This week on Georgetown Time Machine, GM returns to the fabulous B & O Railroad archive maintained by Ben Sullivan. This particular shot demonstrates again the imposing scene that was once quite regular on K St.
It is from Oct. 24, 1954. It is from a railfan excursion run from Georgetown up around to Silver Spring. As you can see, the locomotive is towing passenger cars, which would be a rare sight. While the branch was originally intended to carry passenger traffic ultimately across the river, the railroad company secured access to another route before the branch was even finished construction in 1910. So the line was instead used exclusively for freight. By the end of its use, it was primarily supplying coal to the West Heating Plant. When the plant shifted to gas, the freight line lost its last purpose and was shut down in 1985.