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B&O Photo Tour

B&O Camden Cutoff and Spur
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.


Brief Historical Background:

Camden Cutoff

Camden Cutoff
Mile: 3.2 Date: Feb 2000
Ease: B+ View: NE
Area: B IC2: 117
Map: Ba 42 E 6 Topographic Maps

In the view looking NE from Patapsco Avenue bridge, we see the southern end of Mt. Winans Yards. The tracks at the extreme left are the original main line which traverses the Carollton Viaduct. The tracks on the right being negotiated by the coal car are those of the Camden Cutoff, which this page follows all the way to Camden Station.


Mt. Winan's Yards

Mt. Winan's Yards
Mile: 2.4 Date: Apr 2001
Ease: C View: SW
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 42 G 5 Topographic Maps

The Camden Cutoff immediately widens to form Mt. Winans Yards. This is the view looking back from the northern extreme of the yards.


Mt. Winan's Yards

Mt. Winan's Yards
Mile: 2.4 Date: Apr 2001
Ease: C View: NE
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 42 G 5 Topographic Maps

The view to the northeast from the same spot as the prior photo is more interesting. On the left is Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The brick structure at the center is the B&O Warehouse at Camden Yards. To the right is the former PSINet Stadium, home of Baltimore Ravens football.


To Baltimore
Photo courtesy Tom Cochran
NEW! Jun 2007

To Baltimore
Mile: 2.1 Date: Apr 1977
Ease: B View: NE
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 42 H 4 Topographic Maps

In 1977 the tracks appear to lead to Baltimore's then new, pentagonal-shaped World Trade Center where Inner Harbor revitalization was just beginning. Within a few years I-95's Ft Mc. Henry Tunnel route will rise above to span the railroad about a half mile ahead. Tom reports the building on the left was the Maryland Glass Corp.


Gwynn's Falls Bridge

Gwynn's Falls Bridge
Mile: 1.8 Date: Dec 2001
Ease: B View: SW
Area: C IC2:
Map: Ba 42 J 4 Topographic Maps

The Camden Cutoff bypasses the Carrollton Viaduct, but it has to cross the same stream (the Gwynn's Falls) as that venerable structure. It does so here via what is listed as the Blue Top Bridge, just south of where I-95 now crosses overhead. This view looks back SW, away from the city.

This is the place the OML should have crossed the Gwynn's Falls originally. It's far more level, straight and simpler here than at the Carrollton Viaduct. Rail construction at this spot dates to the 1850s and almost certainly initially spanned the stream via a Bollman bridge. It's likely this bridge seen in this photo replaced the Bollman design sometime in the early 1900s. There are four tracks crossing the water here, three active and the one in the foreground obviously abandoned some time ago.


Monroe Street Bridge

Monroe Street Bridge
Mile: 1.6 Date: Dec 2001
Ease: B View: NE
Area: C IC2: 143, 273
Map: Ba 42 J 3 Topographic Maps

At a location called Carroll, the Camden Cutoff joins the Mt. Clare branch (extreme left) for the trip to Baltimore. The green/yellow bridge in the near distance carries Monroe Street over the tracks.

This is the view toward the city from under I-95. At the right, almost hidden by the shadow of the interstate highway overhead, is an all but forgotten concrete whistle post that has seen many trains roll past. Until it was torn down in 1985, CX tower (Carroll) had been located here on the right.

Links to older pictures: ~1980, ~1980, ~1980


City View

City View
Mile: 1.2 Date: Oct 2000
Ease: A View: NE
Area: C+ IC2:
Map: Ba 42 J 3 Topographic Maps

As we near the city, here is the view from the Bush Street grade crossing. That's the Bayard Street grade crossing a short distance away. Bailey's Wye is about a half mile ahead.


Camden Spur

Camden Spur
Mile: 0.8 Date: May 2001
Ease: A View: W
Area: C+ IC2:
Map: Ba 43 A 3 Topographic Maps

This view looks back along the Locust Point Branch toward the Russell Street bridge. I'm standing at the southern side of Bailey's Wye, which is on the right. This spot is easily reached with help from Stockholm Street.

The track in the immediate foreground is obviously disused. The one to its right is heading east to Locust Point which is behind us. The tracks on the other side of the signal are the Camden Spur, which make up the northwest side of Bailey's Wye.


Camden Spur

Camden Spur
Mile: 0.8 Date: May 2001
Ease: A View: N
Area: C+ IC2: 141, 385
Map: Ba 43 A 3 Topographic Maps

Same spot at the prior photo, but turned to the right to look in the direction of Camden Station, which is a short distance past the stadium.

Link to older picture: 1977


Bailey's Wye

Bailey's Wye
Mile: 0.6 Date: Mar 2001
Ease: B View: S
Area: B+ IC2: 141
Map: Ba 43 A 2 Topographic Maps

In this view from the north back to the location of the prior photo we find CSX 8777 bending around the northwest side of Bailey's Wye bound for the Howard Street Tunnel, which is adjacent to Camden Station.

Bailey's was the location of one of the B&O's busiest roundhouses. By 1875, the rapidly expanding railroad had outgrown not only the repair facilities at Mt. Clare, but also those associated with Camden Station. The centrally located Bailey's was therefore selected for the shops known as Bailey's Roundhouse. For about the next 75 years, countless trains would pass by or be serviced here.

