Author Topic: WB&A  (Read 3687 times)

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tom mann

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WB&A
« on: June 02, 2007, 07:05:53 PM »
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I live in Bowie, MD and I like to bike on the WB&A trail.  The Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis was a pretty neat interurban line that linked the cities together.  A nice little background is here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_Baltimore_and_Annapolis_Railroad

Two days ago, I noticed that Google updated their aerial photos of the Bowie area.  I was amazed to see what looked like bridge abutments a little farther east of the the end of the trail:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=bowie,+md&ie=UTF8&t=h&om=1&ll=39.01294,-76.740476&spn=0.001298,0.002819&z=19&iwloc=addr

and part of the wye visible in the street for Bowie Race Track:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=bowie,+md&ie=UTF8&ll=39.010316,-76.744681&spn=0.001298,0.002819&t=h&z=19&iwloc=addr&om=1

and this old trestle (documented in the Every Hour on the Hour book - http://www.alibris.com/search/detail.cfm?S=R&bid=9023040915&cm_mmc=shopcompare-_-base-_-isbn-_-na)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=bowie,+md&ie=UTF8&t=h&om=1&ll=39.009303,-76.743287&spn=0.001298,0.002819&z=19&iwloc=addr

and what looks like rail in the extension to the Northeast Corridor:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=bowie,+md&ie=UTF8&t=h&om=1&ll=39.011656,-76.74455&spn=0.001298,0.002819&z=19&iwloc=addr

All these old relics are within a few miles of my house.  I'm blown away because this line ceased in 1935.  I'm going out there with the camera tomorrow and will let you know what I find.

choochin3

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2007, 07:32:49 PM »
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Hey Tom,

I was just driving through Bowie today on 301.
Every Hour On The Hour is a great book.
It's cool trying to find old relics of abandoned railroads.
I used to explore the old Pennsy Catonsville branch line.

Carl T.
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John

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2007, 07:54:20 PM »
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Tom .. out at Fort Meade, some of that trackage is also still there ..

Bob Bufkin

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2007, 09:49:41 PM »
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I work on the Washington Navy Yard and their is still a lot of places where you can see the tracks that once existed.  Close to where the new baseball stadium is being built looks like the location of a small yard with tracks mostly still in place.  I have a book on the history of the yard which has a map showing how extensive the trackage was there.  At the small museum near the Anacosta River (where the ex USS BARRY is tired up) is a large railroad gun on a set of tracks and also I believe a 14" gun barrell on a set of old Fox trucks on a set of tracks.  The Dept of Transportation has a new building just opened up beside the parking lot where I park.  Outside the building they have a pair of roller bearing trucks on display and a RR crossing buck with lights which they are also going to install outside.  Within a couple blocks you can see the old Fox trucks and comapre them with the new roller bearing trucks.
Bob

wm3798

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2007, 11:32:56 PM »
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My all time favorite ghost chase is the old M&P Maryland Division.  If you look closely, you can find relics of that line all the way from the roundhouse at Falls Road up to the Whiteford Station.  While most of the Pennsylvania Division is also abandoned, it hung around into the '80's, so it's not quite as challenging.

A few of my favorites:  smoke stains under the University Parkway bridge near Wyman Park, rails peaking through the asphalt of Charles Street at Woodbrook (near the intersection of Stevenson Lane) the east abutment of the trestle over Loch Raven Blvd (this is easy to pick out from the beltway in the fall), concrete steps along Cromwell Bridge Road, which mark the location of flag stops at Oakleigh and Loch Raven; concrete (or were they stone?) footings at the location of a large trestle near Baldwin.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Chris333

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2007, 03:26:50 AM »
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My favorite mode for getting down in there is a mountain bike:
[img width= height=]http://lh4.google.com/image/ErieChris333/RmJrZGxJnyI/AAAAAAAAAgs/1QIcskJZnWI/s800/IMG_4058.JPG[/img]

Some time even the RR access roads can be to bad for an auto:


wm3798

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2007, 01:11:31 PM »
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That's because you have one of those "new" beetles.  Back in the day I had a '72 SuperBeetle, and I regularly drove up the Northern Central back before it was a hikey trail.  Old ties, the occasional wash-out, miscellaneous hanging branches... I especially enjoyed crossing the bridges where all there was was ties spaced about 8" apart...  bumpty bumpty bumpty...  I had friends with Jeeps who wouldn't do that!

Lee
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tom mann

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2007, 09:55:04 PM »
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Ok, a couple of notes.  The rain kept me away from exploring today but I did some research.

After the WB&A ceased operations, the Pennsylvania RR bought this section to provide service to the Bowie Race Track.  On Dec. 21st, 1936, the ICC approved the PRR acquisition of Massaponax Sand & Gravel Company spur from Arundel to Bowie Race Track.  This explains why the spur off the NEC doesn't exist in the Every Hour book.  So somehow, the PRR joined the NEC with the Race Track using the gravel Co spur.  Later topo maps show the spur as PC and then Conrail. 

There may be a lot of neat stuff out there.  Weather permitting, I'll get some photos this week.

RockGp40

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2007, 02:18:31 PM »
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Although not related to the WB&A, I wanted to add that it looks like State Highways either covered or removed the tracks along Route 100 near and just west of Ritchie Hwy that used to belong the the Baltimore and Annapolis RR.

I hope they just covered them. It seems like it would have been a fair amount of work to pull up the rails and ties. It was interesting to see them in the fall and winter when the vegetation lessened.

It didn't seem like enough of a news flash to warrant its own thread.
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diezmon

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2007, 02:28:11 PM »
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Some time even the RR access roads can be to bad for an auto:

well, now.. maybe you've got the wrong "auto"  ;)



Quote from: wm3798
bumpty bumpty bumpty...  I had friends with Jeeps who wouldn't do that!

Bah.. they must have had weak bladders ;)

3rdrail

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2007, 03:49:51 PM »
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Although not related to the WB&A, I wanted to add that it looks like State Highways either covered or removed the tracks along Route 100 near and just west of Ritchie Hwy that used to belong the the Baltimore and Annapolis RR.I hope they just covered them. It seems like it would have been a fair amount of work to pull up the rails and ties. It was interesting to see them in the fall and winter when the vegetation lessened.

It didn't seem like enough of a news flash to warrant its own thread.

?? The Baltimore & Annapolis was successor to the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis, operating the WB&A line between its namesake cities for 15 years after the WB&A folded in 1935. Freight traffic continued for another decade, longer on the portion North of Glen Burnie.

Chris333

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2007, 06:00:19 PM »
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Even though the Beetle is lowered 2" and has a body skirts it doesn't do that bad, but I can't throw it over a fence like I can a bike  ;)

I consider myself brave since the VW oil pan is cast aluminum and around $400 to replace.

wm3798

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2007, 08:49:27 AM »
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I had 1600 cc's of air cooled fun in the back...  The only modification was a new tailpipe I made out of plumbing parts from the Candler Building...

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2007, 11:23:26 AM »
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I consider myself brave since the VW oil pan is cast aluminum and around $400 to replace.

Yeah, I know someone who just had to replace one of those... ouch.

wm3798

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Re: WB&A
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2007, 01:39:19 PM »
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Did I ever tell you about the time I had to make a hand throttle cable out of dog run, looped under the back bumper and up to the sun roof?  I was in West Virginia chasing the Southern Ry FP-7's when my accelerator cable broke.  It was fun driving back, steering with one hand, shifting with the other, and holding a hand throttle with the other hand...  wait a minute...

Lee
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