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WM Photo Tour


Western Maryland Railway
Modern day photo tour

Accompanying each photo below are:

Click a photo to see a larger view. Please send your comments and corrections to Steve.


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Milepost 10

Milepost 10
Mile: 10.0 Date: Apr 2016
Ease: B View: NW
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 25 E 12 Topographic Maps

Land development continues to drop off the farther we proceed from Baltimore City. From this high point at Sudbrook -- note the spring water at right -- the railroad turns to resume following the Gwynns Falls valley upstream. Milepost 10 is easier to find in this photo.


Church Lane

Church Lane
Mile: 10.4 Date: Jun 2016
Ease: A View: SW
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 25 D 11 Topographic Maps

You know Church Lane is old because of the, uhh, railroad bridge, that's umm, around here somewhere...


Masonry Bridge

Masonry Bridge
Mile: 10.4 Date: Apr 2001
Ease: A View: NE
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 25 D 11 Topographic Maps

Church Lane's other direction is less treed, plus less leafed during early sping. This is the subdivision's only masonry bridge one can drive under, at least between Port Covington and Owings Mills.


Siding
Photo courtesy WM WestSub

Siding
Mile: 10.5 Date: ~1960
Ease: B View: E
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 25 D 11 Topographic Maps

Just west of Church Lane a siding diverged to serve trackside businesses.


Dismantled

Dismantled
Mile: 10.5 Date: Jun 2016
Ease: B+ View: SE
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 25 D 11 Topographic Maps

The previous photo had likely been snapped from a window or the roof of one of these buildings. The siding has been dismantled since.


Bridges

Bridges
Mile: 10.5 Date: Jun 2016
Ease: B+ View: W
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 25 D 11 Topographic Maps

Looking the other way we see a bridge, wait, a couple of bridges coming soon, the nearest is for Old Court Road.


Realignment
Photo courtesy Johns Hopkins University
NEW! Oct 2022

Realignment
Mile: 10.2 to 10.8 Date: 1927
Ease: View: N (up)
Area: IC2:
Map: Ba 25 D 11 Topographic Maps

The original railroad alignment here was bypassed, probably during the first decade of the 1900s when WM made other improvements to the line. The disused original later became Greenwood Road, but is marked RAILROAD (AVENUE) in this 1927 photo.

WM's Roslyn Station is likely the building near the D in MARYLAND. It supplanted Pikesville Station that had been located in the northwest quadrant where Greenwood Road now meets Old Court Road.

One source reports grade separation of Old Court Road happened during 1932, but this 1927 aerial photo with an underpass already in place shows that info to be incorrect.

Local resident Stephen Miller added the following:

    "If you look at the upper left I believe it shows the original track alignment prior to the construction of Sudbrook Park. I was told this by someone when I was young so I donít know how true it is. It does make sense since Greenwood Road which occupies this area now is strangely straight and flat then turning into an S curve as it enters Sudbrook Park. I think if this was constructed as a road they would have eliminated this S curve. Greenwood Road was used by the local kids as a drag strip due to it being long and flat. The County frowning on this activity placed a stop sign where Church Lane enters Greenwood and purposely never resurfaced the road which turned it into a car integrity test if you tried to drag race on it."


Roslyn Station
Photo courtesy Kilduffs
NEW! Oct 2022

Roslyn Station
Mile: 10.7 Date: ~1920
Ease: B- View: E
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 25 D 11 Topographic Maps

With the new alignment came this new station along Old Court Road.


Old Court 1938
Photo courtesy Johns Hopkins University
Updated Oct 2022

Old Court 1938
Mile: 10.2 to 10.8 Date: Apr 1938
Ease: View: N (up)
Area: IC2:
Map: Ba 25 D 11 Topographic Maps

Roslyn Station was gone by 1938. Realigning Old Court Road to meet (red lines) the underpass would come later. The I-695 Baltimore Beltway also came later, just off the top left corner of this photo, as well as Metro's Old Court Station, just off the bottom left corner.


