Pulled up from the comments.
This past week, Charles County acquired the abandoned Popes Creek Railroad corridor in Faulkner, MD (and several adjacent properties).This exciting purchase will allow for the future development of the County's second rail trail.
Eventually, the "Popes Creek Rail Trail" will extend from Rte.301 down to the shoreline of the Potomac River. This old railroad property passes-through stunning landscapes, including old growth forest and scenic tidal marsh areas. Probably will be several years before trail will be constructed and opened for public access.
This project was a partnership between Charles County Government, the Trust for Public Land, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office and the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources (Program Open Space).
The funding is comprised of $314,775 in [Maryland] Program Open Space local funds and a $944,325 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program. This acquisition will offer opportunities for upland forest and estuarine-related tidal wetlands protection, as well as the development of a trail on the former railroad corridor that extends from Route 301 to the Potomac River shoreline.
And here's a little history of the railroad
The B&P line ran from Bowie through to Popes Creek on the Potomac, with plans to connect to Richmond. About 35 of 48 miles of grading a path were completed by the end of 1868, according to John Wearmouth’s book, “La Plata, Maryland 1888-1988.”
But after the Civil War it was too late to make the connection from Popes Creek, since there already was railroad access across the Potomac at Alexandria, Audley said.
The freight line of the B&P reached Popes Creek on Dec. 12, 1871, Wearmouth wrote, and the Port Tobacco Station opened in 1872, serving the old Charles County seat.
The first passenger train came into La Plata on Jan. 1, 1872, Audley said, the year before the town had a post office. The La Plata station house still is standing. It was moved across the tracks for use as a museum and meeting place.
The Port Tobacco Times reported Jan. 17, 1873, the first railroad fatality in Charles County. A man got off the train at La Plata and started walking south toward Popes Creek. “Somewhere along the track he sampled a bit of alcoholic beverage and did not heed the warning whistle of the same train as it headed back north,” Wearmouth wrote in his 1986 history of the railroad.
The last single passenger railcar was taken off the 48-mile-long Popes Creek section of the Pennsylvania Railroad in late October 1949. The service had been available once a day in each direction. There only were three people there to protest the abandonment, reported The (Baltimore) Sun on Oct. 5, 1949, one of whom rode the train once a month. In the mid-1960s, the line was extended to southern Prince George’s County to serve a new power plant there, and the line diverted from Popes Creek to Morgantown to serve another new power plant. The track down to Popes Creek was torn out. Those power plants keep the line active today, bringing in coal and hauling other materials.