common carrier in common-law countries is a person or company that transports goods or people for any person or company and that is responsible for any possible loss of the goods during transport...

 railroad. It came into being mostly because the city of Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

 wanted to compete with the newly constructed Erie Canal
Erie Canal
The Erie Canal is a waterway in New York that runs about from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canal contains 36 locks and encompasses a total elevation differential of...

 (which served New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

) and another canal
Main Line of Public Works
The Main Line of Public Works was a railroad and canal system built by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the 19th century. It ran from Philadelphia west through Harrisburg and across the state to Pittsburgh and connected with other divisions of the Pennsylvania Canal...

 being proposed by Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, which would have connected Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. At first this railroad was located entirely in the state of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 with an original line from the port of Baltimore west to Sandy Hook
Sandy Hook, Maryland
Sandy Hook is an unincorporated community in Washington County, Maryland, United States.-References:...

. At this point to continue westward, it had to cross into Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 (now West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

) over the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

, adjacent to the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah
Shenandoah River
The Shenandoah River is a tributary of the Potomac River, long with two forks approximately long each, in the U.S. states of Virginia and West Virginia...

 rivers. From there it passed through Virginia from Harpers Ferry
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Harpers Ferry is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States. In many books the town is called "Harper's Ferry" with an apostrophe....

 to a point just west of the junction of Patterson Creek
Patterson Creek
Patterson Creek is a tributary of the North Branch Potomac River in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, in the United States. It enters the North Branch east of Cumberland, Maryland, with its headwaters located in Grant County, West Virginia...

 and the North Branch Potomac River where it crossed back into Maryland to reach Cumberland
Cumberland, Maryland
Cumberland is a city in the far western, Appalachian portion of Maryland, United States. It is the county seat of Allegany County, and the primary city of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,859, and the metropolitan area had a...

. From there it was extended to the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 at Wheeling
Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia; it is the county seat of Ohio County. Wheeling is the principal city of the Wheeling Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 and a few years later also to Parkersburg, West Virginia
Parkersburg, West Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,099 people, 14,467 households, and 8,767 families residing in the city. In 2006 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Parkersburg's population had decreased 4.4% to 31,755. The population density was 2,800.5 people per square mile . There were 16,100 housing...

.

It is now part of the CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation operates a Class I railroad in the United States known as the CSX Railroad. It is the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and owns approximately 21,000 route miles...

 (CSX) network, and includes the oldest operational railroad bridge in the USA. The B&O also included the Leiper Railroad
Leiper Railroad
The Leiper Railroad was a horse drawn railroad that operated between 1810 and 1828 in what is now Nether Providence Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. It was replaced by the Leiper Canal, remnants of which are still visible...

, the first permanent horse-drawn railroad in the U.S. In later years, B&O advertising carried the motto: "Linking 13 Great States with the Nation." Part of the B&O Railroad's immortality has come from being one of the four featured railroads on the U.S. version of the board game Monopoly
Monopoly (game)
Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is actually a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was said to be introduced by Charles Todd and passed on when his home-made Monopoly board was copied by Charles Darrow and thence to Parker...

, but it is the only railroad on the board which did not serve Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City is a city in Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States, and a nationally renowned resort city for gambling, shopping and fine dining. The city also served as the inspiration for the American version of the board game Monopoly. Atlantic City is located on Absecon Island on the coast...

, directly.

When CSX established the B&O Railroad Museum
B&O Railroad Museum
The B&O Railroad Museum is a museum exhibiting historic railroad equipment in Baltimore, Maryland, originally named the Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum when it opened on July 4, 1953. It has been called one of the most significant collections of railroad treasures in the world and has the...

 as a separate entity from the corporation, some of the former B&O Mount Clare Shops
Mount Clare Shops
The Mount Clare Shops is the oldest railroad manufacturing complex in the United States, located in Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1829. Mt. Clare was the site of many inventions and innovations in railroad technology. It is presently the site of the...

 in Baltimore, including the Mt. Clare roundhouse
Roundhouse
A roundhouse is a building used by railroads for servicing locomotives. Roundhouses are large, circular or semicircular structures that were traditionally located surrounding or adjacent to turntables...

, were donated to the museum while the rest of the property was sold. The B&O Warehouse
B&O warehouse
The B&O Warehouse is a building in Baltimore, Maryland, adjacent to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It was constructed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad beginning in 1899, with later sections completed in 1905, adjacent to the B&O's Camden Station and freight yard at Camden and Eutaw streets...

 at the Camden Yards rail junction in Baltimore now dominates the view over the right-field wall at the Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

' current home, Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a Major League Baseball ballpark located in Baltimore, Maryland. Home field of the Baltimore Orioles, it is the first of the "retro" major league ballparks constructed during the 1990s and early 2000s, and remains one of the most highly praised. The park was...

.

History


The fast-growing port city of Baltimore, Maryland
History of Baltimore
The history of Baltimore is the history of the city of Baltimore and its surrounding area in Maryland, since 1661.-Colonial era:The area constituting the modern city of Baltimore was first settled by David Jones in 1661, his land covering on the east bank of the Jones Falls River. St...

 faced economic stagnation unless it opened routes to the western states, as New York had done with the Erie Canal
Erie Canal
The Erie Canal is a waterway in New York that runs about from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canal contains 36 locks and encompasses a total elevation differential of...

 in 1820. In 1827, twenty-five merchants and bankers studied the best means of restoring "that portion of the Western trade which has recently been diverted from it by the introduction of steam navigation." Their answer was to build a railroad—one of the first commercial lines in the world. Their plans worked well, as the railroad grew from a capital of $3 million in 1827 to a large enterprise generating $2.7 million of annual profit on its 380 miles (611.5 km) of track in 1854, with 19 million passenger miles. The railroad fed tens of millions of dollars of shipments to and from Baltimore and its growing hinterland, thus making the city the commercial and financial capital of the region south of Philadelphia.

Charter


Two men — Philip E. Thomas
Philip E. Thomas
Philip Evan Thomas was the first president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from 1827-1836. He has been referred to as "The Father of American Railways." The Thomas Viaduct bridge in Relay, Maryland was named after him....

 and George Brown
George Brown (Financier)
George Brown was an Irish-American investment banker and railroad entrepreneur. He emigrated from Ulster to Baltimore, Maryland, at the age of 15 in 1802....

 — were the pioneers of the railroad. They spent the year 1826 investigating railway enterprises in England, which were at that time being tested in a comprehensive fashion as commercial ventures. Their investigation completed, they held an organizational meeting on February 12, 1827, including about twenty-five citizens, most of whom were Baltimore merchants or bankers. Chapter 123 of the 1826 Session Laws of Maryland, passed February 28, 1827, and the Commonwealth of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 on March 8, 1827, chartered the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Company, with the task of building a railroad from the port of Baltimore, Maryland west to a suitable point on the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

. The railroad, formally incorporated April 24, was intended to provide not only an alternative to, but also a faster route for Midwestern
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 goods to reach the East Coast
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

 than the seven-year-old, hugely successful, but slow Erie Canal
Erie Canal
The Erie Canal is a waterway in New York that runs about from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canal contains 36 locks and encompasses a total elevation differential of...

 across upstate New York
Upstate New York
Upstate New York is the region of the U.S. state of New York that is located north of the core of the New York metropolitan area.-Definition:There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York...

. Thomas was elected as the first president and Brown the treasurer. The capital of the proposed company was fixed at five million dollars,
but the B&O was initially capitalized in 1827 with a three million dollar issue of stock. Virtually every citizen of Baltimore owned a share as the offering was oversubscribed.

Early construction



Construction began on July 4, 1828, when Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Charles Carroll of Carrollton was a wealthy Maryland planter and an early advocate of independence from Great Britain. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and later as United States Senator for Maryland...

 did the groundbreaking, and the first section, from Baltimore west to Ellicott's Mills (now known as Ellicott City
Ellicott City, Maryland
Ellicott City is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Howard County, Maryland, United States. It is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The population was 65,834 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Howard County...

