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PRR / Amtrak Photo Tour


PRR / Amtrak in Maryland
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.


Special Note: >>> The places described on this page host quiet, high-speed trains. Stay well clear! <<<

<< Previous (northeast) | THIS PAGE: Stemmers Run to Bay View | Next (southwest) >>

Stemmers Run Station
Photo courtesy Dave Hiteshew

Stemmers Run Station
Mile: 87.0 Date: Apr 2010
Ease: A- View: NW
Area: B+ T6: 140
Map: Ba 37 C 6 Topographic Maps

This edition of the Stemmers Run Station is a product of the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad (PB&W) circa 1900. It was preceded at this site by a wooden depot built in 1838 by the similar-sounding Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (PW&B), a successor company of the Baltimore and Port Deposit Rail Road (B&PD).

Link: 1997


Station 2018

Station 2018
Mile: 87.0 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: B View: NE
Area: B+ T6:
Map: Ba 37 C 6 Topographic Maps

After passemger service ended during the 1950s, the PRR and Amtrak used the structure for MoW and storage purposes.

Links: info at RailroadForums, 1997


Interior
Photo credit George Pitz

Interior
Mile: 87.0 Date: 2012
Ease: ? View: S?
Area: B+ T6:
Map: Ba 37 C 6 Topographic Maps

As Amtrak's need for the old station declined, so did the general condition of the structure. With its roof collapsing, the station's end is near unless resources can soon be found for restoration.

Link: Save Stemmers Run


Northeast Creek

Northeast Creek
Mile: 87.1 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: B View: W
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 37 C 6 Topographic Maps

In this vicinity Stemmers Run becomes Northeast Creek. Judging by appearance this quad-track bridge dates to around 1930 when the line was being electrified.

Link: 1997


Amtrak 2010

Amtrak 2010
Mile: 88.0 Date: Nov 2018
Ease: B- View: S
Area: B+ T6:
Map: Ba 37 A 7 Topographic Maps

As dusk approaches, northbound AMTK 2010 leans into the start of one of the sharpest turns in the area. That's the I-695 Baltimore Beltway in the distance.


Stone Arch

Stone Arch
Mile: 88.0 Date: Nov 2018
Ease: C+ View: NW
Area: B+ T6:
Map: Ba 37 A 7 Topographic Maps

This right of way dates to the 1830s as part of the Baltimore and Port Deposit Rail Road (B&PD) chartered to build from Baltimore to the Susquehanna. The B&PD built little if anything before in 1836 being reorganized into the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore RR (PW&B). The PW&B built southwest from the Susquehanna River to Baltimore, meaning this arch likely dates to the late 1830s. It is the oldest stone arch survivor I have found along the line. It was widened about 1930 to carry more tracks via the addition of a concrete arch on the other (inlet) side.

The masonry skill demonstrated here is not as refined as in the B&O's stone arches of the same period. The B&O emphasized, some would say overemphasized, stonework engineering and architecture possibly because the company's organizers were Freemasons.


Amtrak A63446

Amtrak A63446
Mile: 88.4 Date: Nov 2018
Ease: B View: N
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 36 K 8 Topographic Maps

Some days it's difficult to keep the shiny side up.


Amtrak 652

Amtrak 652
Mile: 88.7 Date: Nov 2018
Ease: B View: SW
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 36 K 9 Topographic Maps

Like the B&O, during the 1830s the PW&B was less concerned about curves than about grade. Now Amtrak is stuck with these track curves, or is it? With CSX it could swap alignments between Susquehanna and Bayview. CSX's route is much straighter, thanks to having been built by the B&O after railroads had learned to minimize curves.

The Severn Avenue bridge rises behind, a grade-separation project of 1975.


Culvert

Culvert
Mile: 89.0 Date: Aug 2017
Ease: A View: NW
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 36 J 10 Topographic Maps

The PW&B (or B&PD) built box culverts too during the 1830s. This is one of few that has not later been totally replaced by concrete or steel.


