The Baltimore Chesapeake & Atlantic Railway

The Baltimore Chesapeake & Atlantic Railway was a combined railway and steamship operator in the Delmarva region, operating a route from Balitmore, MD to Ocean City, MD, using ferries from Baltimore to Claiborne, MD, and using a railway from Claiborne to Ocean City, MD.

Commercial, Anon. - Standard & Poor 1906, digitized by Library of Congress

The line was the successor to the Baltimore & Eastern Shore Railroad, who in 1889 began constructing the route between Claiborne (on the Chesapeake Bay) and Salisbury, MD, 30 miles south. In 1890, they purchased the Wicomico & Pocomoke Railroad to reach Ocean City.

Image via Star Democrat

By 1902, the Pennsylvania Railroad became the majority owner of the company, but it nonetheless operated separately from the rest of the PRR system. 

During the 1920's, the railroad grew unprofitable, and faced with insurmountable debts, attempted to reorganize to no avail. In 1928, the name was reverted to the Baltimore and Eastern Railroad, wholly owned by the PRR. 

Baltimore Chesapeake & Atlantic Railway 1000. April 1938, by George F. Nixon.


The line began abandonment in the early 1950's, although some segments survived through the PRR merger that created the Penn Central Railroad. In 1982, Penn Central's successor, Conrail would abandoned all segments of road that were not purchased by the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Today, the only surviving section of the line operates between Hurlock, MD and Preston, MD by the Maryland & Delaware Railroad.


Thanks as always for reading!

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