Washington, DC

Coal Unloading Spurs


GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

This spur track appeared to be used for unloading coal hopper cars; the elevation was high enough for a truck to pull under the track. Photo by Mike Palmer.

This picture shows an abandoned spur in downtown Washington, DC. It is elevated, but the connection to the main line has been removed, and it looks like the land will be re-developed. This photo was taken from inside the eastbound Amtrak Capitol Limited as it approached the terminal in February, 2002. This elevated track was one of three or four that branched out for a couple hundred feet west from the tracks (according to DeLorme and SPV); both the Pennsylvania and Baltimore and Ohio RRs used this segment of track. The location is just south of Eckington Yard and the Florida Avenue underpass.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

This area has been redeveloped. Those don't exist anymore. Sad!



They used to have trestle sidings that were elevated above street level that serviced Montgomery Ward warehouse with coal. These were all along the row of Metro where it goes into Union Station in DC just above where the turntable is still located.

Martinsburg, WV


It is shocking how quickly this area transformed from open industrial wasteland to prime high-rise real estate (the area now called "NoMa"-- North of Massachusetts Ave). In ten years it went from acres of open space to a forest of tall condos, apartments, and offices, all within walking distance of METRO's newest station (and it continues, 2013). The residential high-rises have a great view of the Union Station yards and throat.

John Simpkins-Camp
Washington, DC


I remember in the 1980's these trestles stood intact but were unused. I don't know when they were last used for coal, but I understood they used them after that point for gravel transferred to trucks.

Christopher Parker
Grew up in Brookmont MD, adjacent to Dale Carlia, MD


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/0pf

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