Happy Birthday B&O!

On July 4th, 1828, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad broke ground and began constructing the first common carrier railroad in the United States. A few earlier private rail lines had been constructed, such as the Leiper Railroad, but the B&O would be the first public railroad to begin construction.

Tom Thumb, B&O's first steam powered locomotive, with an adjacent horse being replaced. (1829) Image: History Central

The original charter for the line was to link Baltimore, MD with the Ohio River in Wheeling, WV (at the time still in Virginia), which is where the railroad got its name. The first segment on the line to fully open would run from Baltimore to Sandy Hook, MD in 1830, a distance of 13 miles.

The B&O would grow to become one of the largest railroads in the United States as well as one of the longest lasting, surviving until 1987 when it was merged into the CSX Corporation.

In less than fifty years (1876), this is what the B&O would grow to become.

Thanks as always for reading!


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