TrainWeb.org Facebook Page
Baltimore Light Rail Photo Tour


Baltimore Light Rail
Modern day photo tour

Accompanying each photo below are:

Click a photo to see a larger view. Please send your comments and corrections to Steve.


<< Previous (north) | THIS PAGE: Westport to Linthicum | Next (south) >>

MTA 5042

MTA 5042
Mile: 2.0 Date: Feb 2015
Ease: B+ View: SE
Area: D+ BLR:
Map: Ba 42 K 4 Topographic Maps

Carr Lowry 2001 At Westport, light rail leapfrogs CSX's South Baltimore Industrial Track. Previously, Carr Lowrey's glass factory had stood behind, as seen in the older (March 2001) view at right. As of 2021, the cleared land waits a future revival, perhaps as part of an Under Armour expansion from Port Covington into Westport.

Link: Carr Lowrey glass factory


Scattered Showers

Scattered Showers
Mile: 2.1 Date: Jun 2021
Ease: A- View: N
Area: C- BLR:
Map: Ba 42 K 5 Topographic Maps

As seen from light rail's Westport Station, a shower had moved through recently, but downtown Baltimore was already back in sunshine.

While it spans the CSX tracks below, light rail weaves west a bit to line up with what previously had been the Annapolis Short Line's (ASL's) right of way.


Right Here

Right Here
Mile: 2.1 Date: Jun 2021
Ease: A- View: S
Area: C- BLR:
Map: Ba 42 K 5 Topographic Maps

Someone clue me in on what the "Right Here" in Ravens colors means at Westport Station.


MTA 5002

MTA 5002
Mile: 2.2 Date: Aug 2013
Ease: A View: N
Area: C- BLR:
Map: Ba 42 J 6 Topographic Maps

When southbound MTA 5002 reaches natural ground level, it will be rolling where the ASL had previously.


Skyline

Skyline
Mile: 2.3 Date: Oct 2016
Ease: A View: N
Area: C+ BLR:
Map: Ba 42 J 6 Topographic Maps

The Waterview Avenue grade crossing is the last spot from which much of downtown Baltimore's skyline is visible -- or the first spot, if you're heading north.

On the right, that's Kloman Street sandwiched between light rail and CSX"s South Baltimore Industrial Track.


Waterview Avenue

Waterview Avenue
Mile: 2.4 Date: Apr 2015
Ease: A View: NW
Area: C+ BLR:
Map: Ba 42 J 6 Topographic Maps

runner This is a troubled intersection. The problem is busy 4-lane Waterview Avenue is met by both the South Baltimore track and light rail, as well as Kloman Street which is squeezed between in a sort of no-mans land.

The meeting of so many routes makes for lots of signals, poles, wires, and signs... plus lots of confusion, so I can't really blame the driver in the animation at left who is emerging from Kloman Street. I suspect this grade crossing witnesses an unusually high number of collisions.


Cherry Hill Station

Cherry Hill Station
Mile: 2.8 Date: Feb 2015
Ease: B View: N
Area: C BLR: 86
Map: Ba 42 J 7 Topographic Maps

Northbound MTA 5007 picks up frozen commuters on a frigid February day.


Urban Lane

Urban Lane
Mile: 2.9 Date: Feb 2015
Ease: B View: S
Area: C BLR: 39
Map: Ba 42 J 7 Topographic Maps

During the ASL's early years, it shared the B&O's South Baltimore Branch (now CSX's South Baltimore Industrial Track) north to reach Camden Station. When the ASL electrified in 1908, the B&O grew nervous about its trains and crews operating under the catenary so it built the ASL a separate but the largely parallel route into downtown Baltimore.

This newer ASL alignment snuck under the B&O's Curtis Bay Branch here. After the ASL morphed via several steps into the Baltimore and Annapolis (B&A), the latter began exchanging traffic ahead at Cliffords. Rail service then ceased under this bridge until light rail repurposed the route around 1990. During the interval without rails, the path under the bridge became part of a dirt road marked Urban Lane on some maps.

Change for: Curtis Bay Branch tour at this site


MTA 5026

MTA 5026
Mile: 3.3 Date: Jan 2015
Ease: B View: SW
Area: C- BLR:
Map: Ba 42 J 8 Topographic Maps

MTA 5026 is nortbound at Cliffords, running adjacent CSX's track to Curtis Bay.


