The map covers the area to the east of Baileys
Wye: CSX's Riverside Yard and
Locust Point Yard.
the most notable "thing" in the area is Ft McHenry,
where Francis Scott Key wrote the
Star Spangled Banner in 1812, which also why
Maryland started issuing the 1812 license plates last year to celebrate 200
years! The first series of the plate was issued with an "MD" where the AH
is, and then started with "AA"... as of January 2012, I have seen "AM" series
Another yard was also in the area, Western Maryland's
Port Covington Yard. Not much remains today to tell you a railroad
existed there, but where the Wal-Mart sits was right smack dab in the middle of
the old yard. Many a great steam excursion
started and ended here, such as all of the 2102 excursions back in the early
70's. I'll have to check the crypt for some pictures!
As far as I know, all signs of any signals are
long gone from the area covered by this map.
Another neat sight, altho not related to
trains, are the cable ships off to
your right as your heading north in I-95.
You can get into Riverside Yard from off of
Fort Avenue, just before the right turn onto Key Highway if you are driving in
from the Harbor area. If you don't venture out of your car, the likelihood
of being stopped is slim. Be covert in taking pictures, AND DO NOT GET OUT
OF YOUR CAR! As can be seen below, you will pass right by the remains of
the old B&O turntable. The best pictures are probably taken from the end
of Johnson St, where the green/yellow dot is below. Activity here is
fairly good throughout the week during the day.
Locust Point Yard
Locust Point yard is fairly accessible almost
all the way around. Just pay attention to any signs you may come across,
being a marine shipping, people are fairly paranoid about people with cameras.
I have never been stopped around here, but WAS while taking pictures in Hamilton
Ontario. After questioning on the spot, the Port Authority rep was OK, but
he suggested in the future to stop by their office and sign in. You don't
have that luxury here in Baltimore.
I shouldn't have to tell anyone that the
United States' national anthem was written "here" by Francis Scott Key, while
watching the bombs bursting in the air, really! If you are here, you
SHOULD stop by.
These guys go out for weeks at a time and lay
fiber optic cables on the bottom of the Atlantic. Once they start laying
cable, they can not stop for ANY reason. One of the cable channels has a
special on how they pull the cables up from the bottom and perform repairs and
splices on them... pretty interesting!
The first part of the
Port Covington history comes from
In 1898, the city of Baltimore subsidized the
creation of the
Western Maryland Railroad, intended as an
alternative that would compete with the high prices of the
Baltimore and Ohio line, which had also been
co-founded by the city over 70 years earlier. The two networks ran side by
side without overlapping to terminals on the South Baltimore peninsula, where
they both unloaded coal from Appalachia to ships that would take it up down the
The major landowner was the Winans family, who held a large estate situated up
the Gwynns Falls from the port. This stream valley connection between
these two pieces of property later became the right of way for the Western
Maryland Railroad in the 1890s. And, after it narrowly missed becoming an
expressway in the 1980s, it was turned into the Gwynns Falls recreational trail
during the late 1990s, connecting the waterfront to the Winans Estate, now
The Winans were a family of engineers and entrepreneurs. Ross Winans had
been sent to England by the B&O to study the state of the art in European rail
technology. When he returned, it was as the lead designer for the new
American railroad's rolling stock. Ross's other projects included a water
wheel that powered the plumbing for the estate, and, during the Civil War, a
steam powered machine gun.
The Western Maryland Railroad was bought out by its old competitor, the B&O, in
1983, and shut down soon after. Almost every trace of it at Port Covington
has been erased in a cleanup of the site by the
Maryland Department of the Environment.
The major pieces that remain include a large trestle bridge over the outflow of
the Gwynns Falls, and several derelict piers. One of these is now used as a
berth for two
MARAD ships, the military's ready reserve, part
of a large network of ships waiting to deploy personnel, vehicles, and supplies
anywhere in the world.
The second part is from
Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt:
As merger plans formulated, WM could see its
traffic disappear. The planned merger of the
New York Central RR (NYC) and the PRR (the ill-fated
Penn Central) could throw traffic from the
Pittsburgh and Lake Erie RR (part of the NYC system) onto the
Norfolk & Western Railway (N&W) could easily reroute traffic
from the P&WV onto N&W lines right to Hagerstown. The WM
decided to forsake independence and join the B&O-Chesapeake and Ohio
Railway (C&O) — B&O was almost half owner of WM. B&O and C&O
applied to control WM, and the ICC approved their bid in 1967.
There was little evidence of the C&O-B&O control
until 1973, when the
Chessie System was incorporated to own C&O, B&O, and WM.
In 1973, WM applied to abandon 125 miles of main line from Hancock
MD to Connellsville PA. WM's single track paralleled B&O's
double-track line and had easier grades and better clearances, but
the expense of maintaning the line and building connecting lines
outweighed any savings that might result in lower operating costs.
That same year, WM's
Port Covington coal terminal was abandoned in favor of B&O's
newer pier in Baltimore. Gradually, B&O absorbed WM's
operations, and in late 1983, B&O officially merged the WM.
The B&O itself merged with the C&O in 1987, which itself became part
The USGS map below is probably from the mid or
late 60's, and clearly shows the three yards of this peninsula.
photo by Bill Hopkins, taken from Hanover St
photo by Robert Knieshe, Hanover St is to the left