Amtrak 611

Amtrak 611
Mile: 89.3 Date: Aug 2017
Ease: B View: NE
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 36 J 10 Topographic Maps

This Baltimore-bound train has just passed under the I-695 Beltway for the second time in less than a mile. I-695 bobs and weaves its way through this area as a compromise combination of the ill-fated Windlass Freeway and Patapsco Freeway.

Link: Amtrak 650 in 2010


Amtrak 2004

Amtrak 2004
Mile: 89.3 Date: Aug 2017
Ease: B View: SW
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 36 J 10 Topographic Maps

For an unknown reason, the de-icing lamps are lit on this stiflingly hot August day as a northbound is about to complete a trip through Bay View Yard and cross the quad-track Moores Run bridge. Moores Run feeds into the Back River, so sometimes this is called the Back River bridge.

Link: Amtrak 653 in 2010


Pole Signals

Pole Signals
Mile: 89.9 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: B View: E
Area: B- T6:
Map: Ba 36 G 10 Topographic Maps

zoom Three versions of signals are all saying nothing but Stop to traffic exiting Bay View yard trackage. In fact, with just two lamps the leftmost signal always displays Stop. Stop can be modified into something less restrictive by lights below it.

Along the NE Corridor in Maryland, pole signals like these are greatly outnumbered by overhead signal bridges. The leftmost signal is a PRR original. The small signal in the middle employs the Pennsy dwarf style on a pedestal. The rightmost signal, with a characteristic array of bright bolts, is a newer model manufactured by Safetran.

Link: Todd's site about PRR signals


PRR Keystone

PRR Keystone
Mile: Date: Dec 2016
Ease: A View: N
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 45 E 8 Topographic Maps

keystone When during the 1940s iron ore deliveries via boat to Baltimore's shipbuilders were being sunk by Nazi Unterseeboots (U-Boats), ore was instead hauled in from the midwest via train.

A spur was rushed into service from Bay View Yard to Bethlehem Steel at Sparrows Point, and this Pennsy Keystone emblazoned at the center of its bridge over North Point Boulevard. The spur remains operational.


Amtrak 2021

Amtrak 2021
Mile: 89.9 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: B View: W
Area: B- T6:
Map: Ba 36 G 10 Topographic Maps

Amtrak shares Bay View Yard with NS. Tracks near the middle are kept clear for trains not stopping, such as this northbound.

Links: NS Interstate Heritage unit in 2012, NS leaving yard


North Point Boulevard

North Point Boulevard
Mile: 91.0 Date: Dec 2016
Ease: A View: NW
Area: B- T6: 295
Map: Ba 36 D 12 Topographic Maps

1927 aerial Bay View Yard is oriented east-west. The south side of the yard is Norfolk Southern turf, easily seen from North Point Boulevard.

The 1927 aerial at left shows grade separation underway for what had been Back River Road. As part of expansion to handle World War II rail traffic during 1943 a second bridge was added parallel on the south side of the first. In the view above, the NS locomotive is crossing the newer of the adjacent bridges.

Link: 1931


Mailbox

Mailbox
Mile: 91.4 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: A View: SW
Area: C T6:
Map: Ba 36 C 11 Topographic Maps

There's something incongruous about this style mailbox at a rail yard.


From Lombard Street

From Lombard Street
Mile: 91.5 Date: Jun 1999
Ease: B View: W
Area: C T6:
Map: Ba 36 C 12 Topographic Maps

A steep climb up from Lombard Street nets this view of the yard.


NS 8057

NS 8057
Mile: 91.6 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: A- View: SW
Area: C T6:
Map: Ba 36 B 11 Topographic Maps

yard office A couple NS horses rest within view of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in the distance.

To the right is Norfolk Southern's Bay View Yard Office.


Under I-895

Under I-895
Mile: 91.9 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: A- View: W
Area: C T6:
Map: Ba 36 B 11 Topographic Maps

With height limited by I-895, instead of a signal bridge this location gets four signals on poles.


