Ellicott City Station

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Ellicott City Station
Ellicott City Station 1970.jpg
Ellicott City Station in 1970
Ellicott City Station is located in Maryland
Ellicott City Station
Ellicott City Station is located in the US
Ellicott City Station
Location Ellicott City, Maryland
Coordinates 39°16′2″N 76°47′43″W / 39.26722°N 76.79528°W / 39.26722; -76.79528Coordinates: 39°16′2″N 76°47′43″W / 39.26722°N 76.79528°W / 39.26722; -76.79528
Area less than one acre
Built 1830 (1830)
NRHP Reference # 68000025[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 24, 1968
Designated NHL November 24, 1968
Old Main Line
Baltimore Terminal Subdivision
0.0 RelayWashington Branch
2.5 Orange Grove
3.2 Ilchester Tunnel
3.5 Ilchester Bridge
3.6 Ilchester
4.4 Lees
4.7 Gray
5.7 Ellicott City
6.2 Sucker Run Bridge
7.9 Union Dam Tunnel
9.2 HS Tower
9.5 Hollofield
10.6 Daniels Bridge
10.9 Alberton
11.6 Brice Run Bridge
12.1 Dorsey’s Run Tunnel
12.7 Eureka Bridge
12.8 Line Run Bridge
12.9 Davis Tunnel
13.3 Davis
13.8 Davis Branch Bridge
14.6 Woodstock
17.1 Marriottsville
17.7 Henryton Bridge
17.8 Henryton Tunnel
17.9 Henryton
19.7 Gorsuch
21.6 Sykesville
22.4 Sykesville Tunnel
22.9 Gaither
24.2 Hood’s Mill
26.1 Morgan
26.5 Woodbine Tunnel
26.8 Woodbine
26.9 Gillis Falls Bridge
29.5 Watersville
30.6 Watersville Junction
31.8 Mount Airy
32.6 Mount Airy Tunnel
33.9 Mount Airy Junction
37.4 Bush Creek Bridge
39.5 Monrovia
40.0 Monrovia Tower
42.9 Ijamsville
44.1 Hartman Tunnel
46.1 Reel’s Mill
47.4 Monocacy River Bridge
47.5 Frederick JunctionFrederick Branch
43.5 Frederick(South Market Street)
48.9 Ballenger Creek Bridge
50.0 Lime Kiln
51.7 Buckeystown
53.7 Adamstown
53.9 Adamstown Junction
Adamstown Cutoff
58.0 Washington Junction(Point of Rocks)
Metropolitan Branch
58.5 Point of Rocks Tunnel
60.1 Catoctin Tunnel
to Brunswick

The Ellicott City Station is the oldest remaining passenger train station in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world. At the time of its construction in 1830 it was the terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line from Baltimore to Ellicott's Mills, Maryland and it incorporated features for the servicing of steam locomotives at the end of the 13 mile (21 km) run. The station, a National Historic Landmark, is now used as a museum.


The station was built in 1830 at the end of the Oliver Viaduct, of local stone (Ellicott City Granodiorite) provided by one of the quarries owned by the Ellicott family, which had founded the town and local flour mill in 1772.[2] The two-story stone building is built against the viaduct. A gabled roof is topped by a wood ventilating cupola. The upper level of the station is at the level of the tracks on the viaduct.

The Oliver Viaduct was the second major stone bridge built by the railroad (after the Carrollton Viaduct). It was 123 feet (37 m) long and comprised three 20 feet (6.1 m) arches.[3]:94 The viaduct was damaged by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, and has since been reconstructed.[4]

The station building was designed to allow engines to be pulled in on the upper level so that they could be worked on from below. A turntable with a diameter of 50 feet (15 m) was fitted in 1863 to permit locomotives to be turned around. The turntable was filled in after the rail line was extended, but the granite foundations remain.[2]

The railroad built an adjacent freight house, designed by E. Francis Baldwin, in 1885. The station is now used as a museum.[5]


The railroad's inaugural trip from Baltimore to Ellicott's Mills has held on May 22, 1830, with horse-drawn rail cars. Regular passenger service began on May 24.[6]:27

The B&O demonstrated its first locomotive, the Tom Thumb, at Ellicott's Mills in a famous race against a horse later in 1830.[3]:94–5 The railroad began using locomotives for passenger trains in 1832.[6]:30


The station is significant as the terminus of the original B&O railroad. The B&O was conceived as a means of re-establishing Baltimore as a major terminus of inland commerce, a position the city had lost with the advent of the Erie Canal. The commencement of construction on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, originating in nearby rival Washington, D.C., gave impetus to the use of a railroad for topographically-challenged Baltimore. From Ellicott's Mills the tracks reached Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in 1834, Cumberland, Maryland (the eventual terminus of the C&O Canal) by 1842, and Wheeling, West Virginia on the Ohio River in 1852.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b Maryland Department of Planning, Crownsville, MD. Maryland Historical Trust. "Ellicott City Station, B & O Railway." Inventory No. HO-71. Accessed 2011-12-24.
  3. ^ a b Dilts, James D. (1996). The Great Road: The Building of the Baltimore and Ohio, the Nation's First Railroad, 1828–1853. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-2629-0. 
  4. ^ a b Mendinghall, Joseph Scott (February 25, 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination: Ellicott City Station" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  5. ^ Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum. "Ellicott City Station." Accessed 2013-03-30.
  6. ^ a b *Harwood, Jr., Herbert H. (1994). Impossible Challenge II: Baltimore to Washington and Harpers Ferry from 1828 to 1994. Baltimore: Barnard, Roberts. ISBN 0-934118-22-1. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station   Baltimore and Ohio   Following station
Old Main Line