B&O FM H12-44 9725 Heading East at Georgetown Jct., April 5, 1966

B&O 9725-1 Silver Springs MD 04-05-66, By RNS
B&O 9725-1 Silver Springs [sic] MD 04-05-66, By RNS

This wonderful photo by Russ Strodtz on Flickr came via Jeffrey Sessa over on the Maryland Division Railfans FB group. My money is on the train likely being a load of empties coming off the branch, perhaps from Maloney in Georgetown or Bethesda. Curious if they’ll pick up some cars from the Junction and head East or pick up loads and head back to Georgetown. REALLY neat view of the E.C. Keys lumber shed in the background. Gives me some great info for when I build that model! Thanks, Jeffrey!

5 thoughts on “B&O FM H12-44 9725 Heading East at Georgetown Jct., April 5, 1966

  1. Note how all the cement hoppers, both in the train and the foreground of the siding have the older square hatches and also lack the “missing” rib of the very common Pullman built PS-2 and clones, however they do have the notch at the end like a PS-2. This combination of features, built by acf is not common, yet everything (that is close enough to see) here is that kind. I wish I could see the roadname. I’m going to hazard a guess that these are N&W cars. I do not believe B&O/C&O/WM had cars of this design, though I could be wrong.

    There was a good sized cement mill on the N&W at Front Royal. That mill also shipped bagged cement to T.W.Perry, which could explain the N&W 40′ boxcar on the head pin. (Or not – boxcars moved around a lot).

    Because these cars are all the same, it does stand to reason they are all from the same customer (ie, Maloney Concrete or Georgetown), though that supplier in Front Royal certainly could have supplied several plants.

    Further back on the sidings are more covered hoppers, and those we can’t tell their design. I might spy a couple of black ones? C&O? Hard to tell, like you said.

  2. Christopher – thanks for your fantastic comments! I really appreciate you providing all that detail on the cars and businesses. I really should pick your brain on a few other cars that have me stumped. Well, there are many! Looking at the covered hoppers, it appears the first one is B&O – I can see the lettering. The next one appears to have the same lettering but it’s much harder to see. The paint color difference on the next two cars makes me think that it’s another RR but I’m no expert. N&W could work, perhaps. I’ve been going through my photos documenting all of the freight cars. For covered hoppers, here is what I’ve seen: B&O, WM, PLE/NYC, and CNJ. This is only in the photos that I have and where I can read the road names. There are plenty that I can’t make out. I didn’t know TW Perry received shipments from Front Royal – that is really cool. I’m all about adding that context to the layout. Do you know of other shipper routes that were common on the Branch like that one? Also, regarding the black covered hoppers, one commodity that I’ve been hoping to shed some light on is granulated carbon. I believe it’s the sort of thing you’d find in a water pitcher filter element. It’s indicated as a commodity that was handled at the Dalecarlia water treatment plant during my era. I found a couple articles on handling the material, but would like to know some railroads that handled the stuff and where it came from. Another mystery. Thank you!

  3. A little slow in getting around to replying – I have a new (railroad related) job.

    I do see the different gray tones, now that you mention it. It would be consistent with another railroad, but also with B&O cars painted at different times.

    Thanks for the information about covered hoppers. Add C&O 2bay black covered hoppers to that list, seen in the sixties. In most photos it is B&O covered hoppers that dominate.

    Carbon moved in entirely different covered hoppers – black private owner cars, generally (but not always) 3 bay, but with a unique hopper design common only to carbon cars. Never seen photo evidence of them on the Georgetown branch, but photo evidence is thin.

    It may be that the kind of carbon handled in the above covered hoppers is quite different from “granulated carbon.” Thus it may have been handled in more conventional covered hoppers? Carbon in the black covered hoppers was used to make tires and other messy industrial stuff.

    As for routings . . . hmmm . . . .

    Well cement plants in the area were at:
    Security, next door to Hagerstown (B&O and WM). I assume this was a main source.
    Union Bridge (WM)
    Riverton, next door to Front Royal (N&W)
    And the many cement plants north of Bethlehem PA (LNE, DL&W). The LNE lines here were taken over by CNJ.

    I once found a waybill along the tracks in Dale Carlia for WM covered hoppers routed from Security MD to Super Concrete. But I don’t know if that was Super Concretet at QN tower in Washington DC (most likely – it was still a rail shipper into the mid eighties) or Super Concrete in Georgetown.

    In the mid-eighties there were two hoses to receive cement from trucks at Maloney Concrete. One was labeled “Copley Cement” which is located north of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania and the other I’ve forgotten – I think it was “Lehigh” from Union Bridge. But it could have been from Security.

    Lumber . . . I saw BN, UP, BCOL, CP Rail and CN boxcars and flatcars. Cedar Shingles delivered to River Road were in BN, CP Rail, UP boxcars.

    TW Perry . . . the bagged cement came either from Riverton (Front Royal) on N&W or Speed, Indiana a little north of Louisville on the B&O. The bricks came from the south in L&N, ACL and SCL boxcars (Family Lines at that point) – generally earlier 50′ boxcars.

    Hot Shopps. Mostly I don’t know, but I recall in 1983 or so when the Georgetown local was also serving the Shepard Branch where Marriott moved to, the local arrived in Georgetown Junction with six SPFE 57′ orange mechanical reefers purring away.

    Oil for the River Road area came from the port at Curtis Bay. During WWII B&O even ran special round trip trains, Curtis Bay to River Road to keep the cars moving. By the 1980’s it was trucked or sent by pipeline from the terminal at Piney Point on the Potomac River. It would have been exclusively private owner tank cars with UTLX and GATX dominating but not mixed (B&O tank cars purchased after WWII were used only in company service for locomotive diesel).

    Chlorine for Dale Carlia may have come from Westvaco in Charleston WV (FMC after 1957 and I think Columbia Southern for awhile before that if I recall correctly) on the B&O. It may have come from Diamond Chemical in Edgewood MD (on the B&O). It may have come from New Jersey or Hooker in Niagra Falls.

    Betco Block in River Road got cinders. I think they originally came from the steam engines in Brunswick and Cumberland.

    Coal dealers would have received mostly anthracite coal from Reading, CNJ, LNE, ERIE, DLW, D&H. From north of Reading PA and west of Allentown.

    The railroad crews told me the heating plant got coal from “government mines” in West Virginia. It came alternately in blocks of Chessie and blocks of N&W hoppers (which was the same story at other US Government coal destinations in Washington and even at Otis AFB on cape cod).

    I recall 2 gray covered hoppers at Washington Flour in 1976. I wonder what road names they were? I was only 6 then! Grain (and any outbound product) would have moved in boxcars up until close to that date.

    Montgomery County Liquor close to Rock Creek Bridge. . . I saw pictures of a FGE insulated boxcar going in there. There was a big Budwiser brewery in Williamsburg VA (Busch gardens . . . ) that shipped out large amounts of FGE insulated reefers (C&O/B&O and SCL at least by the eighties). When I was watching their traffic in the eighties the largest amount of cars were Southern Railway insulated boxcars with regular visits by Manufacturers RR (in St. Louis, owned by Anheiser-Busch), ATSF, UP, SP and a variety of other insulated boxcars.

    I’ve wondered about the routing of any sand/gravel that moved.

  4. Forgot to mention . . . Lone Star Cement had a plant in Nazerath PA on the LNE (CNJ after 1960) and DLW (EL after 1960).

    I think it would be easy to trace the other cement distributors in the “old yard”. But I don’t know off the top of my head.

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