The town of Brunswick, Maryland is a suburb of Washington D.C. that sits on the Potomac River. Originally named Berlin after the numerous German settlers who made their home here and later changed to Brunswick, the town was a small stop on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal which ran from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland. It remained a small town until something new came along.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad had arrived to the town, and everything changed. A roundhouse and shops and a rail yard were built which brought workers to the town causing the population to grow. In a short time this town was a railroad town.
Today, Brunswick holds it railroad heritage in spite of the fact that the rail yard was reduced in the 1950’s and that the roundhouse was demolished, but the original yard tower still stands. (It is currently not open to the public and is on CSX Railroad property.) You can see the old passenger train depot where passengers rode the train from Brunswick to various places across America. (Today, the depot serves as a commuter train station for those going to and from Washington D.C.) You can stroll through the commuter parking lot and stand where rail cars were once stored waiting to be connected to trains. Of course, you have to watch the passing trains.
At the intersection of Maple Avenue and Potomac Street, you will find a small park with a gazebo and a large mural of a train plus and old rail signal.
Then you make your way west on Potomac Street to the Brunswick Heritage Museum. You enter the museum, and you can visit the C&O Canal Museum and Visitor Center on the first floor. You go up to the second floor, and you can see displays of life in Brunswick and how the people lived. Then you go to the third floor, and you will see a model train display of the railroad between the town of Brunswick and Union Station in Washington D.C. The museum is open from Thursday to Sunday, and admission is free, but they gladly accept donations to help with the costs of keeping the museum running. You can learn more about the museum hours and upcoming events at http://brunswickmuseum.org.
As you walk through the town, you will feel that this is a true railroad town. Every fall, the town has it Railroad Heritage Days to celebrate the town’s railroad heritage. For two days there are model train displays, and there are trains rides available where you can ride along the tracks the Baltimore and Ohio originally ran on. If you need a souvenir, you can visit the Brunswick High School booth where you can buy a shirt. Their team name is the ‘Railroaders’ in case you are wondering.
The town of Brunswick, Maryland is a quiet town situated far from the major roadways of U.S. Routes 15 and 340 as well as Virginia Route 7 to the south. It is always a great spot to sit and watch the trains roll by. If you get hungry, there are a few great restaurants and ice cream shops a short walk away. You can learn more about the town at https://brunswickmd.gov. It is a town truly worth your time.