“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lutherville-Timonium in Baltimore County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad Marble Track Bed

Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad Marble Track Bed Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 23, 2019
1. Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad Marble Track Bed Marker
Inscription.  Tucked safely beneath the MTA Light Rail tracks sits a line of undisturbed marble track bed. This is one of the two oldest extant segments of the Baltimore & Susquehanna (B&S) Railroad Line, which stretched north from Baltimore into Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Valley.

Completed in 1832, the original B&S rail line between Baltimore City and Timonium was built with wood ties supporting the rails. By the time the railroad resumed construction north of Timonium in 1835, the original wood had deteriorated leading the company to find an alternative construction material. Using marble from nearby Cockeysville Quarry the B&S line adopted Great Britain’s process of laying a stone foundation for the track, to complete the railroad bed in what is now known as the Padonia Road Section of the line.

Due to excessive time, labor cost and climatic changes affecting rail stability, stone track bedding proved a financial and operational disaster. Thus stone track-bed construction quickly fell out of favor, and railroad companies reverted back to wooden crossties.

Today, the B&S marble track bed remains virtually undisturbed as an example

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of the experimentation and primitive technologies common in the early days of railroad construction in the United States. The nineteenth century marble track bed is a reminder of the steadfast popularity and utility of public transportation throughout the history of the United States.

Each block of the B&S Line is different and range in surface dimensions from a very irregular 15_1/2 by 27 inches to a more uniform 20 x 21 inches. The depth ranged from 15-18 inches.

[Left photo caption]
If the existing stone bed was not extracted for other uses, it was simply left in place and buried by new track construction as seen here.

[Upper right photo caption]
Chartered in 1828, the B&S line dates to the dawn of railroading in America and postdated the innovative Baltimore & Ohio Railroad by only one year.

Timonium Station
Erected by Maryland Department of Transportation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1832.
Location. 39° 26.904′ N, 76° 38.094′ W. Marker is in Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker is on Greenspring Drive. The marker is on the Timonium Light Rail platform, north end, west side of tracks, across from State Fair entrance. Touch for map

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. Marker is in this post office area: Lutherville Timonium MD 21093, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jones Falls Watershed (within shouting distance of this marker); Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad Marble Track Bed (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); White Marble Block (approx. 0.9 miles away); Property Boundary Marker (approx. 0.9 miles away); Millstone (approx. 0.9 miles away); Cornerstone from Wesley Chapel (approx. 0.9 miles away); Third and Last County Almshouse (approx. 0.9 miles away); Memorial to Marylanders-Liberation of Kuwait (approx. 0.9 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 26, 2019, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 259 times since then and 83 times this year. Last updated on May 14, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photo   1. submitted on July 26, 2019, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 2, 2023