The Georgetown Branch - Ben Sullivan
The Georgetown Branch: Gallery:The William Duvall collection

11/29/2004 - I recently visited a Chevy Chase native who shot many gorgeous photos of the GB back in the 50's - 70's. Here are the slides, digitized. They are arranged in geographic order, beginning at MP 0 of the GB, Georgetown Jct. All photos are © William Duvall. The date in parentheses in the title is the development date printed on the slide. The slides, mainly KodaChrome, were scanned with a Polaroid SprintScan 120 at 4000dpi.
Pics Heading down the palisades
(Nov 1959)

B&O GP9 6524 with caboose C-3753 leads the train westbound toward Georgetown. In the distance is Virginia, with the Chain Bridge crossing the potomac in the top-middle. The C&O towpath glows red in the Autumn sun, and Canal Rd. sneaks by below the GB r-o-w.
Pics Steam on the whipple

MSME excursion down the GB. Q1c 4320 does a runby across the 3 bridges at the C&O Canal. The bridge in the foreground is a whipple pin-connected through truss. Photo by E.L. "Tommy" Thompson
Pics H12-44 crossing the C&O Canal
(Nov 1966)

9725 leads the Georgetown Local westbound across the C&O Canal towards Georgetown. Reporting Marks: C-28??, FGE, B&O, B&O, ...
Pics B&O 6660, an EMD GP9, heads across the Canal
(Jan 1977)

Now in Chessie paint, the GP9 shows off against the white snow. Reporting Marks: C-2???, WM, ?, ?, ?, CP, ...
Pics Along the C&O canal
(Dec 1967)

9700 heading eastbound towards Georgetown Junction. Reporting Marks: ?, P&LE, B&O, WM, WM, ?,...
Pics Same train as it passes by
(Dec 1967)

Passing Fletcher's Boathouse. Note the boats resting on their side toward the front of the train. Reporting Marks: C-2808, MP 129149, ?, ?, B&O, B&O *Note "Time Saver Service" logo, CN, ?, ?, ?, MILW, CP, ?, ?,...
Pics John Bull on the GB

One of the oldest locomotives in the world was brought out on the Georgetown Branch for its 150th anniversary. Rides were given between the Aqueduct Bridge in Georgetown and here at Fletcher's Boathouse. The operators even dressed up in period costume for the event, run by the Smithsonian. Here and here is a good history of the John Bull.
Pics Sculler passing the John Bull

C&O Canal in the foreground, Fletcher's Boathouse to the right, the John Bull simmers away to the delight of all onlookers.
Pics Canal Washout
(Jun 1967)

The C&O Canal bed is torn open after a flood washed through the wall and through the Georgetown Branch roadbed below (which has already been repaired; note fresh ballast). The Canal has always been fraught with floods and damage caused by them, which is partly why it went out of business. Potomac river is in the background; note the folks out in a boat.
Pics Flood Waters on C&O Canal near Fletcher's Boathouse

The RR tried to preserve the roadbed with heavy boxcars. It didn't work. Reporting Marks: CNJ 14??8, B&O. Collection of Robert A. Truax.
Pics Flood Waters on C&O Canal near Fletcher's Boathouse

The guy in the boat is pretty brave! Note the 2 folks to the right. Behind the C&O boxcar 3572 you can see the roofs of Fletcher's Boathouse. Collection of Robert A. Truax.
Pics Flood Waters on C&O Canal near Fletcher's Boathouse

Note the folks standing in the gondola about 5 cars in. Reporting Marks: SOU 15863, B&O 273015, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?,... Collection of Robert A. Truax.
Pics Southern "Best Friend Of Charleston" on the GB
(Aug 1976)

Brought to town for the Bicentennial, the BFoC was run on the GB tracks.
Pics Best Friend of Charleston simmering
(Aug 1976)

Located just west of the Aqueduct Bridge in Georgetown.
Pics Switching the west end of Georgetown

Here we see several covered hoppers being passed by the B&O Scale House (to the right, behind the cars). Note the brakemen standing next to the cars. In the foreground is a B&O Section House, complete with jigger tracks in front for the hand car. In the distance an S unit is seen as the power for this train. Also seen in the distance is the pedestrian foot bridge over the GB, with a telltale to protect brakemen atop cars. To the left are some of the local boat houses on the Potomac River. There are 2 missing, no doubt from a recent flood. And, if my eyes don't deceive me, if you look real hard, you can see what appears to be smoke & a headlight from a waiting steam engine just to the right of the center steeple of the boathouse in the background. There's definitely something smoking back there. View is West. Photo is taken from atop the Aqueduct Bridge.
Pics East end of the Georgetown passing siding
(Feb 1974)

GP9 6487 heads RR East around the train to couple on and head back to Georgetown Junction. Caboose C-3753 is the rear protection for this train.
Pics Old Aqueduct Bridge
(Dec 1967)

This bridge used to carry the C&O Canal across the Potomac River to a network connecting with Alexandria, VA. Later decked over it carried carts, autos, trolleys and even a railroad. Facing West we see the track split in two and begin to run down Water (K) St. behind the photographer. In the clearing beyond the arch we see where a few boathouses and the B&O Section House once stood.
Pics B&O GP9 6526 switches in the streets of Georgetown
(Feb 1973)

In the dim light beneath the Whitehurst Freeway, 6526 switches at 33rd & Water (K) St. Reporting Marks: IMFX (General American Transportation Corp.) 29537, SOU 503142, D&H, ...
Pics 9725 Switching the "new" yard in Georgetown
(Nov 1966)

Located near the end of Wisconsin Ave, the Whitehurst Fwy. looms above Water (K) St. Life for the yards in Georgetown were coming to an end when this photo was taken. Soon, the only shipments to georgetown would be coal for the heating plant at the end of the line. Once that dried up, the branch died. Reporting Marks: CNJ 654?, C&O 3604.
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