of the Columbia & Port Deposit Railroad
Sunnyside Yard-New York Penn Station
York Penn Station to Philadelphia 30th Street Station
30th Street Station to Potomac Yard
Enola Yard to Perryville
30th Street Station to Harrisburg
More lines to come soon!
History of the Columbia & Port
Special thanks to "Brother
Pius" for providing this information.
The Columbia & Port Deposit Railroad began life as
the Washington & Maryland Line Railroad, incorporated
April 30, 1857 by local interests, to link the
canal and railroad operations at Columbia with the canal
and general eastern commerce centering at Port Deposit.
The name was changed to Columbia & Maryland Line
Railroad March 29, 1860, and to Columbia & Port
Deposit Railroad on April 15, 1864. None of these
companies owned any engines or equipment, and
construction of the road was not begun until September
1866. During construction, the Pennsylvania Railroad
recognized the property to be an advantageous low grade
route to Baltimore and the east (with easier grades then
the Northern Central Railroad, via York and North
Freedom) and purchased $1,822,000 of the C&PD's bonds
- a controlling interest. The PRR on June 13, 1877
entered into agreement to operate the property upon
completion of construction. Construction was completed
and the line opened July, 1877.
Wilmington & Baltimore RR (which was itself owned by
the PRR) purchased the C&PD May 12, 1893. On
September 15, 1916, the C&PD was merged with other
properties to form the Philadelphia, Baltimore &
Washington RR. The PB&W was itself operated by the
PRR under a lease dated December 13, 1917.
C&PD was (apparently) dispatched by the PRR's
Philadelphia Division from the time of its completion
(dispatcher at "C" Office in Columbia depot).
On January 1, 1879, the Frederick Division was formed
(comprised of the C&PD: the York, Hanover &
Frederick branch and the Wrightsville Branch), dispatched
from "D" Office in York. The Frederick Division
was abolished June 1, 1902 and operations transferred to
the Maryland Division of PW&B RR, out of
"WD" Office in Wilmington Station. When the
Baltimore Division was incorporated into the Maryland
Division in 1937, the dispatching moved to "B"
Office , Baltimore. Electrification and CTC were
installed in 1938 resulting that all telegraph and train
order offices were closed, and control given to the
operator at Columbia. The C&PD was transferred to the
Harrisburg Division October 1, 1976 (the office call for
the Harrisburg Division Dispatcher was "F").
February 1, 1885, the stations and agents on the C&PD
Chas. S. Murray
B. Frank Burg
Wm. N. Amig
Clarkson B. Bostick
Wm. H. Uffelman
Stephen J. Caldwell
* denotes telegraph station
1 denotes second class freight station
2 denotes exclusively passenger agent
were two major realignments of grade and profile on the
C&PD: (1) 1905-1906 - from Conestoga Creek Bridge to
Safe Harbor in connection with the building of the
A&S Low Grade and McCalls Ferry to Cresswell in
connection with construction of the Holtwood Dam. The
west end of the C&PD was closed for two years during
this construction; (2) 1926-1928 - alignment revised
between Port Deposit and Fite's Eddy in conjunction with
building of the Conowingo Dam. There were no tunnels on
the C&PD prior to this relocation. In some places the
track was relocated as much as 850' to the east.
telegraph offices on the old C&PD were:
"W" (later "CR")-Cresswell
"HA" (later "SU")-Safe Harbor
"MF" (later "MC")-McCalls
"GO" (later "GW")-Conowingo
"GX" (later "GD")-Octoraro
"FX" (later "FH")-Frenchtown
"V" (later "VY", later
dispatching was "improved" (?) by installing
telephones in 1911, though the telegraph lasted on the
C&PD late into the 1920's. Sentman and Rock were
train order offices after the days of telegraph.
The double track (at first
referred to as "Lap Sidings") was installed in
the area of Midway about 1911. The timetable direction on
the C&PD was always north and south (not east and
west). In 1916, passing siding capacities were:
Port Deposit-63 cars
Peach Bottom-104 cars
Fishing Creek-29 cars
Face Rock Northward Siding-104 cars
Face Rock Southward Siding-104 cars
McCalls Ferry-102 cars
Safe Harbor-114 cars
is a sample train order (my imagination) you may have
received on the C&PD
"Eng. 712 display signals run as First 17 West End
to Columbia has right over No. 26 Eng. 792 West End to
Octoraro Eng. 743 run as Second 17 West
End to Columbia has right over No. 26 West End to
Conowingo Engs. 612, 692 and 512 run as
three extras Columbia to West End. Ex612 east
hold main track meet First 17 at Cresswell, back in with
36 cars, meet Second 17 at Safe Harbor. Extras 692 and
512 east meet First 17, at WI meet Second 17 at
site last updated August 12, 1999.
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