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Full text of "The history and construction of the Huntingdon Avenue viaduct / Harold C. Sperry."

There are too blueprints too large to scan. 



file:///X|/Special%20Collections/purgatory/Phi%20Mu/Sperry,%20Harold%20C/Blueprints.txt[5/16/2011 1:04:04 PM] 



THE HISTORY AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE HUNTINGDON AVENUE 

VIADUCT 



Thesis prepared by 



Harold C. S perry 



For initiation into the 
Beta Chapter of Maryland 
Tau Beta Pi 



THE HISTORY AMD CONSTRUCTION" OF THE HUNTINGDON AVENUE 

VIADUCT 

Summary 

The Huntingdon Avenue Viaduct is an electric railway viaduct 
located in Baltimore City and operated "by the Baltimore Transit 
Company in conjunction with its Roland Park, Hampden, and Mount 
Washington lines. 

In 1890 there were four street railway companies in Baltimore , 
each offering the other keen competition. They were : The Baltimore 
Traction Company; The City and Suburban Railway; The Lake Roland 
Elevated; and The City Passenger Railway. Each company was striv- 
ing' to gain control of the Hampden Section, At this time the City 
and Suburban Railway followed a route from the Twenty-Fifth ana 
Oak Streets carhouse north on Huntingdon Avenue to Thirtieth Street, 
to Remington Avenue, to Thirty-Third Street, to Chesnut Avenue , 
to Thirty-Sixth Street, to Roland Avenue, and to Fortieth. In 
September 1393, when the City and Suburban Railway was electrify- 
ing its Maryland Avenue Division, it built the Huntingdon Avenue 
Viaduct. This Viaduct extended Huntingdon Avenue across the Stoney 
Run Valley in Wyman's Park into Thirty- third Street making a new 
direct straight line path to Hampden. This new Viaduct cat out 
about a half-mile of unnecessary track. In June 1397, the Balti- 
more Traction Company, City and Suburban Railway, and the Lake ' - 
Roland Elevated were consolidated and formed the Baltimore Con- 
solidated Railway. 0.. March 4, 1S99, the United Railway and 
Electric Company was brought into being by the merger of the 



- 2- 

Baltimore Consolidated Railway and the City Passenger Railway. 
This new company now operated about 350 miles of track. The name 
was changed in 1935 to the Baltimore Transit Company. 

The viaduct is 1036 feet long between abutments, which is a- 
bout one-fifth of a mile long, and was built and designed by the 
Penn Steel Company, The structure consists of 24-30 foot spans, 
using deck plate girder stringers 17 feet between centers; a pin 
connected Pratt truss span 250 feet long spanning Stoney Run and 
the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad: and an 86 ft. two hinge d 
arch over '.7yman f s Park Drive. The north and south abutments are of 
ashlar masonery with filled double track approaches centered on 
Huntingdon Avenue . The grade is- 1.33£ from the north tc south 
abutment. Eear the south abutment the spans bear on ashlar 
pedestals ? then some spans bearing on single bents, then out near 
the middle the spans bear on steel towers. The bents and towers 
bear on rock base ashlar pedestals* The 250 ft. Pratt truss bears 
on high ashlar piers, and the arch foundations are of concrete. 
The arch span which replaced two original bents was designed and 
fabricated by the Baltimore Bridge Company in order to permit 
construction of the Park Drive. Originally wood ties were laid on 
the deck plale girders spanning the full width of 17 ft.} but in 
1904, these were replaced with steel ties. The-e steel ties con- 
sist oi 12" - 40 lb -"I M beams spaced 30" between centers and 
bearing directly on the stringers. Every 5th "I" beam is ex- 
tended to carry a two toot sidewalk on both sides. Railings along 
these walks were made of 2" pipe. A double track was laid, being 



- 3 - 
12 ft. between centers. Standard eighty pound rails were used with 
sixty pound inner steel guard rails and an S"X 3" timber outer 
guard rail. The trac.cc was laid using a guage of S' - 4^-" instead oi 
the standard 4" - 8^-" guage. This is a unique feature of the 
Baltimore Transit Company system, and was imposed on the Company by 
the people of Baltimore City in order that those who owned wagons 
might be spare -1 from driving across the rough cobbles and could 
utilize the Company's rails for their teams. The total cost was 
$73,418. 

This viaduct is still being used extensively average ing about 
one street car every two minutes during the rush period. It is 
kept in excellent condition and will last many years. 



