Weverton to Roxbury

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  • States: Maryland   
  • Railroads: B&O   
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MD State Route 68 facing south at Breathedsville, approx. halfway between Lappans and Boonsboro. Behind the camera is a former agricultural structure (feed mill?) that likely had a siding in the past. The right of way runs parallel to (and west of) MD route 65 south of here, through small farm towns. Photo by Mike Palmer, February 2003.

This branch left the B&O mainline at Weverton, MD, between Brunswick, MD and Harpers Ferry, WV. It is segment #34 in the Maryland section of Nielsen's book Right-of-Way, A Guide To Abandoned Railroads. The branch was initially constructed some time in the late 1800s, and ran north to Hagerstown. The B&O had its own station in town; a replica on the site is now a car wash. The B&O also had a bypass that cut around the southeast side of Hagerstown and connected directly from the branch to the old Western Maryland mainline; this bypass is abandoned also and ran from Security Junction on the B&O to Security on the WM.

Hagerstown still has a lot of rail activity for a small town, including a former WM yard and buildings that are now the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum. Part of this branch is still in service, between Hagerstown and a state prison called Roxbury in the SPV atlas. South of there, the entire remainder of the branch was abandoned in the 1970s. Towns on this section to the south of Roxbury are Breathedsville, Keedysville, Eakle's Mill, Rohrersville, Beeler's Summit, Gapland, Brownsville, Augusta, Stonebreaker and into Weverton on the line between Washington, DC and Harper's Ferry, WV.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

In October 2008 I stopped by the Hagerstown (MD) Roundhouse Museum. The volunteers theer said this line was pulled up in the 1980s, after Western Maryland and B&O had been folded into Chessie System. This specific route was built to allow B&O to reach the interchanges with other lines in Hagerstown; there was little on-line business. Once the Chessie System lines were consolidated, this route was no longer needed.

Mike Palmer
Torrance, CA
11/27/2008

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I have chessie timetables and the one from 1975 shows the line still going to weaverton,then I also have a 1981 book that shows it only going to roxbury. Some where between 1975 and 1981 the track was pulled up.

Roger Mitchell
Hagerstown , MD
5/18/2011

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The Washington County RR was opened by the B&O in 1867 or 1868 and lasted intact well into the 1970's when after the B&O was acquired by the C&O, it was removed in stages. It has more often been called the Hagerstown Branch or the Weverton Branch but the offiical name was referenced at the outset. Pieces of the branch off the CSX mainline can still be found today at the former connection, across from the C&O Canal lockhouse. Word of warning though in warm weather, snakes like to hide in cool places out of the sun, where it is still warm so be careful if desiring to go wandering into the weeds in search of this, or for that matter, any other such venture.

Bob Cohen
Gaithersburg, MD
6/12/2011

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I drive along about 13 miles of this route (Brunswick to just south of Roxbury) every day. I've been fascinated by the old railroad bed (as well as the old road that preceded state Route 67) through "Pleasant Valley" for years. The path from where the tracks passed over Trego Road at Rohrersville Station to Dogstreet Lane (just past Eakles Mill) is very easy to view as you drive North along Trego Road and then Mt. Briar Road as the right of way crisscrosses the road(s) several times and is elevated in many places.

There is currently a renewed push to convert the right of way into a bike path from Weverton to Hagerstown.

Steven M. Rogowsky
Keedysville, MD
3/10/2012

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This is a very interesting branch line with a neat history and spectacular scenery but it really never amounted to much. It was ostensibly built by the B&O as noted here to interchange with several railroads including the Western Maryland but it was really built to siphon traffic off of the Western Maryland. This was back in the days when you built competing lines either in hopes of taking over a market or at the very least reducing your competitors hold in a particular market. Competition is good!

Dan Rousseau
Haslet, TX
9/4/2012

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Interestingly, the old right-of-way parallels Roxbury Correctional Institution's Western Fence within 30-50 feet and is very visible.

Cody Haer
Meyersdale, PA
8/10/2013

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Does anyone know the status of the right of way....it appears that local land owners have taken the right of way in many places....we have been hiking the weverton end.

Sean Mitchell
Frederick, MD
1/17/2014

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