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A&ER RR Photo Tour

Annapolis & Elk Ridge Railroad
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.


<< Previous (west) | THIS PAGE: Naval Academy Junction to Annapolis | End of tour || main index

Tracks!

Tracks!
Mile: 6.0 Date: Apr 2003
Ease: B View: E
Area: B IC2:
Map: AA 12 H 3 Topographic Maps

This short stretch is the only portion of the original A&ER right-of-way that still has rail, operational rail at that. The segment is sandwiched between Odenton station and MD 170 (Telegraph Road) and is now part of an approximate half mile long spur into what had been a factory area.

The brick building at distant left is at MD 170.

Link: in use during 2013


Office

Office
Mile: 6.3 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: A View: E
Area: A- IC2:
Map: AA 12 J 3 Topographic Maps

That brick building had once been the main offices of the A&ER's successor, the WB&A.


Original Office
Photo courtesy HH Harwood collection
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Original Office
Mile: Date: ~1920?
Ease: A View: NE
Area: A- EH: 159
Map: AA 12 J 3 Topographic Maps

This is the building's original appearance before post-railroad remodeling.


Naval Academy Junction
Photo courtesy HH Harwood collection
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Naval Academy Junction
Mile: Date: ~1935
Ease: A View: E
Area: A- EH: 157
Map: AA 12 J 3 Topographic Maps

South of the office building and east of what is now Telegraph Road stood passenger platforms of Naval Academy Junction.


Diamonds
Photo credit JP Shuman
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Diamonds
Mile: Date: May 1935
Ease: A View: E
Area: A- EH: 155
Map: AA 12 J 3 Topographic Maps

The ex-A&ER, WB&A South Shore division met the WB&A main line (left-right) at these diamonds. Many a midshipman coming up from Washington switched here to the WB&A's South Shore Division to continue east to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, as will this tour.


Connections
Photo credit JP Shuman
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Connections
Mile: Date: May 1935
Ease: A View: NW
Area: A- EH: 154
Map: AA 12 J 3 Topographic Maps

In addition to diamonds there were, of course, connecting tracks. From near those passenger platforms this was the view back (northwest) toward Fort Meade.

After Murray's Hotel had burned down during 1923, Rieve's general store (left) built on the spot. During 2018 the location is home to a Walgreen's Pharmacy.


MD 175

MD 175
Mile: 6.4 Date: Apr 2003
Ease: A View: NW
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: AA 12 J 3 Topographic Maps

From here to Annapolis what had started as the A&ER main line is now approximately retraced behind the photographer by Maryland 175 then 178.

After spanning MD 170, the survivor spur bends to head northeast, and crosses MD 175 as seen here. The road intersection ahead is that of MD 170 and MD 175.


Spur End

Spur End
Mile: 6.5 Date: Apr 2003
Ease: B+ View: NE
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: AA 12 J 3 Topographic Maps

The spur leads into what was the WB&A's Naval Academy Junction Yard. In 1943 the National Plastic Products Company remodeled the yard into a plastics factory.

Herb Harwood sent the following historical background:

    "At roughly the point where the freight spur that runs east from the ex-PRR line in Odenton turns to the north was once located Naval Academy Junction, the busiest spot on the WB&A. This was where the former A&ER crossed the WB&A's high-speed double-track Baltimore-Washington mainline, and was the transfer point for Annapolis passengers to/from Balt. & Wash.

    "Several of the buildings at the end of this spur (shown in your photo), were the WB&A's main shops, built in 1908. (Other buildings were added after the property was sold for industrial use.) I think that the company that operates this complex is now shut down, or about to be shut down, which will make the spur unnecessary unless some new tenant arrives."


Naval Academy Junction Yard

Naval Academy Junction Yard
Mile: 6.5 Date: Oct 2017
Ease: B+ View: SW
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: AA 12 K 2 Topographic Maps

That's the same water tower as in the prior photo, but looking from the opposite direction. About 2013 the yards were cleared of most of their industrial remnants. Embedded rails tend to hang on the longest.


Sir Walter Drive

Sir Walter Drive
Mile: 9.2 Date: Apr 2004
Ease: A View: NW
Area: B+ EH: 168
Map: AA 13 E 8 Topographic Maps

Back on the line to Annapolis... utility poles cutting through a forest? That's a good indication that a railroad once plied the route, as had the A&ER at this spot near MD 3 in Millersville.