), opened on May 24, 1830. It was decided to follow the Patapsco River
Patapsco River
The Patapsco River is a river in central Maryland which flows into Chesapeake Bay. The river's tidal portion forms the harbor for the city of Baltimore...

 to a point near Parr's Ridge (now known as Mount Airy
Mount Airy, Maryland
Mount Airy is a town in Carroll, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery counties in the U.S. state of Maryland.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of , all of it land.-History:...

) where the railroad would cross a height of land and descend into the valley of the Monocacy
Monocacy River
The Monocacy River is a free-flowing tributary of the Potomac River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay. The river is long, with a drainage area of about...

 and Potomac
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

 rivers. Further extensions opened to Frederick
Frederick, Maryland
Frederick is a city in north-central Maryland. It is the county seat of Frederick County, the largest county by area in the state of Maryland. Frederick is an outlying community of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of a greater...

 (including the short Frederick Branch) December 1, 1831, Point of Rocks
Point of Rocks, Maryland
Point of Rocks is a community in Frederick County, Maryland. It is named for the striking rock formation on the adjacent Catoctin Mountain, which were formed by the Potomac River cutting through the ridge in a water gap, a typical formation in the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians...

 April 2, 1832, Sandy Hook
Sandy Hook, Maryland
Sandy Hook is an unincorporated community in Washington County, Maryland, United States.-References:...

 December 1, 1834 (the connection to the Winchester and Potomac Railroad
Winchester and Potomac Railroad
The Winchester and Potomac Railroad was an historic railroad in the Southern United States, which ran from Winchester, Virginia to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad junction at Harpers Ferry on the Potomac River. The W&P Railroad is now incorporated into the modern CSX Transportation Class I...

 at Harpers Ferry
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Harpers Ferry is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States. In many books the town is called "Harper's Ferry" with an apostrophe....

 opening in 1837), Martinsburg
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Martinsburg is a city in the Eastern Panhandle region of West Virginia, United States. The city's population was 14,972 at the 2000 census; according to a 2009 Census Bureau estimate, Martinsburg's population was 17,117, making it the largest city in the Eastern Panhandle and the eighth largest...

 May 1842, Hancock
Hancock, West Virginia
Hancock is an unincorporated hamlet in Morgan County in the U.S. state of West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. It is located off of Hancock Road on River Road along the Potomac River north of Berkeley Springs...

 June 1842, Cumberland
Cumberland, Maryland
Cumberland is a city in the far western, Appalachian portion of Maryland, United States. It is the county seat of Allegany County, and the primary city of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,859, and the metropolitan area had a...

 November 5, 1842, Piedmont
Piedmont, West Virginia
Piedmont is a town in Mineral County, West Virginia, United States. It is part of the 'Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area'. The population was 1,014 at the 2000 census. Piedmont was chartered in 1856...

 July 21, 1851, Fairmont
Fairmont, West Virginia
Fairmont is a city in Marion County, West Virginia, United States. Nicknamed "The Friendly City". The population was 18,704 at the 2010 census...

 June 22, 1852, and its terminus at Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia; it is the county seat of Ohio County. Wheeling is the principal city of the Wheeling Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 (then part of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

) on January 1, 1853. The narrow strip of available land along the Potomac River from Point of Rocks to Harpers Ferry caused a legal battle between the B&O and the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, abbreviated as the C&O Canal, and occasionally referred to as the "Grand Old Ditch," operated from 1831 until 1924 parallel to the Potomac River in Maryland from Cumberland, Maryland to Washington, D.C. The total length of the canal is about . The elevation change of...

 as both sought to exclude the other from its use. A later compromise allowed the two companies to share the right of way.

The State of Maryland granted the B&O a charter to build a line from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, in 1831, and the Washington Branch
Washington Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road
The Capital Subdivision is a railroad line owned and operated by CSX Transportation in the U.S. state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. The line runs from near Baltimore, Maryland southwest to Washington, D.C. along the former Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Washington Branch...

 was opened in 1835. This line joined to the original mainline at Relay, Maryland
Arbutus, Maryland
As of the 2010 Census Arbutus had a population of 20,583. The racial and ethnic compositon of the population was 76.6% non-Hispanic white, 9.5% non-Hispanic black, 0.2% Native American, 2.1% Asian Indian, 6.5% other Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.2% non-Hispanic from some other race, 2.3% from...

, crossing the Patapsco on the Thomas Viaduct
Thomas Viaduct
The Thomas Viaduct spans the Patapsco River and Patapsco Valley between Relay and Elkridge, Maryland, USA. It is the first multi-span masonry railroad bridge in the United States to be built on a curve...

, which remains one of the B&O's signature structures. This line was partially funded by the state, and was operated separately until the 1870s, with the state taking a 25% cut of gross passenger receipts. This line was built in stone, much like the original mainline; by this time, however, strap rail was no longer used for new construction. Most of the stone bridges on the Old Main Line did not last long, being washed out by the periodic flooding of the Patapsco River
Patapsco River
The Patapsco River is a river in central Maryland which flows into Chesapeake Bay. The river's tidal portion forms the harbor for the city of Baltimore...

 and replaced at first by Bollman Truss bridges
Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge
The Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge at Savage, Maryland is the sole surviving example of a revolutionary design in the history of American bridge engineering. The double-span truss bridge is one of the oldest standing iron railroad bridges in the United States. It was the first successful all-metal...

. The Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad
Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad
The Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad, later the Annapolis, Washington and Baltimore Railroad, once provided rail service to Annapolis, Maryland and was one of the earliest railroads in the U.S. It later merged into the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railway and was finally abandoned...

 to Annapolis
Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It had a population of 38,394 at the 2010 census and is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, south of Baltimore and about east of Washington, D.C. Annapolis is...

 connected to this line at Annapolis Junction in 1840. As an unwritten condition for the charter, it was understood that the state would not charter any competing line between Baltimore and Washington.

Early engineering


When construction began on the B&O in the 1820s, railroad engineering was in its infancy. Unsure exactly which materials would suffice, the B&O erred on the side of sturdiness and built many of its early structures of granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

. Even the track bed to which iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 strap rail was affixed consisted of the stone.

Though the granite soon proved too unforgiving and expensive for track, most of the B&O's monumental bridges have survived to this day, and many are still in active railroad use by CSX. Baltimore's Carrollton Viaduct
Carrollton Viaduct
The Carrollton Viaduct, located over Gwynns Falls near Carroll Park in Baltimore, Maryland, is the first stone masonry bridge built for railroad use in the United States....

, named in honor of Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Charles Carroll of Carrollton was a wealthy Maryland planter and an early advocate of independence from Great Britain. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and later as United States Senator for Maryland...

 (who laid the cornerstone), was the B&O's first bridge, and is the world's oldest railroad bridge still carrying trains (world's oldest railway bridge is Causey Arch
Causey Arch
The Causey Arch is a bridge near Stanley in County Durham. It is the world’s oldest surviving railway bridge.It was built in 1725-26 by stonemason Ralph Wood, funded by a conglomeration of coal-owners known as the "'Grand Allies'" at a cost of £12,000...

, UK). The Thomas Viaduct
Thomas Viaduct
The Thomas Viaduct spans the Patapsco River and Patapsco Valley between Relay and Elkridge, Maryland, USA. It is the first multi-span masonry railroad bridge in the United States to be built on a curve...

 in Relay, Maryland
Arbutus, Maryland
As of the 2010 Census Arbutus had a population of 20,583. The racial and ethnic compositon of the population was 76.6% non-Hispanic white, 9.5% non-Hispanic black, 0.2% Native American, 2.1% Asian Indian, 6.5% other Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.2% non-Hispanic from some other race, 2.3% from...