THE HISTORY AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE HUNTINGDON AVENUE 

VIADUCT 



History 

The Huntingdon Avenue Viaduct is a street railway viaduct 
spanning Stoney Run Valley owned and operated by the Baltimore 
Transit Company in conjunction with its Karapden and Mount Washi ng^ 
ton lines. In order to get a clear conception of conditions dur- 
ing the "building 01 this Viaduct, it is necessar; r to give a history 
of the Baltimore street railways. The story of Baltimore's street 
railways falls, nature ly, into three parts:- the first period is 
from th introduction of horse cars up to the time when rapid transit 
became a reality; the second covers the temporary use of cables as a 
means of locomotion and the later development of electric systems: 
the third comprises the years in which the various companies were 
gradually merged into one company. 
A. HISTORY OF THE HORSE CARS 

On July 26, 1359, the first street car drawn by eight horses 
was put in operation by the City Passenger Railway Company travel- 
ing from the foot of Broadway to North (Guilford Ave.) and Balti- 
more Streets. From this sort of switch back road on which a not 
too dignified citizen might ride to see how it felt, this public 
utility has grown to be one of the most essential institutions in 
th life of the City, 

There was intense opposition to the establishment of the first 
street railway in Baltimore, but in the passing of years, the 
sentiment began to change in favor of the tram line. At first, city 



- 5 - 
officials refused to grant the street railway company right- of-*, ys 
for track, hut on March 28, 1859, Mayor Swann had passed a bill giv- 
ing the railway a right-of-way in return for the stipulation that 
out of ever/ five -cent fare collected one cent would be for 
Baltimore ' s parks , 

Within two months the Broadway tracks were laid up Baltimore 
Street to North and also out Baltimore Street to Pennsylvania 
Avenue. Lines in the western part of the city and the section 
from Baltimore and Broadway to Pells Point were completed and op- 
erated as separate lines. By November 18 , 185a, the White Line 
was extended out Madison Avenue to Boundary Avenue ( NORTH AV_;.^); 
on December 11,1861, the Red Line was diverted from Baltimore 
Street, east of Gay, and carried out Gay Street; and the Blue Line 
( the present St, Paul Street service) was put into operation as 
far North as Boundary Avenue December 4, 1862, As a pioneer, the 
City Passenger Railway Company gained the most desirable streets 
for its lines. 

The Citzen's Passenger Railway was the first to follow the 
City Passenger Railway, and it was the first one to assume big im- 
portance in the city. The Catonsville and Ellicott Mills Railway 
Company was incorporated March 1860 and was opened July 23, 18S2. 
This line was more an independent continuation of the City 
Passenger Railway into the suburbs than a competitive concern. 

The York Road cars were also early put into operation, the 
the Towsontown Railroad Company, incorporated March 9, 1858, had 
its tracks completed as far Govanstown May 27, 1363, and shortly 
thereafter reached Tows on. This line was related closely with the 
City Passenger Railway. 



- 6 - 

In 1872, the city council passed an ordinance granting the 
Park Railway Company the privilege of building a line from German 
and South via Charles, Saratoga, Park, Franklin, Howard, Dolphin, 
Bolton and McMechen to the northen city limits. The franchise 
was acquired by the Baltimore, Peabody Heights and Ifeverly 
Passenger Railway} incorporated in 1874, the Peabody Heights Rail- 
ways thus giving it a through line i'rom German and South to 
Waver ly. 

This, then, was the progress which street railways made in 
Baltimore up to 1880; there was the City Passenger Railway, op- 
erating about six lines; the Citizen's operating a Druid Hill Park; 
Patterson Park service; the People's; covering the city from Druid 
Hill Avenue and the boundary to Fort McHenry; the Baltimore, Pea- 
body heights, and Waverly line from South and German via Bolton 
Street to V/averly; the York Road to Tows ont own; the Catonsvilie, 
and the lines to Powhatten and to Hall Springs. 
B, HISTORY OF THE RAPID TRANSIT PERIOD 

The Huntingdon Avenue Viaduct was built during this period by 
the City and Suburban Railway. 

The story of rapid transit in Baltimore dates from 1876, when 
the Citizens Passenger Railway made an effort to substitute steam 
for horses. A small, smoke-consuming steam engine of 10 h.p. pull- 
ing a passenger car was run for a period of 60 days when it was 
discontinued. 

The next ste^ was the so called Daft motor. It was in 1885 
that Leo Daft equipped for the Baltimore Union Passenger Railway 



- 7 - 
Company, a line running xrom the outskirts of the city through the 
village of Hampden and adjacent territory, covering a distance of 
about two miles. Two locomotives were built, the motors being 
placed low down on the floor of the car and motion from the armature 
shaft to the car wheels beings obtained by internal gears. 

