Category Archives: History

Items of historical interest and relevance.

East Side of Rock Creek Trestle is No More

Greg C. visited the Rock Creek site this past Tuesday morning and witnessed the missing wooden trestle. It’s gone! :'( This marks the end of an era, the bridge having stood since 1892 has finally gone down. A new pair of bridges will replace this one, carrying the Purple Line rapid transit and the Capital Crescent Trail across the valley at about half the height of the original trestle. RIP.

4/9/19 – the wooden trestle is no more. The steel 1972 rebuilt section of the west end still stands, for now. Photo courtesy Greg C.

A photo from the Friends of Forest Glen Facebook group shows the demolition in progress. If only I could have gotten up there to measure those timbers. :'(

4/8/19 – Photo by Ed Murtagh from the Bethesda Chevy Chase Back In The Day Facebook group.

Rock Creek Trestle Demolition Progress

View is west, standing on the northern side of the right of way. The Creek and the trestle are behind the crane. Sadness.

B&O Valuation Maps Going Online

The National Archives has started posting their collection of valuation maps online. Right now, not everything is live, but more is sure to come. Visit the collection of B&O materials here: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/1180861

I was unable to find anything Georgetown Branch related at this time, but I will be checking back and will update this post when I do. Could you find anything interesting on there? I hope so! The collection really is fantastic.

Here are a list of the val maps I need for the GB.

Rock Creek Trestle Demolition Date Set

The bell is tolling for the Rock Creek trestle. The Purple Line has announced that beginning on March 26, demolition will begin as they remove the path across the top and then begin demolishing the trestle itself. Already the wood planking atop the trestle is being removed.

Photo from @PurpleLineMD

I am hoping to visit the site to witness some of the demolition. It’s heartbreaking to read about. RIP.

UPDATE:

Documenting the Talbot Ave Bridge

As most of you will know, the bridge which crosses the B&O’s Metropolitan Branch and Georgetown Branch lead at Georgetown Junction is slated to be torn down. The sides of the bridge, which once belonged to a turntable, are to be saved and placed along a new stretch of the Capital Crescent Trail, which is nice. The bridge was constructed at some point around 1918 and has seen several refurbishments over the years. Much of the support structure rusted away over the years and as such the bridge has been condemned for the last year or two. Thankfully, it was recently re-opened to pedestrian traffic.

Photos from our visit are here in my Gallery.

Here I am on a chilly Sunday posing in front of the Talbot Ave. bridge. It snowed a bit while we were there. Note the giant logs laying on the ground; evidence of the brush and tree clearing the Purple Line folks are doing. Photo by Greg C.

Greg C. and I spent a morning at the bridge documenting it both with a measuring tape and with a camera. All in all, it was a very successful trip and I feel confident that I have enough data to accurately model the bridge in HO scale for my layout. Unfortunately, the model will have to be modified a bit to fit in my space, but I plan on being as accurate as I can. I think once complete, it will be a really neat model. Here are a few a sneak peeks at the drawing I am developing of the bridge structure:

B&O S2 9023 in Bethesda ca 1964

This photo had to have been taken around 1964, as I believe the Air Rights building (visible under construction in the distance) was completed in 1966. S2 9023 was built between 1943-48. I’m not sure of its original three digit number. The B&O Freight Station is visible to the left of the cab and the engine is sitting on the main, just past Bethesda Ave. I stumbled on this photo while looking at the B&O Diesel Roster on North East Rails. Photo by Bud Laws.

Maloney Concrete: Truck Colors UPDATED

The Bethesda area of my layout will feature the Maloney Concrete plant fairly prominently. I would like to have a few trucks parked nearby and the correct color scheme is important. Unfortunately I don’t have any color images showing what vehicles they owned in the 1940s and 50s looked like but I do have a few from the late 1970s. These images were shared with me by Don Wetmore and thankfully have some of the Maloney fleet pictured in the background. There is some variance here, specifically in the wheels and front bumper and guard which shows most painted red and some painted white. Cab is painted a dark green. Frame, bumpers and some trim/wheels are red. Mixing apparatus, platforms and fuel tanks are white, overall. This is just a starting point and a generalization until I can get some better photos. Last week I picked up an Athearn Mack B concrete truck that I plan on respraying when I can find the time. 🙂

John King, local historian, modeler and railfan, reached out to me and shared a wonderful photo that he took back in 1969 which shows in GREAT detail a Maloney Concrete mixing truck! Here are the details:

John writes:

This was August, 1969 in Rockville at the intersection of MD 355 and Gude Drive.   At the time this was the used car lot for Rockmont (now Ourisman ) Chevrolet. They were paving the storage yard with left over concrete.  I was working there for a summer job so, needless to say, you know who got the task of smoothing the stuff out after it was dumped.

Maloney’s Rockville plant apparently had low clearances requiring this style truck.  I remembered this style from when they delivered cement to our farm  a few years earlier. Not sure if they used this type of ready mix truck at any of their other locations or not.  I think there was a hatch on the side of the drum for loading the materials as opposed to both loading and unloading on the rear of the more modern style mixers.  If nothing else, it confirms the green paint with red frame and wheels.    
 
Also, note that the sign shows this type of truck, not the more modern ones.
August, 1969 – Route 355 and Gude Dr, Rockville, MD – Maloney Concrete mixing truck #31. Photo by John King.

Link to the John King photos, here.

The Shadow Knows…

While poking around on the DDOT archives, I came across some wonderful aerial images showing the west end of Georgetown yard. This area is particularly interesting, as there were some features there that are long gone and would add lots of flavor to the model railroad. In particular, there were many small shanties and docks along the waterfront for leisure. There is a tunnel under M St/C&O Canal here that gave access to this area from the Foundry Branch valley. I believe this tunnel probably dates back to the canal’s construction, but that’s a research topic for another time. Anyway, a little itty bitty tiny detail that I noticed while looking closely at the photo is the presence of a B&O crossbuck, visible on both sides of the crossing here. Now, had the sun been at a higher position, I may have never noticed it, but they are clearly visible when this photo was taken. Very cool!

Can you spot the crossbuck?