Baltimore & Ohio Railroad || Capital Crescent Trail

Railroad: Dalecarlia Tunnel, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Date: June 6, 1948
Credit: E.L. Thompson, B&O RR Historical Society (B&ORRHS) Collection, courtesy of B&ORRHS

Baltimore & Ohio steam locomotive 1320 creeps out of the Dalecarlia Tunnel on the industrial Georgetown Branch near Bethesda, Maryland, to a crowd of awaiting railfans eager to capture its picture in June 1948.

The Baltimore & Ohio’s Georgetown Branch and its Roman-arch tunnel were both completed in 1910. For decades, the branch line served local industries in Silver Spring, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, and Georgetown, Maryland. Business declined in the 1960s and 1970s, and Chessie System—successor of the B&O—ran its last train over the branch in 1985. The Dalecarlia Tunnel was officially abandoned in 1986.


Trail: Capital Crescent Trail
Trail length: 12.7 miles
Date: January 25, 2022
Credit: Franz Jantzen, courtesy of the photographer

Runners, walkers, and bikers all enjoy the scenic passage through the Dalecarlia Tunnel on the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda, Maryland, on this January day. Today, the trail is an eastern gateway to the Great American Rail-Trail.

The Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail, a volunteer group created in 1986, worked with another rail-trail advocacy group and by 1988 persuaded local and federal officials to convert the idle corridor into a multi-use trail. Groundbreaking took place in 1992, and the route was formally dedicated in late 1996. The Dalecarlia Tunnel opened a year and a half later as a result of Coalition efforts and funding.

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