Cliffords

Cliffords
Mile: 3.4 Date: Jan 2015
Ease: B View: SW
Area: C- BLR: 87
Map: Ba 42 K 8 Topographic Maps

The B&A and B&O/CSX had exchanged railcars here at Cliffords. As of 2021, this is the only place light rail is track-connected with heavy rail, i.e. the freight rail network.


Patapsco Avenue

Patapsco Avenue
Mile: 3.6 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: A View: E
Area: C+ BLR:
Map: Ba 42 K 9 Topographic Maps

The vehicle entrance (foreground) to light rail's Patapsco Station follows the central light rail original Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis alignment. The distant bridge over Patapsco Avenue originally belonged to WB&A's successor, the B&A, and dates to Patapsco Avenue's arrival around 1960.

This is one of few places at which "Central Light Rail" signage is displayed. When this line was built circa 1990, promoters thought other light rail lines would be added. As of 2021, that has not yet happened.


Patapsco Station

Patapsco Station
Mile: 3.7 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: A- View: NE
Area: C+ BLR:
Map: Ba 42 K 9 Topographic Maps

coal train Light rail's Patapsco Station is one of its busier, thanks to the proximity of Patapsco Avenue and its buses. Note in the zoom view one can glimpse part of a CSX coal hopper on the way to Curtis Bay found a few miles east (right).

For the next 3+ miles, light rail will switch back and forth between former ASL and WB&A alignments that had run parallel.


Accessibility Ramp

Accessibility Ramp
Mile: 3.7 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: B View: E
Area: C+ BLR:
Map: Ba 42 K 9 Topographic Maps

MTA 5038, like all cars, is equipped with a manually-operated ramp that covers the stairs and extends to the platform's high block where people can roll aboard.


MTA 5021

MTA 5021
Mile: 3.7 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: B View: S
Area: C+ BLR:
Map: Ba 42 K 9 Topographic Maps

The Patapsco and Baltimore Highlands stops are a mere half mile apart, the system's closest pair south of downtown; they can be seen from each other.


Southwest Park

Southwest Park
Mile: 3.9 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: B View: W
Area: B- BLR: 89
Map: Ba 42 K 9 Topographic Maps

The line runs adjacent the largely undeveloped and underutilized Southwest Park, a former landfill.


Looking Back

Looking Back
Mile: 4.1 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: A View: N
Area: B- BLR:
Map: Ba 42 J 10 Topographic Maps

Deep zoom shows two trains back at Patapsco Station, one of which is approaching.


Full Wrap

Full Wrap
Mile: 4.1 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: A View: N
Area: B- BLR:
Map: Ba 42 J 10 Topographic Maps

MTA 5027 arrives dressed in full advertising attire. Few ads wrap an entire rail car like this. The abundance of ads for Medicare Advantage plans, most of which are run by private entities, suggests the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is being a bit too generous with Medicare funds.

The parking lot at left occupies what had been the WB&A's right-of-way.


1915_Atlas
Image courtesy Johns Hopkins University

1915 Atlas
Mile: Date: 1915
Ease: View: N (up)
Area: BLR: 88
Map: Topographic Maps

Both the WB&A and ASL had a Rosemont (Baltimore Highlands) station just south of Georgia Avenue. Those stations permitted Baltimore Highlands residents to commute during the era before automobiles were common.


Georgia Avenue

Georgia Avenue
Mile: 4.1 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: A View: S
Area: B- BLR:
Map: Ba 42 J 10 Topographic Maps

At the Georgia Avenue grade crossing, the white lamp at right is a crossing gate indicator. The ASL's Rosemont Station had stood east of this train, near the green tree at the left edge.

Link: Signals of the Baltimore Light Rail System


Zone Guard

Zone Guard
Mile: 4.3 Date: Jul 2021
Ease: B+ View: E
Area: B BLR:
Map: Ba 42 J 11 Topographic Maps

These pole-mounted black boxes are Train Detection Modules of the ZoneGuard system that detects a train in the vicinity, and alerts track workers.

Link: ZoneGuard


MTA 5030

MTA 5030
Mile: 4.4 Date: Jul 2021
Ease: B View: N
Area: B BLR: 90
Map: Ba 42 J 11 Topographic Maps

By curving more sharply west than the ASL had, here light rail shifts from the ASL alignment to that of the WB&A.

One of my goals with the light rail tour has been to depict each of the 53 rail cars at least once. Anyone care to check if I've missed any?

Someone did! Apparently, the tour is missing photos of 5009, 5011, 5015, 5016, and 5022. I'll be watching for them.


I-895

I-895
Mile: 4.5 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: A View: N
Area: B BLR:
Map: Ba 42 H 11 Topographic Maps

When the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway arrived during the early 1950s, this was active Baltimore & Annapolis trackage. The road bridges over it, but not the defunct Annapolis Short Line trackage that had been adjacent on the right. MTA 5032 and 5002 are glad to have the passage.


Straight

Straight
Mile: 4.7 Date: Jul 2021
Ease: A- View: S
Area: B BLR:
Map: Ba 42 H 12 Topographic Maps

This straight run of over a half mile in length includes a bridge across the Patapsco River.


Downstream

Downstream
Mile: 4.9 Date: Jun 2001
Ease: A View: SE
Area: B- BLR:
Map: AA 2 H 4 Topographic Maps

This looks downstream from Annapolis Road from what had been Sweetser's (or Switzer's) Bridge across the Patapsco. I believe this to be the first light rail photo I snapped with a digital camera.

Links: 1985, Sweetser relative's interview in The Sun


Patapsco River
Photo courtesy HH Harwood collection

Patapsco River
Mile: 4.9 Date: 1940s
Ease: B+ View: NE
Area: B- BLR: 27, 40, 91
Map: AA 2 H 3 Topographic Maps

The B&A put the WB&A's leftovers like this bridge to good use. This photo captures the B&A during the waning years of its passenger service.

Electric railroads means wires. Around the country, many electric utility companies began as interurban railways.

Link: 1986


Thawing

Thawing
Mile: 4.9 Date: Jan 2018
Ease: B+ View: N
Area: B- BLR:
Map: AA 2 H 4 Topographic Maps

Around 1990, light rail rehabbed and re-double-tracked the Patapsco River bridge. That's car 5052 leading 5018 into Baltimore County during one of January 2018's few mild days.


Nursery Road

Nursery Road
Mile: 5.1 Date: Jan 2018
Ease: A- View: N
Area: B- BLR:
Map: AA 2 H 5 Topographic Maps

MTA 5041 has a green signal to proceed north from Nursery Road Station.


To Camden Yards

To Camden Yards
Mile: 5.3 Date: Jul 2021
Ease: A- View: N
Area: B BLR:
Map: AA 2 G 5 Topographic Maps

You won't see "Camden Yards" displayed at the end of the cars here very often. MTA 5051 and 5043 will ternimate there due to track work north of it along Howard Street.

While heading south, this is the last place you can look back and glimpse part of the Baltimore city skyline from light rail.


MTA 5043

MTA 5043
Mile: 5.3 Date: Jul 2021
Ease: A- View: S
Area: B BLR:
Map: AA 2 G 5 Topographic Maps

Deep zoom reaches North Linthicum Station. Closer than that, MTA 5043 passes over Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.


BA 205
Photo courtesy HH Harwood collection

BA 205
Mile: 5.6 Date: ~1950
Ease: A- View: E
Area: B BLR:
Map: AA 2 G 6 Topographic Maps

The WB&A eschewed grade crossings, so bridged over Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard for the line's 1908 opening.


Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd

Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd
Mile: 5.6 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: A View: NW
Area: B BLR:
Map: AA 2 G 6 Topographic Maps

Some of the WB&A's bridge is still on duty, after being rehabbed for light rail.

Link: 1985


North Linthicum Station

North Linthicum Station
Mile: 6.0 Date: Jul 1999
Ease: A- View: SW
Area: B BLR:
Map: AA 2 G 6 Topographic Maps

Wearing original livery, northbound MTA 5040 pulls into North Linthicum Station. This was shot with a disposable film camera, remember those?


Stairway

Stairway
Mile: 6.0 Date: Jan 2018
Ease: A- View: NE
Area: B BLR:
Map: AA 2 G 6 Topographic Maps

A stairway at left gives hilltop residents a straight path to the station, but they are little too late to catch departing MTA 5018 and MTA 5052. The parking lot on the right occupies the former ASL right-of-way.


Light Rails

Light Rails
Mile: 6.0 Date: Apr 2021
Ease: A View: W
Area: B BLR:
Map: AA 2 G 6 Topographic Maps

These Bethlehem Steel rails show a forging date of August 1991. Since light rail runs on them, these must be light rails, but they weigh only slightly less per unit distance than heavy (freight) rails.


