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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bowie in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Bowie Railroad Station Museum

 
 
Bowie Railroad Station Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, September 7, 2006
1. Bowie Railroad Station Museum Marker
Inscription. The Baltimore and Potomac Railroad, chartered in 1853, inaugurated train service on July 2, 1872 with a line to Washington, and on January 1, 1873 opened the Pope's Creek line to southern Maryland. At the junction of the two lines the town of Bowie grew up. In 1902, the Pennsylvania Railroad bought out the B&P. House lots sold for $25.00 and soon shops, a hotel, railroad buildings, churches and houses began to spring up in Huntington City. Since the depot was known as Bowie station, the town name changed to Bowie, a tribute to governor Oden Bowie, president of the B&P.

Near here, the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis trolley line opened in 1908, and the two rail lines induced the Southern Maryland Agricultural Society to build the Bowie race track in 1914. A fire in 1910 destroyed the station buildings, but they were rebuilt in the years following and used till 1989. The city of Bowie purchased the structures in 1991, moved the three buildings to their current site, and restored them as a museum in collaboration with the Huntington Heritage Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Railroad marker series.
 
Location. 39° 0.436′ N, 76° 46.749′ W. Marker is in Bowie, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from Chestnut Avenue near 11th Street and Old Laurel-Bowie Road (Maryland Route 564). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8614 Chestnut Avenue, Bowie MD 20715, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Bowie Railroad Station Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, September 7, 2006
2. Bowie Railroad Station Museum Marker
At least 5 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. From Huntington to Bowie - The History ( here, next to this marker); The Bowie Caboose ( here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The Bowie Caboose (was here, next to this marker but has been reported missing. ); Bowie State University ( approx. 1.3 miles away); Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling Conservation Trail ( approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bowie.
 
Also see . . .
1. Triumph VI: Pioneer and Challenger, the Titanic Struggle for the Ohio River and Maryland. (Submitted on April 4, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
2. Baltimore and Potomac Railroad -- The Popes Creek Branch. (Submitted on May 2, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
3. Town of Bowie, Maryland. (Submitted on May 2, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
4. Every Hour On The Hour: A Chronicle of the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railroad. (Submitted on May 2, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
5. The Pennsylvania Railroad Under Wire (Classic Trains). (Submitted on May 5, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
6. The Remarkable GG-1 (Quadrant Press Review). (Submitted on May 5, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
7. Trains of the Northeast Corridor. (Submitted on May 5, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
8. Pennsylvania Railroad: The 1940s - 1950s. (Submitted on May 5, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
9. Penn Central (Railroad Color History). (Submitted on May 5, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
10. The Wreck of the Penn Central. (Submitted on May 5, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
11. Conrail (Railroad Color History). (Submitted on May 5, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Pope's Creek Secondary (see Picture 3)
The tracks at the top of Picture 3 are the northern end of the Pope's Creek Secondary. This line began as the Baltimore and Potomac Rail Road (B & P).

The B & P was chartered by the Maryland legislature on May 6, 1853. The original purpose of the railroad was to haul tobacco from southern Maryland to the port of Baltimore, but there wasn't enough profit in that to excite construction of the lines.

Construction progressed slowly until the Pennsylvania Railroad noticed a provision in the B & P's charter that allowed a branch line to be built up to 20 miles in any direction. If the B & P were routed through Bowie, that put it within reach of Washington DC. Suddenly, the Pennsylvania Railroad was very interested.

The new Baltimore to Washington "branch" opened on July 2, 1872 and the required "main line" opened to Pope's Creek on January 1, 1873. The B & P was consolidated with the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore railroad on November 1, 1902 and became the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington railroad.

The Popes Creek Secondary was abandoned and closed for a time. It was reopened so trains could deliver coal to several PEPCO power plants. The line is currently owned by CSX, a transportation company that has its origins with the Baltimore
Bowie Junction image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, September 7, 2006
3. Bowie Junction
and Ohio. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted March 28, 2009.

2. The Catenary (see Picture 4)
The Catenary in Picture 4 was originally constructed by the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1930's. It is still being used by Amtrak to provide electricity to Regional and Acela Express trains. It is also being used by many (although not all) commuter trains on the MARC Penn Line.

The electricity delivered to the locomotives is 11 kilovolts, 25 Hertz. Amtrak has converted the electricity to 60 Hertz for short distances on the Northeast Corridor. It is unlikely that the entire line will be changed unless there is a significant increase in Amtrak's capital improvement program.
    — Submitted March 28, 2009.

 
Categories. Political SubdivisionsRailroads & Streetcars
 
Stained Glass Window image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
4. Stained Glass Window
This stained glass depiction of the Bowie Railroad Station was donated to the Railroad Museum by the Bowie Sr. Center stained glass classes in December 2010. It hangs in window of the Olde Town Bowie Welcome Center.
The Bowie Interlocking Tower image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
5. The Bowie Interlocking Tower
This interlocking tower provided switch operators a vantage from which to observe and report train traffic. The Bowie Interlocking tower was one of five such towers between Washington and Baltimore (Landover, Bowie, Odenton, Gwynn and Baltimore).
Foundation of the Bowie Interlocking Tower image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
6. Foundation of the Bowie Interlocking Tower
This concrete pad is the original foundation of the Bowie Interlocking Tower. The tower sat here until it was moved in the 1990s. (This photo was taken from the window of the tower.)
Bowie Interlocking Tower in its original position image. Click for full size.
7. Bowie Interlocking Tower in its original position
Bowie Station with diesel engine on track and house on bank circa 1960.
(Close-up of photo on display in the Railroad Museum)
Bowie<br>Sign On the Tower image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
8. Bowie
Sign On the Tower
Bowie station, which predates the town of Bowie, was named for the first president of the Potomac and Baltimore Railroad, Governor Oden Bowie. Col. William Bowie had the Railroad Company chartered in 1853 but it did not thrive during the Civil War. An alliance with the Pennsylvania Railroad led to the revival of the company's fortune. In 1872 train service was inaugurated to Washington's Pennsylvania station located where the National Gallery is today.
Catenary image. Click for full size.
By Michael Stroud, June 13, 2007
9. Catenary
Warning Sign on the Catenary image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 21, 2013
10. Warning Sign on the Catenary
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 24, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 4,311 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 24, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on May 18, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   9. submitted on December 20, 2007, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   10. submitted on May 18, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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