, was the longest bridge in the United States upon its completion in 1835, and remains in use as well. The B&O made extensive use of the Bollman iron truss bridge
Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge
The Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge at Savage, Maryland is the sole surviving example of a revolutionary design in the history of American bridge engineering. The double-span truss bridge is one of the oldest standing iron railroad bridges in the United States. It was the first successful all-metal...

 design in the mid-19th century. Its durability and ease of assembly aided faster railroad construction.
As the B&O built west from Baltimore in 1830, it followed the banks of the Patapsco River
Patapsco River
The Patapsco River is a river in central Maryland which flows into Chesapeake Bay. The river's tidal portion forms the harbor for the city of Baltimore...

 upstream to the water's source at Parrs Spring near present-day Mount Airy, Maryland
Mount Airy, Maryland
Mount Airy is a town in Carroll, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery counties in the U.S. state of Maryland.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of , all of it land.-History:...

. At the time little data about the operation of steam locomotives was available, and consequently the B&O was uncertain if metal wheels would grip the metal rails sufficiently to pull a train up to the top of Parrs Ridge. The railroad decided to construct two inclined plane
Inclined plane
The inclined plane is one of the original six simple machines; as the name suggests, it is a flat surface whose endpoints are at different heights. By moving an object up an inclined plane rather than completely vertical, the amount of force required is reduced, at the expense of increasing the...

s on each side of the ridge along which teams of horses, and perhaps steam-powered winches, would assist pulling the trains uphill. The planes, about a mile long on each side of the ridge, quickly proved an operational bottleneck, and before the decade of the 1830s ended the B&O built a 5.5 miles (8.9 km) long alternate route that became known as the Mount Airy Loop. The planes were quickly abandoned and forgotten, though some artifacts survive to the present.

See also Old Main Line Subdivision

First telegraph line


In 1843, Congress appropriated $30,000 for construction of an experimental 38 miles (61 km) telegraph line between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore along the B&O's right-of-way. The B&O approved the project with the agreement that the railroad would have free use of the line upon its completion. An impressive demonstration occurred on May 1, 1844, when news of the Whig Party
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

's nomination of Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

 for U.S. President was telegraphed from the party's convention in Baltimore to the Capitol Building
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 in Washington. On May 24, 1844, the line was officially opened as Samuel F. B. Morse
Samuel F. B. Morse
Samuel Finley Breese Morse was an American contributor to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs, co-inventor of the Morse code, and an accomplished painter.-Birth and education:...

 sent his famous words "What hath God wrought" from the B&O's Mount Clare station to the Capitol Building along the wire.




Innovations


The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad became the first chartered railroad in the United States; twenty thousand investors purchased $5 million in stock to import the rolling stock and build the line. It was a commercial and financial success, and invented many new managerial methods that became standard practice in railroading and modern business. The B&O became the first company to operate a locomotive built in America, with the "Tom Thumb" in 1829. It built the first passenger and freight station (Mount Clare in 1829) and was the first railroad that earned passenger revenues (December 1829), and published a timetable (May 23, 1830). On December 24, 1852, it became the first rail line to reach the Ohio River from the eastern seaboard.

Conflicts in the early years


Operation of the railroad was hampered by its partial government ownership. Of the thirty members on its board of directors
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

, twelve were elected by shareholders while the other eighteen were appointed either by Maryland or the Baltimore City Council
Baltimore City Council
The Baltimore City Council is the legislative branch that governs the City of Baltimore and its nearly 700,000 citizens. Baltimore has fourteen single-member City Council districts and representatives are elected for a four-year term. To qualify for a position on the Council, a person must be...

. These had conflicting interests: the directors appointed by the state and city desired low fare
Fare
A fare is the fee paid by a passenger allowing him or her to make use of a public transport system: rail, bus, taxi, etc. In the case of air transport, the term airfare is often used.-Uses:...

s and all construction funded from corporate revenues while the directors elected by shareholders desired greater profits
Profit (accounting)
In accounting, profit can be considered to be the difference between the purchase price and the costs of bringing to market whatever it is that is accounted as an enterprise in terms of the component costs of delivered goods and/or services and any operating or other expenses.-Definition:There are...

 and dividend
Dividend
Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholder members. It is the portion of corporate profits paid out to stockholders. When a corporation earns a profit or surplus, that money can be put to two uses: it can either be re-invested in the business , or it can be distributed to...

s. These conflicts became more intense in the 1850s after the completion of the C&O Canal, which brought additional competition to the B&O for transport services. In 1858, after being nominated by large shareholder and director Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins was a wealthy American entrepreneur, philanthropist and abolitionist of 19th-century Baltimore, Maryland, now most noted for his philanthropic creation of the institutions that bear his name, namely the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the Johns Hopkins University and its associated...

, John W. Garrett
John W. Garrett
John Work Garrett was an American banker, philanthropist, and president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ....

 became president of the B&O, a position he would hold until his death in 1884. In the first year of his presidency, corporate operating cost
Operating cost
Operating costs can be described as the expenses which are related to the operation of a business, or to the operation of a device, component, piece of equipment or facility.-Business operating costs:...

s were reduced from 65% of revenues to 46%, and the railroad began distributing profits to its shareholders.

Abolitionist
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

s stopped a train during John Brown's
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

 raid on the federal arsenal
Harpers Ferry Armory
Harpers Ferry Armory, more formally known as the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, was the second federal armory commissioned by the United States government located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia , the first federal armory being the Springfield Armory located in Springfield,...

 at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (later part of West Virginia). Garrett telegraphed the Secretary of War, and a B&O train carried federal troops led by Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

 to capture the abolitionists and John Brown.

Civil War period


At the outset of the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, the B&O possessed 236 locomotives, 128 passenger coaches, 3,451 rail cars and 513 miles (825.6 km) of rail road, all in states south of the Mason-Dixon Line
Mason-Dixon line
The Mason–Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. It forms a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and...

. Although many Marylanders had Southern sympathies, Garrett and Hopkins supported the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

. The B&O was instrumental in supporting the Federal government during the Civil War, as it was the main rail connection between Washington, D.C., and the northern states. As a result, 143 raids and battles during the war involved the B&O Railroad, many resulting in substantial loss.

1861–1862


The opening move of the Civil War was a massive series of raids conducted by Stonewall Jackson
Stonewall Jackson
ຄຽשת״ׇׂׂׂׂ֣|birth_place= Clarksburg, Virginia |death_place=Guinea Station, Virginia|placeofburial=Stonewall Jackson Memorial CemeteryLexington, Virginia|placeofburial_label= Place of burial|image=...

. By the end of 1861, 23 B&O railroad bridges had been burned, 102 miles (164.2 km) of telegraph line were cut down, 36.5 miles (58.7 km) of track was torn up or destroyed, 42 locomotives were burned, 14 locomotives were captured and 386 rail cars stolen and destroyed. Through these actions operations on B&O Railroad were completely shut down for ten months. It was not until the end of March 1862 that service on the B&O Railroad was restored, and even then train movements were sporadic and subject to frequent stoppages, derailments, capture and attack. Prominent raids on the B&O railroad during this period were:
  • The Great Train Raid of 1861
    Great Train Raid of 1861
    Colonel Thomas Jackson's operations against the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1861 were aimed at disrupting a critical railroad used by the opposing Union Army as a major supply route and capturing the maximum number of locomotives and cars. During this point in the war, the state of Maryland's...

    , May 22 – June 23, 1861
  • The Romney Expedition
    Romney Expedition
    The Romney Expedition was a military expedition of the Confederate States Army during the early part of the American Civil War. It is named for Romney, West Virginia, which at the time was still in the state of Virginia. The expedition was conducted in this locale from January 1 to January 24,...

    , January 1 through January 24, 1862
  • Operations during the Maryland Campaign
    Maryland Campaign
    The Maryland Campaign, or the Antietam Campaign is widely considered one of the major turning points of the American Civil War. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the North was repulsed by Maj. Gen. George B...