Amtrak 16507

Amtrak 16507
Mile: 91.9 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: A- View: S
Area: C T6:
Map: Ba 36 B 11 Topographic Maps

This catenary maintenance vehicle has been named in honor of Dave Johnson. It has been parked here since around 2005. There is a Dave Johnson that has been MARC's Chief Transportation Officer, but I do not know if it is the same person.

Link: 2013


Bay Tower

Bay Tower
Mile: 91.9 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: A- View: E
Area: C T6:
Map: Ba 36 B 11 Topographic Maps

A lack of windows in PRR's Bay Tower suggests it is being allowed to deteriorate.

Links: 1953, 1974, 1975. 1975. from tower 1975, 1995. 2010, 2011


Signals

Signals
Mile: 91.9 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: A- View: S
Area: C T6:
Map: Ba 36 B 11 Topographic Maps

a closeup of some of the previously mentioned signals...

Link: 1978


1974 Aerial
Photos credit Library of Congress

1974 Aerial
Mile: ~92 Date: 1974
Ease: View: E
Area: T6: 294
Map: Ba 36 A 11 Topographic Maps

The B&O also had a Bay View Yard, now used by CSX. In this view from above it's the yard on the left. In the adjacent Amtrak/NS yard on the right, it appears only one electrified track is clear for Amtrak service.

Bay View Yard is sandwiched between I-895 on the west (bottom) and I-95 on the east (top).

Link: LoC source photo


From I-895

From I-895
Mile: 91.9 Date: Nov 2016
Ease: A View: E
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 36 B 12 Topographic Maps

When zooming in, that's Amtrak under the wires on the left, NS on the right.

Link: Todd's Bayview page


President Street Branch

President Street Branch
Mile: 91.9 Date: Aug 2018
Ease: A View: W
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 36 B 12 Topographic Maps

The remainder of this tour page follows freight line known as the President Street Branch south to the Canton (east Baltimore) waterfront (left). What is now a branch had been the PW&B's main line to its station at President Street.

Links: 2013, 2014


Intermodal

Intermodal
Mile: 92.0, spur 0.5 Date: Aug 2016
Ease: A View: N
Area: C T6:
Map: Ba 36 A 13 Topographic Maps

An NS intermodal facility operates adjacent Lombard Street. The leftmost track supports interchange traffic with CSX.

Link: 2013


Under B&O

Under B&O
Mile: 92.0, spur 0.7 Date: Aug 2016
Ease: B+ View: NE
Area: C- T6:
Map: Ba 35 K 13 Topographic Maps

After the PRR cut off the B&O's access northeast of Baltimore, the B&O built its own line to Philadelphia during the 1880s, including this Whipple truss bridge, the only survivor of its kind in Maryland. It is believed to be the oldest steel bridge still in use by CSX.

Change for: B&O Sparrows Point tour


Four Tracks

Four Tracks
Mile: 92.0, spur 0.7 Date: Aug 2016
Ease: B+ View: E
Area: C- T6:
Map: Ba 35 K 13 Topographic Maps

Four tracks over Eastern Avenue are more than needed since much containerized cargo now goes directly from ship to truck, or vice versa, at the marine terminals.


Union Crossing

Union Crossing
Mile: 92.0, spur 1.3 Date: Nov 2016
Ease: A View: N
Area: C T6:
Map: Ba 43 K 2 Topographic Maps

As seen from O'Donnell Street, the ex-PW&B/PRR tracks now curve to join the ex-Union Railroad / Northern Central tracks, but previously had crossed and continued more to the left (west) to docks at what is now Canton Park, plus beyond to President Street Station. A few stranded boxcars sit at right.

The route to President Street Station ran along Boston and Fleet Streets. Except for the station and assorted oddly-curved buildings, no evidence of the line remains. Consequently as the PRR had, we'll continue south to the waterfront.


Canton Junction
Photo courtesy Todd Sestero

Canton Junction
Mile: 92.0, spur 1.6 Date: 1972
Ease: A- View: S
Area: C- T6:
Map: Ba 43 K 2 Topographic Maps

semaphore 2016 About 0.3 miles south of Union Crossing the ex-Union Railroad / Northern Central / PRR tracks crossed those of the B&O. Here two semaphore signals hung on into the 1970s. Both signals are gone, but one of their poles survives, now obscured by vines (right). These photos both look generally south into Canton Yard now shared by CSX and Norfolk Southern.

