An Eastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Baltimore and Eastern Railroad
Baltimore and Virginia Steamboat Company


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The Baltimore and Eastern Railroad (B&E) operated several light density branch lines east of Chesapeake Bay on the Delmarva peninsula. In the 1930's, in conjunction with the Baltimore and Virginia Steamboat Company, the B&E provided service between Baltimore and Ocean City, Maryland by ferry boat and rail, a distance of 137 miles. This passenger service was primarily utilized by people going to and from the beach community of Ocean City and Baltimore on weekends in the summer season. Service was cut back severely during other seasons. The B&E was preceded by many smaller railroads, which eventually, along with their associated steamboat lines, became under the control of the Pennsylvania Railroad while maintaining their own identiry. The Peninsular area of Maryland was separated from Baltimore by the Chesapeake Bay. Until the 1820s, travel and commerce between the Eastern Shore and Baltimore were less important than the connections between it and Philadelphia. Water travel by steamer linking the Eastern Shore to Baltimore began about 1813, when the first steamboat traveled the Bay. By the 1880s, railroad lines linked the Eastern Shore to Philadelphia and later, Norfolk, Va. by way of a railroad line straight south from Wilmington, to Dover, Salisbury, and Cape Charles, Va. Maryland's Eastern Shore was served by lines running generally southwest from the main route and built after the Civil War by local companies; eventually all were controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad (which also bought control of the steamboat and ferry routes). A west-east rail route ran from a ferry terminal at Claiborne, west of St. Michaels, to Ocean City, via the Baltimore and Eastern Shore Railroad and the Wicomico and Pocomoke Railroad. Baltimore travelers could also take a ferry to Love Point on Kent Island, board a Queen Anne's Railroad train, and travel east to Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The B&E of the 1930;s was a combination of portions of these predecessor roads providing a link from Baltimore to Ocean City. Most of these lines are now abandoned but small sections remain as part of Norfolk Southern or the Maryland and Delaware Railroad.

B&E

Baltimore and Eastern
June 28, 1930

History of the Baltimore and Eastern Railroad
In the 1930;s the Baltimore and Eastern Railroads line from Baltimore to To Ocean City, Maryland a distance of 137 miles consisted of four segments.
1. Ferry from Baltimorte on Chesapeake Bay to Loves Point, Marylaand on the eastern bay shore, 27 miles on the Baltimore and Virginia Steamboat Company ferry.
2. Loves Point to Denton Branch Jct. (near Queen Anne, 24.7 miles.
3. Denton Branch Jct. to near Easton, 13.3 miles on Pennsylvania Railroad trackage.
4. Easton to Ocean City 72 miles.
The Line from Loves Point on Chesapeake Bay to Denton Branch Jct. 24.7 miles
The Queen Annes Railroad (QA)was a railroad that ran from Love Point, Maryland to Lewes, Delaware and was connected to Baltimore via ferry.
1894 - The Queen Anne's Railroad company was formed in Maryland in 1894.
1895 - In February the Queen Anne's Railroad received legislative authorization from Delaware. The railroad's original western terminus was in Queenstown, Maryland.
1898-1902 - The Queen Anne Railroad completes its lines from Loves Point, Maryland to Lewes, Delaware.
1901 - The QA began operating a summer-only Cape May Express between Queenstown, Maryland and Lewes, Delaware in 1901 with a connecting steamer to Cape May, New Jersey. The company owned and operated the Queen Anne's Ferry & Equipment Company which consisted of the steamers Endeavor, Queen Anne and Queen Caroline.
1902 - The QA, and was extended 12 mikes ro to Love Point in 1902 which shortened the ferry trip to Baltimore.
1905 - On January 21 the portion of the QA located in Delaware, approximately 32 miles, had been purchased by the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia Railroad Company of Delaware and the portion located in Maryland, approximately 46 miles, and a 5 mile branch Queenstown to Centreville on the same day had been purchased by the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia Railroad Company.
1905 - Two days later these two railroads were consolidated as the Maryland Delaware and Virginia Railway Company (MD&V) which was controlled by the Baltimore Chesapeake and Atlantic (BC&A). Also acquired were several steamboat companies including the ferry from Baltimore to Loves Point.
The line from Denton Branch Jct. (Queen Anne) to near Easton 13.3 miles was on Pennsylvania Railroad track.
The line from near Easton to Ocean City 71.8 miles
1868-76 - The Wicomico & Pocomoke Railroad (W&P) built a railroad from Salisbury and Ocean City, Maryland (at the Atlantic Ocean).
1886 - The Baltimore & Eastern Shore Railroad Company (B&ES), organized to build a line of road from Eastern Bay, in Talbot county, to Salisbury, Wicomico county, Maryland.
1890 - . In June, 1890, the B&ES purchased the property of the W&P.
1891 - In August the B&ES completed the construction of its road from Eastern Chesapeake Bay at McDaniel to Salisbury.
1894 - The B&ES was sold at foreclosure, and reorganized as the Baltimore, Chesapeake, & Atlantic Railway Company (BC&A). The Maryland Steamboat Company, the Eastern Shore Steamboat Company, and the Choptank Steamboat Company were also acquired. The BC&A was controlled by the Pennsylvania RR.
1905 - In June the Pennsylvania Railroad purchased and tool overt control of the BC&A which continued to operate as a separate entity.
The Baltimore and Eastern Railroad (B&E)
1923 - The BC&A aand the MD&V becioome the Baltimore and Eastern Railroad (B&E), a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
1931 - The B&E was operating passenger service from Baltimore by ferry to Loves Point and to Ocean City on the line described aove, primarily for summer weekend traffic.
1940 - The B&R ferry to Loves Point was still operating but the rail line was freight only.
Current - Most of the old B&E are abandoned. Small portions still operate and part of the old Queen Anne's is a rail trail.

B&E map
Baltimore Chesapeake and Atlantic - June 1930
Note the light line from near Queen Anne to near Easton is the Pennsylvania Railroad connection from the north main (old Queen Anne) to the south main (old BC&A)


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- various editions

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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, August 15, 2009, revised April 17, 2011