• "North Beach Electric Railway of Maryland"?

  • 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
I've got this little streetcar company in Chesapeake Beach listed as follows:

1916 electrified (not a success)
1921 service using Fordson tractor (wow! "North Beach Rapid Transit"!)
1923 replaced by jintney

Has anyone got any more info, especially a photo of the tractor service?!

  by BaltOhio
This info is from a paper by Frank Tosh:

The North Beach Electric Ry. was incorporated 3/6/13 with a plan to run from Herring Bay to Galveston Ave. (now 1st St.), the southern boundary of North Chesapeake Beach. Later that year it received a franchise to extend to the CB station at Chesapeake Beach. There were also plans to extend north to the Calvert-Anne Arundel County line.

As built, however, the line extended only 1.25 miles, from the CB station to 3rd & Chesapeake Aves. in North Beach. The line opened 5/31/14 using an ex-WR&E single-truck open car and an ex-horsecar trailer, with power supplied by a small steam generator at the end of the line in North Beach.

Receivership came 9/30/18 and afterward the operation was abandoned. It was revived for the 1921 summer season using a Fordson tractor fitted with flanged wheels. This operation continued until 1923, when a bus operated by Chesapeake Beach Transit Co. took over. The Washington, Marlboro & Annapolis absorbed this company in 1930.

The tractor operation got a lot of publicity, including an article in theDecember 1921 issue of Popular Mechanics. The Ames Williams book on the CB (referred to elsewhere) has a photo on p. 139.

  by BaltOhio
I forgot to mention that the coverage of this line in the Williams book has some errors. For Williams, it was a minor side issue to his main story, and he apparently didn't dig too deeply.

Frank Tosh, on the other hand, has researched obscure Maryland trolley operations with a vengeance.

  by Sand Box John
Back in the late 1990s the Maryland State Highway Administration replaced the culvert pipe running under Bay Side Road MD-261 just north of the North Beach Volunteer Fire Department in Chesapeake Beach. During the excavation the contractor uncovered the rails of the North Beach Electric Railway roughly 5’ below the existing pavement. I recovered one of the pieces of rusting rail. I no longer have the that piece of rail because it rusted beyond all recognitions. When it was removed from the excavation it looked like it was either 50 or 60 lb rail.

Some years later Maryland State Highway Administration did a pavement replacement project on Chesapeake Avenue MD-261 in North Beach. Ties from the North Beach Electric Railway were unearthed during that project.

There are other remnants of North Beach Electric Railway under Bay Side Road MD-261 in Chesapeake Beach waiting to be unearthed.
  by Trackbolt
Back in 1988 I had a grass cutting contract with the Chesapeake Station Home Owners Association in Chesapeake Beach. There is an area of green space just behind the town houses at the intersection of C street and 17th st. Protruding from the ground were several pieces of miniature bent rail. This was the rail that had served as the Chesapeake Beach Park amusement park train which had origionally been part of the train on the Chesapeake Beach Park steamship pier. The developer had just bulldozed and burried it in the mid 1980's. I spent many a Sunday at the Park when I was a kid in the 50's. Always rode that little train. The old Chesapeake Beach Railway Station always seemed mysterious to me as I had no concept of why there was a station and no trains. This curiosity helped make me the railfan I am today.