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Old Main Line Photo Tour

B&O Old Main Line
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.


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Henryton - Brief Historical Background:

Approach

Approach
Mile: 24.8 Date: Sep 2005
Ease: B View: W
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ho 5 K 7, Ca 35 K 6 Topographic Maps

Since about 1850, an S-curve has led the way west into the next Old Main Line tunnel, now named Henryton. However, before then, the original right of way continued left to avoid the hill.


Mantis on Rail

Mantis on Rail
Mile: 24.8 Date: Sep 2005
Ease: B View: NE
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ho 5 K 7, Ca 35 K 6 Topographic Maps

If this little guy hopes to catch a train this way, he'd better start praying.


Looking Back

Looking Back
Mile: 25.0 Date: Sep 2005
Ease: B View: E
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ca 35 K 6, Ho 5 K 7 Topographic Maps

In this view back to the location from which the first photo was snapped, the green line marks the original alignment.


Shelf

Shelf
Mile: 25.0 Date: Sep 2005
Ease: B View: S
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ho 5 K 7, Ca 35 K 6 Topographic Maps

Despite the passage of over 150 years, a shelf of land still echoes the original alignment just prior to its crossing over the Patapsco River.


Washout

Washout
Mile: 25.0 Date: Dec 1999
Ease: B View: S
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ca 35 K 6, Ho 5 K 7 Topographic Maps

A bottleneck in the Patapsco indicates where the original alignment had spanned. I've never found documentation as to the type of bridge that had existed here, but given the B&O's preference for granite, my guess is it was a single or even multiple arch stone structure.

Hinting that idea is correct, more than the usual number of stones litter the streambed below. Howard County is on the left, and Carroll County on the right.


Henryton Bridge

Henryton Bridge
Mile: 25.1 Date: Dec 1999
Ease: C+ View: NE
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ca 35 K 6, Ho 5 K 7 Topographic Maps

Looking back from the Carroll County side to the location at which the prior photo was snapped shows the current OML bridge spanning the river.


Cut

Cut
Mile: 25.1 Date: Dec 1999
Ease: C+ View: E
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ca 35 K 6, Ho 5 K 7 Topographic Maps

The early B&O did not make hillside cuts except where very necessary, such as at this location on the south side of the hill.


Henryton

Henryton
Mile: 25.2 Date: Sep 2005
Ease: C+ View: W
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ca 35 J 6, Ho 5 J 7 Topographic Maps

The original alignment swings from around the hill and meets the current one near the disused Henryton Hospital power station.

You can glimpse Henryton Station's concrete platform surviving in the brush at left.


Sidings

Sidings
Mile: 25.3 Date: Sep 2005
Ease: C+ View: W
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ca 35 J 6, Ho 5 J 7 Topographic Maps

The mostly buried rails of two power station sidings meet at an unusual angle, probably reflecting installation during two different eras.


bridge

Bridge
Mile: 25.3 Date: Apr 2001
Ease: B View: N
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ho 5 J 7, Ca 35 J 6 Topographic Maps

The abutment at lower right is not a railroad structure, but is instead what remains of the Henryton Road bridge that was washed out in 1972's Tropical Storm Agnes.

The power house's brick chimney towers in the background.


Agnes Damage
Photo by William Schuler, courtesy Steve Schuler
Updated Jan 2012

Agnes Damage
Mile: 25.3 Date: Dec 1975
Ease: C View: SW
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ca 35 J 6, Ho 5 J 7 Topographic Maps

The Henryton Road bridge lies on its side where Agnes left it.

Photo contributor Steve Schuler writes:

    "Attached is what I believe to be the Henryton Road bridge. I'd guess that Dad shot this with the railroad just to his back looking toward Howard County. There appears to be a temporary roadway next to the damaged bridge. I'm curious to see what you can dig up on this relic. Could this be 3 year old Hurricane Agnes damage that had not yet been repaired?"

Jeff Adams had seen the temporary bridge in person in 1975. He writes:

    "I believe the bridge depicted is actually a Bailey bridge (temporary) that replaced the original bridge destroyed by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. This bridge was apparently toppled by Hurricane Eloise in 1975. After that, it was decided to just close the road to through traffic. The type of bridge in the photo was used at many crossings of the river and were gradually replaced with permenant bridges, except Gaither Rd."


Landslide

Landslide
Mile: 25.4 Date: Apr 2001
Ease: B View: NW
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ho 5 J 7, Ca 35 J 6 Topographic Maps

It appears the B&O used fill to create land upon which to build a straighter alignment leading to/from Henryton Tunnel. The railroad employed the same technique at Union Dam Tunnel, and just like at that location, here the Patapsco's erosive force constantly gnaws away the fill. In this photo, on a crisp spring day, a CSX track inspector checks the extent of the undermining.

On December 15, 2006 a freight train derailed near this location; the event acts as a reminder that you must use caution and be aware of the risks when exploring any of these areas. You can be severely injured or even killed if you are anywhere in the vicinity during a derailment. Such accidents are rare but they DO happen. My recommendation is to stay away unless you accept the various risks.

Link: 2006 derailment pictures



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