The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 1827–1962


Map Code: Ax01973

The Baltimore and Ohio railroad had as its slogan: ‘Linking 13 Great States with the Nation’. It was chartered in 1827 and is the oldest common carrier (carrying goods and people) railroad in the United States. In 1962, it was acquired by the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad, which merged it with several other railroads, ensuring its survival. The Baltimore and Ohio railroad came into existence after Baltimore city wanted a transport system to compete with the newly constructed Erie Canal in New York and a proposed further canal connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It initially restricted itself to transportation within Maryland, but rapidly extended its reach southwards to Virginia and West Virginia. It later linked with smaller railroads and grew northwards and westwards despite attempts to halt its progress – to New York and Ohio through Pennsylvania. It extended as far west as Springfield and St. Louis, Illinois, passing through much of the central midwest.

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