Metropolitan Subdivision

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Rockville station in 1978, before relocation away from tracks
Metropolitan Branch
1893
MP (Milepost)
to Brunswick and Weverton
42.2 Old Main Line
42.1 Point of Rocks
to Old Main Line EB
41.9
Washington Junction
(East Rocks)
39.2 Tuscarora
39.0 Tuscarora Creek Bridge
37.4 Monocacy Viaduct
35.5 Dickerson
34.9 Little Monocacy Viaduct
33.4 Barnesville
30.3 Buck Lodge
28.9 Boyds
27.7 Little Seneca Creek Bridge
26.4 Germantown
24.9
Waring Viaduct over
Great Seneca Creek
24.2 Clopper’s
23.0 Brown’s
21.6 Gaithersburg
21.0 Feed and grain mills
20.6 Washington Grove
19.2 Derwood
17.9 Westmore
16.7 Rockville
original station
current station
14.4 Halpine
13.7 Randolph
13.2 Windham
12.4 Garrett Park
11.5 Rock Creek Bridge
11.0 Kensington
10.5 Capitol View
9.8 Forest Glen
9.0 Linden
Georgetown Branch
8.3 Georgetown Junction
7.9 Woodside
7.5 Silver Spring
6.3 Takoma Park
5.8 Lamond
4.4 Terra Cotta
3.2 University
2.1 QN Tower
Washington Branch
0.9 Eckington
0.0
Washington, D.C.
(New Jersey Avenue station)

The Metropolitan Subdivision is a railroad line owned and operated by CSX Transportation in the District of Columbia and the U.S. state of Maryland. The line runs from Washington, D.C. northwest to Weverton, Maryland along a former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) line.[1]

At its southeast end, north of Union Station, the Metropolitan Subdivision meets the Capital Subdivision (formerly called the B&O Washington Branch) and Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. It meets the Old Main Line Subdivision at Point of Rocks, Maryland, and at its northwest end in Weverton, the line joins the Cumberland Subdivision.

MARC Train's Brunswick Line uses the entire subdivision, as does Amtrak's Capitol Limited.

History[edit]

The section northwest of Point of Rocks opened in 1834 as part of the B&O's main line.[2] The rest of the line, from Point of Rocks southeast to Washington, opened in 1873 as the B&O's Metropolitan Branch.[3]:7 Upon the opening of this line, the B&O rerouted its through passenger traffic through Washington, and the Old Main Line, from Point of Rocks to Relay, was reduced to secondary status as far as passenger service was concerned. Some through freight trains were also rerouted to use the new line.[4]

Due to increasing congestion, the B&O began to add double track portions to the line in 1886. The Washington-to-Gaithersburg section was double-tracked by 1893.[2]:277 During the peak years of passenger operation, 1893 to the 1920s, there were eighteen trains per day, with as many as 28 stops along the Met Branch.[3]:7

Significant engineering features include bridges across:

Double-tracking was completed on the remainder of the branch in 1928. Several distinctive passenger stations, designed by architect Ephraim Francis Baldwin, were constructed along the line. Original stations still stand at Rockville (moved away from the tracks in 1981), Kensington, Gaithersburg, Dickerson, and Point of Rocks.[3]:6-10

In 1906 a rear collision at Terra Cotta station killed 53 people.

Georgetown Branch[edit]

The Georgetown Branch ran from a junction north of the Silver Spring station station to the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C. The branch was built between 1892 and 1910. It was originally intended to be a B&O extension that would cross the Potomac River near the Chain Bridge. In 1904 the B&O reached agreement with the Pennsylvania Railroad to access the nearby Long Bridge over the Potomac, and then proceeded to use the Georgetown Branch as a spur servicing local industries in Silver Spring, Chevy Chase, Bethesda and Georgetown.[3]:27-29 Significant engineering features on the branch include the Rock Creek Trestle in Chevy Chase, the Dalecarlia Tunnel and a through-truss bridge over the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

CSX abandoned the Georgetown Branch in 1986, and the spur is now accessible to the public as the Capital Crescent Trail.

Current operation[edit]

Freight train at Derwood interlocking heading east towards Washington, D.C.

Through mergers, the line became part of the CSX system in 1987. The entire subdivision is signaled for bi-directional running. There is a spur that services Mirant's Dickerson Generating Station (formerly owned by the Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO)) at Dickerson, and a trash-transfer facility spur at Derwood. The interlockings on the line are (east to west): F Tower, QN Tower, Georgetown Jct, Twinbrook, Derwood, Buck Lodge, PEPCO, East Rocks, Point of Rocks, East Brunswick, WB Tower and Weverton.[1][better source needed][dated info]

Interlocking plants were added in 2012 at Montrose (near Rockville), Dickerson, and at Tuscarora.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b CSX Transportation. "Northern Region, Baltimore Division, Timetable No. 4." Effective 2005-01-01.
  2. ^ a b Harwood, Jr., Herbert H. (1979). Impossible Challenge: The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Maryland. Baltimore, MD: Barnard, Roberts. ISBN 0-934118-17-5. 
  3. ^ a b c d Soderberg, Susan C. (1998). The Met: A History of the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad, Its Stations and Towns. Germantown, MD: Germantown Historical Society. 
  4. ^ PRR Chronology, 1873 PDF (100 KiB), February 2004 Edition

External links[edit]