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B&O Photo Tour

B&O Philadelphia Branch
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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CPLs
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

CPLs
Mile: 63.1 Date: Jun 2009
Ease: B+ View: NE
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

The Philly Branch's oldest Color-Position-Light signals date to the 1930s when they replaced semaphores. During the 1950s signalling was changed to support single tracking of the line. The oldest CPLs could be identified by a pointed finial at the top of the pole. Later CPL poles received a rounded cap. CSX removed all the line's CPLs around the year 2010 and replaced them with the Darth Vader style in-line color-light signals.


Old Marker
Photos courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Old Marker
Mile: 63.0 Date: Jun 2009
Ease: B View: SE
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

P78 B18 P81 B9 Many concrete mile markers remain on duty. The numbers reflect the distance between the B&O station's in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and usually total 96.

Milepost 81 remains the unique oddball displaying a mileage total of 90.


Pipe Culvert
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Pipe Culvert
Mile: 62.9 Date: Jun 2009
Ease: B View: SE
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

The Philly Branch's culverts exhibit a lack of consistent design. They vary greatly in construction style and age. This cement-around-and-in-pipe is the only such example known between Baltimore and Philadelphia.


CSX 5311
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

CSX 5311
Mile: 62.8 Date: Jun 2009
Ease: B View: E
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Westbound CSX 5311 emerges from under bridge 28-C for the Aberdeen Throughway, Maryland 22.


Beards Hill Road
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Beards Hill Road
Mile: 62.4 Date: Apr 2008
Ease: A- View: NE
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Flashers guard the Beards Hill Road grade crossing.


CSX 5220
Photos courtesy Dave Hiteshew

CSX 5220
Mile: 62.4 Date: Apr 2010
Ease: A View: NE
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Green boxcars, the hallmark of a trash train, will soon cross Beards Hill Road. These bear the USWX reporting mark of US Waste Services.


Tie Culvert
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Tie Culvert
Mile: 62.4 Date: Apr 2008
Ease: A- View: SE
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

The railroad not only hauls trash it also recycles, in this case used crossties. More help would appear needed.


Tracks
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Tracks
Mile: 62.0 Date: Apr 2008
Ease: B+ View: S
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Signage courtesy the Department of Redundancy Department informs us this railroad grade crossing has tracks. Usually a "Tracks" sign is employed where there is more than one set of rails, and is accompanied by a digit representing the number of such sets.


CSX 4812
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

CSX 4812
Mile: 61.7 Date: Apr 2008
Ease: B View: E
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Their small CSX lettering makes SD70MACs loom especially large. To make matters worse, the letter X later disappeared from this unit's nose.

Link: more pics of 4812


Double Track
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Double Track
Mile: 61.6 Date: Apr 2008
Ease: B View: NE
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

The bridge at Robin Hood Road confirms the branch had been double tracked in the past.

Most railroad text fonts are unusually wide so they are more readable on passing equipment. That extra width serves little purpose in photographs since text is smeared rather than horizontally compressed.

Link: railroad fonts for the modeler


Robin Hood Road
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Robin Hood Road
Mile: 61.6 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: A View: S
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Robin Hood Road parallels a stream, hence the bridge amalgam.


Faster
Photos courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Faster
Mile: 61.0 Date: Apr 2008
Ease: B+ View: W
Area: A RBL: 148
Map: Topographic Maps

CPL The B&O's responded to the Pennsylvania RR's electrification of its Northeast Corridor with a general upgrade of its own, parallel line and new lightweight trains during the 1930s. Signals like these replaced original semaphores, then endured much longer. Dieselization began with the arrival of the B&O's streamlined EA units during 1937 that pulled the flagship Royal Blue.

This signal's number placards are of a font that suggests they are of original 1930s vintage. The signal head is newer. Since photo time CSX replaced these classics with a double-headed, single-mast of in-line signals.


Blenheim Lane
Photos courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Blenheim Lane
Mile: 60.8 Date: Apr 2008
Ease: A View: NW
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

sequestered Construction of the Bulle Rock Golf Course during the 1990s prompted the replacement of a farm's grade crossing with this inventive conversion of bridge 30B into an underpass.

The stream has been sequestered within a narrow channel and the remaining area paved one-lane wide. A traffic signal regulates access while curved mirrors, probably not found under any other B&O stone bridge, aid visibility.


Timber
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Timber
Mile: 60.7 Date: Jun 2010
Ease: B+ View: SW
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Raw timber transport by rail can be found many places, but only infrequently in this area. In this photo the car on the left is a bulkhead flatcar, the one on the right a centerbeam.

