The Martin F.
O'Rourke Memorial Railroad Library at Bowie Tower is a public eference
library of railroad books, materials, manuals, maps, publications,
timetables, and other railroad
related materials and ephemera. The project's purpose is to preserve
information about railroads and share that information with the
catalog contains well about 1,000 books
and manuals. The library also has several hundred additional vintage
magazines and other periodicals and an assortment of railroad
timetables making the total number of items in the collection well
over 1,800. The library also has a small childrens' section (a
few non-train books too) with an array of books suitable
for kids from two and up to help you entertain your little companion
when you spend time at the library. For more information on the
collection and how it can be used, see our Services
which opened to the public on September 22nd, 2007 in a formal ceremony,
is operated by the Washington, D.C.
Chapter, Inc., of the National
Railway Historical Society in partnership with the City
of Bowie, Maryland and its Museums
Division. The library is located in the base of the former Pennsylvania
Railroad Interlocking Tower at the Huntington Museum in historic
old Bowie, right next to the tracks of Amtrak's (formerly
Pennsylvania Railroad) high speed Northeast Corridor and
at the north end of CSX's (formerly Pennsylvania Railroad)
Pope's Creek Branch.
library is designed, organized, catalogued, and managed by a professional
librarian. It is open to the public six days a week. Visitors will
be able to browse the collection and read books, magazines, railroad
timetables, and railroad technical manuals, and look at other railroad
related material in the library. This is a reference library; few
if any materials will be "removable" from the facility but reproduction
capability will be available for a small fee. The library contains
mostly an assortment of materials on U.S. Railroads and dates from
the late 1880's to present. Currently the library has a broad focus
on railroading history because of the nature of the materials we
have obtained. Over time the focus of the library is expected to
become increasingly that of the Washington, D.C. region, surrounding
areas, and railroads that historically served or still serve these
is named in honor of longtime member and former Chapter President
Martin F. O'Rourke.
The City of
Bowie, Maryland is an outstanding partner in this project. Without
their genuine cooperation, enthusiasm, and support this educational
project would not be possible. We are especially appreciative of
the support of the City's Museums Division.
Chessie Caboose at Bowie Tower!
Come see the B&O Bay Window Caboose resplendent in its Chessie System Colors arrived in Bowie! Come by the Tower and check it out!
Tower and library photos by J. Lilly
GG-1 photo from collection of Kevin J. Tankersely