The track was equipped with a third rail to supply current, 
placed midway between che outer rails, which served as a return 
circuit. Part of the system was also equipped with an over head 
trolley service at crossings for safety. This suburban roa6— 
The first regularly equipped electric railway in America — was open- 
ed August 10, 1885. It gave Baltimore the distinction not only of 
trying out the first, commercial third rail electric system, but also 
has claim oi being the pioneer in the use of the overhead trolley 
system. There were certain serious obstacles in the way of successf- 
ully operating this line, and it was finally changed back to a 
horse line after several years operation. It was around this time 
that the City and Suburban Railway absorbed the Baltimore Union 
Passenger Railway. JNio definite date could be found. 

Six years after the beginning oi the Hampden electric line, the 
Baltimore Traction Company — a corporation that had been formed of 
some of uhe car lines previously mentioned- -started a new era in 
the history of Baltimore's street car lines by opening its first 
cable line, the Druid Hill Avenue system. This service was start- 
ed May 23, 1891, and continued for five years, after which the line 
was electrified. Cable lines involved an enormous expense, but the 
Baltimore railway managers were willing to work oat with costly ex- 
periments the problems of rapid transit. The two leading Companies 



- 8 - 
adopted this system but a few years later it was made useless by 
the more effective electric power. 

The City and Suburban Railway ran its first electric car lo 
Y/albrook in 1890, and so successful was the venture that other 
electric limes were started and finally this form was substituted 
for cable. 

The Lake Roland Elevated was started in early '92. The route 
connected the Lake Re Land Elevated with the North Avenue line at 
Oak Street and North Avenue. Erom North Avenue the cars ran ajj 
Oak Street to Twenty-Thirdj to Hampden Avenue , to Twenty-Fourth, 
and thence in a northerly and northwesterly course over Stoney Run 
Branch, to Ceder, to Second, to Hampden, to Eim Avenues. This 
Company purchased 60 acres of land on Lake Roland at $500 an acre, 
with an idea of developing the suburbs. 

The first electric car in actual use for trail ic oper-ted on 
May 28, 1892 by the Baltimore Traction Company between South 
Baltimore and Curtis Bay. On April 2, 1893 > the York Road line of 
the City and Suburban Railway was electrified. 

Electrification was started September 3, 1393, and was complet- 
ed September 24, 1893, on the Maryland Avenue and Highland town 
Division of the City and Suburban Railway. This Maryland Avenue 
Division was the old Baltimore Union Passenger Railway Company. 
Up until this time, this division had followed a route from the 
Twenty-Fifth and Oak Street Carhouse north on Huntingdon Avenue, 
to Thirty-Third Street, to Chesnut Avenue, to Thirty-Sixth Street, 
to Roland Avenue, to Fortieth Street (Merryman's Lane). Due to 
the intense competition and the want for a short direct route to 



Hampden, the City and Suburban Railway built the Huntingdon Avenue 
Viaduct sometime between September 3rd and September 24, 1893. This 
Viaduct spanned the Stoney Run Valley and the Maryland and 
Pennsylvania Railroad and was a direct continuation of Huntingdon 
Avenue. This Viaduct cut out about a half-mile of unnecessary track. 
The new path was north on Huntingdon Avenue across the Viaduct into 
Thirty-Third Street. The accompanying map shows the old and new 
routes. 
C. CONSOLIDATION OF RAILWAYS 

The first unification was the formation of the Baltimore Traction 
Company, which absorbed the Citizen Passenger Railway, the People's 
Rassenger Railway, the Baltimore Pimlico and Pike svi lie Railway, the 
Gwyn Oak: and Powhattan Railway, the Shore Line and the Curtis Bay 
Railroad. This Consolidated Company was combined with the City and 
Suburban and the Lake Roland Elevated do form the Baltimore 
Consolidated Railway in 1897. 

By the formation of the Baltimore Consolidated Railway, the City 
Passenger Railway found a formidable competitor and it was but a 
matter of time before this would be consolidated. 

The City Passenger owned 110 miles of track; the Baltimore 
Consolidated owned 200 miles of track. 

Finally, March 4, 1899, the United Railways and Electric 
Company was brought into being by the result of a merger between the 
two Companies. The new Company continued until 1935 when the name 
was changed to the Baltimore Transit Company. 
D. HISTORY OF WYM&N'S PARK 

In 1903 a tract embracing the steep hills ices of Stoney Run 



- 10- 
was taken over under the name v/yman Par&, with an approach from the 
northern end of Maryland Avenue. This parked tract, filling out ^na 
partly surrounding the grounds or Johns Hopkins University, was ob- 
tained largely by donation from citizens. By the ordinance /rl63, 
approved ,'ia.y 11, 1903, a now Wy man's Park Road was provided. Work 
on this road was started 1906 and completed 1907. The cost was 
$50,000. In order to make possible this new road which was to pass 
under the viaduct, two bents were removed and an arch was placed in 
their stead. 



