We've Been Workin' on the Railroad
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DESTINATION MARYLAND The Official Guide To Maryland State Travel
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We've Been Workin' on the Railroad 

 

We’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad
 

        Some people may only know the B&O Railroad as one of the squares on a Monopoly board. But there’s much more to it than that.

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was chartered in February 1827 and its cornerstone laid in July 1828, making it the first railroad in United States history.

        Several museums and historic sites in Maryland celebrate trains and the railroad industry. Throughout the state’s five tourism regions, visitors can find museums, excursions and restaurants that pay homage to American railroading.

        The list below is a sampling of some of these sites. Be sure to call ahead to check for days and times of operation.

        For more information about Maryland’s railroad attractions or any other aspect of travel in Maryland, call 800-719-5900 or visit www.visitmaryland.org.

 

 A Sampling of Railroad Sites in Maryland
 

CENTRAL MARYLAND
Baltimore City
 

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum
The museum traces the history of American railroading through exhibits, artifacts and the finest collection of 19th- and 20th-century rolling stock in the country. A highlight is the “roundhouse,” a beautiful, cathedral-style section of the building that was once the repair shop for trains. (E. Francis Baldwin designed this masterpiece. See reference to him below, in Carroll County.) Today it houses part of the museum’s vast collection of trains, including a few that have been featured in films. 901 W. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21223, 410-752-2490, www.borail.org

 

Baltimore Civil War Museum
Historic President Street Station was the site of the first bloodshed of the Civil War. On April 19, 1861, Union troops arrived at the station, the southern terminus of the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad. As they progressed from the station down Pratt Street to the B&O’s Camden Station (see below), an angry mob and Southern sympathizers attacked the soldiers. At the end of the skirmish, four soldiers and 12 Baltimore citizens were dead. The 1849 station now houses exhibits about Baltimore’s role in the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. 601 President Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-685-5188, www.mdhs.org

Evergreen House
The powerful Garrett family of Baltimore owned this 48-room Italianate mansion. In 1878 John W. Garrett, the president of the B&O Railroad, bought the home for his son, T. Harrison Garrett. The house is filled with post-Impressionist paintings, rare books, Tiffany glass, Japanese netsuke and inro, and a private theater. 4545 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210, 410-516-0341, www.jhu.edu/historichouses

Oriole Park at Camden Yards
When it was time to build a new stadium for Baltimore’s baseball team, who would have guessed that an abandoned B&O warehouse at the entrance of the city would provide the perfect locale? Builders transformed the warehouse into the impressive façade of a ballpark that is now a marvel for historians, architects and baseball fans alike. Nearby Camden Station will soon be converted to a baseball museum. Tours of Oriole Park give visitors an idea of how this abandoned industrial area was transformed into a ballpark that has earned rave reviews. 333 W. Camden Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, 410-685-9800, www.theorioles.com

 

Carroll County
 

Town of Sykesville
This town was named for James Sykes, who purchased the land from a friend whose father was one of the original directors of the B&O Railroad. Sykesville flourished in the mid-1800s, when it became a tourist spot for families from Baltimore. Thanks to a continued interest in railroading, life in this small town continues to revolve around a railroad theme. For those visitors who are inspired to build their own railroad, Purkey’s Toy Trains provides everything a novice or experienced model railroader might need. 7547 Main Street/P.O. Box 186, Sykesville, MD 21784, 410-795-8959, www.sykesville.net

Baldwin’s Station
A station designed by famed railroad architect E. Francis Baldwin is now a gourmet restaurant that serves fine food for lunch and dinner, entertainment, and a front-row seat for diners interested in watching trains pass by on the tracks that still run through town. This restaurant’s name is a tribute to Baldwin, a Baltimore architect who was trained at the Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and went on to design several buildings for the B&O Railroad. 7618 Main Street, Sykesville, MD 21784, 410-795-1041

Western Maryland Railway Historical Society Museum
For 125 years, the independent Western Maryland Railway maintained a reputation as the “Fast Freight Line.” The railway’s staff was noted for their skill in the transportation field and the pride they demonstrated in their work. Though the railway is now a memory, its remnants continue to be used by CSX Transportation. The Historical Society owns and operates this museum, housed in a Victorian railway station. Inside, visitors find an extensive collection of WM artifacts and memorabilia, photo archives and a railroaders’ library. 41 N. Main Street, Union Bridge, MD 21791, 410-775-0150

 

Howard County
 

Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge
This iron semi-suspension bridge was built in 1869 and today is one of only two such bridges in the world. It continues to be used, not for trains but rather as a footbridge spanning the Little Patuxent River. It is located next to Historic Savage Mill, a former textile mill that has been converted into antiques shops and artisans’ studios. 8600 Foundry Street, Savage, MD 20763, 410-792-2820, www.savagemill.com

