This spur appears to have been constructed in the 1960s, around the same time as
the nearly adjacent Columbia Branch (which is shown on the next page of this tour).
The Waterloo Branch is minimally active and primarily serves the Maryland Wholesale
Food Center near the intersection of US 1 and MD 175.
This is the first of several significant branches encountered as we head westbound
(south) on the Washington Branch. It is omitted from all editions of the ADC maps
that I've seen.
Please note that the Topographic Maps linked below date from
around 1980. Many of the roads and intersections, particularly those near
Columbia, have changed since that time.
The only significant grade crossing for this spur is here at Dorsey
Run Road. The road bridge a short distance away spans the Dorsey Run
tributary of the Little Patuxent River. The spur basically parallels
the tributary along its northeastern bank.
The CSX 6543 photo at left, courtesy Kirk Nabors, illustrates service
on the line during April 2018.
There are no interesting stone arched bridges along the modern spur, just
plain, boring piped culverts. I've included this one simply to show the
unique design. It can be found just west of the grade crossing.
Here's the view with the bumper post at my back. I neglected to note
the name of the warehouse, but by the cars on the siding it does appear to
actively use the railroad for shipping.
Reader Dean Cogar sent the following update:
"Here is an update for the web page-I work for Sysco Foods-Baltimore and
enjoy the daily passing of freight trains past our facility at
Dorsey Run Road, and, up until about 4 months ago, we would receive about 2 to
3 box cars of frozen foods per week. But unfortunetly the early delivery of
these boxcars 1 to 2 days before scheduled, and the railroad's insistence
that we pay delay charges while they sat on the siding till there scheduled
delivery time caused Sysco to end rail use for deliveries. It was with
sadness as I watched construction workers take a torch to the rails to remove
them for a warehouse expansion that is currently under construction."
At least one prize awaits: a stranded boxcar wearing fading
Chessie / B&O paint circa 1970, and now relegated to storage purposes.
This is the only boxcar with the B&O paint scheme I've seen surviving
anywhere in the region. Its number appears to be 176074. It sits on
a siding behind a building near the western end of Rappahannock Avenue.
Ballast paths reveal the end of the spur had previously split even more
directions. At the time of the photo this warehouse had limited activity,
and one adjacent appeared shuttered. A distant trackside sign reads,
"Track Out of Order Do Not Use".