West of the pocket track, MTA 5049 climbs over a small mound that had
been enhanced around 1908 by the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis
Electric Railway (WB&A) to ease up to a bridge over Camp Meade Road.
The green signs stand adjacent that road, which light rail parallels
for a short distance.
That mound bordered the intersecting bright lines in this 1938 aerial.
The WB&A is the more vertical of the two bright lines, Camp Meade Road is
the other; where they intersect there appears to be a ramp that connects
the WB&A and the road. That may have been temporary to facilitate
dismantling of this part of the WB&A after the company shuttered during 1935.
One can see the planes from the train at this Camp Meade Road (MD 170)
Before renamed to BWI, Friendship Airport opened at this site during
1957. Bond films, always looking to incorporate whatever was new at
their time, mention the airport in Goldfinger. Friendship Church
lent not only its name to the airport but also its cemetery (right),
which still exists just four jet-lengths from a main runway. The red
stanchions in the background support runway lighting and other equipment.
Light rail's BWI Business District station is well east of the
busiest part of that district. Nearest the station are runway
approaches, parking lots, and snow removal equipment storage.
Amazon's warehouse at the airport is 50% longer than B&O's warehouse
at Camden Yards, the latter noted for being the longest brick building
along the US East Coast. Amazon's warehouse is designed for expansion
to a half-mile in length. If you live near BWI Airport, an Amazon
Prime plane will drop your ordered items to your home via parachute.
(No, not really.)
I have yet to grasp the point of the unusual signage at the Terminal
Road grade crossing. "These are your signals." OK, at this spot
they want drivers to ignore the more distant set of signals, but
what is the purpose of those signals? At first,
I thought the light rail grade crossing must be beyond the distant
set, but no, the trains run closer than the distant set, as
can be seen in the next photo.
The aforementioned distant set of road signals can be glimpsed at the upper
left. They would not prevent traffic moving right-to-left from conflicting
with, in this case, MTA 5037. Those signals would seem to accomplish
little but to add confusion, something especially bad at an intersection
more likely than average to be visited by drivers from out of town.
Along the single-track stretch, MTA 5049 and MTA 5032 pass Boeing 767
cargo planes. If you are wondering why cargo planes have so many windows,
these have been converted from passeger service. The closer of the two,
registration N640GT, began flying in 1991 with EVA Airways.
After the S-curve, the track splits to enter light rail's BWI Airport
Station. Among other things, bigger 10 and 5 speed signs were added
after two incidents of (intoxicated) operators approaching too fast
and impacting the bumper at the end of the line.
This train is departing for Penn Station, but Northeast Corridor trains
can also be reached via shuttle bus from the airport to Amtrak's own BWI
During the first few years after the BWI spur opened, trains departing
BWI operated to Penn Station. That was changed such that as of this
writing, those trains instead operate toward stops near the northern end
of the line, typically either Timonium or Hunt Valley. That change seems
logical as it is likely more people travel between BWI and the businesses
in the Hunt Valley area than between BWI and Penn Station.