• Chesapeake Beach dreams

  • Discussion pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Discussion pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Moderator: therock

  by salminkarkku
Here's some info I've picked up on railroad schemes to do with Chesapeake Beach.

1883-6 "Southern Maryland" (intended to build to Point Comfort area)
1886-1901 "Washington & Potomac" (built to Mechanicsburg, I think)
1901-18 "Washington Potomac & Chesapeake" (had Mechanicsburg line, also length in DC which later became "Eastern Washington" to Seat Pleasant. Started to grade the gap, but busted.)

1896-1936. "Chesapeake Beach". Leased the DC stub from WPC, built from Seat Pleasant.

1936 CB went bust, the WPC stub was re-incorporated as the "East Washington".

I read somewhere that CP wanted to electrify, and run cars from the WBA terminal in New York Ave, Washington. Passenger service from CB terminated at "District Line" on the WBA and that was also the stop for Seat Pleasant. There was a freight depot for Seat Pleasant where the "East Washington" later terminated, to the south-east.

Also, I have an old atlas (1907) showing a line running off the CB line down the west side of the Patuxent estuary to Golden Beach. CP scheme, or PRR, or independent of both?

I've come across a report of a court action by the proprietors of the Annapolis-Claiborne ferry trying to stop the CB establishing a "ferry service" across the bay. (The CB won). Was this an attempt at a car float? I know the CB ran steamers to Claiborne, Oxford and Cambridge but a car float service would have created a market for perishables from farmers in Delmarva to Washington. Since the traffic would have been created rather than appropriated, the PRR probably would have been friendly and the CB would have done well.

Dreaming of an electric car from downtown Washington to Chesapeake Bay and a fast ferry to Cambridge, instead of driving Route 50 in rush hour?

  by BaltOhio
Get your hands on the book "Otto Mears Goes East: The Chesapeake Beack Ry.", by Ames W. Williams. This was originally self-published under the name of Meridian Sun Press in 1975, but subsequently Williams gave the plates and rights to the Chesapeake Beach museum. They may still be selling it at the museum, but if not, you can probably find it on the used book market. Williams was (he died since) a first-class historian, and the book should answer any of your questions about the CB p-lus many you haven't thought of. In all, it was quite a story which began with a spectacular bang and ended in the usual whimper.

"District Line" and Seat Pleasant were essentially the same place. The CB/East Washington terminal station was a single-story frame building that sat right on or close to the District Line. The Washington Ry. & Electric Co.'s Seat Pleasant car line ended right at the station, and CB passengers used this as their access to downtown DC. (The EW used the station as its HQ office after CB abandoned.) The WB&A, which used the WR&E tracks to this point, turned onto its own right-of-way just west of the CB station. The CB/EW engine house was a short distance to the east of here in Seat Pleasant, MD, and remained in its original form as long as the EW operated.

  by salminkarkku
Thanks for all that! :P

  by Trackbolt
If you want a cool view of the former Chesapeake beach right of way use windows live local to follow the entire line from Seat Pleasant to Chesapeake Beach. It is amazingly easy. You can start at the station in Chesapeake Beach and follow the line across fishing creek and through the trees to MD 260 which is the ROW from Mt. Harmony Road to MD Rt 4. From there you can follow it through Jug Bay Wildlife Reserve and across the Patuxent River. You can see the swing bridge pedastal in the center of the channel. From there follow the line through Mt. Carmel up past the WSSC Western Branch treatment plant across the Pennsy Popes Creek line and from there to US 301 it is Curtis Road. West of 301 the CB followed the north side of Western Branch along past the Marlboro Race Track and across MD Rt 4. From there you can see a line of trees which crosses Croom Station Road and Old Marlboro Pike. From there it roughly parallels Brown Station Road with the ROW being on the north side of Brown Station Road. Just past the Prince Georges county landfill the line crosses Brown Road and gently swings to the north through farms until it crosses Ritchie Marlboro Road. Once past Ritchie Marlboro it is all but obliterated with the construction of the new Ritchie Marlboro I-495 interchange. You can pick it up again on the west side of 495 and follow it to Ritchie Road and I believe Forrestville where the line swings off to the right. The line roughly paralleled Ritchie Road to near Central Avenue where the Metro is now on the CB Right of way. Just west of Addison Road where the CB roundhouse and shops were is now a shopping center. It is difficult to follow from there to Chesapeake Junction as there have been houses built right on the Right of Way. When East Washington Railway went out of business in the late 70's this land was sold to a developer.
I hiked this ROW a couple of times back in the early 70's. It requires lots of trespassing. The Museum in CB has sponsered some ROW walks in the past and the last one I went on in 1990 was fun. If they still do it I recommend it.

  by Trackbolt
Let me make a couple of corrections to what I said. After the ROW passes through the Ritchie Marlboro Road I 495 interchange on a westerly track and crosses ritchie road, it parallels Ritchie Road crosses Walker Mill Road and continues north paralleling Ritchie Road before turning west before reaching Central Ave. Once beyound the shop area the ROW is still partially visible between Central Ave and Martin Luther King Blvd.
Check it out. It is easiest to do in the Aerial View but you can use the Birds Eye for a closer look.