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B & O Museum, Baltimore Street Car Museum

Adventurers in the Appalachia

My First trip on the Southwest Chief going to the 2018 NRHS Convention in Cumberland, Maryland

Chapter Fifteen

 B & O Museum

 Baltimore Street Car Museum

 Havre de Grace Bridge

 August 4, 2018

Saturday Part II


Robin Bowers

Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

Comments are appreciated

    We drove from the National Capital Trolley Museum north on Interstate 95 to Baltimore and after figuring out Baltimore's  one way streets, we arrived at the B&O Railroad Museum.

B&O Railroad Museum

The B&O Railroad Museum is a museum exhibiting historic railroad equipment in Baltimore, Maryland, originally named the Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum when it opened on July 4, 1953. It has been called one of the most significant collections of railroad treasures in the world and has the largest collection of 19th-century locomotives in the U.S. The museum is located in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's old Mount Clare Station and adjacent roundhouse, part of the B&O's sprawling Mount Clare Shops site begun in 1829, the oldest railroad manufacturing complex in the United States.

Mount Clare is considered to be a birthplace of American railroading, as the site of the first regular railroad passenger service in the U.S., beginning on May 22, 1830. It was also to this site that the first telegraph message, "What hath God wrought?" was sent on May 24, 1844, from Washington, D.C., using Samuel F. B. Morse's invention.

The museum houses collections of 19th- and 20th-century artifacts related to America's railroads. The collection includes 250 pieces of railroad rolling stock, 15,000 artifacts, 5,000 cubic feet of archival material, four significant 19th-century buildings, including the historic roundhouse, and a mile of track, considered the most historic mile of railroad track in the United States. Train rides are offered on the mile of track on Wednesday through Sunday from April through December and weekends in January. In 2002, the museum had 160,000 visitors annually.

The museum also features an outdoor G-scale layout, an indoor HO scale model, and a wooden model train for children to climb on. From Thanksgiving tthrough the New Year, local model railroad groups set up large layouts on the roundhouse floor and in select locations on the grounds of the museum. A museum store offers toys, books, DVDs and other railroad-related items.

The museum and station were designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1961. In 2008, the Museum won three awards in Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks Awards in the categories of: Best Museum for Little Kids, Best Indoor Playspace for Little Kids, and Best Indoor Playspace for Big Kids. Television and film actor Michael Gross is the museum's "celebrity spokesman".


The inaugural horse-drawn B&O train travelled the 13 miles (21 km) of the newly completed track from Mount Clare to Ellicott Mills (now Ellicott City, Maryland), on May 22, 1830, the first regular railroad passenger service in the U.S. The existing Mount Clare station brick structure was constructed in 1851. The adjacent roundhouse designed by Ephraim Francis Baldwin was built in 1884 to service the B&O's passenger cars.

For much of its history, the B&O had been collecting locomotives and other artifacts from its history for public relations purposes. This collection was stored in various places, until the railroad decided to centralize it in a permanent home. The car shop of the Mt. Clare Shops was chosen, and the new museum opened on July 4, 1953.

The museum ended up outliving its parent B&O Railroad, and was kept intact by both the Chessie System and CSX Corporation. In 1990, CSX deeded the property and collection to the newly formed, not-for-profit museum organization governed by an independent board of directors and provided it with a $5 million endowment. In 1999, the museum became affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution.

The Museum on February 17, 2003, shortly after its blizzard-caused roof collapse

In the early morning of February 17, 2003, heavy snow from the Presidents' Day Storm collapsed half of the roof of the museum's roundhouse. Although the structure's central support columns remained standing, the supporting iron struts and ties of the destroyed roofing sections failed under the snow load. The museum suffered heavy damage not only to the roundhouse itself but also to the collection within the roundhouse. Some of the items were damaged beyond repair. Reporting on the devastation the following day, The Baltimore Sun said, "...hours after the collapse, columns of mangled steel stuck out from the roundhouse ... Locomotives and passenger cars in the museum's collection, some dating from the 1830s, could be seen covered with snow and debris." The roundhouse, with a newly repaired roof, reopened to the public on November 13, 2004, and the damaged locomotives and cars were surrounded by a plexiglass barrier. As of September 2015, all damaged exhibits have been restored to their original appearance.

