New Jersey Avenue Station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
New Jersey Avenue Station
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Washington New Jersey Avenue Station.jpg
An early illustration of the B&O's New Jersey Avenue Station.
Location New Jersey Avenue and C Street, NW, Washington, DC, United States
Coordinates 38°53′36.7″N 77°0′36.7″W / 38.893528°N 77.010194°W / 38.893528; -77.010194Coordinates: 38°53′36.7″N 77°0′36.7″W / 38.893528°N 77.010194°W / 38.893528; -77.010194
Owned by Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Structure type At-grade
Opened April 1851
Closed 1907
Rebuilt 1889

The New Jersey Avenue Station was a train station in the center of Washington, D.C. The train station was also called the B&O Depot as it was served by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from April 1851 until the construction of Union Station in 1907. During the American Civil War, the New Jersey Avenue Station was the major embarkation site for hundreds of thousands of Union troops. President Abraham Lincoln arrived there to be sworn in as President in 1861 and it was from that station that his body began its long journey to his final resting place in Illinois after he was assassinated in 1865.


A view of the B&O Railroad's New Jersey Avenue Station in Washington, DC circa late 1800s

The 106-foot (32 m) tall front of the Italianate-style railway depot located on Capitol Hill was dominated by a four-sided clock tower that rose 100 feet (30 m). The station was 68 feet (21 m) deep, according to the Baltimore American. The inside of the station was a beautiful hall that passengers passed through to get to their trains. The station included a B&O ticket office, a freight office and ladies and gentlemen's saloons. Just to the north was the main carhouse, which was 60 feet (18 m) wide and 330 feet (100 m) in length; its iron roof was supported by granite pillars.[1]

Passenger services include all Baltimore & Ohio service in and out of Washington. In the beginning, passengers traveled to Baltimore, and there they could connect to the rest of the B&O destinations from Newark, New Jersey, to Chicago, Illinois. In 1873, the Metropolitan Branch was completed and service from the New Jersey Avenue Station directly to the Midwest was inaugurated.

History of the station[edit]

In May 1850, the Washington Board of Aldermen and Common Council approved a resolution that approved the relocation of the B&O Depot from Pennsylvania Avenue & 2nd Street, NW to a location east of New Jersey Avenue. In consideration of the B&O moving their station, which, because of their monopoly was the only rail service into or out of the capital, Washington proposed to allow the B&O to use steam-powered locomotives all the way into the depot. The depot formally opened in April 1851. At that time, the B&O was transporting about 150,000 passengers a year between Washington and Baltimore and employing six steam locomotives on the Baltimore-D.C. line.[2]

On February 23, 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived at the New Jersey Avenue station from Baltimore for his inauguration as President.[3]


  • Harwood, Herbert H., Jr. (1994). Impossible Challenge II: Baltimore to Washington and Harpers Ferry from 1828 to 1994. Baltimore, MD: Barnard, Roberts & Co. pp. 92–3, 148–9, 225. ISBN 0934118221. 
  1. ^ "Civil War Washington, D.C". Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ "New Depot at Washington," Baltimore American. Murphy, J Patrick, Laws and Ordinances Relating to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, 1850.
  3. ^ National Railway Historical Society, Washington, D.C. Chapter. "Timeline of Washington, D.C. Railroad History." Accessed 2012-12-07.