Girder Rail Segment from Frederick

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Object Type

Track Component

H&FRHS Catalog ID


Date or Period



Frederick, MD

Credit Line

City of Frederick, MD

Storage Location

Society Library


This half-inch slice of rail, one of several identical pieces in the collection, was removed from the streets of Frederick by the City during maintenance work and was donated to the Society.

Girder Rail was designed for use in cobblestone or brick streets where the long “shelf” protected the flange of the train wheels from running over stone and wearing down, breaking or derailing as opposed to guard rail which has a “U” shape depression serving much the same purpose in gravel, dirt, concrete and asphalt roads.

This rail was used by the Frederick & Middletown Railway in the streets of the city and can be identified in several locations throughout the same in early photographs.

Similar rail used in Hagerstown by the Hagerstown Railway was taller with a narrower shelf.