After the roof collapse, subsequent fund raising and restoration allowed the museum to upgrade many of its facilities. In 2005 the museum opened a new service facility west of the roundhouse for restoration of historical equipment and maintenance of active equipment.

Our Visit

We started with the trains in the parking lot. This will be my third visit to the Mount Clare shops. The first was the year before the roof collapse and second in the year 2008.


B&O GP-40 3684 with roof of roundhouse in background.

B&O RDC4 1961.

American Freedom Train Reading 4-8-4  1.

Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad GE 70-Tonner 50.

BOMX H-1244  9733.

Western Maryland Railway  RS-3  195.

B&O Railroad  SD-35  7402 and train.

B&O bay window caboose  C2943.

From here we went in and introduced ourselves and they let us in. We went straight to the B&O Roundhouse and started looking around.


B&O Clearance Car CE15.

Definitely a one horsepower engine.

Clinchfield 4-6-0 1.

Humble beginnings for the railroad. 

B&O Railroad 4-4-0 William Mason.

B&O Railroad Camelback 4-6-0  305, "Ross Winans."

The glass on the floor looks down on the gears that move the turntable.

B&O Railroad 4-4-0 William Mason.

Greenbrier, Cheat & Elk Railroad Three Cylinder Shay 1.

After checking out the roundhouse, we went outside to see the displays and exhibits. My first stop out here on my periodic visits is the garden railroad with running trains.

Enough of the small trains, let's look at the big boys toys.

Western Maryland F-7A 236.

B&O Railroad  GP-30 6944.

More displays inside this building.

Pere Marquette Railway SW-1 11.

B&O Railroad caboose 2222. Now we will enter the old B&O car shop.

Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad 4-6-4 Hudson (Streamlined) 490. On a previous visit, she was parked outside near the parking lot.


Chesapeake and Ohio 4-6-6-6 Allegheny  1604.

The Maryland Merci Car from France. Another one to add to my growing list of cars sighted.

Chesapeake & Ohio 4-6-0 377.

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad 4-6-2 Pacific 5300, President Washington.

To exit we had to walk back through the roundhouse.

    Baltimore & Ohio 4-6-0 camelback 305. We then went to the gift shop and purchased several items. As we exited the building, we thanked our hosts for an excellent visit to their very fine B&O Railroad Museum. From here we drove to the west end of the property to see if anything was out to photograph, which there was.

Baltimore and Ohio GP-7 6405.

Baltimore and Ohio GP-7 6405 and the B&O observation car used on the excursion train. We will make our way from here over to the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, our final stop of the day here in Baltimore, where we would meet up with Bob, if all went according to plan.

We drove from the B&O Railroad Museum the short distance to the Baltimore Streetcar Museum.

The Baltimore Streetcar Museum History

The Baltimore Streetcar Museum is a non-profit museum located at 1901 Falls Road (MD 25) in Baltimore, Maryland. The museum is dedicated to preserving Baltimore's public transportation history, especially the streetcar era. The museum is open Noon to 5 P.M. every Sunday March through December and Noon to 5 P.M. Saturdays, June through October.

The original Museum collection had been under the stewardship of the United Railways and Electric Company, then the Baltimore Transit Company and finally, for a short time, the Maryland Historical Society. Finally the Baltimore Streetcar Museum was founded in 1966 by several members of the Baltimore Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society. The collection was moved from Robert E. Lee Park near Lake Roland in 1968 to the present Falls Road Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad site and public operations began in July 1970. Before public operations could commence, many hours of volunteer work were necessary to build operating track and install overhead wire which, at first, provided only a short ride for visitors. Over the years, the Museum has incrementally extended its line along Falls Road that includes now turning loops at the north and south ends of its line. Completion of the Museum's entire streetcar line was realized in October 2008 with the completion of its double tracking project, which took many years to complete. The track gauge is 5 ft 4 1/2 in, which is unique.

The Baltimore Streetcar Museum houses the library collections of the Baltimore Streetcar Museum and the National Railway Historical Society (Baltimore Chapter), formally known as Maryland Rail Heritage Library.

Our Visit

We parked the car and started to look around this unique museum.

United Railways and Electric Company JG Brill "Peter Witt" car 6119 built in 1930.



