WWPCM01922
"USPCC" (USA)
decks "Baltimore&Ohio Railroad"
1. WWPCM01922/01: wide edition
, 1925

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2. WWPCM01922/02: edition 1930

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3. WWPCM01922/03: edition 1937

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3. WWPCM01922/03: unknown editions

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HISTORY OF THE BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) is one of the oldest railroads in the United States, with an original line from the port of Baltimore, Maryland west to the Ohio River at Wheeling, West Virginia and Parkersburg, West Virginia. It is now part of the CSX network, and includes the oldest operational railroad bridge in the world. The B&O also coincidentally included the Leiper Railroad, the first permanent railroad in the U.S.
The railroad's former shops in Baltimore, including the Mt. Clare roundhouse, now house the B&O Railroad Museum.

Chapter 123 of the 1826 Session Laws of Maryland, passed February 28, 1827, and the state of Virginia on March 8, 1827, chartered the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Company, with the task of building a railroad from the port of Baltimore, Maryland west to a suitable point on the Ohio River. The railroad, formally incorporated April 24, was intended to provide an alternative, faster, route for Midwestern goods to reach the East Coast than the seven-year-old, hugely successful, but slow Erie Canal across upstate New York.

Construction began on July 4, 1828, and the first section, from Baltimore west to Ellicott's Mills (now known as Ellicott City), opened on May 24, 1830. Further extensions opened to Frederick (including the short Frederick Branch) December 1, 1831, Point of Rocks April 2, 1832, Sandy Hook December 1, 1834 (the connection to the Winchester and Potomac Railroad at Harpers Ferry opening in 1837), Martinsburg May 1842, Hancock June 1842, Cumberland November 5, 1842, Piedmont July 21, 1851, Fairmont June 22, 1852 and its terminus at Wheeling, West Virginia (then part of Virginia) on January 1, 1853.

On July 20, 1877 there were bloody riots in Baltimore, Maryland from Baltimore and Ohio Railroad workers. Nine rail workers were killed at the hands of the Maryland militia. The next day workers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania staged a sympathy strike that was also met with an assault by the state militia; Pittsburgh then erupted into widespread rioting.

The Pennsylvania Railroad acquired the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad in the early 1880s, cutting off the B&O's access to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The B&O chartered the Philadelphia Branch in Maryland and the Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad in Delaware and Pennsylvania and built a parallel route, finished in 1886. The Baltimore Belt Railroad, opened in 1895, connected the main line to the Philadelphia Branch without the need for a car ferry across the Patapsco River, but the cost of its Howard Street Tunnel drove the B&O to bankruptcy in 1896.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad took control of the B&O in 1963, and incorporated it, along with the Western Maryland Railway, into the Chessie System in 1973. In 1980, the Chessie System merged with the Seaboard System Railroad to create CSX. In 1986, the B&O finally went out of existence when it formally merged with the C&O (which itself formally merged with CSX later that same year). At the height or railroading's golden age, the B&O was one of several trunk lines uniting the northeast quadrant of the United States into an industrial zone. It marked the southern border and corresponded to the New York Central's marking of the northern border. The Pennsy and the Erie railroads worked the center. The corners of this map are Baltimore in the southeast, Albany in the northeast, Chicago in the northwest, and St. Louis in the southwest.