Old Court Road

Old Court Road
Mile: 10.6 Date: Jun 2016
Ease: A View: NE
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 25 D 11 Topographic Maps

In 1967 Old Court Road was straightened and widened, requiring this longer railroad bridge that remains on duty.

The name "Old Court Road" implies obviation by a newer "Court Road" but that is not the case. Instead "old" refers to the age of the road, which predates European colonization of this region.

Link: historical marker


WM 54
Photo courtesy WM WestSub

WM 54
Mile: 10.8 Date: Aug 1956
Ease: B View: NW?
Area: B- IC2:
Map: Ba 25 C 10 Topographic Maps

WM 54 leads a mix of freight and coal through Pikesville. I am uncertain of the direction of view. The signal's number appears to be 108, which corresponds to milepost 10.8. The digit 8, an even number, normally means this signal controls eastbound traffic, which means we're looking east while the approaching train heads west. However the angle of summer sunlight matches that of the photo below which suggests we're looking west.

The sign at the left edge probably ends with the words Beyond This Point.


Pikesville 2016

Pikesville 2016
Mile: 10.9 Date: Jun 2016
Ease: B View: NW
Area: B- IC2:
Map: Ba 25 C 10 Topographic Maps

This is a modern view near the location of the prior photo, as well as after the Baltimore Beltway arrived.


Baltimore Beltway

Baltimore Beltway
Mile: 10.9 Date: Jun 2016
Ease: B View: NW
Area: B- IC2:
Map: Ba 25 C 10 Topographic Maps

Clearly this area suffers from such a serious canvas shortage locals must resort to painting concrete expanses few others will ever see. The concrete walls are angled in a manner I have not observed elsewhere.

At almost 250 feet, this is the longest active bridge on the line within Maryland. It spans 11 lanes of Beltway traffic.

Stephen Miller added:

    "Somewhere around the Beltway area was once a park that the railroad built for summer excursions. The same guy that told me about Greenwood Road told me this. I think was probably located were the Beltway it located. I looked one time but could find nothing in the area. There is a mention of it in the book that the railway wrote commemorating their 100th anniversary saying it was closed when they opened the Park at PenMar."


From Beltway
Updated Oct 2022

From Beltway
Mile: 11.0 Date: Apr 2001
Ease: A View: N
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 25 C 10 Topographic Maps

This view of WM's bridge over I-695 is more familiar. A few CSX trains per day use this route but I've never caught one while driving on the Beltway.

BGS Feb 2005 The northern side of the bridge had/has a highway Big Green Sign (BGS) attached to it, the region's only example of a BGS on a CSX bridge, as seen at left during 2005.

The bridge is long enough to span entrance lanes from I-795 on the right. I-795 did not open until 1987, decades after I-695. Was the railroad bridge built long enough to permit the future I-795, or was it extended during the 1980s? I have not found an aerial photo that can answer.

Harold Dorsey writes:

    "When I-795 was being built, they built this new railroad bridge next to the old one. The old bridge looked very similar and was painted black with Western Maryland Railway painted on the sides. It was removed after the new was opened."

David Earp adds:

    "I remember when that section of the beltway was opened in the early 1960s. The WM bridge that originally spanned the highway was only long enough for the 2 travel lanes in each direction, shoulder on each side, plus center grass median. The original bridge had a metal communication wire pole mounted at its center on a concrete pedestal which was part of the bridge structure. Below the pole facing traffic was the letters 'WM' in speed lettering. That bridge was completely replaced by the new bridge and installed on a new alignment since the old bridge had to stay in service while the new one was constructed. With future road construction planned, the new bridge was built to be long enough to span the future ramps."


Milepost 11

Milepost 11
Mile: 10.9 Date: Jun 2016
Ease: B View: NW
Area: B- IC2:
Map: Ba 25 C 10 Topographic Maps

That's milepost 11 at the west end of the bridge. Beyond the curve the tracks slide under I-795, the Northwest Expressway.