    , September 8, 1862
  • Various raids of Brigadier General A. G. Jenkins
    Albert G. Jenkins
    Albert Gallatin Jenkins was an attorney, planter, representative to the United States Congress and First Confederate Congress, and a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War...

    , Fall, 1862

B&O Locomotives Captured During the Great Train Raid of 1861
Great Train Raid of 1861
Colonel Thomas Jackson's operations against the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1861 were aimed at disrupting a critical railroad used by the opposing Union Army as a major supply route and capturing the maximum number of locomotives and cars. During this point in the war, the state of Maryland's...

Engine NameEng. No.Type
? No. 17 Norris 4-2-0
? No. 34 Mason 4-4-0
? No. 187 Camelback 0-8-0
Lady Davis (CSA name) No. 188 Tyson 4-4-0 "Dutch Wagon"
? No. 193 Camelback 0-8-0
? No. 198 Hayes Camelback 0-8-0
? No. 199 Camelback 0-8-0
? No. 201 ?

1863–1865


The second half of the Civil War was characterized by near continuous raiding, which severely hampered the Union defense of Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 Incompetent Union forces and leaders often failed to properly secure the region, despite the vital importance of the rail company to the Union cause.

This military strategy, or lack thereof, allowed Confederate commanders to contribute significantly to the length of the war, by conducting free-ranging military operations against the region and railroad.

The B&O and Garrett are particularly remembered for their part in the Battle of Monocacy
Battle of Monocacy
The Battle of Monocacy was fought on July 9, 1864, just outside Frederick, Maryland, as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864, in the American Civil War. Confederate forces under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early defeated Union forces under Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace...

. Agents of the railroad began reporting Confederate troop movements eleven days prior to the battle, and Garrett had their intelligence passed to authorities in the War Department and to Major General Lew Wallace
Lew Wallace
Lewis "Lew" Wallace was an American lawyer, Union general in the American Civil War, territorial governor and statesman, politician and author...

, who commanded the department that would be responsible for defense of the area. As preparations for the battle progressed, the B&O provided transport for federal troops and munitions, and on two occasions Garrett was contacted directly by President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 for further information. Though Union forces lost this battle, the delay allowed Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 to successfully repel the Confederate attack on Washington at the Battle of Fort Stevens
Battle of Fort Stevens
The Battle of Fort Stevens was an American Civil War battle fought July 11–12, 1864, in Northwest Washington, D.C., as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 between forces under Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early and Union Maj. Gen. Alexander McD. McCook. Although Early caused consternation...

 two days later. After the battle, Lincoln paid tribute to Garrett as:
  • The Jones-Imboden Raid
    Jones-Imboden Raid
    The Jones-Imboden Raid was a Confederate military action conducted in western Virginia in April and May 1863 during the American Civil War. The raid, led by Brig. Gens. William E. Jones and John D...

    , April 24 through May 22, 1863
  • The Catoctin Station Raid
    Catoctin Station Raid
    The Catoctin Station Raid was executed against a train passing through the Catoctin Station on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on June 17, 1863 by Confederate cavalry forces, during the movement north into Maryland by Gen. Robert E. Lee early in the Gettysburg Campaign. Union Army forces further...

    , June 17, 1863
  • The First Calico Raid, June 19, 1863
  • The B&O Raid on Duffield Station, January, 1864
  • The McNeill Raid
    McNeill's Rangers
    McNeill's Rangers was an independent Confederate military force commissioned under the Partisan Ranger Act by the Confederate Congress during the American Civil War. The 210 man battalion-size unit was formed from Company E of the 18th Virginia Cavalry and the First Virginia Partisan Rangers...

    , May 5, 1864
  • The Second Calico Raid, July 3, 1864
  • The Battle of Monocacy
    Battle of Monocacy
    The Battle of Monocacy was fought on July 9, 1864, just outside Frederick, Maryland, as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864, in the American Civil War. Confederate forces under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early defeated Union forces under Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace...

    , July 9, 1864
  • Gilmor's Raid
    Gilmor's Raid
    Gilmor's Raid, also known as The Magnolia Station Train Raid, was a foraging and disruptive cavalry raid that was part of an overall campaign against Union railroads, led by Maj. Harry W. Gilmor with 135 men from the First and Second Maryland Cavalry regiments. It was authorized by Confederate Lt....

    , July 11, 1864
  • The Greenback Raid, by Mosby's Rangers
    43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry
    The 43rd Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, also known as Mosby's Rangers, Mosby's Raiders or Mosby's Men, was a battalion of partisan cavalry in the Confederate army during the American Civil War...

     on October 14, 1864
  • The B&O Raid on Duffield Station II, January, 1865
  • Gilmor's B&O Raid, February, 1865
  • The B&O Derailment Raid, March, 1865

The Confederate leaders who led these operations and specifically targeted the railroad included:
  • Lieutenant General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
    Stonewall Jackson
    ຄຽשת״ׇׂׂׂׂ֣|birth_place= Clarksburg, Virginia |death_place=Guinea Station, Virginia|placeofburial=Stonewall Jackson Memorial CemeteryLexington, Virginia|placeofburial_label= Place of burial|image=...

     and many units under his command
  • Lieutenant General Jubal Anderson Early
    Jubal Anderson Early
    Jubal Anderson Early was a lawyer and Confederate general in the American Civil War. He served under Stonewall Jackson and then Robert E. Lee for almost the entire war, rising from regimental command to lieutenant general and the command of an infantry corps in the Army of Northern Virginia...

     and many units under his command
  • Brigadier General Turner Ashby
    Turner Ashby
    Turner Ashby, Jr. was a Confederate cavalry commander in the American Civil War. He had achieved prominence as Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's cavalry commander, in the grade of colonel, in the Shenandoah Valley before he was killed in battle in 1862...

     and his "Black Horse" cavalry
  • Brigadier General John D. Imboden
    John D. Imboden
    John Daniel Imboden was a lawyer, teacher, Virginia state legislator. During the American Civil War, he was a Confederate cavalry general and partisan fighter...

     and the 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry
    62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry
    The 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment, raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, served in many capacities including the war, including as an infantry regiment, a cavalry regiment, a mounted infantry unit, a partisan unit of rangers, and...

     (1st Partisan Rangers)
  • Brigadier General Albert G. Jenkins
    Albert G. Jenkins
    Albert Gallatin Jenkins was an attorney, planter, representative to the United States Congress and First Confederate Congress, and a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War...

     and the 8th Virginia Cavalry
    8th Virginia Cavalry
    The 8th Virginia Volunteer Cavalry Regiment was a cavalry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia....

  • Brigadier General William E. "Grumble" Jones
    William E. Jones
    William Edmondson Jones, known as Grumble Jones, was a planter, a career United States Army officer, and a Confederate cavalry general, killed in the Battle of Piedmont in the American Civil War.-Early life:...

     and the "Laurel Brigade"
  • Colonel John S. Mosby
    John S. Mosby
    John Singleton Mosby , nicknamed the "Gray Ghost", was a Confederate cavalry battalion commander in the American Civil War...

    's "Mosby's Raiders"
  • Major Harry Gilmor
    Harry Gilmor
    Harry W. Gilmor served as Baltimore City Police Commissioner in the 1870s, but he was most noted as a Confederate cavalry officer during the American Civil War...

    's "Gilmor's Raiders"
  • Captain John H. McNeill's "McNeill's Rangers
    McNeill's Rangers
    McNeill's Rangers was an independent Confederate military force commissioned under the Partisan Ranger Act by the Confederate Congress during the American Civil War. The 210 man battalion-size unit was formed from Company E of the 18th Virginia Cavalry and the First Virginia Partisan Rangers...

    "


Bases of operation involved in raiding the B&O Railroad:
  • Winchester, Virginia
  • Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
    Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
    Harpers Ferry is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States. In many books the town is called "Harper's Ferry" with an apostrophe....


