Monday, April 21, 2014

Unidentified railroad track equipment

I was walking along the Capital Crescent Trail, which runs along what was once the Georgetown Branch of the B & O railroad.  There are very few remaining relics of the railroad, mostly just a partially visible rail here and there.  However, I did run across this very large, and very puzzling metal thing.

I can't really find the words to adequately describe it, so I can't really search the web to find out what it is. It is about as wide as the rails of the railroad track, has what looks like a pressurized vessel with various pipes going here and there.

If you want to see it for yourself, it is just a bit north of the Dalecarlia tunnel.  I'd like to know what it is, so if you have ideas, leave a comment.

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UPDATE 5/2: I heard from Ben Sullivan who runs a website about the Georgtown Branch railroad line. He said in part "It is indeed the frame of a railroad car and the piping and tanks you described on your blog are components of the brake rigging on the car." And gave a bit about a possible reason: "My best bet so far is that it's part of a derailment wreck and the useful parts of the cars (ie. the wheels, trucks, coupler boxes and bolsters where the trucks were mounted) were all cut off with a torch and taken back to the shop. The rest of the scrap was left to rot. As far as a time/date/reason as to why they were there will be much more difficult. I'm still working on this problem but I doubt I will find specifics."

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