The town of Relay predates the railroad. At Relay, fresh carriage horses
would be added for the trip between Baltimore and Washington. It only
seems appropriate that the railroad chose Relay as its location to
split the OML and Washington Branch. The Relay House served passengers
who rode up from Washington, and paused before heading to points west
via the OML. The original Relay House burned down in the late 1800s and
was rebuilt in the form shown here. In 1873, the B&O constructed its
Viaduct Hotel a short distance down the track from here.
To find your way to Relay and the Thomas Viaduct (shown below) turn
onto South St, which is a small road just south of the I-195, US Rt 1
intersection. (South St is marked with signs to "State Park".) Once on
South St, avoid entering the state park. Instead, follow South St as it
curves and turns into Rolling Rd. Rolling Rd proceeds uphill over a
bridge that crosses the tracks, and leads you to a T-intersection.
Rolling Rd continues right from the T, but you want to turn left onto
Railroad Av. Follow Railroad Av downhill to where it parallels the
tracks for a short distance, then park. Note: all
three tracks here are in active use, so watch very carefully for trains!
~1860 looking east,
~1863 looking west,
trains vs weather