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The B&O (now CSX) Old Main Line runs parallel to the Patapsco River in the Avalon area of the state park accessible from US 1 in Elkridge, Maryland. The river valley (and the railroad) have been subjected to repeated floods, most notably in 1868, then again from remnants of Hurricane Agnes during June 1972. In 1975, Hurricane Eloise brought another round of flooding, albeit less severe.
Image Credits: The 1966 to 1981 photos below courtesy Dave Hiteshew depict various well-known areas of the park pre-flood, post-flood, and during repairs. Swinging bridge from 1900 courtesy Pratt Library. Map (1915) and aerial photos (winter 1926/1927) are courtesy Johns Hopkins University. Bloede Dam 1932 photo credit Office of Advisory Engineers on Water Supply, 1933 (unpublished), Water and Water Power Rights - Patapsco Project: Baltimore, Md., Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Public Improvement Commission, 375 pp. (digitized by the Maryland Geological Survey).
Map - Thomas Viaduct (right) Upstream to Orange Grove (left)
1927: 1973: 1976: 1977:
1927: 1966: 1973:
Avalon Dam and Lost Lake ("Reservoir" on 1915 map)
1975: 1977: 1979: 1981:
Swinging Bridge at Orange Grove
1900: 1927: 1966:
1978: 1979: 1999:
1927: 1932: 1973:
1973: 1977: 2018:
Within a few years after Agnes, the B&O repaired its Old Main Line. Other affected area railroads chose to abandon portions or cease operation entirely, including the Baltimore and Annapolis, the ex-Catonsville Short Line / Caton & Loudon, and the ex-Northern Central route of the PRR / Penn Central.
See more flood damage, upstream at Ilchester.
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