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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.
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".History
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.
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.
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.
Baltimore Traction Company Brownell Car Company single truck open car 445 built in 1894.
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.
Horse Car 129 built in 1865, it was a home built by Baltimore
City Passenger Railway in 1875.
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 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.