- 11 - 

CONSTRUCTION 
A. LOCATION 

The Huntingdon Avenue Viaduct is a Street railway viaduct owned by 
the Baltimore Transit Company of Balximore . This viaduct spans the 
Stoney Run Valley in Wyman's Park and is a direct extension of 
Huntingdon Avenue. In spanning the Stoney Run Valley, it was necessary 
to span the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, Stoney Run, a ad Wyman's 
Park Drive. The United States Marine Hospital and the Johns Hopkins 
University can easily he seen from this structure. The topography of 
the valley is extremely rough, steep, and irregular, and ofiers ex- 
cellent drainage into Stoney Run. The approaches required very little 
fill because of the level condition of the ground at the top of the 
valley. 
3. CONSTRUCTION 

The viaduct is 108S feet long between the abutments and was de- 
signed and built by ti s Perm Steel Company. The structure consists of 
24-30 foot spans using deck plate girder stringers spaced 17 feet be- 
tween centers, a pin connected deck Pratt truss span 250 feet long spann- 
ing the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad and Stoney Run, and an 86 
foot two hinged arch over V/yman Park Drive. 

The north and south abutments are of coursed ashlar masonery rest- 
ing on a rock base. The elevation of Lhe north abutment is 135 feet 
and the south abutment 180.54 feet. The gradient is -1,33% from the 
north to south abutments. The filled double track approaches are 
centered on Huntingdon Avenue. The south approach is rock ballast 
running from the north abutment to Thirty-Third Street. 



- 12 - 

The pedestals and piers also are of coursed ashlar masonery rest- 
ing on bed rock. The pedestals support the deck plate girder string- 
ers near the abutments, then out further they support the bents and 
towers. The elevations at the top of the pedestals vary from 121.5 
feet to 180 feet. The piers are used to support the deck Fratt trass 
and the south pier is about 75 feet high. The elevation of the south 
pier is 156.22 feet while the north pier is 159,8, The arch span 
replaced two original bents and during the replacement, concrete 
foundations were substituted for the original ashlar pedestals. 
The elevations of these concrete foundations are 151,8 feet. 

There are 24-30 foot pans using deck plate girder stringers 
17 feet between centers. These stringers are riveted plate steel 
girders having a 35" web plate and using 5" flange angles. Steel 
struts spaced 30" with single latticed braces and using 6" flange 
angles are used at both ends and at the mid- point of each span. 
One inch steel squares are used as cross braces between every strut 
to serve against wind deflections. These stringers are supported by 
bents, towers, and pedestals. 

The bents are made up of 12" by 3" channels placed back to back 
and spaced 9|" by single latticing. There are pin connected struts 
at the top and bottom of each bent. These struts are double 4" 
angles placed back to back and spaced 10" by single latticing. All 
bents are cross braced with 1" steel squares to provide against wind 
deflection. 

The towers are the same construction as the bents except that 
struts are also placed mid-way up the towers besides at the top and 
bottom. The towers are cross braced all around between every strut. 



- 13 - 

The arch is a riveted plate girder using a 30" web plate, 6"by <*" . 
flange angles, and 14" flange plates. Single latticed struts are 
used consisting of 3-A-" flange angles spaced 27". The hinged ends of 
the arch are placed in firm concrete foundations. This arch re- 
placed two original bents in 1907 and was designed and. fabricated 
by the Baltimore Bridje Company (became Carnegie Steel Company in 
1911). The arch is cross braced between struts with 2-i jr by 3"r>ingle 
angles. 

The compression members of the pin connected deck Pratt truss 
may be readily distinguished irom tension members by the extensive 
use of latticing as shown m the accompanying group of pictures. The 
tension members are steel box girders consisting of 24" fJange plates, 
and 34" fimge ingles. All struts are single latticed girders consist- 
ing of 2-A-" flange angles and spaced 10" with the lattice bars. The 
bottom chords consist of two 1^" by 5" solid steel rectangle bars 
spaced 124" npart. The Pratt truss is cross braced with 1-^" steel 
squares. The top and bottom chords are 30 feet apart. The accompany- 
ing plan shows the Pratt truss very clearly together with the location 
of the arch, bents, and towers. 