Westward by merger


A steel and stone bridge was built across the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 between Bellaire, Ohio
Bellaire, Ohio
Bellaire is a village in Belmont County, Ohio, United States. It is part of the Wheeling, West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,278 at the 2010 census. The village is located along the Ohio River...

 and Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia; it is the county seat of Ohio County. Wheeling is the principal city of the Wheeling Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 in 1871, connecting the B&O to the Central Ohio Railroad
Central Ohio Railroad
The Central Ohio Railroad was the third railroad to enter Columbus, Ohio, and the first to connect Columbus with the east coast. It eventually became a part of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.- History :...

, which the B&O had leased starting in 1866. This provided a direct rail connection to Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...

, and the lease marked the beginning of a series of expansions to the west and north.

Other railroads included in the B&O were:
  • Winchester and Potomac Railroad
    Winchester and Potomac Railroad
    The Winchester and Potomac Railroad was an historic railroad in the Southern United States, which ran from Winchester, Virginia to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad junction at Harpers Ferry on the Potomac River. The W&P Railroad is now incorporated into the modern CSX Transportation Class I...

     and Winchester and Strasburg Railroad from 1867. This pair of lines connected with the B&O at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, and constituted the only significant B&O trackage in present-day Virginia
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

    .
  • Sandusky, Mansfield and Newark Railroad leased through the Central Ohio in 1869
  • Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad from 1871. This was the B&O entry into Pittsburgh, thwarting the denial of a Pennsylvania charter to the B&O.
  • Somerset and Cambria Railroad from 1879
  • Buffalo Railroad from 1880
  • Pittsburgh Southern Railroad acquired 1883. Originally a narrow gauge railroad, it was converted to standard gauge and re-named the Baltimore & Ohio Short Line.
  • West Virginia and Pittsburgh Railroad from 1890
  • Columbus and Cincinnati Midland Railroad leased through central Ohio in 1890
  • Monongahela River Railroad from 1900
  • Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad
    Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad
    The Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad is a defunct railroad of southern Ohio that was later absorbed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ....

     from 1882. This was initially renamed the Cincinnati, Washington and Baltimore Railroad and then again to the Baltimore and Ohio Southwestern Railroad in 1889. The B&OSW absorbed the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad
    Ohio and Mississippi Railroad
    The Ohio and Mississippi Railway was a railroad operating between Cincinnati, Ohio, and East St. Louis, Illinois, from 1857 to 1893.General Ormsby M. Mitchel was a civil engineer on this project....

     in 1893, giving the B&O a connection to St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

    , and finally the B&OSW disappeared into the rest of the system in 1900.


  • Ohio River Railroad from 1901
  • Pittsburgh Junction Railroad from 1902
  • Pittsburgh and Western Railroad from 1902. This was originally a narrow gauge system which was standard gauge
    Standard gauge
    The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

    d from 1883 to 1911. It formed the main B&O line west from Pittsburgh. The line passed the Mars Train Station
    Mars Station
    The Mars Station in Mars, Pennsylvania, was constructed in 1897 by the Pittsburgh and Western Railroad. For nearly fifty years, the station served the community by helping to transport freight and passengers in the area...

     in Mars, Pennsylvania
    Mars, Pennsylvania
    Mars is a borough in Butler County, Pennsylvania, USA. The population was 1,746 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Mars is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of , all of it land....

    , northwest of Pittsburgh.
  • Cleveland Terminal and Vally Railroad from 1909. This was the B&O's entry into Cleveland, Ohio
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

    .
  • Cleveland, Lorain and Wheeling Railroad from 1909
  • Chicago Terminal Transfer Company, reorganized in 1910 as the Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad
    Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad
    The Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad is a terminal railroad in the Chicago area, formerly giving various other companies access to Grand Central Station...

    . This switching line was always operated as a separate company.
  • Salisbury Railroad near Pittsburgh, operated from 1912
  • Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad
    Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad
    The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad was a railroad based in the U.S. state of Ohio that existed between its incorporation on March 2, 1846, and its acquisition by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in December 1917...

     from 1912
  • Morgan and Kingwood Railroad from 1922
  • Coal and Coke Railroad from 1920
  • Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Western Railroad
    Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Western Railroad
    The Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Western Railroad was established in 1915 as a reorganization of the Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Western Railway, which in turn was created in 1902 as a merger of the Indiana, Decatur and Western Railway and Cincinnati, Hamilton and Indianapolis Railroad...

     from 1927. This was originally part of the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton, and gave the B&O a connection to Springfield, Illinois
    Springfield, Illinois
    Springfield is the third and current capital of the US state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County with a population of 117,400 , making it the sixth most populated city in the state and the second most populated Illinois city outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area...

    .
  • Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway
    Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway
    The Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway was one of the more than ten thousand railroad companies founded in North America, most of which came and went. It lasted much longer than most, serving communities from the shore of Lake Ontario to the center of western Pennsylvania.One of the minor...

     in 1932. This gave the B&O a line into New York state.
  • Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad
    Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad
    The Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad was a railroad company that formerly operated in western and north central Pennsylvania and western New York states. It was created in 1893 by the merger and consolidation of several smaller logging railroads. It operated independently until 1929 when a...

     from 1932. Part of the line was severed from the rest of the system by flooding, and became part of the Wellsville, Addison and Galeton Railroad
    Wellsville, Addison and Galeton Railroad
    The Wellsville, Addison and Galeton Railroad was formed in 1954 to operate a section of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad trackage which had been isolated from the rest of the system by a 1942 flood. This trackage was acquired by the B&O as part of the purchase of the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad...

     in 1955.


(This list omits certain short lines.)

The Chicago and Alton Railroad was purchased by the B&O in 1931 and renamed the Alton Railroad
Alton Railroad
The Alton Railroad was the final name of a railroad linking Chicago to Alton, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, and Kansas City, Missouri. Its predecessor, the Chicago and Alton Railroad , was purchased by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1931 and was controlled until 1942 when the Alton was...

. It was always operated separately and was eventually bought by the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad
Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad
The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio was a Class I railroad in the central United States whose primary routes extended from Mobile, Alabama, and New Orleans, Louisiana, to St...

 after receivership in 1942.

As a result of poor national economic conditions in the mid-1870s following the Panic of 1873
Panic of 1873
The Panic of 1873 triggered a severe international economic depression in both Europe and the United States that lasted until 1879, and even longer in some countries. The depression was known as the Great Depression until the 1930s, but is now known as the Long Depression...

, the B&O attempted to reduce its workers' wages. After a second reduction in wages was announced in the same year, workers began the Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Great railroad strike of 1877
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began on July 14 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, United States and ended some 45 days later after it was put down by local and state militias, and federal troops.-Economic conditions in the 1870s:...

 on July 14 in Martinsburg, West Virginia
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Martinsburg is a city in the Eastern Panhandle region of West Virginia, United States. The city's population was 14,972 at the 2000 census; according to a 2009 Census Bureau estimate, Martinsburg's population was 17,117, making it the largest city in the Eastern Panhandle and the eighth largest...

. The strike spread to Cumberland
Cumberland, Maryland
Cumberland is a city in the far western, Appalachian portion of Maryland, United States. It is the county seat of Allegany County, and the primary city of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,859, and the metropolitan area had a...

, and when the governor of Maryland on July 20 attempted to put down the strike by sending the state militia from Baltimore, riots broke out resulting in 11 deaths, the burning of parts of Camden station, and damage to several engines and cars. The next day workers in Pittsburgh staged a sympathy strike
Sympathy strike
Secondary action is industrial action by a trade union in support of a strike initiated by workers in another, separate enterprise...

 that was also met with an assault by the state militia; Pittsburgh then erupted into widespread rioting. The strike ended after federal troops and state militias restored order.