The Association of American Railroads reports:

    In 2014, railroads hauled over 27.5 million tons of lumber and construction wood products in three different car types centerbeams, boxcars and bulkhead flatcars. Centerbeams are preferred for lumber transport, because they can be loaded and unloaded simultaneously from both sides, getting them back into service quicker. The standard 73' centerbeam flatcar can carry about 200,000 lbs. or more and is also used to carry other construction materials, such as wallboard. In fact, one centerbeam rail car carries enough framing lumber to build about 6 homes.


Bridge 31A
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Bridge 31A
Mile: 60.6 Date: Apr 2008
Ease: B View: SE
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Bridge 31A near Martha Lewis Boulevard may represent a repaired washout. In this vicinity a short-lived connection with the adjacent, parallel Pennsylvania RR gave the B&O an alternate route while repairs were made after an accident during September 1908 closed the B&O's bridge across the Susquehanna River.


CSX 4734
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

CSX 4734
Mile: 59.9 Date: Jun 2009
Ease: B View: NE
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

It's another of those looming SD70MACs.


Narrow Culvert
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Narrow Culvert
Mile: 59.7 Date: Jun 2009
Ease: B View: ?
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

The narrowest of known culverts on the line appears to have claimed the life of a bicycle.


CSX 5362
Photos courtesy Dave Hiteshew

CSX 5362
Mile: 59.4 Date: Jun 2009
Ease: A- View: N
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Crossing Lewis Lane is a westbound Emerald Express (trash train).


Stone Culvert
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Stone Culvert
Mile: 59.1 Date: Jun 2009
Ease: B View: ?
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

The stone arch bridge era was nearing its end when this one was built.


CSX 5473
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

CSX 5473
Mile: 59.0 Date: Jun 2009
Ease: B View: SW
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

At the time of this writing, CSX owns hundreds of GE model ES40DCs such as this eastbound at milepost 59. During 2018 manufacturer General Electric decided to exit the locomotive building business.

Back in 1895 the B&O operated some of GE's earliest electric locomotives along the Baltimore Belt Line, mileage that is now part of this Philadelphia Subdivision.

Link: CSX ES40DC photos


Signals
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Signals
Mile: 58.8 Date: Jun 2009
Ease: A- View: N
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Signals abound at Ontario Street, including one of CSX's in-line style that has not yet been powered up. A battery box nearby exhibited hardware dated 1937.


Angel Hill
Photos courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Angel Hill
Mile: 58.6 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: N
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

This stone arch bridge at Angel Hill Cemetery would look more at home along the Old Main Line.


Maryland 155
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Maryland 155
Mile: 58.5 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: A View: NW
Area: A RBL:
Map: Topographic Maps

Perhaps the largest single-arched stone bridge along the Philly Sub is this example over Maryland 155.


Widened
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Widened
Mile: 58.5 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: A View: SW
Area: A RBL: 106
Map: Topographic Maps

The bridge dates to 1910 when the B&O double-tracked both its Susquehanna River crossing and this bridge. Stone remnants of the original abutment are visible at left.


Milepost 58
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Milepost 58
Mile: 58.0 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: NE
Area: A RBL: 102
Map: Topographic Maps

At milepost 58 the B&O's Susquehanna River bridge comes into view. The original, single-tracked 1880s version sat upon the same piers, some of which reach over 80 feet below the water level to bedrock.


Susquehanna River
Photos courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Susquehanna River
Mile: 58.0 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: NE
Area: A RBL: 175
Map: Topographic Maps

The 1907-1910 rebuild brought double track that endured about 50 years until a return to the single track form seen here. At roughly downstream 1.25 miles in length, this bridge was the longest in the B&O's rail system.

The B&O's is the first bridge downstream from I-95's Susquehanna River bridge. Downstream of it (right) are US 40's Hatem Bridge, and beyond that the ex-Pennsy Amtrak bridge, here with an eastbound train visible to a couple fishermen. Farther are disused piers of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore RR's Susquehanna crossing.

Link: LoC photos


Garrett Island
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Garrett Island
Mile: 58.0 Date: Oct 2007
Ease: B View: NE
Area: A RBL: 70, 107
Map: Topographic Maps

This mid-river greenery tops Garrett Island, owned by the B&O / CSX until 1997, and named for B&O President John W. Garrett. The core of a long-extinct volcano, it is the only rocky island within the Chesapeake Bay's tidal waters.

Link: Garrett Island info


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