Originally wood ties were laid on the deck plate girders spann- 
ing the full width of 17 feet, but in 1904, these were replaced with 
steel ties. These steel ties consist of 12" -40 pound "I" beams spaced 
30" between centers and bearing directly on the stringers, Every 
fifth "I" beam is extended to carry a two foot sidewalk on bolh sides. 
The regular length of these "I" beams is21 feet and the extended "I" 
beams are 25 feet long. Old 6" rails were laid on the extended ties 
to support a two foot sidewalk. Timber nailing boards were bolted to 
these old rails as shown in the accompanying Plate I. 2 u by 8" wood 



- u - 

"boards. The hand railing consists of 2" gas pipe with railing posts 
placed every 10 feet and fastened to tne extended steel ties. 

A double traeis was laid on the steel ties, being 12 feet between 
centers. Standard eighty pound rails were used with an 89" expans- 
ion joint at bcth ends of the viaduct. Sixty pound inner steel guard 
rails were used extending the entire length oi the viaduct and 8X3" 
yellow pine outer guard rails were used. A total of 13,200 feet of 
steel rail was used in the construction of this viaduct. The track 
was laid using a guage of 5 feet- 4*s- inches instead oi the standard 
4 ieet - 8^-" inches. This is a unique feature of the Baltimore 
transit system, and was imposed on the Company by the people of 
Baltimore City in order that those who owned wagons might be spared 
from driviny across the rough cobbles and could utilize the Company's 
rails for their yearns. Standard 7" diameter trolley poles spaced 
every 100 feet are used. The trolley poles are clamped to 26^ feet 
steel ties. The cars are controlled by a signal system which keeps 
the cs-.CE separated by approximately 500 feet, 
C. COST 

Substructure : - 

Excavation 710 cu. yd. @ $.80= $568 
Ashlar mas one ry 600 cu. yd. @ $18.00= $10800 
Concrete mas one ry 72 cu. yd. {© $12.00= $864 
Substructure Complete $12232 
Superstructure :- 

Structural steel 1,150.000 lbs. @ $.046 -- $50,400 
Hand rail 30,5u0 lbs, $ $.10 - $ 3,050 

Bolts, clips, etc 56,000 lbs. § $.03 = $1,680 
Steel guard fail 79 Ig. tons @ $50,00 - $3,950 



- 15 - 

Guard rail & walk 39,000 ft. B.M. § $54. ^ - ^,2106 

Superstructure Complete $61,186 

Substructure $12,232 

Superstructure _61,186 

Total cost oi viaduct $73, 418 



- 16 - 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Most of the information obtained was by interviews with the 

following men at the places indicated: 

Mr, Adam Hughes- Director of Research, Baltimore 

Transit Company 

Mr. R. L, Chamberlaine- Statistical Engineer, Baltimore 

Transit Company 

Mr. Hysan- Bridge Engineer, Baltimore Transit Company 



Some valuable information was obtained from the following 

sources: 

"Street Car System and Rapid Trans it "by Will. A. House 

"History of Baltimore"by Clayton Coiman Tall, LL, B, ; A.M< 

"Reminiscences of Baltimore" by Jacob Frey 

"History of the City of Baltimore "from the Baltimore, 

American 

"Trolley News", published by the United Railways and 

Electric Company 






GENERAL VIEWS OP T*E 250FT. PRATT TRUSS TAKEN FROM VARIOUS ANGLES 




A VIE'.V OF TIE SOUTH PIER OF TEE PRATT 

TRUSS 




A GENERAL VIEW OF THE TO'.VER CONSTRUCTION 
OF TEE VIADUCT 





£ \ - 



A VIE*:; OF THE NORTH FOUNDATION OF 
THE ARCH 




A VIEW OF 86 FT. ARCH OVER PARK 
DRIVE 




A VIE 1 .? OF THE STEEL TIES AND CONCRETE PROTECTION 
BLOCKS OVER PARK DRIVE 




"WTf 




GENERAL VIEW OP THE CENTER OF 
THE VIADUCT 




A VIEW OF THE BENTS NEAR THE 
ARCH 




A VIEW OF THE SOUTH KINGS OF THE ARCH SHOWING 

BRACES 








GENERAL VIEWS OF TKE TRACK LAY OUT SHOWING TEE GUAKD RAILS, TIES, 

AND WALKS 




A VIEW OF THE PEDESTALS FORMING THE SPAN NEAR THE SOUTH 

ABUTMENT 




A VIEW OF THE BENT NEAR THE SOUTH 




A GSMERfiL Vn T ,', r OF TIE BENT NEAR THE NORTH END OF 

VIADUCT