RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd's Railfan Guide to
the East side of Baltimore:
Highlandtown and Canton
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The map below shows part of the eastern side of Baltimore. This map shows you the two Bayview yards, one for CSX and one for the Norfolk Southern in addition to CSX's Penn-Mary yard and Norfolk Southern's Canton yard. The Bayview yards are covered on Map11.
We also look at the numerous bridges the area has to offer, some historic things in the Highlandtown area and a few signal installations. There is no Light Rail or Metro on this map, but we have the state run Canton RR to offer you.
The face of Canton (and Riverside on the other side of the port) changed drastically when I-95 came through and built the Fort McHenry tunnel. Lots of land was needed for the toll plaza on the Canton side, and what was once a huge operation for the Canton RR, became a single engine affair for a number of years as a lot of their customers went away.
There's not much in the way of signals in the area, CSX has a few, and the Canton has a few here and there along their line, but I don't know why since only one train ever goes out at any time these days.
Note: even though the B&O's tracks went north and south, the B&O referred to the directions as East (north) and West (south). I use the north and south terms mostly, only because it is easier to reference to the maps.
Thanks to G. Kolman for his help with this section of the guide!
Most, if not all of the aerial pictures are from: http://www.bing.com/maps/, and the screen captures were taken using Techsmith's Snag-It
The above map in PDF format is here
The diamond labeled in blue is where the semaphores shown below used to be located. The diamond labeled another B&O/PRR diamond, is sight number 4 below.
1 Norfolk Southern's Canton Yard
2 CSX's Penn-Mary Yard
3 Canton Railroad's Headquarters Building
For pictures of the signals here, please check out this page.
5 Seagirt Terminal
Up until the late 90's there used to be a grain silo with
train service. The dotted green line shows where the tracks used to be.
7 The MTA's Eastern Bus Shops.
Conveniently located off of Eastern Avenue on the fringe of Greektown, this is one of four MTA bus yards. Busses from here will have a small "E" with the number. If you like Greek food, there are many places along Eastern Ave between here and the "underpass" in Highlandtown.
8 Old Streetcar Barn
This is what remains of the old streetcar barn on the corner of Eastern and Haven.
9 Old Manhole Cover
A manhole cover left over from the bygone days of the United Railway & Electric Company, who had an extensive streetcar network around Baltimore in the early days of the 1900's. A map of the UR&E system is below from 1900, and if you notice, the city limits are not quite as far out as they are today.
10 The B&O/Pennsy (CSX/NS) Interchange track.
This track comes off the CSX just after crossing "the first bridge" out of Bayview. I don't know how much it is currently being used, as Michael points out, it was put in to allow CSX coal trains access to Consolidated Coal, located at the water front in Canton. The NS end winds up coming in at the south end of the small intermodal yard.
11 The Pennsy's branch into Highlandtown.
The left picture is a close-up of the former Pennsy tracks into the Eskay plant, and the right picture shows both of the branches. Below is where the
1 Semaphore Leftovers
The pictures of the semaphores are from 1972 or thereabouts. The B&O used to cross the Pennsy here, to service docks where the B&O would unload passenger trains to meet boats. Not sure when the crossover was removed.... maybe the late 70's? The mast for the signal in the right picture still remains till today, covered by vines during the summer which makes it difficult to find. Wish I had taken more pictures! :-(
In the left thumbnail below, where the tracks curve off to the left, the old B&O tracks would have gone straight. In the right thumbnail, you can just barely make out the old semaphore mast covered in vines, making it impossible to see when they get green.
2 Dwarf Colorlight Signals
3 B&O Dwarf CPL's
Like the maps of Toledo, this area has a large assortment of bridges used to separate train traffic from the streets.
BR1 Where the Pennsy's shortcut to Canton comes off the mainline, aka, Canton Junction.
BR3 Abandoned PRR Canton branch going over Eastern Avenue
BR4 First of two truss bridges on the B&O out of Bayview.
A close-up view of the CSX going over Amtrak's NEC, the first of two trestle's a freight going from Bayview Yard to Penn Mary yard will go over.
BR5 Second of two B&O truss bridges on the way to Penn Mary, going over the Pennsy.
BR6 Bridges over Eastern Avenue
BR7 Bridges over Eastern Avenue
BR13 ex B&O bridges into Highlandtown
Coming off the B&O line into Penn Mary yard, was a line going into Highlandtown. The abandoned bridge on the left goes over an abandoned line coming off the Pennsy main line that paralleled Haven Street, joining up with the current Pennsy/NS tracks under Orleans Street, and then wound up going up Boston Street towards the downtown area.
The end of the short B&O branch into Highlandtown, notice the curved building built to accommodate the tracks crossing Baltimore Street to the old Esskay Meat processing plant.
1 Baltimore City Fire Department - Old Engine 50 Fire House
2 Baltimore City Fire Department - Engine 50
Located at the corner of Broening Highway and Danville Ave
3 Baltimore City Fire Department - Truck 20
Located at Eastern Ave and Anglesea St
4 Baltimore City Fire Department - Engine 41
Located on South Conkling Street in Highlandtown, between Fleet Street and Eastern Aveneue
5 Baltimore City Fire Department - Engine 51
Located on the corner of East Monument Street and North Highland Avenue
U.S. Naval Hospital Ship COMFORT
A pretty good spot for catching freights coming out of either of the Bayview Yards is Lombard St, seen in the Highlandtown insert. Lombard Street goes over the NS and under CSX.
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while trying to help others. My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place. There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages. Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like. I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion). If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them. For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names. Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations. I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area. Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them. Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature. While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a
thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only
get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented. Take
along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still
better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts
out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their
state maps do not have the railroads on them. If you can find em,
I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and
concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where
tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.
Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.
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Last Updated: 07/05/2015