B&O Railroad

Few events in Baltimore’s history were as noteworthy as the July 4, 1828, groundbreaking for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

One of the first rail lines in the United States, the B&O was founded to help Baltimore recapture some of the western trade it had lost with the completion of the Erie Canal in New York. Although it did not reach the Ohio River until 1853, the B&O’s commercial success and technical innovations—including operating the first American-built steam locomotive—contributed to an explosion of railroad construction throughout the country. To learn more about the B&O’s impact, please visit the BMI’s Maryland Milestones Wall.

View of ‘The Royal Blue’ engine, rebuilt at the Baltimore Mount Clare shop in 1937, and retired in 1957

View of a worker standing in front of a B&O Railroad Locomotive

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