What a great house this was for a railfan, eh?
Watch all the rail traffic without even having to get out of bed!
Reader Andy Anderson wrote to share some memories:
"I used to live in the railfan house. My parents (Herbert & Maxine Anderson)
bought it in the 1960's. We were living there at the time I was born (1972).
In 1988 my parents sold it to my mothers aunt & her husband (James Johnson).
My parents retired from Springfield Hospital Center and moved back to
their home state of TN. It was sold once again (I don't know who bought it)
last year (2001). I have a lot of fond memories of Sykesville, especially
riding bikes along the RR tracks to Marriottsville.
"I'm not sure of an exact date when the last train ran on that spur. I believe
it was between 1972-1975. I don't remember seeing it, but I couldn't have
been more than 3 years old at the time. There is a museum being developed at
the Springfield Hospital Center - I'm sure someone there could tell you. I
always remember those tracks being called the 'Dinky tracks', I'm not sure
why. Maybe it was because of the small number of cars, type of engine, rail
Reader Randolph Richardson wrote to add:
"It was called a dinky, I believe, because the hospital used a GE 44 tonner
to pull loaded coal cars to Springfield Hospital. I was teaching at
Sykesville High 1961-1966, and it was still running. The most cars I ever
saw it pull were eight. It is an amazingly steep grade up to the hospital.
Springfield was massive-at its peak there were 3400 'guests' and a huge
staff. The buildings were kept extremly warm, necessitating huge amounts of