Link: I-795 Northwest Expressway


Mount Wilson Lane

Mount Wilson Lane
Mile: 11.8 Date: Jun 2016
Ease: A- View: SE
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 25 A 9 Topographic Maps

Mount Wilson Lane represents the first grade crossing since Patterson Avenue at mp 8.3. This view looks back to I-795.

Note more of WM's modular-style signal support blocks seen earlier in this tour.


BAS

BAS
Mile: 11.8 Date: Jun 2016
Ease: A- View: NW
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 25 A 9 Topographic Maps
CSX sign

Same grade crossing, opposite view. WM's Mt. Wilson Station had been across the road, on the right.

The blue sign tells us, among other facts, the CSX identifier for this route is BAS.


Milepost 12

Milepost 12
Mile: 11.8 Date: Jun 2016
Ease: A View: NW
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 25 A 9 Topographic Maps

From Mt. Wilson Lane, milepost 12 can be glimpsed among leaves on the right, beyond the white pole.

1927 hospital siding While on the left (1927 aerial photo courtesy Johns Hopkins University), about the arc Stephen Miller reports:

    "At Mount Wilson Lane was a siding that crossed the Gwynns Falls to access the heating plant for the Mount Wilson hospital that was on the Hill above. I remember playing on it and exploring the remains of the building when I was a kid. Something may still be there but the overgrowth may be hiding it or Agnes took it all out."

As of 1915, the hospital was the Thomas Wilson Sanitarium for Children. As of this writing, the Thomas Wilson Foundation continues to support the health and welfare of children in Baltimore City.

Link: Thomas Wilson Foundation


McDonogh Road

McDonogh Road
Mile: 12.3 Date: Sep 2016
Ease: B+ View: N
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 24 K 8 Topographic Maps

Though at first glance this McDonogh Road bridge looks to be falling apart, only its center guardrail, damaged by a car collision, needs repair. I believe this to be the first grade separation bridge here, and that an original rail alignment had swung to the left, passing to the west of a subsequent McDonough Station.


McDonogh Station
Photo courtesy WM WestSub
Updated Oct 2022

McDonogh Station
Mile: 12.4 Date: 1880s
Ease: A- View: SW?
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 24 K 8 Topographic Maps

WM had maintained this station for the nearby McDonogh School. If the atlas depiction in the panel below is correct, this view looks southwest along a second rail alignment.


McDonogh 1898
Image courtesy Johns Hopkins University
NEW! Oct 2022

McDonogh 1898
Mile: 12.5 Date: 1898
Ease: View: N (up)
Area: IC2:
Map: Ba 24 K 8 Topographic Maps

This 1898 atlas shows the northern part of the original alignment being retained as a siding. At this time, McDonogh Road crosses the middle of an S curve of the second alignment.


McDonogh 1927
Photo courtesy Johns Hopkins University
NEW! Oct 2022

McDonogh 1927
Mile: 12.5 Date: 1927
Ease: View: N (up)
Area: IC2:
Map: Ba 24 K 8 Topographic Maps

By 1927, a grade separating bridge had been built. Assuming the atlas's earlier depiction of curving track is correct, during separation WM's alignment was also strightened a bit.


McDonogh 1938
Photo courtesy Johns Hopkins University
Updated Oct 2022

McDonogh 1938
Mile: 12.5 Date: Apr 1938
Ease: View: N (up)
Area: IC2:
Map: Ba 24 K 8 Topographic Maps

A row of railcars suggests the original alignment was still functionung as a siding during 1938.


Station 1930s
Photo courtesy WM WestSub
Updated Oct 2022

Station 1930s
Mile: 12.5 Date: 1930s
Ease: A- View: SW?
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 24 K 8 Topographic Maps

At first I thought this photo was snapped from the McDonogh Road bridge but newer information says that bridge is off photo left. Instead, the photog may have climbed a signal pole to capture this view.


Milepost 13

Milepost 13
Mile: 12.4 Date: Sep 2016
Ease: A- View: N
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 24 K 8 Topographic Maps

Milepost 13 lurks at distant right while only a hint of a possible original alignment remains on the left. Beyond both, I-795 cuts across the scene where ex-WM trackage curves west.


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