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B&O Metropolitan Branch Photo Tour

B&O Metropolitan Branch
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.


Fallow
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Fallow
Mile: 76.1 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: W
Area: B IC2:
Map: Fr 35 B 11 Topographic Maps

There's trackside lumber here, but it's not part of the 84 Lumber seen on the prior tour page. For the most part, Brunswick's West Yard lies fallow.


Debris
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Debris
Mile: 76.9 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: C+ View: NW
Area: B IC2:
Map: Fr 34 K 12 Topographic Maps

Several piped culverts sneak under the tracks in this vicinity, all dating to construction that opened Brunswick's west yard in 1907. Debris has piled up over the decades, and threatens to block the input end of this culvert. Rather than dig out the debris, it looks like CSX has planted some tripod-like devices to help keep the inlet open... but perhaps they are just debris too. Another culvert nearby has wooden planks serving this purpose.


Milepost 77
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Milepost 77
Mile: 77.0 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: C View: NW
Area: B IC2:
Map: Fr 34 K 12 Topographic Maps

Autumn colors start early in the Appalachian Mountains. Here eastbound CSX 5205 bears down on milepost 77 as a weary CPL signal hangs on.


Arch
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Arch
Mile: 77.6 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: C+ View: NE
Area: A IC2:
Map: Fr 34 H 11 Topographic Maps

All the masonry culverts and bridges in the Brunswick vicinity were lengthened to support the yard, so this one dates to approximately 1907.


Zoom
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Zoom
Mile: 77.7 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: NW
Area: B IC2:
Map: Fr 34 H 11 Topographic Maps

The prior pictures on this page have followed the eastbound tracks on the south side of the yard. Now we jump to the westbound tracks. A short distance ahead the eastbound and westbound pairs of tracks meet. If the tracks appear to be climbing, it's because they are.

Upon the demise of the railfan home back at mp 45, these homes at Knoxville became the closest to the B&O trackage between Baltimore and Harpers Ferry. Grab a lawn chair and watch the trains roll by (if you have permission, of course).


Meet
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Meet
Mile: 77.8 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: NW
Area: B IC2:
Map: Fr 34 H 10 Topographic Maps

Tracks that separated back at mp 73 rejoin up ahead. If you saw that part of the tour, you should be able to guess what the sign reads.


sign
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Sign
Mile: 77.8 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: SE
Area: B IC2:
Map: Fr 34 H 10 Topographic Maps

Brunswick says, "Get on the stick!"


Milepost 78
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Milepost 78
Mile: 78.0 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B+ View: NW
Area: B IC2: 136
Map: Fr 34 G 10 Topographic Maps

Shrubbery on the left obscures the fact that until the mid-1900s the B&O maintained Knoxville Station there.


Pipe
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Pipe
Mile: 78.1 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: SE
Area: B IC2:
Map: Fr 34 G 10 Topographic Maps

The caged stone and disconnected pipe imply this culvert is/was recently worked upon.


Culvert
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew
Updated Dec 2013

Culvert
Mile: 78.3 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: NW
Area: B IC2:
Map: Fr 34 G 10 Topographic Maps

Wolman plaque Show me a unique culvert, like this one that dumps onto trackside, and it gets into the tour. Maybe I should have been a wastewater engineer. I did have the good fortune to meet Abel Wolman, a legend in Baltimore water engineering, and quite a character. Wolman had an entertaining story ready to tell on just about any topic, and was a much sought after public speaker.

Mini-contest: you can get your name here if you are the first to identify the name of the bridge (blocked out in image) that has this plaque listing Abel Wolman. Click the image to enlarge.

We have a winner! During 2013 Steve Schuler was the first to correctly identify this as Ilchester Bridge which carries Ilchester Road across the Patapsco. The plaque would be visible from the automobile seen in this Old Main Line photo.


Signals
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Signals
Mile: 78.4 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: W
Area: B IC2:
Map: Fr 34 G 10 Topographic Maps

Drivers on US 340 (right) can see the signal bridge that guards crossovers as we approach Weverton.

Link to older pics: 1988


Weverton Tower
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Weverton Tower
Mile: 78.7 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B+ View: E
Area: A IC2: 284
Map: Wa 37 D 10 Topographic Maps

This forlorn foundation is all that remains of the B&O's Weverton "VO" Tower.

Links to older pics: 1987, 1987


Weverton
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Weverton
Mile: 78.7 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B+ View: W
Area: A IC2:
Map: Wa 37 D 10 Topographic Maps

Today's Weverton marks the remains of an ill-fated planned factory town of B&O Superintendent and entrepreneur Caspar W. Wever. Knowing the C&O Canal and B&O were building through, in 1832 Wever snapped up the land, then played the two companies off each other to maximize his profit.

But the location proved too remote, and Wever's rents too high, so the site remained under-utilized even to Wever's death around 1847. An 1852 flood followed the next decade by the ravages of the Civil War destroyed what little hope remained for the project.

Links: 1976, Weverton history


Weverton Station
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Weverton Station
Mile: 78.8 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: A View: E
Area: A IC2: 136
Map: Wa 37 D 10 Topographic Maps

I believe the B&O's stylish Weverton Station was located trackside of the red house. The first station was erected in 1868, and the larger one followed in 1888.

Here the B&O's Washington County / Hagerstown Branch had split off to the left and followed Israel Creek north to Hagerstown, Maryland. Passenger service to Hagerstown ended in 1949, and the tracks were pulled up in the 1970s.

Though the CSX Metropolitan Subdivision currently ends here, we'll continue west, along the Cumberland Subdivision.

Links: Hagerstown Branch, 1983, 1987, 2004


Israel Creek
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Israel Creek
Mile: 78.9 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: NW
Area: A IC2:
Map: Wa 37 C 10 Topographic Maps

This attractive 1833 marsonry arch over Israel Creek has been lengthened, likely in the early 1900s in support of Brunswick Yard.

MD 180, Keep Tryst Road, seen through the railroad arch gets an arched masonry bridge too.


Canal Bridge
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Canal Bridge
Mile: 78.9 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: SE
Area: A IC2:
Map: Wa 37 C 10 Topographic Maps

Looking downstream reveals the C&O Canal also relied on a masonry bridge, one with a flatter arch.


Amtrak 157
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Amtrak 157
Mile: 78.9 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: SW
Area: A IC2:
Map: Wa 37 C 10 Topographic Maps

In another second, eastbound passengers led by Amtrak 157 will be sped past milepost 79 and over Israel Creek.


Yard Limit
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Yard Limit
Mile: 79.0 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: NE
Area: A IC2:
Map: Wa 37 C 10 Topographic Maps

A few minutes later, a freight rumbles west with CSX 4747, CSX 7810 and CSX 6249 in the lead.

The YL sign on the right marks the western boundary of Brunswick Yard.


CSX 8521
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

CSX 8521
Mile: 79.0 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: SW
Area: A IC2:
Map: Wa 37 C 10 Topographic Maps

A busy rail moment indeed as CSX 8521 meets and greets its westbound brethren.


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