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Nostalgia & History > Easton, Maryland in the mid 1980's

Date: 01/24/23 02:16
Easton, Maryland in the mid 1980's
Author: ClubCar

Back in the mid 1980's several excursion train trips were operated on the Maryland & Delaware Railroad between Clayton, Delaware and Easton, Maryland.  This photo shows the excursion 3 car train at the Easton, Maryland Station.  The sad thing is that within a couple of years even though there were many freight customers on this line, the railroad abandoned this former Pennsylvania R.R. Line and shortly after the abandonment the station burned down.  Today there is no trace of the rail line in this area of town.  Photo by Warren Olt of RRP, Baltimore.
John in White Marsh, Maryland

Date: 01/24/23 05:07
Re: Easton, Maryland in the mid 1980's
Author: WrongWayMurphy

My grandparents lived just down the road, on the water, in Oxford.  The lovely Mrs Murphy and i
travleed in our VW bus from Texas to MD in the early 80's to visit them and 
I seem to recall a depot in Easton that had turned into a farmers market.  I wonder
if it was this one?

My grandfather showed me where the small turntable was in Oxford as a dead end spur
ran to Oxford in the steam era.

Date: 01/24/23 06:01
Re: Easton, Maryland in the mid 1980's
Author: WM1977

IIRC MDDE operated the trains but the line was owned by the State of Maryland. You were lucky to be able to ride a train on that line. The track decayed to a point where the cost to maintain or repair had exceeded the value of the customer base, which was disappearing fast. This was a Penn Central line, so there was a great lack of maintenance. CR

Posted from iPhone

Date: 01/24/23 06:45
Re: Easton, Maryland in the mid 1980's
Author: ClubCar

Thanks WM1977 for your story.  Through the railroad grape vine, we were told that the State of Maryland did not wish to spend the needed money to keep this line operational which was a shame.  Our passenger excursion train did operate at about 30 MPH as when we rode the line, there had been some new replacement ties here and there so it was in fairly good shape.  We were also told that some politicians were involved and they wanted to upgrade the Maryland Route 404 for the beach traffic and this was going to mean building a new bridge over this road, thus they did not wish to spend the money.  So they essentially told customers that they were going to close down the line and to look for another way to ship products, which of course meant using trucks.  Route Maryland 404 has been rebuilt to a dual highway almost down to Denton, Maryland and the bridge that carried the railroad over 404 was torn down and not replaced.
John in White Marsh, Maryland

Date: 01/24/23 09:49
Re: Easton, Maryland in the mid 1980's
Author: aehouse

My wife and kids rode the train that day. I chased.

Art House

Date: 01/24/23 13:34
Re: Easton, Maryland in the mid 1980's
Author: 36Ford

Sadly, this track was once a premium main line. My great uncle, Warren Grigg, was the division superintendent of the Pennsylvania's Delmarva division from about 1943-1947. Uncle Warren lived in Cape Charles with my great aunt Martha, and my cousin Charles Warren Grigg. The division had an office car assigned to it( unfortunately I have no idea as to the car's identity). My cousin Charlie vividly remembered once riding in the office car's main lounge room area on a trip with uncle Warren to Philadelphia. It was at night, and Charlie had no idea exactly where the train was; but he vividly remembered seeing the office car's interior speedometer displaying 90 mph. He said that they were, "... just flying; but you'd never know it because the ride was smooth as glass, and the track was straight as an arrow without any curves." Uncle Warren was transferred to Fort Wayne, Indiana around 1948. Charlie said that the Pennsylvania lost interest in the Delmarva division during the 1950's, and uncle Warren told him that the Pennsylvania intentionally began to downgrade the Delmarva. The excuse was the cost of the car float ferry from Cape Charles to Norfolk, VA. Penn Central was very successful in droving the final nails into the coffin. 

Date: 01/24/23 13:42
Re: Easton, Maryland in the mid 1980's
Author: Wypete

The former R-O-W is now a walking path in town, near the depot which still stands -- at least it still did in September 2021. Apparently the 1989 fire didn't destroy the structure and they rebuilt it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/23 13:54 by Wypete.

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