The Georgetown Branch began B&O life as a run around the west side of Washington, DC
with grand plans to cross the Potomac River and connect to southern US railroads.
Construction began in 1892, then halted due to lack of funds, not to resume
until 1910. By 1910 it was clear the Potomac River crossing was but a dream,
so instead the line became a branch into the Georgetown area of Washington.
The branch saw service until March 1985, but was abandoned, converted into the Capital
Crescent Trail, then during the late 2010s saw rail return in the form of the Purple
Line light rail. I have not visited any of this route in person... most photos come
courtesy Dave Hiteshew.
Freshly painted electrical boxes remind us the branch's meet with
the Metropolitan Subdivision at Georgetown Junction lives on at
least in name. Originally the B&O had called this spot Metropolitan
The future Capital Crescent Trail begins at Stewart Avenue. Signage
indicates that for now this is called the Georgetown Branch Trail;
the trail's mileposts are about 0.1 miles short compared to my reckoning.
By comparison, the bridge at Rock Creek is something Crocodile Dundee would
appreciate. The original 1880s incarnation was a 1400-foot wooden trestle
of size and complexity not otherwise seen in this area.
Repairs and shoring up for conversion into a pedestrian trail have given the
trestle's woodwork a patchwork quilt appearance.
The original 1400-foot monster was in 1904 sized down to 281 feet by the
addition of earthen fill on each side. Another rebuild followed in 1928,
and once again in 1972 subsequent to Tropical Storm Agnes. It seems
likely some surviving portions date to that 1972 rebuild.
Look on the right... beneath the surface of pedestrian walkway...
are those railroad ties?