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When railroads made history: Bowie, MD

The  building  where  the  baggage  was  kept  before  it  was  loaded  onto  the  train.
The building where the baggage was kept before it was loaded onto the train.
John Cowgill

When you hear about Bowie, Maryland, you think about the largest town in Prince George’s County, the fifth most populated town in the state of Maryland, and the third largest town in land area in the state. You think about a town that is in the eastern region of the Washington DC Metropolitan area. It is a town that has grown by leaps and bounds through the years. All of this began with the railroad.
The year was 1853. A former colonel named William Bowie began to construct a major rail line with a spur that went into Southern Maryland. The town of Huntington City was constructed around this junction. From this junction, the town began to grow. Belair Mansion was built as a plantation. The Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Line was then built providing passenger service between Washington DC and three stations in Bowie to include the Race Track which was once the oldest continuing race track in the nation. The town was later named Bowie after the man who brought the railroad to the region.
Today, the station is no longer in use, but the two rail lines that the town was built around still exist. The main line is now served by Amtrak and Marc Trains, and Conrail still runs trains down into Southern Maryland. (The Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Line no longer exists, but must of the embankments are still there with sections of it made into a bike path.) The Huntington Railroad Museum displays much of the regional history to include at tower and an old Norfolk and Western Caboose. It is located at 8614 Chestnut Avenue just off Maryland Route 564 in what is called Old Bowie. It is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. As you drive through this part of the town, you see a town made possible by the railroad.

This  is  the  junction  of  which  the  town  of  Bowie,  Maryland  was  built  around.
John Cowgill