Beltway

Beltway
Mile: 6.0 Date: Jan 2018
Ease: A- View: SW
Area: B BLR:
Map: AA 2 G 6 Topographic Maps

Southbound MTA 5018 and MTA 5052 will soon pass under the I-695 Baltimore Beltway being traversed by a red Coca-Cola truck at left.


Twin

Twin Oaks Road
Mile: 6.2 Date: Jan 2018
Ease: A View: N
Area: B BLR:
Map: AA 2 F 7 Topographic Maps

When MDOT introduced the Light RailLink name, several cars like MTA 5041 were dressed to match, as seen from Twin Oaks Road.


MTA 5023

MTA 5023
Mile: 6.2 Date: Jan 2018
Ease: A View: S
Area: B BLR:
Map: AA 2 F 7 Topographic Maps

South of Twin Oaks Road, the two tracks separate, ostensibly to make room for power poles. The WB&A's Linthicum Heights Station stands at distant right.


Linthicum Heights

Linthicum Heights
Mile: 6.5 Date: Jan 2018
Ease: A View: S
Area: A- BLR:
Map: AA 2 F 7 Topographic Maps

In 1907 the WB&A erected this Linthicum Heights station at Maple Road. Subsequently the B&A provided passenger service here through 1950. The original structure underwent renovation during 1985 and at photo time housed an accountant's office.


Solar Light

Solar Light
Mile: 6.5 Date: Jan 2018
Ease: A View: E
Area: A- BLR:
Map: AA 2 F 7 Topographic Maps

No, the solar panels are not why it's called light rail. Large fields of panels would be needed to power the trains. These small panels likely recharge battery backup power of the crossing signals.


1938_Aerial
Photo courtesy Johns Hopkins University

1938 Aerial
Mile: 6-7 Date: Apr 1938
Ease: View: N (right)
Area: BLR: 92
Map: Topographic Maps

South of Maple Road (to the left on this aerial) the ASL's original alignment had consisted of a series of gentle S curves. When the WB&A pushed through in 1907, it convinced the ASL to swap land and straighten its track in order to make room.

A little more than a decade later, the upstart WB&A would buy out the ASL. That was not a good business move, however, since automobiles and the Great Depression would soon follow and put the WB&A out of business by 1935.


Linthicum Station

Linthicum Station
Mile: 6.7 Date: Jul 2021
Ease: A- View: NE
Area: B+ BLR:
Map: AA 2 F 8 Topographic Maps

Light rail's Linthicum Station sits atop the old ASL right of way.


Cicada Damage

Cicada Damage
Mile: 6.7 Date: Jul 2021
Ease: A- View: E
Area: B+ BLR:
Map: AA 2 F 8 Topographic Maps

Year 2021 saw the emergence of Brood X 17-year cicadas that lay eggs in tree stems. As seen in the background, the stems dry, turn brown, then fall to the ground where the next generation crawls out and buries itself for 17 years. The eggs inside this stem, however, got snagged by the catenary and didn't make it to ground level.


Shipley
Photo credit James P. Shuman

Shipley
Mile: 6.8 Date: May 1936
Ease: A- View: SE
Area: B+ BLR: 93
Map: AA 2 E 8 Topographic Maps

shipley zoom After the ASL / WB&A consolidation ended in failure, the bondholders picked up the pieces and in 1935 continued service along what once had been the ASL's bread and butter route, the one between Baltimore and Annapolis, where the B&O and Pennsylvania RRs did not offer competing service. James Shuman was at Shipley to record the then-infant Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad (B&A).

Many of the smaller stations were flag stops: the ASL/WB&A did not stop unless there were passengers looking to board (or depart). Prior to electrical illumination, passengers waiting at such a station at night would set a "torch" of newspaper aflame so the operator could spot them in darkness.

Link: station 1950


MTA 5035

MTA 5035
Mile: 6.7 Date: Jul 2021
Ease: A- View: SE
Area: B+ BLR:
Map: AA 2 F 8 Topographic Maps

MTA 5035 negotiates the same curve. Tha ASL's Shipley Station was immediately ahead on the left.


<< Previous (north) | THIS PAGE: Westport to Linthicum | Next (south) >>

Or, return to main page

Copyright Notice