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Backwater: 1937

Backwater: 1937

December 1937. "Water tower on railroad through Jennings, Maryland. The train now runs only once a week." Medium format acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein. View full size.


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Frozen in Time

By the look of the track warbles would be a better description for the train than 'runs'. On account of the frozen water tank how would a train refill in this event?

Jennings Brothers Ray-rode

We are so far back in the sticks here, they had to pipe the sunlight in to it.

This road was originally the Jennings Brothers Railroad. They brought their railroad and sawmilling equipment from up near Lopez, Pa. The lumbering eventually was finished, and the railroad was later known as the Northern Maryland & Tidewater RR. By the time of Mr. Rothstein's visit, this operation was known as the Castleman River RR, which followed the Casselman River most of the way.

Connecting with the B&O Salisbury Branch near Salisbury, Pa, the line ran down through Grantsville, Md and Jennings to Bittinger, Md. Traffic was some coal outbound, a little general freight for Grantsville, and some brick-making if I recall it right. All of the CRRR's old engines had been retired; they were renting old locomotives from connection B&ORR. Castleman River RR went out of business c. 1956.

Find out more in "Tall Pines and Winding Rivers" self-published by Ben F.G. Kline about 1982.


There's a spur in our neighborhood which saw short-train low-speed traffic twenty years ago. Then after that, they parked work trains there while improving the main line. It's been abandoned since then, and barely looks worse than this line.


Looking at topo maps, the line appears to have been in operation as late as 1952, but abandoned by 1956. Those wanting to know the exact date could consult Surface Transportation Board (STB) records.

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