Gallery - Shot of the Month - March 2003
Baltimore in the early 1950s
Collection of Ted Culotta
From Chris Barkan:
Consider watching this yard by the light of the "rockets red glare" and you will have a pretty good idea where it is. This is Locust Point where the B&O's major freight yard and terminal complex in South Baltimore was located. The photo is almost certainly taken from the large grain elevator (?) that was located there and the view is looking approximately east by southeast across the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River (which leads to the Inner Harbor area that many visitors to Baltimore will be familiar with which is to the left & behind the photographer). Fort McHenry (of national anthem fame) is just out of sight on the right edge of the photo and Canton is across the river with Canton Railroad and PRR facilities. The B&O had several yards on Locust Point and they were all part of, or connected to, a large loop of trackage that was an appendage off the mainline. This trackage connected to the mainline via the wye at Baileys that was just south of Camden Station (near the present location of the Camden Yard baseball stadium where they regularly sing the aforementioned song). The track curving to the left at the bottom of the photo is the north portion of the loop trackage which actually encircled a small neighborhood of residences and businesses (an interesting place to live no doubt!). Behind the photographer to the right would be the WM's Port Covington terminal which they accessed via their own trackage to the south of the B&O's.
As for the date, it has to be 1953 or later as evidenced by the gondola with the early version of the billboard "B&O" stencil arrangement in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Most of the B&O boxcars in the photo have the stencil arrangement used from 1947 through mid-1955, and none have the next arrangement, suggesting that the photo was probably taken sometime between in the 1953 - 1955 interval. Perhaps students of other railroads can further refine this date based on other freight cars stencil arrangement.