February 4, 2023

Today in History: B&O Railroad

Last Updated on February 28, 2018

Today in History–February 28–the Library of Congress features the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, which became the first U.S. railway chartered for transporting commercial freight and passengers on this day in 1827. The first track was 13 miles long and opened in 1830. Find out more about this groundbreaking railroad by visiting the Today in History section, then clicking the links below to access some fascinating primary sources.

B & O Railroad image set

Peter Cooper’s Tom Thumb steam engine

Map of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and its principal connecting lines uniting all parts of the East & West (1860)

Guide to Baltimore & Ohio railroad (1873)

Guide to Baltimore & Ohio railroad (1874)

Summer tours, 1906, pub. by the Baltimore & Ohio railroad co.

B & O Train Wreck in Washington, DC, Dec. 30, 1906 (selected newspaper articles)

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad historical newspaper coverage

Related collections of primary sources


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  1. […] to Cumberland, Maryland and took 22 years to complete (ground was broken on the same day as the B&O Railroad). Find out more about the history of early river transportation by visiting […]

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