Eastern Shore Railroad

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Eastern Shore Railroad
Reporting markESHR
LocaleNorfolk, Virginia to Pocomoke City, Maryland
Dates of operation1981 (1981)–2006 (2006)
PredecessorVirginia and Maryland Railroad
SuccessorBay Coast Railroad
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
HeadquartersCape Charles, Virginia

The Eastern Shore Railroad, Inc. (reporting mark ESHR) was a Class III short-line railroad that began operations in October 1981 on the 96 mile former Virginia and Maryland Railroad line on the Delmarva Peninsula. The line connected Pocomoke City, Maryland, to Norfolk, Virginia, interchanging with the Norfolk Southern Railway at both ends.

Delmarva had been previously served by the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Company (N.Y.P.& N.) led by William Lawrence Scott which ran south down the peninsula to a freight depot, terminal and harbor at the headland point at Cape Charles, Virginia, a town which it founded and laid out in 1883-1884. A ferry barge system then operated crossing the lower Chesapeake Bay to the Norfolk piers. The NYP&N was later absorbed by the Pennsylvania Railroad which dominated the eastern U.S.A. along with the New York Central Railroad and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the first half of the 20th century.

The rail ferry service that was used to span the 26 mile water route across the Chesapeake Bay between Cape Charles, Virginia and Norfolk. Tug boats were contracted to move the two barges (car floats) of 25 and 15 car capacity. This particular car float operation has been in continuous service since April 1885, and is one of only two remaining in the United States (the other being New York New Jersey Rail, LLC).

The Eastern Shore Railroad was taken over in February 2006 by Cassatt Management, LLC., and was operated and renamed as the Bay Coast Railroad. The Bay Coast Railroad operated the line until May 18, 2018. In June 2018, the Delmarva Central Railroad took over the portion between Pocomoke City and Hallwood, Virginia where the remaining customers were located.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Carload Express Expands Rail Freight Service to Virginia". Carload Express. June 11, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.

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