Last Saturday night, while every body slept except the railroaders, the little town of Brunswick, which used to be called Berlin, became the end of the first division of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and the great freight yards there were opened for business.
The work began at one minute after midnight of Saturday and was practically completed by sundown Sunday. Everything worked as smoothly as a well-oiled piece of machinery. There were no delays and no friction. Under the direction of Mr. Thomas Fitzgerald, superintendent of the first and second sections of the road, the entire freight system of Martinsburg and Sandy Hook was moved bodily to Brunswick, and the headquarters of sixty-five railroad crews were changed as well. Under this arrangement Sandy Hook becomes a way station, but Martinsburg retains the division repair shops. Everything else in connection with the system is located at Brunswick, which is destined to become one of the most important places on the road.
The big freight blockade on the B. and O. two years ago was the town’s salvation. The blockade showed the railroad that its facilities for handling an immense amount of freight were inadequate, and the management sought to better them. The result was the purchase of about 400 acres of land to the east of Berlin, upon which was laid out one of the most complete, as well as extensive railroad freight-yards in America. The price paid for the land is said to have been $33 per acre.
The railroad company has platted 250 acres into town lots. Thomas Cannon has platted 100 acres, adjoining the company’s property, and, with two other “additions,” Brunswick has about 500 acres of land about it laid off into about 2,000 town lots. A handsome natural park on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad property has been reserved and will be kept as a park. One of the land companies announces that it will give a town lot to the widow of any railroad man killed about the town, and it will also give a lot to any employee of the road who may be injured in the neighborhood.
Making Brunswick the terminus of the first section of the road and the beginning of the second section will bring about 2,000 people– railroad men and their families– to the town in the next six months. Others will follow, and it is predicted by railroad officials that Brunswick will contain between 4,000 and 5,000 inhabitants in the next two years. A great many new and tasteful houses have already been erected and occupied and more are in course of construction.
The new railroad yard begins at Brunswick and extends eastward about two and a-quarter miles. It is about 325 feet wide, extending from the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal on the south to a range of hills on the north. On these hills the new portion of the town will be built. The main passenger tracks have been separated, the west-bound track running along the north side of the yard and the east-bound track running on the south side. Parallel with these is a main freight track and a switch track. No switches are in the passenger or freight tracks except at the extreme eastern and western ends. The sidings will be parallel and will extend diagonally across the yard from one switch track to another. At present but 16 diagonals are completed, giving a capacity of 800 cars. By autumn 26 more will be completed, and then, as they are needed, the whole number contemplated, 60, will be laid. This will give a capacity of 3,000 cars. Here all mixed freight trains will be taken, and cars for various points will be made up, so that solid trains ma be sent to their destinations. Over 1,000 feet of culverts of eight feet inside diameter have been built to drain the yards, and over 300,000 cubic yards of earth have been moved.
Besides the laying of the track, a transfer shed 1,400 feet long, a storage ice-house 110 feet long and a number of other buildings have been erected for the company’s use. When completed the work will have cost $250,000.
At the meeting of the stockholders of the Norfolk and Western Railroad Company, held at Roanoke, last week, resolutions were passed reaffirming the authority to extend the road to Richmond and Washington; also to convert the common into preferred stock, so as to have but on denomination of stock. The old board of directors were re-elected.
A corps of engineers has been at work for some days past making the preliminary survey for a railroad from Shenandoah City to Harrisonburg, tapping the Norfolk and Western system at the former point.
The B. & O. Railroad bridge at Harper’s Ferry is to be remodeled, the change being designed to do away with the curve in the bridge on the Virginia side. The Contractor for the new piers required was in Harper’s Ferry last week arranging to do the work.
The new schedule of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad went into effect last Sunday. There are some important changes in the passenger trains stopping at Shenandoah Junction. The correct schedule will be found in another column of the REGISTER.
The Norfolk & Western Railroad has purchased a lot at Berryville from Marshall McCormick, Esq., and it is said that a depot to cost $20,000 is to be built upon it.
Dr. J. F. Tearney, of Harper’s Ferry, has been appointed medical examiner in the B. & O. Relief Department for District No. 4, composed of the main stem west of Relay Station to, but not including Harper’s Ferry. The doctor is to have his headquarters at Brunswick.
One day last week an express train on the Norfolk & Western Railroad, while running very rapidly in the vicinity of White Post, Va., ran into a flock of sheep, killing thirteen of them. When the train stopped at the water-tank for water, a lamb was seen perched on the steam chest, and it did not have a scratch upon it, the only mark visible being some scorched wool, where it came in contact with the hot boiler.
We use this timeline to help us understand the events that may have affected or shaped a person's life. Here are some ideas as to how this timeline may help your further your own research: