Mile - the distance from Camden station in Baltimore, Maryland
Ease - difficulty level to reach the photographer's location (A = easiest, F = toughest)
Area - estimate of safety level of area (A = safest, F = worst)
Map - ADC brand street map coordinates; notation is: county, page, grid
Date - date of photograph
View - compass direction of view
IC2 - page reference to similar, usually historic, photo in Herbert
Harwood's excellent book Impossible Challenge II
Topographic Map - link to US Geological survey map centered on location
Click a photo to see a larger view. Please send your comments and
corrections to Steve.
Davis - Brief Historical Background:
Dorsey and Davis are the closest pair of tunnels along the Old Main Line:
both are located between mileposts 19 and 20. This tour looks at the
Davis Tunnel, and the original, now-bypassed routes around the hill.
Davis Tunnel is named for a family which had been landowners in this
Mile: 17.8 to 20.3
Date: Nov 2006
This map depicts the area from Daniels west to Davis at the left.
The Patapsco River weaves through the middle, separating Baltimore
and Howard counties. Green marks the 1830 alignment, magenta
1838, and black the current.
The Patapsco State Park path west from Daniels that follows the B&O's original
south-bank-of-the-river alignment leads you here. Notice how the current
tracks are perched at a higher elevation than the original, which during
the 1800s had proceeded forward near the gap in the trees at photo center.
Turning around to look west again... prior to Davis Tunnel (east portal seen
in the distance) the OML negotiated a path around the hill. This is roughly
the location those tracks would have met with today's.
The green (original) and magenta lines diverge slightly due to a small
realignment that I'm guessing took place around 1838, the time of other
similar improvements in this area.
At Line Run, streamside hewn stone relics and mounded earth indicate the original
alignment had been here (green). A short distance downstream (magenta), a
fine arched bridge survives, evidence of a second alignment, now also disused.
The disused Line Run bridge can be found along the abandoned second
alignment just northeast of Davis Tunnel. Adding to the suspicion
that this bridge is not the original alignment are the buttresses
and excellent dry fit of stonework, signs of the work of an experienced
crew. Compare this photo with the
nearly identical one in Impossible Challenge II, page 341.
If, from the mound and few remaining bridge stones of the original alignment,
you follow Line Run back to the active rails, you'll find another arched
bridge. It's newer, as evidenced by the mortared stone blocks, and dates
to the same time period as the nearby Davis Tunnel which lurks beyond the
right edge of this photo.
As seen from the other side of the hill, looking back to Davis Tunnel's west
portal, the original alignment came around the hill, swung further "inland"
from the river (off-photo, left), and then rejoined the current right of way behind
the photographer. In-line signals have taken the place of the CPLs here.
The shelf above this culvert illustrates how the 1830 alignment sat at a lower
elevation. When the B&O built the tunnel route, they kept this culvert and
lengthened it toward the river. Davis Tunnel is off in the distance.