Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad
Locale Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland
Dates of operation 1886–1989
Successor CSX
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 109 miles (175 km)
Headquarters Wilmington and Philadelphia

The Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad was a railroad line built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Baltimore, Maryland. It was built in the 1880s after the B&O lost access to its previous route to Philadelphia, the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (PW&B). The B&O had lost an attempt to acquire the PW&B in a stock takeover battle with the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR).[1]:154 The cost of building the new route, especially the Howard Street Tunnel on the connecting Baltimore Belt Line, led to the B&O's first bankruptcy. The Baltimore and Philadelphia line is now used by CSX Transportation for freight trains.

History[edit]

The B&O began service from Baltimore to Philadelphia using the PW&B line in 1838.[2] Connecting trackage in Baltimore ran from the B&O's Mount Clare terminal east along Pratt Street and East Falls Avenue to the PW&B's President Street Station. From there the PW&B ran east on Fleet Street and Boston Street before leaving onto its own right-of-way.

In 1881, the PRR acquired the PW&B. The B&O needed to build a new route to Philadelphia, as it was allowed to use the PW&B line only until 1884. The B&O acquired the Delaware Western Railroad, which had a charter but no track, merged it into the Baltimore & Philadelphia (called the Philadelphia Branch in Maryland) in 1883, and began construction.[1]:154 The line was in full operation by 1886.[3]

Except at its two ends, the line was built within a few miles to the northwest of the PW&B. At the Baltimore end, the line ended in the Canton neighborhood, with a car ferry across the Patapsco River to Locust Point. At the Philadelphia end, the new line crossed the PW&B and its old alignment (part of the Philadelphia and Reading Railway's branch to Chester) and crossed to the east side of the Schuylkill River on the new B&O Railroad Bridge, just south of the Grays Ferry Bridge. A branch split there towards the Delaware River, while the main line continued north along the Schuylkill, with a station downtown, and then passed through the Art Museum Tunnel to Park Junction with the Philadelphia and Reading Railway's main line; this tunnel, the last part of the line to be finished, opened on December 15, 1886.[4]:27,31,39-41

The CSX Susquehanna River Bridge is the second bridge at this crossing, a steel truss double track design built between 1907 and 1910 near Perryville, Maryland. It replaced a single-track iron and steel bridge built in 1886 during the original construction of the line. [1]:166

The Reading, originally using the Junction Railroad west of the Schuylkill to access its Chester branch, obtained trackage rights over the Baltimore and Philadelphia, and the B&O obtained trackage rights over the Reading's lines from Philadelphia to Jersey City, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City. (This route via the Reading originally ran via the main line, Port Richmond Branch, North Pennsylvania Railroad, North Pennsylvania Railroad Delaware River Branch, Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad and Central Railroad of New Jersey, later using the shortcut of the Philadelphia, Newtown and New York Railroad and New York Short Line Railroad rather than the North Pennsylvania.) The Baltimore and New York Railway and Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway provided their own freight terminal, at St. George on Staten Island.

Though a surface alignment through downtown Baltimore was authorized by the Maryland legislature, the B&O instead obtained a charter for the Baltimore Belt Line to provide a completely grade-separated route. This new route entered the long Howard Street Tunnel at Camden Station, running north under downtown, and then turning east through two shorter tunnels to a junction with the Philadelphia Branch at Bay View Yard. The Baltimore Belt Line was completed in 1895, and its expenses drove the B&O to bankruptcy in 1896.

The last passenger trains ran through the tunnel and over the Baltimore and Philadelphia in 1958; since then all traffic has been freight. The route is now operated by CSX as its Philadelphia Subdivision.

Branches[edit]

In Philadelphia
Crum Creek
Market Street
South Washington
Landenberg
Providence
In Baltimore

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Stover, John F. (1987). History of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press. ISBN 0-911198-81-4. 
  2. ^ Herbert W. Harwood, Jr. "Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad". Maryland Online Encyclopedia. Maryland Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  3. ^ H.V. and H.W. Poor Co. "Poor's Manual of Railroads of the United States: 1891." p. 49. Accessed 2010-05-12.
  4. ^ Harwood, Jr., Herbert H. (2002). Royal Blue Line: The Classic B&O Train Between Washington and New York. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-7061-5. Retrieved 2013-03-05.