Georges Creek Railroad

Georges Creek Railroad

Georges Creek Railroad

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Description:
The Georges Creek Railroad was a railroad operated by the Georges Creek Coal and Iron Company in Western Maryland. The railroad operated from 1853 to 1863, when it was acquired by the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad (C&P).

History

Georges Creek Coal and Iron Company had constructed and was operating a blast furnace in Lonaconing, Maryland. With production going well, iron piled up. Delivery was a problem. After experimenting with a horse-powered tram road, the company realized that a rail line, built down the Georges Creek Valley toward the Potomac River at Westernport, would be the answer to the transportation issue.

The company began to concentrate on a railroad to meet with the canal and the railroad at Westernport. By 1850, surveys were complete. The B&O reached Piedmont, across the Potomac River from Westernport, in July 1851. In September of that year, the railroad construction began up the Georges Creek. The 9.2 miles (14.8 km) rail line was opened on May 9, 1853 and ran from Lonaconing to Piedmont, West Virginia, across the Potomac River from Westernport, where it connected with a B&O line that had been completed in 1851. In June 1853, a total of 1,061 tons of coal were shipped. In all of 1855, 225,000 tons of coal were shipped, sometimes in 102-car trains. Iron, ore or cast, did not figure into the shipments. In 1856, the rail line was extended from Lonaconing northward to connect with the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad (C&P)...
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