The B&O tracks had crossed left-to-right via multiple diamonds as seen in the 1972 photo and continued west (right) where they would cross Haven Street at grade.


Coal

Coal
Mile: 92.0, spur 2.1 Date: Nov 2018
Ease: A View: S
Area: B T6: 300
Map: Ba 44 A 4 Topographic Maps

Coal, and lots of it, is the primary transport along these rails, bound for Consolidated Coal at the waterfront. Sometimes the hoppers stack up waiting to be unloaded.


Coal Hill

Coal Hill
Mile: 92.0, spur 1.9 Date: May 2017
Ease: A View: S
Area: C+ T6:
Map: Ba 44 A 3 Topographic Maps

Until the next ship arrives all that coal has to be held somewhere. It is piled into 70-foot mounds like the one seen in the background from Penn Mary Yard almost a mile away. That's CTN 1204 and CTN 1307 in the foreground, both belonging to the Canton Railroad, a Class III switching and terminal railroad that operates at the port.


From Keith Avenue

From Keith Avenue
Mile: 92.0, spur 2.6 Date: Jul 2016
Ease: A View: SW
Area: B T6: 304
Map: Ba 43 K 4 Topographic Maps

The coal holding area at the waterfront occupies more than 40 acres.


Salt

Salt
Mile: 92.0, spur 1.9 Date: Jul 2016
Ease: A View: SE
Area: C+ T6:
Map: Ba 43 J 3 Topographic Maps

Coal is not the only bulk material delivered via train. Equally large mounds of salt wait for the next icy winter.


From I-95

From I-95
Mile: 92.0, spur 2.5 Date: Aug 2017
Ease: A View: N
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 43 K 4 Topographic Maps

As seen from I-95 near the Fort McHenry Tunnel, huge salt mounds make tankers look small enough to be models. The branch now ends in this vicinity as a loop to ease the return of empty hoppers.


Boston Street
Photo courtesy Johns Hopkins University

Boston Street
Mile: 92.0, spur 2.7 Date: 1924
Ease: View: SE
Area: T6:
Map: Ba 43 F 1 Topographic Maps

In the past, the spur also continued west of Canton via Boston Street and other surface streets. Even after Union Tunnel opened in 1873 and enabled passengers to reach the main station at Charles Street, the spur remained in use for freight purposes for about another 100 years.

In the full-size image tracks are visible along Boston Street, as well as boxcars on sidings. The tall building at lower left remains extant as of 2018 at the corner of Boston and Hudson Streets, with "The Can Company" painted on its corner, and an Outback Steakhouse occupying its bottom floor.


President Street Station
Photo courtesy Google

President Street Station
Mile: 92.0, spur 3.7 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: A View: SE
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 43 D 1 Topographic Maps

By more westward street running, ultimately the PW&B reached its Baltimore passenger station at President and Fleet Streets. Horse-drawn carriages shuttled travellers between here and the B&O at Mount Clare and Camden Station.

The 1849-constructed building is the oldest suriving rail terminal in the USA. During 1861 riots, it saw some of the earliest bloodshed of the American Civil War, and now houses a Civil War Museum. During the 21st Century a burgeoning Harbor East development brought several high rises to the area.

Links: 1936, Trains Magazine 1948 Baltimore RR map, 1974


Wood Stringers
Photo credit HH Harwood

Wood Stringers
Mile: 92.0, spur 3.7 Date: 1998
Ease: View: ?
Area: B T6:
Map: Ba 43 D 1 Topographic Maps

Sewer work at the east side of President Street Station uncovered old track made with wooden stringers presumably to which iron strap rail had been affixed. This style of track was tried during the 1830s after which it quickly fell out of favor due to lack of durability. This may be track built by the Baltimore and Port Deposit RR.

Link: 1998 newspaper report


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