New lines in Maryland



In 1866 the B&O began constructing the Metropolitan Branch west out of Washington, and was completed in 1873 after years of erratic effort. Before this line was laid, rail traffic west of Washington had to travel first to Relay or Baltimore before joining the main line. The line cut a more or less straight line from Washington to Point of Rocks, Maryland
Point of Rocks, Maryland
Point of Rocks is a community in Frederick County, Maryland. It is named for the striking rock formation on the adjacent Catoctin Mountain, which were formed by the Potomac River cutting through the ridge in a water gap, a typical formation in the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians...

, with many grades and large bridges. Upon the opening of this line, through passenger traffic was rerouted through Washington, and the Old Main Line from Point of Rocks to Relay was reduced to secondary status as far as passenger service was concerned. The Washington to Gaithersburg
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Gaithersburg is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. The city had a population of 59,933 at the 2010 census, making it the fourth largest incorporated city in the state, behind Baltimore, Frederick, and Rockville...

 section of the Met Branch was double-tracked during 1886–1893. Rebuilding in the early 20th century and complete double tracking of the branch by 1928 increased capacity; the "branches" became the de facto mainline, though the Old Main Line was retained as a relief route.

Meanwhile the Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 (PRR) outmaneuvered the B&O to acquire the B&O's northern connection, the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad
Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad
The Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad was the Pennsylvania Railroad's main line from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania southwest to Baltimore, Maryland in the 19th and early 20th centuries...

 in the early 1880s, cutting off the B&O's access to Philadelphia and New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The state of Maryland had stayed true to its implicit promise not to grant competing charters for the Baltimore/Washington line, but when a charter was granted in 1860 to build a line from Baltimore to Pope's Creek
Popes Creek, Maryland
Popes Creek is an unincorporated community in Charles County, Maryland, United States. It is located on the shore of a north-south section of the Potomac River north of and in sight of the Harry Nice Memorial Bridge. There are docks and several seafood restaurants. U.S. Route 301 in Maryland runs...

 in southern Maryland, lawyers for the Pennsylvania RR picked up on a clause in the unfulfilled charter allowing branches up to 20 miles (32.2 km) long, from any point and in any direction. The projected route, passing through what is now Bowie, Maryland
Bowie, Maryland
Bowie is a city in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 54,727 at the 2010 census. Bowie has grown from a small railroad stop to the largest municipality in Prince George's County, and the fifth most populous city and third largest city by area in the state of...

, could have a "branch" constructed that would allow service into Washington. The Pennsylvania picked up the charter through the agency of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad and in 1872 service between Baltimore and Washington began. (See Pope's Creek Subdivision.) At the same time the PRR outmaneuvered the B&O and took control of the Long Bridge across the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

 into Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, the B&O's connection to southern lines.


In response, the B&O chartered the Philadelphia Branch in Maryland and the Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad
Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad
The Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad was a railroad line built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Baltimore, Maryland. It was built in the 1880s after the B&O lost access to its previous route to Philadelphia, the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad...

 in Delaware and Pennsylvania and built a parallel route, finished in 1886. The Baltimore Belt Line
Baltimore Belt Line
The Baltimore Belt Line was constructed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the 1890s to connect the railroad's newly constructed line to Philadelphia with the rest of the railroad at Baltimore, Maryland. It included the Howard Street Tunnel, the Mount Royal Station and the first mainline...

, opened in 1895, connected the main line to the Philadelphia Branch without the need for a car ferry
Train ferry
A train ferry is a ship designed to carry railway vehicles. Typically, one level of the ship is fitted with railway tracks, and the vessel has a door at the front and/or rear to give access to the wharves. In the United States, train ferries are sometimes referred to as "car ferries", as...

 across the Patapsco River
Patapsco River
The Patapsco River is a river in central Maryland which flows into Chesapeake Bay. The river's tidal portion forms the harbor for the city of Baltimore...

, but the cost of constructing the Howard Street Tunnel drove the B&O to bankruptcy in 1896. Two other lines were built in attempts to reconnect to the south. The Alexandria Branch (now called the Alexandria Extension) was built in 1874, starting from Hyattsville, Maryland
Hyattsville, Maryland
Hyattsville is a city in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 17,557 at the 2000 census.- History :The city was named for its founder, Christopher Clark Hyatt. He purchased his first parcel of land in the area in March 1845...

, and ending at a ferry operation at Shepherd's Landing. The ferry operation continued until 1901 when the trackage rights agreement concluded as part of the construction of Washington Union Station saw the south end of the branch realigned to link to the PRR trackage in Anacostia, across the Anacostia Railroad Bridge
Anacostia Railroad Bridge
The Anacostia Railroad Bridge is a railroad bridge crossing the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C., USA. The bridge is owned by CSX Transportation...

, into the Virginia Avenue Tunnel
Virginia Avenue Tunnel
The Virginia Avenue Tunnel is a railroad tunnel in Washington, D.C. owned by CSX Transportation. It is part of the CSX RF&P Subdivision and serves freight trains along the eastern seaboard routes, providing a bypass around Union Station....

, through Southwest Washington, D.C. to Potomac Yard
Potomac Yard
Potomac Yard was one of the busiest rail yards on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Today, it refers to the neighborhood encompassing the same, which straddles southeastern Arlington County and northern Alexandria, Virginia, bounded by U.S. Route 1, the George Washington Memorial Parkway,...

 in Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 139,966. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.Like the rest of northern Virginia, as well as...

. (See RF&P Subdivision.) The Alexandria Branch trackage to Shepherd's Landing was heavily used during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 when traffic congestion on the Long Bridge caused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct a bridge along the original plan of the B&O: Alexandria to Shepherd's Landing, Washington. Trains of empty freight cars were routed north and south over the structure, which was demolished after the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

Before either connection was made, however, another branch was built around the west side of Washington. During the 1880s the B&O had organised a group of bankrupt railroads in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 into the Virginia Midland Railroad. The VM track ran from Alexandria
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 139,966. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.Like the rest of northern Virginia, as well as...

 to Danville, Virginia
Danville, Virginia
Danville is an independent city in Virginia, United States, bounded by Pittsylvania County, Virginia and Caswell County, North Carolina. It was the last capital of the Confederate States of America. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Danville with Pittsylvania county for...

. The line projected west across the Potomac River was intended to cross the Potomac just north of the D.C. line, to continue southwest to a connection with the B&O-controlled Virginia Midland (VM) in Fairfax
Fairfax, Virginia
The City of Fairfax is an independent city forming an enclave within the confines of Fairfax County, in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. Although politically independent of the surrounding county, the City is nevertheless the county seat....

 (now Fairfax Station
Fairfax Station, Virginia
Fairfax Station is a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia, ZIP code 22039. The population as of the 2010 Census was 12,030. As a suburb of Washington, DC, it is a bedroom community for many who work in the federal government.-Averages:...

, to distinguish it from what was Fairfax Court House and is now the City of Fairfax, Virginia), and if possible to a connection with the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad
Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad
The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad was a railroad connecting Richmond, Virginia, to Washington, D.C. It is now a portion of the CSX Transportation system....

 in Quantico
Quantico, Virginia
- Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there are 561 people, 295 households, and 107 families living in the town. The population density is . There are 359 housing units at an average density of .-Racial composition:...

. The branch was started in 1892 and reached Chevy Chase, Maryland
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Chevy Chase is the name of both a town and an unincorporated census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland. In addition, a number of villages in the same area of Montgomery County include "Chevy Chase" in their names...

, the same year. Financial problems in both the VM and B&O forced a halt to construction and led to the B&O's loss of control of the VM. Following bankruptcy, and control by the Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

, by the time the line was completed in 1910 there was no longer any point to the river crossing. Thus, the renamed Georgetown Branch came to serve a wide range of customers in Maryland and in Georgetown
Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Georgetown is a neighborhood located in northwest Washington, D.C., situated along the Potomac River. Founded in 1751, the port of Georgetown predated the establishment of the federal district and the City of Washington by 40 years...

