The Carrollton Viaduct carried the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad over the Gwynns Falls, its first malor stream crossing as it headed west from its Pratt Street terminus Completed in 1829, the 300-foot stone span is named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton, signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the B&O's founders. Worried about competition from canals, Baltimore's business leaders cast their lot with a new untested technology, railroads. Horses initially pulled the loads, but the B&O successfully introduced steam-powered locomotives and became known as "the Railroad University of the United States" By 1880 the railroad helped make Baltimore the second largest port for grain and a major livestock and coal terminal.
... the great railroad ... has probably contributed more to [Baltimore's] commercial prosperity than all other agencies combined.
Thomas Scharf, 1881.[photograph]
A steam locomotive crosses the Carrollton Viaduct during the B&O's centennial celebration in 1929.
The B&O Railroad Museum, at 901 West Pratt Street, occupies the former Mount Clare Station and the roundhouse.