Exploring the Past That’s All Around Us in Cecil County – Looking for Relics Along the Octoraro Line

The Octoraro Branch Railroad once connected Rising Sun, Colora, Rowlandsville, Liberty Grove, and other northwestern Cecil County communities with the outside world.  But in the automobile-age, passenger service declined rapidly and after World War II freight service slowly disappeared.

Although it’s been a long time since the lonesome locomotive whistle echoed through these valleys and hills, plenty of relics from the heyday of the railroad still exist for anyone casually exploring the abandoned right-of-way.  One sunny day this week, I snapped this shot of the old iron bridge where it crosses Basin Run and the tracks enter the deep cut outside of Rowlandsville.  Along the way, plenty of other artifacts from the golden era of the train caught our attention, including railroad stations, depots signs, several bridges and other remnants.

The Octoraro Branch, with its natural beauty, rolling hills, and gentle streams, would make an ideal rails to trails route for public enjoyment.


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