, such as the Potomac Electric Power Company
Potomac Electric Power Company
The Potomac Electric Power Company, known as Pepco, is a public utility supplying electric power to the city of Washington, D.C., and to surrounding communities in Maryland...

, the Washington Milling Company, and the U.S. government. The line cut directly across various creeks, and includes what was said to be the longest wood trestle
Trestle
A trestle is a rigid frame used as a support, especially referring to a bridge composed of a number of short spans supported by such frames. In the context of trestle bridges, each supporting frame is generally referred to as a bent...

 on the railroad over Rock Creek
Rock Creek (Potomac River)
Rock Creek is a free-flowing tributary of the Potomac River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay. The creek is long, with a drainage area of about...

; and a short tunnel, Dalecarlia Tunnel
Dalecarlia Tunnel
The Dalecarlia Tunnel is an abandoned railroad tunnel in Brookmont, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., that carries the Capital Crescent Trail underneath MacArthur Boulevard and the Washington Aqueduct....

, under the Washington Aqueduct
Washington Aqueduct
The Washington Aqueduct is an aqueduct that provides the public water supply system serving Washington, D.C., and parts of its suburbs. One of the first major aqueduct projects in the United States, the Aqueduct was commissioned by Congress in 1852, and construction began in 1853 under the...

. The line was almost completely abandoned in 1986 by CSX and is presently used in part as the right-of-way for the Capital Crescent Trail
Capital Crescent Trail
The Capital Crescent Trail is an long, shared-use rail trail that runs from Georgetown in Washington, D.C., to Silver Spring, Maryland. The portion from Bethesda to Silver Spring is also called the Georgetown Branch Trail but is recognized as the Future Capital Crescent Trail.The Capital Crescent...

.

After a flood damaged the C&O Canal in 1877, the B&O acquired a majority interest in the canal mainly to keep its property and right of way from potential use by the Western Maryland Railroad. The canal was operated by the B&O until 1924 when it was damaged in another flood. The canal's property was later transferred to the U.S. government in 1938 in consideration for obtaining a loan from the federal Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was an independent agency of the United States government, established and chartered by the US Congress in 1932, Act of January 22, 1932, c. 8, 47 Stat. 5, during the administration of President Herbert Hoover. It was modeled after the War Finance Corporation...

.

In 1895 the B&O introduced electric locomotive
Electric locomotive
An electric locomotive is a locomotive powered by electricity from overhead lines, a third rail or an on-board energy storage device...

s over 3.75 mi (6 km) of line near Camden, initially using an overhead electric slot system.

The 20th century



Following its emergence from bankruptcy, control of the B&O was acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 in 1901. A rising young PRR Vice President, Leonor F. Loree
Leonor F. Loree
Leonor Fresnel Loree was an executive of railroads in the United States.*Baltimore and Ohio Railroad: president 1901 - 1904*Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad president - 1904...

, was appointed President. Loree shared the Pennsy management's belief in infrastructure and the B&O at that time needed some of that. New classes of engines were built to haul longer, heavier trains faster. The Old Main Line was reworked, sections of the original right-of-way cut off by the straightening of curves and replacement of old, weight-restricted bridges with newer, heavier bridges. Most of Loree's work on the B&O physical plant remains evident today. Many iron and steel bridges on the railroad were replaced with stone (Pennsy preferred stone to the preference of the Reading and Lackawanna Railroad for concrete).

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway was a Class I railroad formed in 1869 in Virginia from several smaller Virginia railroads begun in the 19th century. Led by industrialist Collis P...

 took financial control of the B&O in 1963. The B&O already had a controlling interest in the Western Maryland Railway
Western Maryland Railway
The Western Maryland Railway was an American Class I railroad which operated in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It was primarily a coal hauling and freight railroad, with a small passenger train operation. The WM became part of the Chessie System in 1973 and ceased operating its lines...

. In 1973 the three railroads were brought together under one corporate identity, the Chessie System
Chessie System
Chessie System, Inc. was a holding company that owned the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway , the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad , the Western Maryland Railway , and several smaller carriers. It was incorporated in Virginia on February 26, 1973, and it acquired the C&O on June 15...

, although they continued to operate as separate railroads. The Western Maryland was merged into the B&O in 1976. In 1980, the Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line Industries, a holding company that owned the Seaboard Coast Line, the Louisville & Nashville, the Clinchfield
Clinchfield Railroad
The Clinchfield Railroad was an operating and holding company for the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railway . The line ran from the coalfields of Virginia and Elkhorn City, Kentucky, to the textile mills of South Carolina...

, and the Georgia Railroad, agreed to form CSX Corporation
CSX Corporation
CSX Corporation was formed in 1980 by the merger of Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line Industries and eventually merged the various railroads owned by those predecessors into a single line that became known as CSX Transportation. Based in Richmond, Virginia, USA after the merger, in 2003...

. SCL Industries was renamed the Seaboard System Railroad
Seaboard System Railroad
The Seaboard System Railroad was a former Class I railroad created by merging the railroads of the Family Lines System. Although sharing common ownership, the railroads of the Family Lines System used different names when conducting business...

 (SBD) in 1983. SBD was renamed CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation operates a Class I railroad in the United States known as the CSX Railroad. It is the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and owns approximately 21,000 route miles...

 (CSX) in 1986. In April 1987, the B&O finally went out of corporate existence when it was formally absorbed into CSX Transportation.

At the height of railroading's golden age, the B&O was one of several trunk lines uniting the northeast quadrant of the United States into an industrial zone. It marked the southern border and corresponded to the New York Central's
New York Central Railroad
The New York Central Railroad , known simply as the New York Central in its publicity, was a railroad operating in the Northeastern United States...

 marking of the northern border. The Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 controlled the center, and smaller roads like the Lackawanna
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company was a railroad connecting Pennsylvania's Lackawanna Valley, rich in anthracite coal, to Hoboken, New Jersey, , Buffalo and Oswego, New York...

, Lehigh Valley
Lehigh Valley Railroad
The Lehigh Valley Railroad was one of a number of railroads built in the northeastern United States primarily to haul anthracite coal.It was authorized April 21, 1846 in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and incorporated September 20, 1847 as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad...

, and the Erie
Erie Railroad
The Erie Railroad was a railroad that operated in New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, originally connecting New York City with Lake Erie...

 survived largely through the Interstate Commerce Commission
Interstate Commerce Commission
The Interstate Commerce Commission was a regulatory body in the United States created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The agency's original purpose was to regulate railroads to ensure fair rates, to eliminate rate discrimination, and to regulate other aspects of common carriers, including...

. The corners of this map are Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

 in the southeast, Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 in the northeast, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 in the northwest, and St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 in the southwest.

Branches



Mount Airy Branch
The Mount Airy Branch is the surviving, in-use portion of the 1839-opened Mount Airy Loop. The Loop had been mainline track
on the Old Main Line until superseded by the Mount Airy Cutoff and Tunnel in 1902.

Frederick Branch
The Frederick Branch was built from Frederick Junction, on the Old Main Line, to downtown Frederick. The 3.5 mile (5.6 km) branch opened on December 1, 1831. In planning the route of the Old Main Line, the B&O decided against building the main line directly through Frederick, preferring instead to take advantage of a valley grade to the south of the city. The continuation of the main line from Frederick Junction opened April 2, 1832.

Metropolitan Branch
Connected Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 to the Old Main Line at Point of Rocks
Point of Rocks, Maryland
Point of Rocks is a community in Frederick County, Maryland. It is named for the striking rock formation on the adjacent Catoctin Mountain, which were formed by the Potomac River cutting through the ridge in a water gap, a typical formation in the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians...

. Constructed between 1866 and 1873, and originally single-tracked. Now called the Metropolitan Subdivision.