Ellicott City B&O Railroad Station Museum
The old mill town of Ellicott City was the site of the first passenger terminus of the B&O Railroad and therefore has the distinction of being the oldest railroad terminal in the country. Built in 1831, the station was a hub for both commercial and Civil War trade. The museum features rotating themes throughout the year: the Civil War from February through May, the birth and development of the B&O from May through September, and a holiday model train exhibit from December through January. 2711 Maryland Avenue, Ellicott City, MD 21043, 410-461-1944, www.ecbo.org

Thomas Viaduct
Built in 1835, this first curved stone-arch bridge in the United States carried the B&O rail line over the Patapsco River near the town of Elkridge. The viaduct extends 700 feet and includes eight elliptical arches, each of which is 60 feet wide and 65 feet above the river. During the Civil War, the viaduct enabled boat and rail transport of troops and supplies through the area. Today the viaduct stands on the edge of Patapsco Valley State Park. 6086 Old Lawyers Hill/Levering Avenue, Elkridge, MD 21075, 410-796-3282, www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/patapscohistory.html

 

WESTERN MARYLAND
Allegany County

 

Allegany County Museum
Cumberland, noted as Maryland’s transportation hub, is home to the C&O Canal, the National Road and components of the railroad industry. This regional museum includes railroad memorabilia among its collection. 81 baltimore Street, Lila Building,, Cumberland, MD 21502, 301-777-7200

Cumberland & Pennsylvania Railroad Depot
C&P Railroad was built by the George’s Creek Coal and Iron Company prior to the Civil War. The depot was restored and operated as a restaurant for a number of years. Though it is currently closed, passengers on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (see below) can see it during their layover in Frostburg. 19 Depot Street, Frostburg, MD, 21532, 301-759-4400

Old Tunnel Hotel
Once a railroad hotel, this is now home to arts and souvenir shops. Passengers on the Western Maryland Scenic Railway (see below) can visit during their stop in Frostburg. Old Depot Center, Depot Street, Frostburg, MD, 21532, 301-689-3676

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
A 1916 Baldwin steam engine pulls passenger cars through the twists and turns of the mountain landscape and over the old iron truss bridge between Cumberland and Frostburg. Passengers board at the Western Maryland Station Center in Cumberland (see below) and have time to explore the former coal-mining town of Frostburg. 13 Canal Street, Cumberland, MD 21502, 800-TRAIN-50, www.wmsr.com

Western Maryland Station Center
A restored 1913 train station is now the admission point for excursions aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (see above), but it also houses the Canal Place Preservation Authority, a visitor center and displays that interpret the C&O Canal. 13 Canal Street, Cumberland, MD 21502

 

Garrett County


Historic B&O Train Station
The station dates to 1884 and was designed by E. Francis Baldwin, architect for many other stations for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. No two were alike, but Baldwin favored the Queen Anne style. Oakland’s station, which is a classic example of this style, features a circular tower topped with a bell-shaped roof. The station was once the busiest place in town because it served as the focal point of the region’s forestry, coal and tourism industries. In fact, the station welcomed such notable visitors as President Grover Cleveland, President William McKinley and Buffalo Bill Cody. The town of Oakland recently purchased the building and restored it to its former glory. 117 E. Liberty Street, Oakland, MD 21550, 301-334-2691, www.oaklandmd.com

 

Washington County
 

Burhans Station
This restaurant, located across the street from the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum (see below), maintains a railroad theme. Selections include everything from soups and salads to sandwiches and such entrees as crab cakes and New York strip steaks. 301 S. Burhans Boulevard, Hagerstown, MD 21741, 301-790-3000

Engine 202 Steam Locomotive and Caboose Display
This is the only steam locomotive of its type still in existence. In addition, the facility houses eight cabooses and railroad memorabilia. In City Park (next to Hager House), Hagerstown, MD 21740, 301-739-8393

Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum
Exhibits include railroad memorabilia and model train layouts. It documents the history of the Western Maryland Railroad and six other railroads that made Hagerstown the “Hub City.” 300 S. Burhans Boulevard, Hagerstown, MD 21740, 301-739-4665, www.roundhouse.org

Junction 808
A refurbished boxcar houses a railroad-themed restaurant. 808 Noland Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740, 301-791-3639

The Train Room & Museum
Visitors to this museum will find one of the largest operating “O” gauge model railroad displays on the East Coast, with all the sights and sounds of the real thing. Much of the collection pre-dates World War II. 360 S. Burhans Boulevard, Hagerstown, MD 21740, 301-745-6681, www.the-train-room.com

 

CAPITAL REGION
Frederick County
 

Brunswick Railroad Museum
The museum features 200 feet of interactive HO scale model railroad that depicts the B&O passenger line from Union Station in Washington, D.C., to the Brunswick Yard. Exhibits include railroad equipment, photographs and Victorian costumes. 40 W. Potomac Street, Brunswick, MD 21716, 301-834-7100, www.brrm.net

Point of Rocks Railroad Station
This fine Victorian-era station is still in use today by MARC passenger trains taking people from Frederick County to work and play in Washington, D.C. Architect E. Francis Baldwin designed it. U.S. Route 15 South and Maryland Route 28, Point of Rocks, MD 21777, 301-228-2888

