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Nostalgia & History > Western Maryland Stations at Owings Mills, Maryland

Date: 05/22/21 20:00
Western Maryland Stations at Owings Mills, Maryland
Author: cr7998

The Western Maryland Railway's station at Owings Mills, Maryland was on WM's East Subdivision, 16 miles west of Port Covington Yard in Baltimore.  Owings Mills is a very important location in the history of the Western Maryland Railway, for it was here that the WM first began construction of what would become its main line to Hagerstown and Cumberland.  Why did construction start here and not in Baltimore?  That was because the Western Maryland negotiated an agreement with the Northern Central for use of the former Baltimore & Susquehanna branch between Hollins and Owings Mills.  The Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad was incorporated in 1828 to build a railroad between Baltimore and the Susquehanna River near York, PA.  The main stem of the Baltimore & Susquehanna would reach York in 1838 and the Harrisburg PA area in the early 1850's.  But well before the main stem was completed, an eight mile branch was built from Hollins to Owings Mills, completed in 1832.  Originally intended to go further west, the branch became an unwanted appendage after the Baltimore & Susquehanna became part of the Northern Central Railroad in 1854. 

Meanwhile, the Baltimore, Carroll and Frederick Railroad had been chartered in 1852 with the intent to build a railroad to Westminster in Carroll County, and that charter is considered to be the corporate birth of what would become the Western Maryland Railway.  The name was changed to Western Maryland Railroad Company in 1853, but no construction took place for several years, while the company worked on land acquisition and funding.  In 1857, the WM made an agreement with Northern Central to use the branch between Owings Mills and Hollins, where the branch connected to the Northern Central main line.  Construction on the WM toward Westminster began at Owings Mills in that same year.  Until 1873, the WM relied on their connection with the Northern Central at Hollins to reach Baltimore.  In 1873, WM completed its own line from Green Spring (one mile east of Owings Mills) to Baltimore (Fulton), and by terms of the original agreement with the Northern Central, the portion of the branch between Green Spring and Hollins reverted back to the Northern Central, which by then was controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR).  I believe it was in the 1950's when PRR ceased service to Green Spring, once the site of a wye connection with the WM.  The entire branch between Hollins and Green Spring is long gone, and a portion at the eastern end is now a trail.    

In a previous post, John from White Marsh (aka ClubCar) posted a photo of the Owings Mills station that was taken from an excursion train. (Link is https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,5255885) The view in ClubCar's post is looking east at the WM bridge over Reisterstown Road, with the station in the distance.  Note the three-story building to the left in that photo.  The original right-of-way of the Baltimore & Susquehanna was on the other side of that building, and the railroad crossed Reisterstown Road at grade just to the right.  I don't know the origins of that building, but it was used by the WM under lease as their station for Owings Mills until 1906.  I'm not sure if the WM leased the entire structure, or just a portion.  In 1906, the WM finished a line relocation through Owings Mills that included an overpass over Reisterstown Road to the west of the original line.  The relocation project included a new station built between the new line and the original right-of-way, on the east side of Reisterstown Road.  A portion of the old right-of-way remained in service as an industrial spur for some time afterward to reach some freight business west of the Reisterstown Road grade crossing.  I believe the WM continued to use that track until the early 1970's. 

Owings Mills was the site of a large plant of the Maryland Cup Company, a half mile east of the Owings Mills station building, on the north side of the WM main line.  Maryland Cup received tank cars of wax, covered hopper cars of plastic pellets, and boxcar loads of paper.  Among its products were wax paper cups, similar to the famous Dixie cup.  The plant was a customer for WM, Chessie and CSX until it closed in 2011, and the site has been re-developed as a shopping area.  

Here are a few photos at Owings Mills:

#1  This eastbound train was en route to Port Covington Yard in Baltimore, on February 2, 1975.  The overpass over Reisterstown Road is about four car lengths behind the engines.  

#2  WM caboose 1824, repainted in Chessie colors, brings up the rear of the train, passing the Owings Mills station that was built around 1906.  

#3  A "roster" shot of the station building, along on February 2, 1975.  The original Baltimore & Susquehanna right-of-way, relegated to an industrial spur since the 1906 line relocation, is behind the station.  This classic station was still in fairly decent shape at the time, but it is gone today.  I believe it was demolished sometime in the 1990's, not sure just when it happened.  

Steve Salamon
Valley City, OH



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/21 08:11 by cr7998.

Date: 05/22/21 20:03
Re: Western Maryland Stations at Owings Mills, Maryland
Author: cr7998

#4  One final picture at Owings Mills, this is an eastbound train passing the station on April 16, 1978.  The power set is a mix of Chessie and WM power that was typical on the WM in the mid and late 1970's.  The covered hopper on the right is on the original right-of-way.  

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/21 20:04 by cr7998.

Date: 05/22/21 22:11
Re: Western Maryland Stations at Owings Mills, Maryland
Author: krm152

Excellent photos and super great narrative.
Thanks for the posting.

Date: 05/23/21 00:15
Re: Western Maryland Stations at Owings Mills, Maryland
Author: fr8kar

Great info and photos. Thanks for sharing.

Posted from Android

Date: 05/23/21 01:11
Re: Western Maryland Stations at Owings Mills, Maryland
Author: BaltoJoey

I remember that station very well. I worked around the corner from that station at 10 Painters Mill Rd. I spent many an early morning there. Before I went to work.

Date: 05/23/21 02:58
Re: Western Maryland Stations at Owings Mills, Maryland
Author: ClubCar

Thank you Steve Salamon for the excellent story and the photos from the Owings Mills Station  on the Western Maryland Railway.  I believe that the WM used the station for maintenance material for many years.  I rode a number of excursion trains over the WM past the station; however none of the trains ever stopped there for passengers.  For people who lived in the Owings Mills and Reisterstown area, the excursions used to stop at the Glyndon Station further west on the line as there was sufficient parking in that area for the excursion passengers.  I also remember seeing a movement one time on that branch crossing over Reisterstown Road, an engine and a box car.
John in White Marsh, Maryland

Date: 05/23/21 09:09
Re: Western Maryland Stations at Owings Mills, Maryland
Author: refarkas

Great photographic coverage.

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