MD 32

MD 32
Mile: 12.0 Date: Apr 2004
Ease: A View: SE
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 14 B 11 Topographic Maps

The I-97 - MD 32 interchange obliterated part of the A&ER's ROW. It looks to me the ramp to I-97 N (in this view, on the left and behind) sits right atop the old ROW.

For the Road Geeks: I-97 is the highest number interstate! I-99 doesn't count since it is out of place. For about 2 miles here I-97 and MD 32 share a route, the only known stretch in Maryland where an interstate and a state road are so cozy.


Mound

Mound
Mile: 14.0 Date: Apr 2004
Ease: A View: SE
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 19 F 2 Topographic Maps

Apologies for the poor picture. Obviously the weather didn't pay attention that April 1 was a day I could do some railfooling, err, railfanning. Fortunately, there does not appear to be a whole lot of the A&ER we're missing since very little is left to see. And that's no April Fools.

In the vicinity of Crownsville MD 178 parallels what is left of the A&ER's ROW. This mound had once hosted tracks, and a bridge had once spanned the break in the mound where a small stream flows below.


Epping Forest Road

Epping Forest Road
Mile: 16.5 Date: Apr 2004
Ease: A View: SE
Area: A EH: 165
Map: AA 20 A 6 Topographic Maps

OK, I promise this is the last picture of damp utility poles; they were all I could find during this photo trip. This is one of the more significant hillside cuts made by the A&ER.

There has been discussion of a rails-to-trails project here.


Culvert
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Culvert
Mile: 17.2 Date: Apr 2018
Ease: B View: NE
Area: A- IC2:
Map: AA 20 A 7 Topographic Maps

At last an artifact! Because the A&ER chose a route to Annapolis along the high ground of the peninsula between the Severn and South Rivers, few stream crossings were required. The only intact, original A&ER culvert I have found is this small one at Saltworks Creek. Its rough cut stonework attests to a mid-1800s construction date.


Callahan Lane
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Callahan Lane
Mile: 17.2 Date: Apr 2018
Ease: A- View: SE
Area: A- IC2:
Map: AA 20 A 7 Topographic Maps

Best Gate Station was found ahead where Callahan Lane and Bestgate Road meet. An electrical substation is off photo left, hence the green utility boxes and poles.


Best Gate Station
Photo courtesy Annapolis RR History
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Best Gate Station
Mile: 17.3 Date: ~1930
Ease: A View: SE? NW?
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 20 A 7 Topographic Maps

Many stations were little more than shacks adjacent to a clearing that served as a platform.

Here is a list of stations dating from the period after the A&ER had been acquired by the WB&A, and their current location:

Camp Meade Junction (Fort Meade?)
Portland (Fort Meade?)
Disney (Fort Meade)
Admiral (Fort Meade)
Fairall (Fort Meade?)
Odenton (Town Center Blvd)
Naval Academy Junction (Telegraph Rd)
Sappington (Sappington Station Road)
Gambrills (Gambrills Rd and Maple Rd)
Holladay (Holladay St and Holliday Park Rd)
Millersville (Millersville Rd and Cecil Av)
Arundel (Waterbury Rd between Millersville Rd and Severn Chapel Rd?)
Waterbury (Waterbury Rd and Ticker Ln)
Gott (Black Horse Farm, east of Gum Bottom Rd at Generals Hwy)
Crownsville (Crownsville Rd and Generals Hwy)
Belvoir (near Belvoir Farms Rd and Generals Hwy)
Arth (Bridgewood Ln and Generals Hwy?)
Iglehart (west of Covington Rd at Generals Hwy)
Woytych / BethGap (south corner at Epping Forest Rd)
Hockley (near Woodlore Rd?)
Best Gate (near Bestgate Rd and Callahan Ln)
Camp Parole / Roll Camp (south side of Annapolis Mall)
Homewood (Poplar Av at Glen Av)
Cedar Park (Poplar Av near Homeland Av?)
Bay Ridge Junction (Poplar Av east of Taylor Av)
Annapolis (West Street)
Annapolis (U.S. Naval Academy)


From Mall Parking
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

From Mall Parking
Mile: 17.4 Date: Apr 2018
Ease: A View: NW
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 20 B 8 Topographic Maps

From the rooftop parking of Annapolis Mall one can look back to the location of the prior photo. Thanks to the WB&A's electrification of the route, utility poles continue to helpfully trace where the A&ER had previously operated steam trains.


Emerge
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Emerge
Mile: 17.5 Date: Apr 2018
Ease: A View: SE
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 20 B 8 Topographic Maps

Since the mall was built over the old right-of-way, all those wires go underground only to re-emerge here on the south side and continue into the distance to Annapolis.