Patuxent Branch
The Patuxent
Patuxent River
The Patuxent River is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay in the state of Maryland. There are three main river drainages for central Maryland: the Potomac River to the west passing through Washington D.C., the Patapsco River to the northeast passing through Baltimore, and the Patuxent River between...

 Branch was constructed in the 1880s and split off from the Washington Branch at Savage, Maryland
Savage, Maryland
Savage is a historic town located in Howard County, Maryland, about south of Baltimore and north of Washington, D.C. It is situated close to the city of Laurel and to the planned community of Columbia.A rich vein of American industrial history lies in Savage...

 to serve a mill, a quarry, and other small industry. After 1925, the line was gradually cut back, and disconnected completely in 2005.

Georgetown Branch
The Georgetown Branch ran from a junction on the Metropolitan Branch north of the Silver Spring, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
Silver Spring is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It had a population of 71,452 at the 2010 census, making it the fourth most populous place in Maryland, after Baltimore, Columbia, and Germantown.The urbanized, oldest, and...

 station to the Georgetown
Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Georgetown is a neighborhood located in northwest Washington, D.C., situated along the Potomac River. Founded in 1751, the port of Georgetown predated the establishment of the federal district and the City of Washington by 40 years...

 area of Washington, D.C. Built between 1892 and 1910. Originally intended as an extension of the railroad to a crossing of the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

 near the Chain Bridge, the agreement between the Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 and the B&O resulting from the rerouting of track for the Washington Union Station project put an end to the crossing, and the branch settled down to being just a country railroad until the Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 suburbs grew around it (Silver Spring, Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Chevy Chase is the name of both a town and an unincorporated census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland. In addition, a number of villages in the same area of Montgomery County include "Chevy Chase" in their names...

, and Bethesda
Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda is a census designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House , which in turn took its name from Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda...

). The branch was abandoned in 1986, and much of the right-of-way is now used by the Capital Crescent Trail
Capital Crescent Trail
The Capital Crescent Trail is an long, shared-use rail trail that runs from Georgetown in Washington, D.C., to Silver Spring, Maryland. The portion from Bethesda to Silver Spring is also called the Georgetown Branch Trail but is recognized as the Future Capital Crescent Trail.The Capital Crescent...

.

Washington Branch
Original name for the line built between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. during 1833 to 1835. Now called the Capital Subdivision.

Alexandria Extension
The Alexandria Extension (originally the Alexandria Branch) was built from Hyattsville
Hyattsville, Maryland
Hyattsville is a city in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 17,557 at the 2000 census.- History :The city was named for its founder, Christopher Clark Hyatt. He purchased his first parcel of land in the area in March 1845...

 on the Washington Branch in 1874, ending at Shepherd's Landing. Now connects to the Anacostia Railroad Bridge
Anacostia Railroad Bridge
The Anacostia Railroad Bridge is a railroad bridge crossing the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C., USA. The bridge is owned by CSX Transportation...

 through Washington, D.C. toward Virginia, serving as a bypass around Washington Union Station for freight train
Freight train
A freight train or goods train is a group of freight cars or goods wagons hauled by one or more locomotives on a railway, ultimately transporting cargo between two points as part of the logistics chain...

s.

Washington County Branch
The B&O had decided against a direct line to Hagerstown
Hagerstown, Maryland
Hagerstown is a city in northwestern Maryland, United States. It is the county seat of Washington County, and, by many definitions, the largest city in a region known as Western Maryland. The population of Hagerstown city proper at the 2010 census was 39,662, and the population of the...

, though the city had petitioned the Directors. Several north-south routes like the Cumberland Valley
Cumberland Valley Railroad
The Cumberland Valley Railroad was an early railroad in Pennsylvania, USA, originally chartered in 1831 to connect with Pennsylvania’s Main Line of Public Works...

 built through Hagerstown and the construction of the Western Maryland Railway
Western Maryland Railway
The Western Maryland Railway was an American Class I railroad which operated in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It was primarily a coal hauling and freight railroad, with a small passenger train operation. The WM became part of the Chessie System in 1973 and ceased operating its lines...

 to that city persuaded the B&O management to build a branch. It was decided that the branch would leave the mainline at Weverton
Weverton, Maryland
Weverton is an unincorporated hamlet located in the southern tip of Washington County, Maryland, near the north shore of the Potomac River. Its population is approximately 500. Weverton is located at the intersection of MD Route 67 and U.S. Route 340...

 and wind its way through the hills of Western Maryland to Hagerstown. A station was constructed at the stub end of the line in downtown Hagerstown.

Baltimore & New York Railroad
Constructed from Cranford Junction
Cranford, New Jersey
Cranford is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2010 Census, the township population was 22,625.Cranford was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 14, 1871, from portions of the Townships of Clark, Linden,...

 on the Central Railroad of New Jersey
Central Railroad of New Jersey
The Central Railroad of New Jersey , commonly known as the Jersey Central Lines or CNJ, was a Class I railroad with origins in the 1830s, lasting until 1976 when it was absorbed into Conrail with the other bankrupt railroads of the Northeastern United States...

, in Union County, New Jersey
Union County, New Jersey
Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 536,499. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. Its county seat is Elizabeth. Union County ranks 93rd among the highest-income counties in the United States. It also ranks 74th in...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 east to St. George, Staten Island
St. George, Staten Island
St. George is a neighborhood on the northeastern tip of Staten Island in New York City, where the Kill Van Kull enters Upper New York Bay. It is the most densely developed neighborhood on Staten Island, and the location of the administrative center for the borough and for the coterminous Richmond...

, New York to give the B&O access to its own deepwater port and ferry terminal
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is a passenger ferry service operated by the New York City Department of Transportation that runs between the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island.-Overview:...

. The line no longer runs between Union Avenue and St George on Staten Island. Many attempts have been made to restore it for passenger service, but have hit political, financial, or legal barriers. See entry on Staten Island Railway
Staten Island Railway
The Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority, publicly known as MTA Staten Island Railway or SIR, is the operator of the lone rapid transit line in the borough of Staten Island, New York City, USA...

. More history is at this page.

Ohio River Branch.

See also


:Category:Baltimore and Ohio Railroad lines
:Category:Stations along Baltimore and Ohio Railroad lines
:Category:Baltimore and Ohio Railroad bridges and tunnels
  • Baltimore and Ohio Railroad locomotives
    Baltimore and Ohio Railroad locomotives
    On the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, locomotives were always considered of great importance, and the railroad was involved in many experiments and innovations.-Early locomotives:...

  • Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops
    Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops
    Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops is a historic industrial district in Martinsburg, West Virginia. It is significant both for its railroading architecture by Albert Fink and John Rudolph Niernsee and for its role in the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. It consists of three contributing...

    , a National Historic Landmark
    National Historic Landmark
    A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

  • Baltimore Belt Line
    Baltimore Belt Line
    The Baltimore Belt Line was constructed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the 1890s to connect the railroad's newly constructed line to Philadelphia with the rest of the railroad at Baltimore, Maryland. It included the Howard Street Tunnel, the Mount Royal Station and the first mainline...

  • Aeolus Railroad Car
    Aeolus Railroad Car
    One of the early experiments in railroad cars, the yachtlike Aeolus, named in honor of Aeolus from mythology, was designed to sail before the wind. It was tried on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1830. On one occasion the Aeolus failed to stop when it reached the end of the finished track, and...

  • Camden Station
  • Mount Royal Station
    Mount Royal Station
    The Mount Royal Station and Trainshed was the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's third train station in Baltimore, Maryland, at the north end of the Baltimore Belt Line's Howard Street tunnel in the fashionable Bolton Hill neighborhood...

  • Mount Clare Shops
    Mount Clare Shops
    The Mount Clare Shops is the oldest railroad manufacturing complex in the United States, located in Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1829. Mt. Clare was the site of many inventions and innovations in railroad technology. It is presently the site of the...


External links