HISTORY OF EASTERN SHORE The Baltimore & Eastern suffered a fatal blow in 1933, when a severe storm cut an inlet between Ocean City and Assateague, wrecking the Sinepuxent Bay trestle. The railroad decided to abandon the bridge instead of repairing it. This eliminated the passenger business to the resorts that provided much of their revenue. In 1938, due to the loss of revenue from the resorts,the B&E began eliminating other routes that were not producing. The routes from Easton to Preston, McDaniel to Claiborne, and Queenstown to Centreville were abandoned. At the same time the company dropped all passenger service. In 1950, the Mardela Branch back to Hebron was abandoned. In 1955, the company abandoned the route between Berlin and Willards. The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), who had always had a large interest in the New York, Philadelphia & Norfolk (NYP&N), leased the company in 1920 for 999 years. The PRR formally took over the railroad on November 1, 1922. The Pennsylvania Railroad continued operating the Eastern Shore lines profitably for many years. Unfortunately traffic on the north-south route began to dwindle after World War II. During the War the Pennsylvania transported 1,000 cars a day across the bay from Norfolk to Cape Charles. By the 1950's the number had dwindled to four hundred. Shippers had largely converted to the more flexible services offered by trucking companies. In the mid-fifties the railroad decided to reduce the double tracked main line to a single track. With dwindling business, The PRR dropped its passenger trains in 1958. The heyday of passenger service had come during World War II when the station at Salisbury took in $25,000 a month in ticket sales. After the war passengers had deserted the trains in droves in favor of the private automobile. The railroad's status remained the same until 1968, when the Pennsylvania Railroad merged with the New York Central to form Penn Central. Since the Eastern Shore lines were not very profitable, Penn Central allowed service and track maintenance to fall to even more deplorable levels. In 1970, it abandoned the line between Pittsville and Willards. Then, in 1973, the company removed the tracks from Walston Switch to Pittsville. The Penn Central struggled for a few years then the Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) took over from Penn Central. Conrail assumed control in 1976. The Eastern Shore was low on its priority list and rail conditions continued to worsen. Conrail's Final System Plan called for the railroad to operate the main north to south line through Salisbury and the spur to the Perdue plant near Walston, east of Salisbury. Through a joint financing between Perdue and Conrail, this latter spur was upgraded with welded rail. It has since become one of the busiest tracks in Salisbury. Conrail also operates at least two north and south trains daily through Salisbury with special trains added as conditions warrant. The Plan, however did not call for the inclusion of the Hebron line. Although this branch had dwindled to carry only a fraction of what it once had, it was still very important to shippers on the line. Recognizing this, the Wicomico County Council agreed to finance the Salisbury to Hebron rail line when Conrail threatened to cut service in 1978. They appropriated $6,500 "as insurance that the track will stay open another year and as an investment in the county's goal of attracting heavy industry here." The county continued this arrangement until April 30, 1981, when at the concurrence of rail users and the County financing was withdrawn and the line closed. The State Railway Administration currently owns the roadbed of the line and would rehabilitate the spur if business ever demanded it. Today the railroad continues to have great importance for the Salisbury area. Delmarva's largest industry, poultry production, relies heavily on railroad service.


Data from the April 29, 1962 PRR timetable

For routes refer to PRR map

    THE Daily Train # Southbound, Train # Northbound
    From Wilmington, De. to Cape Charles, Va. via PRR
    From Cape Charles, Va. to Norfolk, Va. via the Cape Charles Ferry

by ho sam

All color mixes are based on PollyScale Acrylics paint numbers.
All bottle sizes are 1 fluid ounce size.
Capful refers to the cap on the bottle.
HK=Herald King decals for reference only these are no longer available.
MS=Microscale Decals
C=Custom made on Alps Printer

PENNSYLVANIA-EASTERN SHORE ONLY Brunswick Green-? decals-MS #87-21

S.A. McCall