Since the mid 1800s various circuses have entertained in locations all
around the USA, moving from one town to the next via train.
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the last of its kind,
decided that 2017 would be its final year of operation, ushering the end
of an era. One of RBBB's last stops would be Baltimore where during late
April the circus train would be stationed at its usual location, Mt. Clare
Yards, for one last time. This may be your last chance to see a circus
train. The photo at left was snapped April 23 from Washington Boulevard
in Morell Park southwest of downtown Baltimore. The yard is under more
security than usual so enjoy from afar via binoculars and zoom lens.
2016/2017 - page navigation, links
To the top and bottom of most tour pages I'm gradually adding "next" and
"previous" page navigation links. If you find a broken one please let me know.
July 2016 - trainweb site outage
Various trainweb-hosted sites such as these B&O Photo Tours were inaccessible
or showing outdated content during mid-July 2016. As of late-July I've
re-posted the latest version of the B&O Photo Tours, and expect the
near-monthly content updates to resume by August 1st.
February 2015 - MD DNR Plan Will Remove B&O History at Ilchester
In preparation for the removal of Bloede Dam, the Maryland Dept. Of Natural
Resources plans to reroute sewer lines in the vicinity from their current location
to underneath Grist Mill Trail. Part of the trail follows the original alignment
of the B&O railroad that was constructed with stone stringers circa 1830. This
is one of few surviving locations that preserves the original history of such
construction techniques. The sewer work will cause excavation in this area.
As of this writing, the MD DNR is soliciting comments, see:
Bloede Dam removal.
Summer 2014, Mt. Airy Rails to Trails
Volunteer work during the summer of 2014 has opened part of the B&O's Mt. Airy Loop
to foot traffic. A caboose restoration project is next, and a trail to Sykesville
is under consideration. Donations welcome at
Mount Airy Rails to Trails.
Postscript: as of June 2016 the refurbished caboose has returned to Mt. Airy.
February 28, 2014, B&O's 187th Anniversary
From the link, on this day "in 1827, Baltimore chartered the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
The first line opened in 1830, providing service to Ellicott's Mills (now Ellicott City).
The B&O was the first railroad to carry passengers and freight."
October 2012, Hurricane Sandy
As Hurricane Sandy decends on the mid-atlantic region, and phases with the
polar jet stream, a monster hybrid "Frankenstorm" is anticipated to spread
heavy rains, snows and strong winds over a large area. Since widespread power
outages are expected, I have posted the November site update a few days early.
Rain in the Patapsco River watershed is forecasted to be in the same range as
that from another tropical system, Agnes, which destroyed miles of the Old Main
Line track in 1972. If you decide to venture near the river, please keep safety
a priority. Postscript: Sandy came ashore north of Maryland and caused $50 billion
in damages mainly in New Jersey and New York.
November 2011, Passing of David Hiteshew, Sr.
It is with sadness that I note the passing this month of David Hiteshew, Sr.,
a generous and frequent contributor of photos to this site. I consider it
good fortune to have met David, a personable man with an infectious enthusiasm
for people... a man who loved central Maryland, its history and the railroad.
His son Dave wrote:
"He scoured your pages throughout the last years of his life, and it would be
an understatement to say they helped give him some determination, goals, and
enjoyment (or said another way - an interesting project to keep him physically
and mentally active). Both of us had always liked the Patapsco State Park, and
trains, but we never really put it all together until we started reading through
your site. He talked about it to everyone he met!"
Many of the photos at this B&O site were snapped by Mr. Hiteshew, so it is
fitting to include one of the man, seen here enjoying a trackside moment just
a few months prior. His memory survives through his sharing with all of
us the trains and hikes and history he loved so much.
Where possible, I am remastering the full size images to be larger, and
attempting to improve their color balance and brightness/contrast. Most
images that were 700x525 pixels are being enlarged to 1067x800 or 1200x800.
This upgrade project is progressing in small steps and will extend into
July 1, 2010 - Metropolitan Branch Topo maps added
No acceptable substitute from maptech's defunct topo maps was found, so the
large maps will take their place. As part of this,
large maps of the Metropolitan Branch from Washington, DC to Harper's Ferry, WV
have been added.
July 22, 2008 - Topo map links not working
The topographic maps linked from this site began failing in June 2008
due to problems at maptech.com,
the provider of the maps.
September 28, 2007 - From Craig Hinners:
The non-profit Granite Historical Society is raising funds by offering
a 2007 Christmas ornament that depicts the B&O's Woodstock Station.
See more at http://www.granitehistory.org
September 20, 2006 - From Walt Mather:
We're looking for apprentices and experienced coal-firing firemen and
deck hands to man the Steam Tug BALTIMORE.
Please visit us at http://www.steamtug.org
January 4, 2006 - From the B&O Railroad Museum:
"Over the course of the last year, the Museum has been in negotiation with the Howard County
Department of Recreation and Parks and The Honorable James N. Robey, County Executive, to assume
the management of the Historic Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Station in Ellicott City, Maryland. Our
proposal was accepted by the Howard County Council on December 5, 2005.
"The Museum will temporarily close the historic station beginning February 2006 to refurbish its
rooms and install exhibits. We will present its Grand Re-Opening Celebration on March 10-12, 2006."
December 1, 2005 - I received the following from Charlie Murphy:
Greeting: Unfortunately MARC and CSX have decided to end passenger services at the St. Denis stop. I saw
your pictures(very nice images) and thought you might be interested. I'm trying to get a lot of support to stop
them from closing this historic station. If you or any of your friends are interested in helping stop MARC
please join us at:
Subject: Public Hearing
Date and Time: Dec. 14, 2005, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Place: Dorsey Marc Station Rt. 100, Dorsey, MD
Add?l. Info: The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) proposes to discontinue service to Jessup and St.
Denis, MD. Marc Train Stations.
Contact: Glenn Litsinger, (410) 767-8358
Please help us save St Denis Station
Thank you, Charlie Murphy