Fueled by the nearby Naval Academy plus state capital, Westfield Annapolis Mall is managing relatively well versus online shopping.


Homewood
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Homewood
Mile: 19.5 Date: Apr 2018
Ease: A View: E
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 20 G 9 Topographic Maps

East of the mall some of the route has been converted into a trail. The railroad's Homewood stop had been here where Glen Avenue meets Poplar Avenue, but I found no remants of it.

Reader Joan Owens wrote with some info:

    "I was born and raised just outside of Annapolis, and when I was a very young child, the trains still ran to Annapolis. The tracks went by Germantown Elementary School, parallel to Poplar Avenue, if I'm remembering correctly."


Bay Ridge Junction
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Bay Ridge Junction
Mile: 19.9 Date: Apr 2018
Ease: A View: E
Area: A- IC2:
Map: AA 20 H 10 Topographic Maps

Before the A&ER evolved into the WB&A's South Shore Division, it met the Annapolis Short Line at this spot, the site of an old A&ER wye, then christened it Bay Ridge Junction.

No obvious railroad artifacts survive here, only echoes such as the electrical substation, the utility poles, the pavement of Poplar Avenue and Lowes Access Road, and a few scratches in the dirt.

From 1886 to closure in 1904 the Bay Ridge and Annapolis Railroad carried passengers from here southeast about 5 miles to Bay Ridge, Maryland, a beach town along the Chesapeake Bay. The B&O held a controlling ownership stake in the BR&A. Amos Garrett Boulevard now occupies some of the BR&A's alignment.


Second Street Station
Photo courtesy Annapolis RR History
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Second Street Station
Mile: 20.3 Date: ~1870
Ease: A View: N?
Area: A EH: 138
Map: AA 20 J 10 Topographic Maps

This first A&ER Annapolis station stood within the parking area behind (north of, at time of writing) the Loews Annapolis Hotel at Lafayette Avenue and West Street. After the WB&A took control of the line during 1908 it moved the station about a block east to Calvert and West Streets.


West Street Station
Photo courtesy Annapolis RR History
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

West Street Station
Mile: 20.4 Date: ~1910
Ease: A View: W
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 20 J 10 Topographic Maps

Trees shade the WB&A's West Street Station as a train approaches on the right in this circa 1910 view. From here trains continued eastward via street running along West Street toward the Annapolis waterfront.

This station replaced the A&ER's engine house and machine shop formerly at the site.


West Street Now
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

West Street Now
Mile: 20.4 Date: Apr 2018
Ease: A View: W
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 20 J 10 Topographic Maps

In this similar century-later view where West and Calvert Streets meet, spring blooming trees happen to grace the same spot they did in 1910. The station building is no longer extant.


Church Circle Then
Photo courtesy Annapolis RR History
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Church Circle Then
Mile: 20.5 Date: ~1930
Ease: A View: S
Area: A EH: 100
Map: AA 20 K 10 Topographic Maps

At Church Circle the A&ER turned trains by operating in a clockwise fashion, opposite that of automobiles, much to the chagrin of the local government.

St. Anne's Church occupies the center of the circle. The current church building was constructed in 1858, but the parish dates back to 1692.


Church Circle Now
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Church Circle Now
Mile: 20.5 Date: Apr 2018
Ease: A View: S
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 20 K 10 Topographic Maps

When not turning at the circle, trains followed College Avenue northeast, King George Street southeast to the Annapolis-Clairborne ferry, Randall Street southwest, then Main Street west back to Church Circle.


Statehouse
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Statehouse
Mile: 20.6 Date: Apr 2018
Ease: A View: E
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 20 K 10 Topographic Maps

That's Main Street coming from the waterfront to the circle. If the statehouse building poking from behind looks familiar, you may have seen it on the Maryland State Quarter.


Naval Academy
NEW! mid-Jun 2018

Naval Academy
Mile: Date: Apr 2018
Ease: A View: E
Area: A IC2:
Map: AA 20 J 8 Topographic Maps

At Baltimore Boulevard and King George Street is one of several academy entrances, this one more directly served in the past via the WB&A's North Shore Division, of which a tour is in development.


<< Previous (west) | THIS PAGE: Naval Academy Junction to Annapolis | End of tour || main index

This tour ends here! A continuance along the North Shore Division is in the works.

Back Creek Books has several route photos,
also see tracks in Annapolis

For more tours here now, select from the map: clickable map

Or, return to main page

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