Thursday, June 4, 2015

"Linking 13 Great States with the Nation..."

In reviewing the first two months of this blog, I must confess to being somewhat remiss in featuring prototype information. The single biggest reason is that I have been playing catch-up with 2-1/2 years worth of layout construction, albeit changes and all. But I would like to keep something of a balance when checking the category labels on the sidebar. So today, a quick overview of the B&O system.

By 1960, Baltimore & Ohio track covered more than 6,000 miles across 13 states in the eastern part of the United States, hence it's slogan, "Linking 13 Great States with the Nation." The 63 miles of the Old Main Line represented just about 1% of the total railroad.

But times were changing and it was soon that the B&O was joining the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad in 1963 to expand overall regional capabilities while eliminating duplicate operations. And in 1973, the two were combined with the Western Maryland to form subsidiaries of the Chessie System. The unofficial mergers became official in 1987.

The B&O system essentially ran east-west connecting New York with Chicago and St. Louis via Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. It connected other major cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Detroit via north-south spurs.
A close-up of Maryland shows the 'arched' OML route from Baltimore to Point of Rocks. Although this schematic suggests a very direct alternative run from Baltimore through Washington to points west, the actuality was a longer, but more efficient route that was flatter and straighter. In truth, the OML represented the hypotenuse of a basic isosceles triangle while Baltimore to Washington and Washington to Point of Rocks would be the sides of that triangle. Make sense?

That's about it for now. We'll forego this week's 'Friendly Fridays,' lest that feature become the dominant label of this blog. I won't be doing 'Wordless Wednesdays,' as that franchise seems pretty well covered by others, but there always is the possibility someday of 'Mindless Mondays' or 'Thoughtless Thursdays,' if and when I have nothing to say.

See you in the next few days with more construction and more prototype posts.

Can you name the 13 states in which the B&O conducted business? (Oh, come on people. This is the equivalent of an open-book test!)


  1. Awesome looking layout. I am modeling B&O in Southern Indiana.

  2. Thanks, Pete... but I think you are being too generous calling this a layout just yet... BTW, are you sure you're modeling the B&O?