Link to older picture: ~1900


Light Rail

Light Rail
Mile: 0.5 Date: Mar 2001
Ease: B View: S
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 43 A 2 Topographic Maps

The Baltimore Light Rail system joins the Camden spur briefly. Here, a southbound train departs for a scenic ride over the middle branch of the Patapsco River.

Today, courtesy construction of I-395, the Light Rail, and the stadiums, little more than the tracks indicate this was the location of Bailey's Roundhouse. In this view south, on the right you can see the tracks diverge making two pieces of Bailey's Y.


Middle Branch

Middle Branch
Mile: 0.8 Date: June 1999
Ease: B View: S
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ba 43 A 3 Topographic Maps

Time out for a quick tangent. If you were riding that light rail train of the prior photo, you'd soon be treated to this scenic view as the route crosses over the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River. That's I-395 on the left.


PSINet Stadium

PSINet Stadium
Mile: 0.5 Date: Mar 2001
Ease: B View: S
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 43 A 2 Topographic Maps

CSX 746 powers a coal drag past PSINet Stadium, still decorated to celebrate the Superbowl Championship of the Baltimore Ravens less than two months prior.


Looking North

Looking North
Mile: 0.5 Date: Mar 2001
Ease: B View: N
Area: B+ IC2: 294, 215, 217
Map: Ba 43 A 2 Topographic Maps

Same spot as the prior photo, just looking the opposite direction. By now, CSX 746 is deep in the Howard Street tunnel while the final coal car follows along.

The Hamburg Street highway bridge is in the foreground, obscuring Oriole Park in the distant left. The clock tower just right of the stadium is Baltimore's famous Bromo Seltzer tower. Impossible Challenge II page 214 has a great photo looking back to this spot in 1912. Wow, has this area changed!

Link to older picture: ~1970


Howard Street Tunnel

Howard Street Tunnel
Mile: 0.4 Date: Mar 2001
Ease: B View: N
Area: B+ IC2: 196, 316
Map: Ba 43 A 2 Topographic Maps

That's the Howard Street tunnel entrance on the left. When I-395 and Oriole Park were being constructed, the portal was rebuilt and lengthened about a quarter mile south to the location seen here.


Warehouse

Warehouse
Mile: 0.4 Date: June 2002
Ease: A View: NW
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 43 B 2 Topographic Maps

Here's the hulking B&O warehouse which is now adjacent to Oriole Park. This is the view from I-395 as it leads you into downtown Baltimore. Constructed in 1899, at over 1000 feet long the B&O warehouse is the longest building on the US East Coast.

Link to older picture: 1977


From Light Rail

From Light Rail
Mile: 0.4 Date: June 1999
Ease: B View: S
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 43 A 2 Topographic Maps

This view looks south from within the cab of a light rail train. We're about even with the Howard Street Tunnel portal, which is on the right (not visible). A series of CSX autoracks are moving into the tunnel. I-395 is on the left.


Camden Station

Camden Station
Mile: 0.1 Date: June 2002
Ease: A View: N
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ba 42 A 1 Topographic Maps

Here's the south face of Camden Station as seen from I-395. A light rail train is in the foreground and the Bromo Seltzer clock tower in the background.

I've heard that when it was built, the Bromo Seltzer tower was the tallest building south of New York, but I don't know if that's correct. It was one of the first buildings to be illuminated with electric lights. Supposedly, the glow of the blue color lights chosen by the Bromo Seltzer company could be seen from 20 miles away in the dark night sky.

Links to older pictures: Bromo Seltzer atop tower ~1900, as Emerson Tower, then-now views from tower


Camden Yards Stop

Camden Yards Stop
Mile: 0.1 Date: June 1999
Ease: B View: S
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ba 42 A 1 Topographic Maps

Another view from inside the Light Rail. We're closer to Camden Station now, which is behind us. On the right is the Camden Yards stop of the Light Rail.

Through the clutter left of the stop, you can spot the red nose of a MARC (Maryland Area Rail Commuter) train. Its route terminates here.

Notice the | signal on the post just left of center near the top of the image. That's a "proceed" signal for the Light Rail train.

The grade crossing is that of Conway Street, better known now as the ramp onto I-395. The hulking brick building on the right is the former B&O warehouse.


Warehouse

Warehouse
Mile: 0.1 Date: Jul 1999
Ease: B View: SE
Area: A IC2: 216, 358
Map: Ba 42 A 1 Topographic Maps

Camden Yards lives on as the home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. I doubt the warehouse ever expected to be the target of left-handed sluggers.


Camden Station

Camden Station
Mile: 0.0 Date: Dec 2001
Ease: A View: SW
Area: B IC2: 81, 213, 333, 385
Map: Ba 42 A 1 Topographic Maps

Camden Station opened in 1857, but thanks to Civil War delays, was not completed until 1865. Many changes were made over later years, but in 1992 it was restored to its original appearance.

In this picture, the B&O warehouse can be seen behind the left edge of the station. The RR crossing sign refers to the light rail line.

Links to older pictures: 1869, 1920, 1979, Pic Group


This tour ends here!

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