Walkersville Southern Railroad
This rustic train offers a variety of excursions throughout the year. As the train chugs past a 100-year-old lime kiln, working farms, wooded areas and rolling countryside, riders get an impressive view of the Catoctin Mountains and the Monocacy River. 34 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Walkersville, MD 21793, 301-898-0899, www.wsrr.org

 

Montgomery County


Gaithersburg Train Station
This former B&O station was designed by E. Francis Baldwin and built in 1884. It is located in the heart of the Olde Towne Business District, near restaurants, shops and an outdoor rail car exhibit. Gaithersburg Heritage Alliance, 5 S. Summit Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 301-869-1063

 

Prince George’s County
 

Bowie Railroad Station
The museum is located at the junction of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad’s two branch lines to Southern Maryland and Washington, D.C. Former Governor Oden Bowie, for whom the town is named, founded the railroad. The B&P merged into the Pennsylvania Railroad system in 1902 and today serves both Amtrak and MARC commuter trains. The museum includes a circa 1910 depot, interlocking tower and passenger waiting shelter, and a 1922 Norfolk and Western caboose. 8614 Chestnut Avenue, Bowie, MD 20715, 301-809-3089, www.cityofbowie.org/comserv/museums.htm

B&O Railroad Depot
This landmark anchors the east end of historic Main Street in Laurel. The 1884 structure has been restored and continues to function as a commuter station, taking area residents to and from their jobs in neighboring cities. The Queen Anne-style structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only unaltered Victorian transportation structure in the county. 101 Lafayette Avenue, Laurel, MD 20707, 301-725-7975

 

EASTERN SHORE 
Cecil County
 

Perryville Railroad Museum
The museum was designed to honor railroad workers of both past and present. Its collection includes pictures and memorabilia from various periods of Perryville’s history. A model train layout demonstrates how tracks for both Norfolk Southern and Amtrak run through Perryville, a town whose “Train Watchers” formed an official chapter of the National Railway Historic Society. MARC Train Station, Broad Street, Perryville, MD 21903, 410-642-6066


Queen Anne’s County


Stevensville Train Station
The depot was built in 1902, when the Queen Anne’s and Kent Railroad extended its western terminus from Queenstown to Love Point. At that point, a connection could be made with steamboats to transport passengers and cargo – including the Eastern Shore’s famed seafood and produce – across the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore. On the return trips, steamboats brought clothing, newspapers and mail to Shore residents. The rail system ran for more than 60 miles, from Kent Island to Lewes, Delaware. This depot was moved from its original location in 1988 and restored by the Kent Island Heritage Society. Cockey’s Lane, Stevensville, MD 21666, 410-604-2100, www.historicqac.org

Sudlersville Train Station Museum
This frame structure is the only remaining station to survive on its original site in Queen Anne’s County. The Queen Anne’s and Kent Railroad came to Sudlersville in 1869 and provided a way to transport people, grain and produce. The railroad brought with it tremendous growth for the town. Today the station houses exhibits pertaining to the town’s history and memorabilia honoring a hometown hero, baseball Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx. Route 300 and Linden Avenue, Sudlersville, MD 21668, 410-438-3501, www.historicqac.org

 

Worcester County


Layton’s
This railroad-themed restaurant, open 24 hours a day, has gained quite a reputation for its donuts, pancakes and crab cakes. There’s a train garden in the Breakfast and Pizza Buffet Room. 1601 Philadelphia Avenue (16th Street and Philadelphia Avenue), Ocean City, MD 21842, 410-289-6635

Model Train Garden
A 1600-square-foot train garden allows nine trains to run at one time, past hundreds of scale buildings and through a 10-foot-high mountain. The exhibit uses one mile of electrical wiring. 109 Dorchester Street, Ocean City, MD 21842, 410-641-6996, www.atbeach.com/traingarden

 

SOUTHERN MARYLAND
Calvert County


Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum
The early history of the Chesapeake Beach Railway Company and Amusement Park is detailed in this collection of photos and artifacts. In the railway’s heyday – the early 1900s – crowds traveled to the Chesapeake Beach resort to visit its amusement park and bask in the sun. 4155 Mears Avenue, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732, 410-257-3892, www.cbrm.org


Charles County


Casey Jones
This restaurant, which is located along the town’s railroad tracks, features a railroad-themed pub on one side and an upscale dining experience on the other. Meals here range from salads, sandwiches and pizzas to such exotic fare as buffalo. 417 Charles Street/P.O. Box 1587, La Plata, MD 20646, 301-932-6226

La Plata Station
The town of La Plata owes its existence to the Pennsylvania Railroad. Prominent families gave the railway company the land it needed for a right-of-way to build the railroad in 1869. Trains began running through in 1873, the same year that the town’s first post office was established. The original La Plata Station included a warehouse and passenger waiting room, but today it is a small museum whose docents tell visitors about the railroad’s moment in history. 101 Kent Avenue/P.O. Box 2806, La Plata, MD 20646, 301-934-8421, www.charlescounty.org/tourism/sites.htm

 

UPDATED 6-05

 

 
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