• Columbia Branch being used to store boxcars

  • 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 Mike Doughney
The CSX branch into Columbia, Maryland now has a long string of boxcars sitting on it, starting from north of the Mission Road bridge. The cars can easily be seen from the I-95 overpass.

The photo tour of this branch suggests that this section has been out of service since 2005. http://www.trainweb.org/oldmainline/wasspur1.htm
  by Arrestmespi
well they must be running out of yard space might as well put them on a vacant branch
  by gprimr1
This branch would probably be a very effective way to attract commuters from Columbia and surrounding areas to ride MARC. The Camden line has the capacity to hold the passengers.
  by tech2187
didnt get a great look, however it appeared the cars have been moved... at least i couldnt see them southbound on 95.
  by Mike Doughney
All the boxcars that were visible from the I-95 overpass are in fact gone.
  by SurlyKnuckle
Alittle late to the party, but I was on the D980-11 that was called to clear off the branch. There were about 80 hoppers and about 100 boxcars that we pulled down into Jessup to be sent to Cumberland for scrapping.
  by Teutobergerwald
Was that all pulled out in one move? A 180-car train?
  by SurlyKnuckle
No, and I also realized another mistake I said. There were a combined 100 or so cars of boxcars and trailer train intermodals. The intermodals were pulled first, and dragged out of the way into the yard, then we went back and doubled the hoppers to the boxcars. We did make all the hoppers/boxcars solid (they were in multiple cuts) which came to about 120-130 some cars... nobody really knew the totals, and after walking all of that mess, you sort of lose count anyways. It wasn't a big deal for us...all we had to do was pull them off the branch.

The hoppers were mostly those old coal gons that were retired in large quantities 2 years ago, and were stenciled for class retirement. There was also a stone car shoved up there from whomever put the cars there to begin with.

After pulling the storage cars, we shoved the intermodal cars back onto the branch, right to Misson road, then cut away.
  by gprimr1
Are they going to do anything with the Branch, or is it pending rail-trail status?
  by SurlyKnuckle
I don't anything about plans for the branch. It still has two customers, but they're both immediately beyond Dorsey Run Road, leaving most of the branch un-used. The track appears to be in good shape, and the rail is heavy rail. Back 25-30 years ago, the Columbia saw LOTs of activity from multiple customers, and the huge GE plant which is just a memory. If you've ever seen the track charts for the place, it was huge, and was switched frequently.

Using it for storage is pretty common... until the past year, there were also coil steel cars stored, and currently, the intermodal cars are shoved where the hoppers used to be. I don't know how well logistically it could work, but it would make a nice little mile or two of track for a group to offer a short train ride...
  by SurlyKnuckle
There were a couple of PEPX, and RBOX cars in there too...don't know if they got switched out before heading west though.
  by RailMike
The Columbia Branch used to have a smaller branch, ripped up only about 10 years ago, that went east to serve a warehouse or two. The trackage literally abutted the rear of the parking lot of the Snowden Square cinema. Somewhere I have a picture of the rail overpass that went across Robert Fulton Dr., halfway through its demolition. Someday I hope to post it here: http://www.trainweb.org/oldmainline/
  by David Hutchinson
When I lived in Columbia in 1979, there were many NJ Transit MU cars stored at the GE plant. Does anyon e know why they were being stored there?