SEPTA PCC 2187 St. Louis Car Company built in 1948 Philadelphia PCC converted to overhead line car.

Baltimore Traction Company Brownell Car Company single truck open car 445 built in 1894.

SEPTA PCC 2168 St. Louis Car Company built in 1948 Philadelphia.

Brownell Car Company double truck convertible car 264, built in 1900. It was the very first car restored by the BSM in 1968.

The first car we would ride was the United Railways and Electric Company JG Brill "Peter Witt" car 6119.

The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad roundhouse is in relatively good condition considering the Ma & Pa moved out somewhere around 1964. Next we make our way to the reversing loop.

The trip around the reversing loop. Returning to the station area ending our first trip aboard this wonderful trolley line.

Horse Car 129 built in 1865, it was a home built by Baltimore City Passenger Railway in 1875.

And now a look inside the car barn,


Horse Car 25 built in 1859 by built by Poole & Hunt right up the road in Woodbury. Unrestored body incapable of being restored. Shell only.


Horse Car, to Cable Car trailer, to Electric Car 417. Built in 1884, it's a home built by Baltimore City Passenger Railway. Supposedly the oldest operating electric streetcar in the U.S.

Baltimore PCC 7407 built by Pullman-Standard in 1944. Pride of this Museum fleet. Last streetcar to run in Baltimore.

Brownell Car Company single truck "accelerator" car 1050 was built in 1896.


Single truck safety car 4533 was built by JG Brill in 1904.Converted to air in 1924. Converted to a test car in 1940. Restored as 1924 version.

We all made our second run aboard the Baltimore Traction Company Brownell Car Company single truck open car 445.

The above device counts the passengers aboard the trolley. After that trip we toured the inside of the museum.
    This museum has plenty of good information throughout their building and we all got a cold soda after. Next we rode the SEPTA PCC Car. After that Bob got his chance to run the SEPTA PCC car 2168.


Inside car 2168. Bob is getting taught how to run the SEPTA PCC car with a few instruction.

Bob having just finish his first two runs in car 2168.

     After Bob delivered us and the car safely back to the station, the instructor,  John Engleman asked the assembled guests if anyone would like to to sit in the operators chair and have try running the streetcar. Say what? You talking to me? A chance to run a streetcar for the first time? Heck yes, I am game. Quicker than a New York minute, I was warming that seat. Excited to be learning something new, I was given a short 30 second operation and safety talk then it was my right foot that pushed down on the power pedal and we took off into the wild blue yonder. Well, not quite. The take off was slow even with the car empty, so with 70 souls aboard we would not be jack-rabbit starts with this old lady.

The author in command of his car.

Me driving through the country side with John, my instructor and tutor keeping watch.

    I made two laps around the circuit for a total of three miles. And that is three more than I had when I woke up this morning. Needless to say, I finished and went to the car barn with a smile from ear to ear and definitely stoked. I love to drive new and different vehicles. It's a grand high.

Grads, Bob & Robin, with  John Engleman in front of their car.

    The closing of the car barn was also the closing of our long day. I want to thank the Baltimore Streetcar Museum for a wonderful late afternoon visit to their excellent trolley museum. We left the Baltimore Streetcar Museum and took Interstate 95 to Havre de Grace.

The Baltimore Pennsylvania Station.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital was my aunt's go to place for medical care and gave it high marks. Notice we are on US 40 East.

    The Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge is a road bridge in northeast Maryland that crosses the Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Perryville via Garrett Island. It carries U.S. Route 40.

Water fowl in the Susquehanna River

The Amtrak Susquehanna River Bridge is a Howe deck truss structure that carries two tracks of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line across the Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Perryville, Maryland. History. The vicinity of the bridge has been used as a river crossing for more than 300 years.

Amtrak Silver Meteor train 98 was our first train here.

Northeast Regional 135 came across the bridge.

But all good things have to end so we left the bridge and moved to our last stop of the day.

Old building at the park where we shot our photos

Perryville, Maryland.

The MARC Perryville station. We headed to Newark, Delaware but stopped at Subway to have some dinner. We then drove to the Rodeway Inn in Newark for a two night stay.

Thanks for reading.

Next chapter 16 - Newton Square RR Museum, West Chester RR >>

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